Duration: 2 days – 1 night
Walking distance: 22km
Rating: Moderately Difficult
Altitude: We will be hiking from 2850masl to 4000masl
Best time to visit: December through February are the driest months. April through June can be very wet.
Observations: This is a very challenging and physically demanding trek, not only because we will be increasing in altitude but because it’s a humid area and it can rain constantly and the road can be very muddy, adding some extra difficulties to it. Even under the more ideal conditions water streams keep parts of the route muddy all year around, and we will be crossing some rivers. Therefore, raining boots and waterproof clothing are a must. We will walk in the company of arrieros (mule drivers) and mules, which will carry the gear, equipment and food. The first is an easy four-hours walk, but the second day we will be walking for eight hours.
TREK DESCRIPTION: This trek takes place in the Sangay National Park, being this the reason for being in a humid area and having large chances of rain and fog, as we will be hiking in between the Sierra and the Oriente (jungle). This is also why we will encounter plenty of water streams, rivers and waterfalls along the way, making it a very beautiful place to be in. The gateway for this trek is the friendly and very traditional indigenous town of Alao, about two hours south of Riobamba. From Alao the road climbs very gradually, going parallel to the river. Leaving town the road goes through green pastures that soon give way to tussock-covered páramo. We will encounter impressive flora including native trees such as the pumamaqui, fical, and alder, a variety of orchids and other colorful flowers, mosses, lichens, mushrooms, and a great many ferns. In the second day we will arrive to Laguna Negra at 4000masl, a beautiful high Andean lake, nestled in the grassy páramo at the foot of Cerro Mirador.