Antisana Ecological Reserve offers a diversity of life zones and is considered one of the ten "hot spots" in the world by being located in the Upper Basin of Napo River.
Antisana Ecological Reserve was created by Resolution No. 18 on July 21, 1993. It is located 50 km from southeast Quito, in the provinces of Pichincha and Napo.
It has an area of 120,000 hectares and an altitude range that goes from 1200 to3100 m in the lower area and 3100-5758 m in the high zone. Its temperature ranges is between 3 and 17 Celsius.
Its vegetation is composed by the Foothill evergreen forest, Lower evergreen montane forest, Cloud Montane forest, Upper evergreen montane forest, Grass moor, Pad moor, Pelidoitia, Lacustrine grassland mountain.
One of the impressive reliefs of the place is the moors of the volcano Antisana between the 3300 and 4800 m.a.s.l. It Contains extensive grassland (marsh full of reeds) that are mixed with creeping plants, amohadillas, shrubland and several Andean forest remnants. Wildlife is composed by several endangered species in Ecuador such as the Andean condor, spectacled bear and the mountain tapir. Also the white-tailed deer, rabbit, skunk, wolf and bat, the cervicabra, dwarf deer, puma and monkeys.
There are 78 species of birds such as the cuscungo, curiquingue, ligle, star hummingbird, bandurria, duck, quilicos big and small, parrot, Sierra seagull, azulejo bird, buzzer, bencejo, chunquis, cantabonito, swallow, red hawk back, field Owl and barn Owl.
In addition to native wildlife, in the wilderness inhabite large populations of Antisana sheep, horses and cattle, there is also plenty of introduced trout in rivers and lakes in the area, and preñadilla, unique native species. Among the amphibians are marsupial frogs and Antisana jambatos. The moor also provides important environmental services, since there arise several rivers that provide drinking water for the city of Quito and other surrounding areas.
To get to the Ecological Reserve Antisana there are two ways. The first is by the road Pintag Quito, the cost of bus is $ 1 and needs to walk 25 km to reach the reserve, or hire private transport.
The other access is by road Quito-Baeza with which reaches the eastern area of the reserve; from here you can access three secundary roads.
If you use private transportation is recommended to drive a car 4x4.
By the first access, Píntag road, you get to the lake of Mica, famous for its fishing.
This Reserve is the meeting point of the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve and National Park Napo-Galeras Sumaco