In the footsteps of Humboldt and Bonpland

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The roads currently traveled in Ecuador were once walked by important adventurers and scientists that made a significant contribution to botany, conservation and more. Humboldt and Bonpland, the 19th century Prussian naturalists, discovered an impressive country set between elevations, wealth in fauna and flora species, that they registered with precarious measuring instruments.

Humboldt left his mark in the center of the World, he was the one who named this Andean snowy summits as “The Volcanoes Avenue” and today Ecuador invites you to travel the places and reach the peaks that this adventurous naturalist visited:

Chimborazo: In 1802 a great team ascended to Chimborazo, an Ecuadorian mountain considered the closest elevation to the sun measured from the Earth’s core. The climbing started from Calpi town, near Riobamba. Humboldt reached the summit because he wanted to demonstrate that a large amount of fire-like matter inside the Earth shaped its surface. Before he died, Humboldt was portrayed with the majestic and beloved Chimborazo in Berlin.

Pichincha: One of the must see places in the Ecuadorian capital city is the Pichinchas massif, with its main mountains the Guagua and Rucu Pichincha. Currently the site has a cable car that allows easy access to Cruz Loma, however Humboldt and Bonpland reached the summit on foot, covering 2,500 meters. Foreign adventurers made their way on several roads starting from Toctiuco Alto, La Chorrera and Lloa.

Humboldt & Bonpland’s Route by Horseback riding: This activity is currently carried out in the parish of Tixán passing through Pueblo Viejo and reaching at last Alausí. The route was named after the researchers who traveled through this site, which allowed them to discover a set of flora spices that were not known, and are part of the country’s botanical diversity.

Capac-Ñan: Considered one of the most impressive routes traveled by Humboldt, it advances from Alausí to Ingapirca, the road allowed us to observe the impressive life of the moor, to end in Azogues, province of Cañar where the Ingapirca Archaeological Complex is located, an important Inca cultural heritage, which traps travelers for its construction and form.

Route of the Cascarilla: It is an old route to the Malacatos parish from Loja. Humboldt witnessed the extraction of quinine from the cascarrilla tree, this served to cure malaria. There are currently few species of this tree, and the road is bordered by the Malacatos River.

Humboldt fell in love with the country located in the center of the world, his studies and expeditions allowed to show the world a small place but with infinite diversity.

His trip to Ecuador took him to other places including:

– Ibarra: met the Colombian botanist Francisco José de Caldas.

– Otavalo: They admired the greatness of the Cayambe volcano. They also toured the indigenous town of Otavalo. Currently in this area it is one of the most recognized for the elaboration of Andean crafts.

– San Agustín de Callo: It is an estate of great beauty and is located in a privileged area to observe the volcanoes of the Callejón Interandino. This site was built in an ancient Inca fortress.

– La Ciénega: The colonial hacienda is located in the province of Cotopaxi, in this place Humboldt was admiring the imposition of the Cotopaxi volcano, the peaks of the Ilinizas and the snowy Quilindaña.

– Achupallas Town: From this site the tour to the Culebrillas Lagoon, in the province of Cañar, began. This town takes you on a journey to the past between history and the ancient heritage.

– Cuenca: The Athens of Ecuador is a cultural city with great colonial architecture. Humboldt and Bonpland discovered a rich city of great value for Ecuador

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