This steep, three hour hike winds through a humid cloud forest climate and explodes onto a mountain ridge with incredible views of Loja.

In the south of Ecuador, in the culturally rich Andean mountains, lies the generally overlooked city of Loja.  What it lacks in backpacker hostels and museums it makes up for in culture and endless mountain trails.  

Just beyond the southern end of the city is Parque Universitario, a Park used by the city's many university students to study and conduct research.  

Once inside the park's forest, the trail to the right will bring you to the Sendero de los Alisos.  This trail winds through the cloud forest, past green leaves dripping with moisture reflecting the sun, and over old, slippery stone bridges that create an aesthetic of something from a fairy tale. 

The climb eventually breaks through the trees and ejects you onto a mountain ridge and its páramo climate. At this point, the path to the left will carry you along the ridge until you reach another fork.  While the views are amazing from anywhere along the ridge, the path to the left will bring you to the highest lookout in the park, labeled "Mirador 5".  From here the view is breathtaking (and quite literally sometimes, depending on the wind).

Once you've had your fill of awesomeness, you have the option to return by the same way or explore one of the many other paths clearly marked around the area.

TIP: If you get the chance, the early morning light that shines through these mountains is absolutely stunning.

TIP2: The trail is often muddy and slippery, be prepared.

COST: Foreigners - 1 USD, Ecuadorians 50c 

University Website:

Lovely and knowledgeable people dedicated to sharing the natural beauty of Loja: http://www.descubriendoecuador...

Pack List

  • Sturdy hiking shoes you won't mind getting muddy
  • Water
  • Rain jacket/windbreaker
  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Snacks
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RT Distance 1.9 Miles
Elevation Gain 1312.3 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby


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