Llanganates National Park
Perhaps no other place on Earth is less explored than the high eastern peaks of Llanganates National Park. The myths associated with this mysterious place and its almost unsurpassed level of biodiversity, make Llanganates one of the most intriguing natural places on the planet. The 290,707 rugged hectares of Llanganates National Park, much of which remains unmapped and unchartered, has land in the provinces of Tungurahua, Pastaza, Cotopaxi, and Napo. The Park's topography is varied with altitudes ranging from 1,200 meters above sea level to 4,571 meters above sea level. As is the case with Sangay National Park, Llanganates' drastic geographic variations give way to climatic extremes ranging from 3 to 24 degrees Celsius. The Park's annual precipitation is between 1,000 and 4,000 mm.
It's been said (and there's documentation suggesting that it's true), that Rumiñahui, Atahualpa's General, buried the entirety of the Incas' gold fortune near a lake in Llanganates. This fortune was destined to pay Atahualpa's ransom to the Spanish but, in transit, the treasure carriers learned that Atahualpa had already been killed. Upon hearing this, they decided to hide the riches in a "secret location". Since the colonial era, many expeditions have tried, without luck, to find this treasure. Many of these ill-fated expeditions, some in recent history, ended in the death of the treasure hunters.
Clearly, however, Llanganates's real beauty, and Ecuador's for that matter, is its untouched and undeveloped natural beauty. Llanganates boasts one of the highest levels of biodiversity and endemism in the world. Recent surveys have sampled 194 species of birds, 51 mammals, and over 800 plants. Some of Llanganates more notable animal species include the spectacled bear, Andean deer, capybara, various species of monkey, Andean tapir, jaguar, ocelot, various parrots, and toucans.
After having already been named a biological reserve years before, Llanganates was designated a National Park in 1996.
Luna Runtun, Adventure SPA is not only the only luxury adventure spa from which visitors can launch expeditions into Llanganates, it also one of the few places where visitors can admire spectacular views of the Park from the comfort of their rooms.