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Podocarpus National Park - 5 Days

The Podocarpus National Park is located in the South of Ecuador and stretches over three provinces - Loja, Zamora and Morona Santiago - and two main regions; the Andean highlands and the Amazon Basin. The park can be clearly divided into five life zones, each rich in biodiversity and characterised by different flora and fauna.

Podocarpus National Park- Ecuador Trekking
Day 01: Flight to Catamayo - walk from Cerro Toledo to Esmeralda
Day 02: Esmeralda - Las Peñas
Day 03: Las Peñas – Margaritas lagoon – Capamaco Refuge
Day 04: Ride – refuge – Vilcabamba-Valley – Hostal Madre Tierra
Day 05: Flight back to Quito


Detailed Itinerary:

Early in the morning flight to Catamayo. You will be picked you from the airport in Catamayo and bring you to Loja. After a good breakfast in Loja you will travel to Yangana to the Cerro Toledo where you will start a 3-hour hike, crossing the tropical forest of Podocarpus Park and areas of colonisation. You will also cross-beautiful landscapes you will reach the small village of Esmeralda. There you will set up a camp. B/L/D

After breakfast you will hike to Las Peñas stream. Mules will carry the heavy gear and you will have a picnic lunch on the way. You will arrive at the stream late in the afternoon and you will set up your campsite there in the tropical forest. B/L/D

After breakfast you will hike to Lagunas Margaritas and you will go up from 1.800 m to 3.200 m. You will eat lunch on the way. The highest point of the mountain, which you will cross, is at 3.400 m above sea level. You will stay in the Capamaco refuge, have dinner and spend the night. B/L/D

In the morning you will do some horseback riding from the refuge at 2.500 m to the Vilcabamba Valley at 1.600 m. You will have lunch in the valley. Later you will be going to the Hostal Madre Tierra. In the afternoon you will have time to relax and enjoy the Spa of the hostal. You will have dinner there and spend the night. B/L/D

After the lunch you will return via Loja to the airport in Catamayo and fly back to Quito. B/L/-

B= Breakfast L= Lunch D= Dinner

USD 690.- per person
Minimum 2 People

In the price included:
Private transportation from Quito to Quito, accommodation in double or triple rooms with private bath, camp on the other nights, meals as mentioned above, entrance fees, English-speaking guide, sleeping bag.

Not included in the price:
personal equipment, travel insurance and tips, international flight airport tax (USD 41.- per person), personal expenses, beverages.

What to bring with you:
ainwear, torch, sun cream, sunglasses, hat with brim, warm clothing, small pack, canteen, camera (film 100 ASA)

Note:
Although this is a moderate trek, it could be very hard if you are not in good shape. Be ready to walk on trails as well as on cross-country terrain, marsh and forests. Do not expect to find well-marked trails like in the Alps or in the National Parks of USA.

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