Location & Nature
Intag is a remote, mountainous region in the Andes in the Imbabura province, northern Ecuador. The area is part of two of the world’s most critical Biological Hotspots: the Tropical Andes and the Tumbes-Chocó–Magdalena Hotspot
Intag communities are sparsely scattered among cloud forests and agricultural lands. Most live from small-scale agriculture and farm the surrounding land.
It is considered among the top ten hotspots in the world (hot zones of incredible biodiversity) and as an area of importance for birds by Birdlife.org in 2006.
Intag borders the Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve that allows the observation of exotic flora and fauna, internationally recognized for its ecological importance. From Intag’s communities, you can see the rim of the reserve. Beyond the ridgeline, thick cloud forest descends into the tropical forest to Ecuador’s coast.
It has an altitudinal range from 500 to 2,400 meters above sea level and a temperature that oscillates between 23 ° C and 30 ° C.
In this area, you can find 20,000 species of plants, 500 species of birds, and animals such as the jaguar, ocelot, deer, spectacled bear, which is one of the largest mammals, the survival of a large number of species depend on it.
Nangulvi Hot Springs
Intag offers the opportunity to enjoy warm thermal waters in the Nangulví spa. Medicinal waters are born from the heart of the earth at approximately 70ºC and in the pools up to 40ºC.
Intag Economy Development
Because of the area’s great altitudinal range, they can grow various agricultural products, including tropical fruits, coffee, cacao, corn, beans, potatoes, tree tomatoes, sugar cane, bananas, and naranjillas.
Intag also produces fairtrade shade-grown coffee, which is sold within Ecuador and also exported overseas. Residents also hand-weave crafts such as bags, wallets, and belts from the fibers of the cabuya plant.
Eco-tourism is developing into an essential driver of the economy in the area. The residents of Junin have built a lodge that allows tourists the enjoy the tropical cloud forest. Eco-tourism is becoming an essential engine of the economy in the area.
INTAG SACRED VALLEY – GUALIMAN FORTRESS & ARQUEOLOGICAL SITE
Gualiman is an ancestral name. Its’ meaning is “fortress” for the Karas tribes.
You can observe evidence of the ancient road that was used for centuries to access the plateau.
The original inhabitants used pyramids and artifacts for purification ceremonies, weapons they used for protection, and objects used for everyday life. A museum on the property contains these precious artifacts Gualiman was the center of power for the administrators of the surrounding Karas tribes.