Sucos is a beautiful lagoon at the "Virgen de Papallacta" zone within the Cayambe Coca National Park, less than 1 hour from Quito and almost 4000 meters high; if there you find the “achupallas” leafless, it is because the Andean bears were feeding on them; although these animals are very shy and it's difficult to find them.
Antisana from the Sucos Lagoon
Eastern Cordillera; 39 kilometers in a straight line to the east from Quito. Take the Pifo – Papallacta highway (E20) towards the east; already at the highest paramo pass, more or less at 4000 meters high, is the "La Virgen de Papallacta" monument in the Cayambe Coca National Park; it is just here that the highway begins its descent towards the Amazon jungle. There are two routes for approaching the Sucos Lagoon:
1) Normal Approach “Dam”: Passing “La Virgen”, approximately 5 km east, you should take a slightly visible road to the left, better for 4×4 vehicles, this road goes north until it ends at the lagoon south bank.
2) Approach “Old Refuge”: Just passing “La Virgen” you will see an old refuge to the right (completely abandoned now). This is the place where you should start the hike to the lagoon, going down the paved road a bit to Papallacta and then taking a trail that points directly towards the east for approximately one kilometer until you reach the lagoon north shore.
|Normal Approach “Dam”:|
|Interoceanic Highway (E20) - Lagoon Viewpoint||2.5km||10min|
- The easiest way to get to this lagoon is by following the "Antiguo Refugio" route.
- The Dam route requires 3 kilometers hike following a weighted road suitable for 4x4 vehicles.
- Some time ago it was possible to fish large trout in this lagoon, unfortunately the overfishing has practically led to its extinction.
- The Papallacta paramo is cold and extremely humid; It is suggested to always be warm, with rain protection, and be very cautious because the frequent fog and unclear paths easily get people lost.
- Rubber boots work great for hiking in these swamps.
- Nowadays it is not possible to go down to the lagoon with a vehicle.
There are some attractive routes:
- Sendero del Oso: from the "Antiguo Refugio" through Sucos Lagoon, Sucos 2 Lagoon, to the Baños Lagoon.
- Circunvalación of the Sucos Lagoon (the path disappears in many sections)
- Visit to the Inca Trail (conquerors route to the Amazon)