Altar, a mountain in Chimborazo

Altar, a mountain in Chimborazo

It is the most beautiful of the snowy, called Altar, Collanes or Capac Urco. The Altar is an extinct volcano, whose caldera, collapsed in several peaks arranged in horseshoe shape, opens to the Collanes Valley; In its crater is the Yellow Lagoon, sheltered by a spectacular frozen mantle of hanging glaciers. It is estimated that its last eruption took place in 1490.

The Incas called this volcano Capac Urcu, which means all-powerful mountain or majestic hill. The Altar has innumerable legends, it is thought that it was higher than the Chimborazo and that due to a natural phenomenon, it sank until taking its present form. The glaciers of the altars form magical lagoons, among the most important we have: the Yellow or Caldera, Blue, Green, Painted and Mandur, among others Temperature: 2 to 10ºC.

The Altar is located in the province of Chimborazo, on the Eastern Cordillera of the Ecuadorian Andes. It is located inside Sangay National Park.

It is a stratum volcano with boiler oriented to the west of approximately 3 km in diameter and inside which has formed a crater lagoon of yellow water. The basal diameter of the building is 14 km, while the flanks rise at an angle of 34 °.

Being located in the eastern sector of the Eastern Cordillera, this volcano presents a very unstable climate, with strong storms coming from the Amazon, which rise at high speed with the humidity of the tropics and discharge large amounts of snow on its peaks.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


Yellow Lagoon:

This lagoon is located in the center of the crater of El Altar, From here you can have a breathtaking view of the glaciers hanging from the walls of the Altar, the great Collanes Valley and the surrounding mountains. It originates in the melting of the Altar, whose enormous glaciers, especially in the lower part, gliding down into streams, have a diameter of 3 km and a green-gray coloration that in the day when reflected by the rays of sun gives a yellowish tone reason By which the old settlers of the sector denominated it, is to 4400 msnm.
It enjoys one of the most biodiverse valleys in the whole country called El Valle de Collanes, there you will have fauna and flora in almost all its Andean species, also if you are lucky you will encounter hawks, with the great Andean Condor, Andean foxes and deer, in addition to other species no less important.


How to get

From Quito to the Altar, take the Pan-American race south to Riobamba.

You cross the city in an easterly direction, where you take the E490 road in the direction of Penipe and then in Cujibies towards the southeast.

After about 20 km from Riobamba you will arrive at the foot of El Altar. The last section of the road is bad.

The final access can be made by both the left and right side of the ravine that is born in the Yellow Lagoon.

Destiny has the power to send us strength in difficult times to realize if we have the talent to handle it our way.


  • Warm and comfortable clothing
  • Glasses
  • Lantern
  • Energy bars
  • Hiking shoes
  • Sunscreencreen