Ecuador: The Papallacta pass (3,400-4,100m asl) is one of the highest in the whole country, and with some of the easiest access. The area holds a greta variety of montane species. In the highest part there are several lakes. The most noteworthy species are: Carunculated Caracara, Masked Mountain-Tanager, Black-backed Bush-Tanager, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Giant Conebill, Curve-billed Tinamou, White-throated Hawk, Noble Snipe and Stout-billed Cinclodes among others. There is the possibility of seeing Andean Condor and Spectacled Bear.
There are not too many accommodation options in this small town. La Choza de Don Wilson is a good option for birders who are just looking for a bed. The quality/ price range is fair- 20-35US$ per person/ night (2012). Not recommended for the hygiene conscious (damp…) or those looking for creature comforts. The hostal is motel-style. There are water cuts and the water that comes isn’t hot.
There is free WiFi in the bar.
The best thing about the place without doubt are the public thermal baths nexyt door. You can leave the hostel in your swimming gear. The baths are free, open 24 hours and a welcome must!
The old, untarmaced road that leads up to Papallacta Lake from the hostel is great for peaceful birding.
You can eat delicious trout at “La Esquina”, a cabin next to the ‘Y’ junction of the road that leads to the Papallacta private baths, very close to Don Wilson.