Altar Trek Ecuador
El Altar is an extinct volcano in Sangay National Park surrounded by multicoloured lagoons, giant waterfalls and glacial lakes.
It was once one of the tallest mountains on the planet until a giant eruption destroyed its summit over 500 years ago and created its famous cathedral altar shape of 9 peaks around a crater lake.
There are two treks you can do to El Altar – an overnight trek to the “yellow lagoon” crater lake in the middle of the extinct volcano, or the other spectacular 3 day hike that climbs the green valleys carved by glaciers into the mountainous terrain full of waterfalls and multi-coloured glacial lagoons inside Sangay National Park.
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Birdwatching and Adventure tours
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Tough
Group Size Small Group
- Transport from Riobamba to Sangay National Park and back
- Camping Equipment including sleeping bags, sleeping mats
- Carrying mules
- National Park permits
- All food including meals for breakfast lunch and dinner and snacks (Please tell us if you are a vegetarian)
- Travel insurance and other emergencies
Riobamba - Candelaria
We walk up the valley that was created by a glacier millions of years ago with a giant 200 meter waterfall and the peaks of El Altar in the distance.
We leave the tents at the campsite and climb up to 4,500 meters and explore the many waterfalls and five multicoloured lagoons (the star lagoon, the mandur lagoon, blue lagoon, black lagoon, and green lagoon) underneath the 5,319m (17,451 ft) peak of El Altar.
We go back down the valley on a plateau that has an amazing view of Mount Chimborazo and follow the river to the entrance of Sangay National Park where we return to Riobamba
We work with Hacienda Releche for a dry refuge in the Altar Paramo