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Puyango Petrified Forest


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The Puyango Petrified Forest is home to the largest known area of exposed petrified wood in South America. After the visit to the petrified forest, a delicious lunch with local flavours will be served at a nearby resort, then continue with a visit to a local cocoa plantation to learn more about this crop and taste the delicious chocolate they produce.
  • Come face to face with petrified wood and marine fossils dating 60 to 500 million years old.

  • Walk along a unique path, not open to regular torism, led by an important Ecuadorian geologist-palaeontologist.

  • Enjoy the local Ecuadorian cuisine and its special flavours.

  • Visit an Ecuadorian cocoa plantation a unique opportunity to observe closely the world’s most famous aroma cocoa.

The Puyango Petrified Forest is home to the largest known area of exposed petrified wood in South America. The majority of this wood comes from the Araucarias family - a tree that is not often fossilized. Fossils and petrified trees in Puyango range from 60 million to 500 million years old. Unsurprisingly, Puyango is considered to be one of the most important petrified forests in the world.  

From the port, drive southeast to the town of Puyango, near Ecuador’s border with Peru. Once at the Petrified Forest, begin to explore along with the guide. In addition to the petrified trees, many marine fossils are visible, evidence that this area was once under the sea.  

You also might spot fauna from the present day; with some lucky, a fist of bird species to be found here throughout the year, with equally beautiful butterfly species. There are also spiders, termite hills and dragonflies. Some of the living trees that are found here are the Kapok and Ceiba trees.  

After the walk, we drive to a local resort where we have lunch.  

Before returning to the quayside you are invited to visit the Cocoa route in the resort. Ecuador is considered the best producer of aroma cocoa in the world, and Hillary Resort has more than 220,000 plants of the variety CCN5. While you walk through the cocoa trails, a short explanation will be provided and at the end delight your senses with an artisanal preparation of chocolate.

Practical information

Pracitcal information:

  • Language: English.

  • Included: Buffet lunch served at the local resort. 

  • Remarks/requirements: Appropriate clothing and comfortable hiking shoes and a cap or a hat.  Insect repellent is highly recommended between December to April. 

  • Walking information: Distance: 1500 meters / Terrain: The walk involves uneven, steep surfaces and several steps.  During rainy season (December to May) the terrain may be slippery and muddy.  Wooden walkway along 90% of the trail. The remainder is on an earthen trail. 

  • Wheelchair accessible: No.

Penguins perched on the ice of Cuverville Island, Antarctica. Credit: Espen Mills / HX Hurtigruten Expeditions

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