The Sangay Nationalpark with a size of 271.000 ha has been founded in 1979 and covers parts of the provinces Chimborazo, Morona Santiago and Tungurahua. Due to its outstanding natural beauty this national park has been declared a world heritage in 1983 by the UNESCO for both geological and ecological values. The park illustrates a wide spectrum of ecosystems, ranging from tropical rainforests to glaciers, with striking contrasts between the snowcapped peaks and the forests of the plains. Because of its isolated location in the central Andes of Ecuador, the survival of indigenous species such as the mountain tapir and the Andean condor has been encouraged.
Within its borders three volcanoes can be found, two of them are still active. The Tungurahua (5.016 m.) who has showed an increasing activity during the last years represents a breathtaking spectacle. The Sangay (5.230 m) is situated at the edge of the rainforest and is one of the most active volcanoes of the world. And finally there is the Altar (5.320 m), who is extinct for a long time.
The national park stretches from the eastern cordillera of the Andes to the jungle and will enchant you with a fantastic variety of different landscapes and climate zones. Subtropical rainforest merges into cloud forest, followed by Andean grasslands and finally ending in the everlasting ice of the glaciers of the 5000meters high mountains
Sangay is famous because it is one of the most active volcanoes in the world: its mood can change hourly. Although it hasn’t had a major blow recently, Ecuadorians keep a watchful eye on its dubious activity as volcanic rocks, ash and smoke are constantly spewing forth. Occasionally, lava oozes down the mountain’s sides, making an unforgettable and sizzling sight at night. To reach the volcano’s base we will trek through marshy valleys, across several rivers and over a number of mountains before reaching our camp at La Playa (The Beach). The scenery is spectacular and if the weather is good we will be rewarded with superb views of Sangay. This trek is fairly rugged, so excellent physical condition is required.
Day 01: Quito – Riobamba – Eten
You travel from Quito on the Pan-American highway through the famous Avenue of the Volcanoes south via Latacunga, Salcedo and Ambato to Riobamba. Here you leave the highway and drive on small country roads to the small town of Licto and from here through the wide Andean valleys to the small Indian village of Eten, where you will meet your local team. According to the time you stay the night at the village or start with a short two hours hike to your first camp. This region will provide some first impressions of the daily life of the Indians of this region. Lunch on route and overnight in or near Eten – either in a tent or hut. -/L/D
Day 02:Escaleras River
After loading the luggage onto packing-horses your way will lead you through the last cultivated fields and meadows out of civilization into your adventure. You hike for approximately 7 hours through the Paramo (typical Andean Highland) along the Quebrada Azashuaycu towards the Escaleras River. On your way you pass hills, cross high moors and little rivers before you reach your camp at the slopes of a steep hill. On a clear afternoon you have great views on the Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest peak 6310m, from here. B/L/D
Day 03: Plazapamba
From here you continue through the Páramo hiking up the steep hill at which slopes you camped the night before. Your way will lead you along ridges and through huge valleys into the Sangay national park until you reach the plain of Plazapamba, which is named after the river of the same name. After about 7 hours we set up your next camp on the Plazabamba plain. If the weather is good you can enjoy first sights on the Sangay and with a little bit of luck spot even the first eruptions. B/L/D
Day 04:Sangay La Playa
You continue hiking towards the Orient (East) and with a little luck you should be able to see beautiful scenery and the spectacular Sangay in a state of eruption. The terrain will get more difficult, you will have to cross several rivers, climb and descend various hills and the dense vegetation will assume the nature of the Páramo. In the afternoon you arrive at the base camp at la Playa that is located at the southwest side of the volcano at an altitude of 3.600 meters. B/L/D
Day 05: Sangay
At about 3:00 o’clock you start climbing to the summit, which you will hopefully reach within 6-7 hours. First you hike up to the base of the volcano under light of your flash lights. Here at La Ventana (The Window) you will have great views on the volcano above you and the far Amazon rainforest to the east below you. The success of the climb depends above all from the intensity of the eruptions which can force you to turn back earlier. While climbing you are able to feel the power of the volcano, which expresses itself in trembling and small eruptions. This will be a unique experience! In the late afternoon you return back to the camp at La Playa. B/L/D
Day 06: Sangay - Plazapamba
On our way back you hike through a landscape that over the centuries has been determined by the majestic volcano. After 7-8 hours we will set up your camp in Plazabamba again. On your way look out for the shy tapir which often can be spotted in this remote area. B/L/D
Day 07:Plazapamba Rio Ilapo
You continue your way back and have once more the possibility to enjoy the almost untouched landscape. Perhaps you will be lucky and see one of the timid inhabitants of this bleak wilderness – e.g. an Andean wolf, a spectacled bear or even a puma. After a 7-8 hours march we set up your last camp. B/L/D
Day 08:Eten – Riobamba Quito
A last hike of about 2 hours brings you back to Eten, where your car awaits you to bring you back into the civilisation. You drive to Riobamba and then north back to Quito where you will arrive in the late evening. B/L/-
B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / D: Dinner
USD 1.470, - per person with minimum 4 people
USD 1.935, - per person with minimum 2 people
USD 3.480,- with one person
Included in the Price:
transportation, English speaking guide, meals as listed above, collective camp equipment (dining tent, 1 or 2-pers.-tents, toilet tent), foam pad, kitchen gear etc., cook, pack animals, entrance National Park.
Not Included in the Price:
international flight, accommodation and food supply in Quito, international airport tax Quito (USD 41,-), sleeping bag, personal equipment, tips, travel insurance.
What to bring with you:
Sleeping bag, sun glasses, sun block, rain wear, torch, hat, trekking shoes, warm clothing, canteen, camera and film (100 ASA)
NB: Please note that the program can vary due to weather conditions, the volcanic activity of the Sangay and/or changes of the national park rules.