Condors Bioreserve – Hike – Antisana Volcano
Before the Condors Bioreserve, you will depart early in the morning from Quito and drive through the “The Avenue of the Volcanoes” toward Pintag and Antisana National Park. Antisana is the fourth highest active volcano of Ecuador (5,758 meters above sea level) and it is located two hours away from Quito. The first stop is for an overview of the impressive lava flow at Antisanilla, and the next one to admire an incredibly huge wall of cliffs across a narrow canyon, where condors can be seen fairly regularly, as they breed here. They are usually seen soaring up near the highest peaks, a great distance away. Up in the paramo (at about 12,000 ft. elevation) several stops are made to walk about on the level ground and observe the beautiful but small paramo flowers hugging the ground among the lichens and paramo straw: yellow composites, gentians, red Indian paintbrush, orchids and chuquiraguas.
Around the many paramo lakes and ponds, you can observe the glacial moraines and birds in both a diversity of species and individual abundance of most of them such as the highly endangered Black-faced Ibis, Cinereous Conebills, Brown Speckled Teal, Andean Lapwings, many Carunculated Caracaras, Black Wing Doves, and the rare Siskin. Lunch in a local hosteria, and we will continue our trip to Chugchilan to stay in there.