The beautiful El Chanquinan
For a unique and fascinating hiking or mountain biking experience, visitors to Ecuador should head towards the city of Quito and take on the beautiful El Chaquinan, or Bat Trail. It was previously known as El Murcielago but since the Quito Municipality took over ownership of the trail, it has been upgraded and has created a historical trail that is adventurous, and which can be enjoyed by the entire family. So, pack your backpack and torch and set off on a journey of discovery and beauty.
The El Chanquinan trail begins in Cumbaya and ends in Puembo, making the trail twenty two kilometers in length. It is not a challenging trail in regard to terrain, so hiking enthusiasts do not have to be extremely fit to partake in the hike, and children will be able to accompany their parents. Without stopping along the way, the hike shouldn’t take more than an hour and a half to complete. The trail can be hiked at any time of year, if hikers have the correct clothing, but the best times to take on the El Chanquinana is between the months of June to September or alternatively, from December to February.
Due to the low physical demands of the trail, cyclists can be found along trail regularly. The trail follows a path along an old railway line that has not been in use for years and was constructed at the start of the previous century. This means that the trail features wonderful and exciting tunnels that can be a little scary at first, as the pitch darkness can frighten some, but with a torch, it can be a very extraordinary experience. The fauna and flora along the way is also breathtaking, with sparrows and blackbirds filling the air with song and plants such as pencos and chilcas decorating the landscape. Entrance to the trail is free of charge as the trail is not in a protected area. The trail is a wonderful experience and opportunity to explore a historical part of Ecuador and is a popular activity in Quito. From breathtaking scenery to fresh air and adventure, El Chanquinan has it all.