Adventure holidays for truly intrepid travellers.
In these days of relatively cheap air travel, globalization and online media, you may find yourself wondering if there are any legendary destinations left that you haven’t seen in a tourist brochure or on a TV documentary. We’ve searched the web and come up with the following destination for intrepid travellers.
If you seriously want to get away from it all and are prepared to rough it, head for Llanganates National Park in central Ecuador, where you can hike in a 720,000-acre reserve of impressive mountains and clear lakes. Parts of the park are untamed and unchartered territory so it’s not for the fainthearted but the area offers some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes, with undisturbed mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, caverns, forests and creeks.
The park is home to nearly two hundred species of birds, fifty mammals and 1000 different plants. And if you’re into local legends, you’ll be hiking in a region which supposedly hides a haul of lost gold treasure, hidden by the Incas in a cave near a lake somewhere in the mountains.
Because of altitude, weather conditions can be hostile, there is no tourist infrastructure to speak of and you need a guide. You’ll find one in the city of Píllaro, 45 miles southwest of the park boundary, which is the best departure point for excursions into Llanganates National Park.
Treat yourself to a little luxury by basing yourself at the Luna Runtun luxury adventure spa and hotel, located in the hills overlooking Baños. The company also organises tours. Visit www.lunaruntun.com for further details or http://banios.com/rioamazonas/llanganates.html and http://www.goecuador.com/ecuador-general-info/ecuador-national-parks6.html for details of tours to the area.