Los Illinizas Ecological Reserve

To enter the protected area from Mejía, you must take the Panamericana Sur and by the paved road you reach the parish El Chaupi; from here by a second-order route you reach the La Virgen sector.

The Illinizas - ecological reserve

The altitude that reaches the summit of Los Illinizas allows the existence of two well-marked areas: towards the west, it is more humid soils and vegetation, while in the foothills that lead to the inter-Andean alley the soils are more sandy and with little water. In the reservation you can see pray and fauna, The Illinizas , The Heart , named for its inverted heart shape. 

A volcano with two summits , a heart-shaped hill and a turquoise green lagoon are the main attractions of this reserve. From its foothills are born the slopes for two important rivers, the Toachi, which runs north through a 40-meter high canyon, and the Pilatón . This reveals the importance of the cloud forests of this reserve for the generation of water from nearby towns and cities.       

The reservation is divided into four sections and you may have visited it without realizing it. The largest includes a long block west of Quilotoa , where the slopes and streams that feed downstream will feed the Toachi River  

The second zone, located to the northeast, is the block where the Ilinizas ( Illinizas Sur - Illinizas Norte ) and the Heart are. The third block is to the southwest, separated from the largest section by the Latacunga - La Maná road. The fourth block is a kind of 800-hectare island that basically surrounds the Quilotoa lagoon.  

Atractivos: Bosque Polylepis

  • Dificultad: Senderismo
  • Act. Permitidas: Paisajismo, fotografía, interpretación ambiental, observación flora y fauna
  • Se necesita Guía Naturalista
  • Se necesita Guía Nacional
  • Horarios: 08:00 a 16:00
  • Justificación
    Fácil accesibilidad
    En contra: Factor climatológico (neblina)
  • A favor

Attractions: New Horizons Shelter

Illinizas Refuges

  • Difficulty : Hiking 
  • Act . Allowed: Landscaping, photography, environmental interpretation , flora and fauna observation.  
  • Naturalist Guide is needed
  • Hours : 07:00 to 16:00 
  • Justification
  • In favor: More time to do the activity in one day (North Illiniza)  
  • Against: Climatic factor (fog and rain), the route can present problems due to the sudden increase in altitude  .

Other Tourist Places of Mejía that may interest you

  • Pasochoa Wildlife Refuge
  • Pasochoa volcano
  • Station of the train of Tambillo
  • Sierra Alisos Protective Forest
  • Ninahuilca volcano
  • Canchacoto waterfalls
  • The Brutal Power
  • Toachi Pilatón Hydroelectric Complex
  • Napac Waterfall
  • La Hesperia Biological Station
  • Los Ilinizas Volcano 
  • Atacazo volcano
  • La Viudita Hill
  • Bombolí Nature Reserve
  • Station of the train of Aloasí
  • Sanctuary of the Virgin of Sorrows
  • The heart 
  • Cotopaxi Volcano
  • Cotopaxi National Park
  • Sincholagua Volcano
  • Machachi Matrix Church
  • Rumiñahui volcano
  • Sunday Fair
  • Thessaly
  • La Calera

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