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Sitting in the shadow of Ecuador’s fourth highest mountain, Papallacta offers spectacular scenery and dramatic views of glaciers and mountains. 

The impressive landscapes continue at Antisanilla with its lava flow and deep canyon where Andean condor are regularly sighted.

Around the many páramo lakes and ponds are lichens, gentians and orchids. For birders there is the opportunity to see black-faced ibis, cinereous conebill, Andean teal, Andean lapwing, carunculated caracara and black-winged dove.

Papallacta is less than two hours drive from Quito, so can easily be visited as a day trip.

View suggested itinerary

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: Andean lapwing, Andean teal, black-faced ibis, black-winged dove, carunculated caracara
  • Where: Napo Province, Ecuador

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itinerary:

Ecuadorian Odyssey

Take a journey through Ecuador’s varied topography to see the best of the country’s wildlife. Immerse yourself in the cloud forests of Mindo and follow hiking trails to see colourful tanagers and hummingbirds, before spending a few days in the Amazon jungle, home to an astonishing repertoire of wildlife.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 14 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,245 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Guango Lodge

Located at 2,700 metres above sea level, near the hot springs of Papallacta, this lodge is a paradise for hummingbirds and other wildlife. Guests can explore scenic trails among the forest-covered mountains, enjoy photographic opportunities at the bird feeders and discover the diverse plant life in the orchid garden.

Papallacta Lodge

Nestled high in the Andean Cordillera at the entrance of the Amazonian jungle, Papallacta features several hot thermal spring pools of different sizes and temperatures. Guests can follow trails alongside pristine mountain streams, observing the habitat of condors and pumas, among other indigenous species.