5 interesting facts about Papallacta Lagoon

5 interesting facts about Papallacta Lagoon

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Ecuador is the parish of Papallacta because in its surroundings are located: the fantastic Papallacta Lagoon, the relaxing hot springs, the fabulous Andean páramo, and the trout fishing pools.

On this occasion, we are going to tell you 5 interesting facts about Papallacta Lagoon with the desire you to visit this wonderful destination of Ecuador.

Where is the lagoon located?

Papallacta Lagoon is located in a parish called Papallacta, a small town that belongs to the canton of Quijos in the province of Napo. The lagoon is located 67 kilometers east of the city of Quito, and a couple of kilometers before the populated center of Papallacta.

This lagoon is located in the eastern foothills of the Andean Mountains of Ecuador and its access is through Quito-Papallacta-Baeza road that leads to the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. In addition, the lagoon is located in the buffer zone of the Cayambe Coca National Park in the Papallacta river micro basin.

Where does the name Papallacta come from?

Although there are different theories about the toponymy of the word Papallacta, one of the most accepted is the one which says that Papallacta comes from the word “potato” (papa in spanish) an original stem tuber from the Andean highlands, and “llacta” which means land in Kichwa. Therefore, Papallacta means “land of potatoes”.

How did the Papallacta Lagoon originate?

The eruption of the Antisana Volcano in the eighteenth century generated a lava flow that filled an ancient glacier of the Papallacta River and caused the drainage of the Tambo River. This chain of natural events originated the lagoon which is characterized by the dark tone of its waters.

Where do their waters come from?

The water of the lagoon mainly comes from the snowmelt of the snow-covered Cayambe, Sarahurco, Antisana, as well as the springs and streams of the páramos that exist in the surroundings. Moreover, the lagoon has an area of 3487507 ft², it is located at 3,180 metres above sea level, and it has an average temperature of 49.64 °F. Currently, the waters of this lagoon are used to supply drinking water to the northern neighborhoods of the city of Quito.

Legends about the Papallacta Lagoon

There are some popular legends related to the lagoon, one of them is known as “The monster of Papallacta Lagoon”. Legend says that one day a large monster appeared in the middle of the lagoon waters. The settlers of Papallacta worried about the siege of this threat requested help to a shaman, who entered in the depths of the waters accompanied by a spear and managed to defeat the mythological beast that turned out to be a gigantic serpent with seven heads which were cutted off. After the fight, the shaman became a duck and returned to his land crossing the rivers. We invite you to find out more about these interesting legends.

Quito Tour Bus invites you to enjoy this unique experience in the Andean paramo through its Papallacta Tour where you can visit the town of Papallacta and the famous Papallacta Lagoon. You will also make a guided hike along “La Isla” Path, and you will enjoy the thermal medicinal waters surrounded by the flora and fauna in the SPA “Termas de Papallacta”. Come with us, you will not regret it!