Papallacta is one of the highest towns accessible by car on Earth

Located in the Napo Province of Ecuador, Papallacta is the highest town in the country, situated at an elevation of 3,300m (10,827ft) above sea level. It’s one of the highest towns accessible by car on Earth.


Why is Papallacta famous?

Surrounded by lush mountain slopes, between the Antisana and Cayambe Volcanoes, the town is known and most visited for its lovely hot springs. Locals say that “Papallacta” translates as “Land of Potatoes” (Tierra de Patatas). It’s a popular day trip for visitors from Quito. At this elevation, it’s the highest town in the country.

How long is the road to Papallacta?

The road to the town is entirely paved. It’s called E20 and crosses the Andes just off the Eastern Cordilleras. The road is 76.7 km (47.65 miles) long, running west-east from Pifo to Baeza. Located on the main road from Quito, which leads into the Amazon jungle, the scenic drive to Papallacta passes through several towns and small villages before ascending to a peak of over 4,000 m, from where mountains and glaciers are visible.