Chimborazo Reserve

The Chimborazo, the highest mountain in Ecuador, is the face of this reserve. The colossus is 6,268 meters high and is surrounded by an immense sandy area with a rather dry wasteland, different from most. The reserve, however, provides water to the three provinces where it sits: here are the sources that feed the Ambato, Chambo and Chimbo rivers.

The waters of the Chimbo end in the great Guayas River, a link that is represented in the National Shield. The connection between the Chimborazo and the Guayas River is a symbol of the unity between Costa and Sierra. The reserve houses an important population of vicuñas reintroduced from Peru and Chile in 1988.

There are also llamas and alpacas, domestic animals native to Ecuador that were used by the ancient inhabitants of the Andes before the Spaniards introduced horses, sheep, cows, and donkeys. The reserve was created to protect these animals and their historical legacy, as well as the strange wasteland of which they are apart.

The Chimborazo is the main attraction of the reserve. The snow is massive, broad and giant. You can ascend to it from Riobamba and Guaranda. Several naturalists visited him in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, including Alexander von Humboldt, who left us drawings where he compares the vegetation he observed on the different altitudinal levels of Chimborazo and Cotopaxi. That study today is considered the basis for phytogeography, a science that studies the distribution of plants on Earth.

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