Intag Valley

Intag is a remote and mountainous region of the Ecuadorian Andes, in the province of Imbabura, north of Ecuador. The area is part of the two most important biological zones in the world: the tropical Andes and Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena.

Approximately 17.000 people live in the different communities of Intag that are scattered among cloud forests and agricultural lands. Most of the people live for agriculture on small-scale. Due to the great altitudinal variety of the area, they plant an impressive amount of agricultural products, such as: tropical fruits, coffee, cocoa, corn, beans, potatoes, tree tomatoes, sugar cane, bananas and naranjilla. The agriculture of the region is mostly self-sufficient, although it is also important for foreign markets such as Otavalo and Ibarra. They also raise cows, pigs, chickens and guinea pigs.

Residents also hand-knit handicrafts such as bags, purses and belts from the cabuya plant for local sale. You could find these products at Otavalo, the biggest market of handicrafts in Ecuador. Also, they export to Japan and the United States. A group of women in Rosal town produces hand-made soaps and shampoos, and there is also a project under way to build small hydroelectric dams in the region, using Intag rivers to generate electricity.

Likewise, eco-tourism is becoming an important income for the economy in this area. In Intag, García Moreno parish, Cotacachi canton, there is a large complex of rivers, waterfalls, abundant vegetation and wildlife. There are waterfalls of different heights, rivers where you can practice some sports.

A nice place to visit on this area is “La Casa del Arbol” which is a tower on the top of the trees that allows the observation of birds, monkeys and other species. There is also a variety of aquatic species such as the river turtles.
If you like to visit this incredible place, you have to take the northwest route from Quito to Pedro Vicente Maldonado. You have to enter to Celica parish, and take the route to El Calvario where those who like religious tourism can spend moments of reflection. This place offers accommodation, restaurants, excursions to the waterfalls, lagoons and rivers, adventure sports such as rappelling, tubbing, snorkeling, fishing, hiking and others.

An activity that draws attention at night is the torchlight tour. This is a 30 minutes walk in the dark with the observations of owls, toads, dragonflies, bats and insects.
We will invite you to organize a nice trip to this nice area!!!

By: Mayra Serrano