Isinliví Things to Do Tips by MalenaN
Isinliví Things to Do: 3 reviews and 15 photos
Hiking from Isinlivi, Ecuador
In 2011 I had followed a description from Llullu Llama and I know I would have found the same way in 2012 without problems, but I had heard there was another way and was interested in taking that. I thought it would be possible to walk over the hills and cross Rio Toach by the suspension bridge. However I was told before I set out that I should not fallow the road (which goes to Guantualo), but turn to a path after crossing the stream in the valley. Well I started to walk the dirt road (last year there had just been a path) down to the stream and suddenly it just ended by a field. I crossed the field and didn’t find the proper path, but anyway I knew the direction so it was easy. Last year I hadn’t crossed the bridge here but now I did. I had been told to take a path soon after the bridge and I saw one going up on the ridge just on the other side of the bridge. I thought it was too early and walked on for a while. I took the next path and met two women and asked them about the way to Chugchilán. They told me to follow the path up to the road, and they also told me not to follow the road, but to take a path on my right. I came up to the road, but didn’t see a path. Later on I saw a small path that seemed to lead out on a field so I didn’t take it. I followed the road for a while (which I was not supposed to do) and when I saw a path and I thought I had found the right one. It turned out though, that it was just a shortcut and I came up on the road again. There was no one around to ask and when I later came to a small road turning right I took it. The road became a path and started to go down towards Río Toachi. I passed a house where both the man and woman came over to shake my hand. I asked for a bridge to cross the river and they told me to continue the path down. After a while I saw the same log-bridge I had crossed the previous year. I was not surprised as I had been going in a loop around the hill.
I crossed the log-bridge and now followed the same path as the previous year. The path follows Rio Toachi and shortly after the suspension bridge you shall take a path leading up to Itualo, a small village (there is no sign). From Itualo there is a very steep ascend to Chinalo (this part took about half an hour). From Chinalo you will follow a small dirt road that will take you up to the Chugchilan road (at this point there is now a sign pointing down the dirt road, saying "Isinliví 11.3km"). And then there is another 2km to walk. Until then it had been warm, but up on the Chugchilán road it started to be very windy and I had to put on my fleece.
I had not taken the best way in the beginning, but I got to see new sceneries. The whole hike took me 4h 15minutes. Later, when I have looked at maps I realize I could have followed the road all the way to Guantualo (it is not as far as I thought), and from there I could have followed a path down to the suspension bridge. It is a longer walk, but the walk I would have liked to do.
Bridge over Rio Toachi
At Llullu Llama in Isinliví you can get a simple map and description of the way to Chugchilan. There are more than one way you can take, but I chose the one on the map.
After a good and big breakfast I left Isinliví at 9am. Just outside Llullu Llama the path begins and it goes down to Cumbijin Stream. There I turned right ( I did not cross the bridge here )and after a while I crossed the stream on a smaller bridge. From here the path continued above the stream. It was a bit uphill and downhill and level walking. I tried to follow the description, but was not sure all the time that I was on the right track. At one point four angry barking dogs appeared on the path. I had to go back and wait for a while, but luckily they didn’t appear when I tried to pass again. Then the path went down to Rio Toachi and I walked along the river until I came to a log-bridge where I crossed the river. Later on I passed a suspension-bridge and just after this bridge there is a path going uphill. Between the small villages Itualo and Chinalo the ascend is very, very steep. From the village Chinalo there is a small dirt road, eventually leading up to the Chugchilan road. It is a very beautiful walk and there are many stunning views along the hike.
I didn’t see many people along the way. After one hour I met three girls on a horse and a little bit later I saw a man on a horse, on the other side of the river. In the villages Itualo and Chinalo a saw a few people and also when I came up to the Chugchilan road.
On the paper with the description and map it said that the hike would take between 4h - 6h. For me it took 3h and 45 minutes until I arrived at Hostal Cloud Forest in Chugchilán. I was walking alone so I did not stop to chat with friends and I never sat down during the walk, but I stopped many times to take photos, drink water or eat some chocolate. The first day I was in Isinliví three people arrived to the hostel just after dark. They had got lost on the way from Chugchilan and therefore the hike had taken them 7h.
Most people only stay a night in Isinliví on their way to or from Chugchilán. I did not want to be in a rush and thought it could be nice to stay in this small tranquil village for two nights and do some hiking nearby one day. I had not planed to visit the festival in Sigchos, but I’m glad I did. I still had some time for hiking when I came back. At Llullu Llama I found the description for the hike up to the hill Cerro Nahuire outside the village. The description worked well in the beginning, but then I ended up by a house on the other side of the hill and had probably gone too far. I turned around and after a while, when I heard a dog barking ahead of me, I started to walk steeply uphill. The walk up to the top took 40 minutes and from there it was a great view of the surrounding green mountains. I took another way down.
At Llullu Llama I had also found descriptions for walks starting at the path behind the church. I wanted to try that path too, but as I have written in my Danger and Warning tip I was hindered by some angry dogs. So instead I took the short walk up to Pucará, the small hill in the village, where there used to be a pre-Colombian hill fort in ancient times. And then I went to the shop and bought a beer which I brought to Llullu Llama (there was no one at the hostel but me, so I couldn’t have bought one there) and than I sat in the lovely garden reading.
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