Sangay National Park
Sangay National Park
4.5
About
The park features two active volcanoes, rainforests, glaciers. It is home to animals such as tapirs, ocelots, pumas and porcupines.
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Tours & experiences
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Top ways to experience Sangay National Park and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Miles From Banos 43, Riobamba 060150 Ecuador

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles27 reviews
Excellent
19
Very good
8
Average
0
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0
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K-wahine
Toronto2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015
My friend and I spent a lot of time researching treks in Ecuador and found useful information somewhat hard to come by, hence why I write this review, to put the information out there to other potential trekkers :) We chose Sangay because of it's 'off the beaten track-ness' and weren't disappointed. We took a bus from Banos to Penipe and another bus to Candelaria in one day and arrived in Candelaria in the evening. The walk to Refugio was about 30 minutes from town. Walk to the end of town where a dirt road begins. Follow it down the hill beside the river and then up a hill on the other side. On the left hand side eventually you will see a sign for the refugio. Walk up the driveway for a few minutes past the national park office and at the end of the driveway is the refugio! We knocked on the door of the main house and were greeted by Osvaldo. The price for the refugio is now $12 per night. Bring food to cook or get something in town (only the very basics were available at a couple shops in town and fruit/veggies were minimal, if any at all). We asked Osvaldo to hire us a guide and he got us one by the next day for about $30 per day I think it was. Be aware that Osvaldo is not always around...if he is not, it could be difficult to find a guide. The hike up to the second refugio was extremely muddy. I have done a great deal of hiking and it was one of the most challenging hikes I have done solely because it was deep mud and uphill nearly the entire hike up. I have great leather hiking boots but my friend had rubber boots and they served him well. I heard of others' boots getting sucked into the mud though :) The trail is pretty easy to follow but still there are times when I was thinking I was glad to have a guide leading the way. I would recommend hiring a guide...coming from someone who normally enjoys more do-it-yourself adventure. Our guide's name was Sergio and he was great-checked in about the pace, was very safety conscious and kind. He didn't speak English. It took us about 5.5 hours to get to the second refugio including breaks and with large, heavy packs. Also be aware that if no other trekkers are at the second refugio it will be locked and you won't have anywhere to sleep! So if you decide to go without a guide, talk to Osvaldo to find out if he can give you a key perhaps. The cost to sleep there is also $12. The following day we hikes up amd over the ridge in search of Italian Camp. We never sctually found it but it could still be there! It was very, very windy, cold and rainy/wet snow. We camped under a little overhang beside a cliff to avoid
exposure but there are a lot of other places to camp up there if the weather is better.
Written March 4, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Daniel O
6 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Solo
Whenever I travel, I like to look for UNESCO World Heritage Sites because I have had great experiences visiting these sites of natural, cultural, and historical significance. I was in Ecuador and Sangay Park is a World Heritage Site so naturally I planned a visit. While in Cuenca, I inquired at a number of tour operators about the park and almost none of them had even heard of it. Based on information I found online, I decided to trek to Laguna Amarilla at the base of El Altar because aside from climbing Sangay any information about anything else to do was scarce. As a non Spanish speaker, everything was a little lot more difficult for me, but I managed to take a bus from Cuenca to Riobamba, walk to the tourist information office (where the helpers seemed unsure of whether I should get a guide), walk to the Oriental bus terminal, and catch an bus to Candelaria. It it very frustrating that there doesn't seem to be bus schedules posted anywhere so I showed up to the terminal and learned that the next bus to Candelaria was not leaving for 3 hours. The bus cost about $1. I exited the bus just past Candelaria (which isn't even on Google Maps) when I saw the sign for Hacienda Releche. The office for Sangay Park was closed, so I continued walking about 200 meters to the Hacienda. The owner wasn't there at first, but when he arrived about an hour later, he was extremely friendly and helpful and he spoke perfect English. I paid $15 for a room for the night. I was the only customer. I spent the evening on a hammock on the porch reading. It looked like a really cool place to book ahead of time with a group because then they can prepare food for you. The place had a wonderful rustic charm to it. The owner recommended that I buy some food for my hike at a nearby store, he also told me I could rent rubber boots there but I declined because I had waterproof hiking boots and gaiters (I later learned this was the wrong choice). I told the owner I wanted to spend the next night at the refuge closer to the lake. He gave me verbal hiking directions and the key to the refuge. I started hiking to the refuge the next morning after a hot shower (yay! My water wasn't even hot in my hotel in Cuenca). The trail was inbelievably muddy and I basically got covered in muddy water from the waste down. I am a very fast hiker and I made it to the refuge in about 3.5 hours. It was almost the same as the Hacienda except without electricity. I paid $5 for use of the kitchen which includes a gas stove, silverware, plates, pots, a sink, etc. I hiked up to the lake in about an hour and it was spectacular! The blue green color of the lake against the sheer cliffs of El Altar surrounding it were amazing. In short, the accommodations were excellent and the lake was awesome, but the trail was kind of a bear.
Written July 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pierre W
Brussels, Belgium22,680 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2013 • Solo
The major road from Riobamba to Macas is very controversial since it was built right in the middle of the Sangay National Park, but now that it exists you can take profit of it for an easy visit to the Sangay NP. There are reguler public busses on this road, every 1 or 2 hours. Take a a bus to the Lagunas de Atillo, and than walk the next 12 to 15 km towards Macas. The environment is superb. First the lakes, then you climb (slightly) to the pass, and the first 10 km of the descent are really stunning, cloudforest, waterfalls (If you travel by car, please note there is no parking anywhere along this stretch). Well of course it also means clouds and rain. Then you can board another bus to continue to Macas or return to Riobamba. Further towards Macas, there is a lot of colonization along this road.
Written July 25, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

travelfreedom
Los Angeles, CA176 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2012 • Solo
I went to Sanjay National Park with the intention of hiking from Candelaria (Hacienda Releche) to the refuge, then up to the crater lake just under the peak of El Altar. It is a two day hike, of which one night is spent in the refuge. When I showed up to Hacienda Releche, it was closed, so no guide was available to take me up the trail to the refuge. Despite this, I was reassured by the National Park office that the trail was straightforward and easy to follow-not so. I hiked for four hours, at which point, the trail ended. I picked up something of a trail, which then split. I realized it was getting dark and needed to make a decision. I ran back the way I came, to avoid having to sleep in the rain under a bush. I asked the family who lives at the trailhead, and whom I ran into on the trail, if I was indeed going the right direction. Even the locals don't know how to get to the refuge. PLEASE do not try to attempt this on your own, without a guide. These trails are merely cow trails that you are following, and are not marked. If you wish to go for a day hike, bring proper hiking boots and gaitors, or buy a pair of rubber boots, as you are walking in deep mud for the first 1-1 1/2 hours.
To get to Hacienda Releche, take the bus from Riobamba or Banos (to either location) and get off in the town of Penipe. From there, you can take a taxi to the town of Candelaria (where Hacienda Releche is - $10 one way). Either make arrangements for a pick up by the taxi later (there are no taxis in Candelaria) or you can take one of the buses from the main square in Candelaria (at least a 30 minute walk from the hacienda). Buses leave a few times a day back to Penipe (2PM, 5 or 6PM).
Written January 15, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fx tutti
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Family
This is an incredible place located in the Releche’s community on the slopes of Ecuador’s El Altar Mountain.

The Hacienda provides bed and breakfast including showers, rest and game room, Wi-Fi, horseback riding, hiking and other activities. Mr. Oswaldo Cedeno can provide all the amenities, and much more including a journey thru the trails up to El Altar. For information about reservations, supplies and much more please contact Mr. Cedeno at Info@haciendareleche.com.

Best time to visit: Any time of year.

Supplies and What to wear: It is best to stop in Riobamba town for some supplies including a pair of rubber boots that you will use only in some parts of the trails. The trails are muddy after rain, but this could be a fun challenge. Always pack warm, waterproof clothing, hiking boots, sleeping bag, hat, etc. For a complete list of the supplies and prices you could contact Mr. Cedeno at Info@haciendareleche.com.

How to get there: Hacienda Releche is about one-hour bus ride away from Riobamba Town. You will have to pass by Penipe Town first and then truth the small village of Candelaria continuing all the way to Hacienda Releche. Visitors can hike or horseback ride thru the trails up to “The Paramo”. This could be done in two days but I do recommend three days in order to have a complete experience and enjoy a magnificent place. I spend the first night at Hacienda Releche at the start of the trail, and taking off the next day between 6am and 7am. Hacienda Releche also has a small refuge at the foot of the volcano with running water, but you’ll need a sleeping bag. The hike could take from 3 to 6 hours to the small refuge, and another two hours up to the crater with the lagoon. Arriving at The Paramo I decided to enjoy the views, the nature and wildlife animal including the magnificent Andes’ condors, other birds, bears, foxes, etc. I was recommended to be back before 5pm the third day in order to catch the bus back to Riobamba. Third day. After spending the night in the small refuge, I hiked early in the morning all the way to the lagoon, which is incredible.  About 12pm I started descending back to Hacienda Releche where I spend my last night enjoying a wonderful meal and a good sleep.  

Weather: The weather extremely unpredictable. Prepare for inclement weather at any time, including rain, fog, or even snow.
Written April 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CFEIII
Center, TX4,994 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2019
I was on the Wanderbus tour and we traveled into Sangay National Park, Not heavily traveled, but there are a series of alpine lakes and streams. One small restaurant near the park entrance, but it is quite basic. One clear days, you will see across the Andes!
Written August 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Satyabrata Dam
New Delhi1,783 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Friends
This national park is not that popular as the others because of it isn't as easily accessible as the Chimborazo nearby. But the place is beautiful with lush green mountains of fields and snow capped mountains.
Written February 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

toberua
Estero, FL314 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2012 • Couples
Take your time and enjoy this very well maintained national park. It is filled with new discoveries and so many things to photograph
Written February 11, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alexpolux
Quito, Ecuador36 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Business
This is one of the most beautiful place I have ever visited, the community around offers different activities to do, like hiking or ridding, also they offer the lunch with is delicious and natural too; however the best was the visit to ozogoche lagoon surrounding of mountains with the blue sky the moors as the perfect contrast of the area and the different animals going and coming is one of the place you cannot lose in your visit of Ecuador, take you warm clothing on and be ready for be in touch with the mother earth like me
Written July 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

A.S.
39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Solo
Outstanding. Amazing. Cold and windy. One of the highlands of Equador. Hiking boots, winter cap, wind jacket. Photographic.
Written November 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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