This route offers the opportunity to walk through a valley that shows you the variety and wealth of nature in the high mountains and their aquatic ecosystems.
The Otter Route takes us into the Ribagorça sector of the park. Lakes, waterfalls, wetlands, conifer woods, alpine meadows and jagged crests are some of the landscape features you will find.
The route begins next to the Caseta del Parc (Park Hut) to the left of the river. Known traditionally as the camí del Pago (shady path), the itinerary goes upriver until it reaches the Pei footbridge (a small bridge across the Sant Nicolau River), where you have two options: to continue on the shady side of the mountain or to cross over to the sunny side. If you choose the latter option, you will pass alongside Sant Nicolau chapel, just before the two tracks join up again. From there the path continues up the valley, passing Llebreta Lake and Sant Esperit waterfall before finally reaching Aigüestortes.
BEAR IN MIND
· A very educational itinerary on which you can identify the riverside woods and the relief of the land carved out by quaternary glaciers.
• The waters of the Sant Nicolau River carve out very varied landscapes as they pass through the valley. They flow consecutively over granite, limestone and slate and give rise to highly diverse aquatic ecosystems. The otters reach the park by swimming upriver.
• Llebreta Lake is very rich in aquatic flora and is a good habitat for diverse species of aquatic birds and amphibians. In the shady area, you will find one of the best mixed deciduous and conifer woods in the park. On the sunny side is Sant Nicolau chapel surrounded by pasture meadows and box.
• Sant Esperit Waterfall. A magnificent geomorphological example of how the river acts on the bedrock to create terraces and pools known as “giant’s pots”. There is a lookout point with wooden rails from which to enjoy and photograph the spectacular waterfall.
• Sant Esperit lookout point. A panoramic lookout situated on a rounded rock just five minutes from the Aigüestortes information booth. From here you have a bird’s eye view of practically the whole of the Otter Route.
• Aigüestortes Plain. Furrowed by a thousand arms of the river that loses its wild power here to become calm and gentle.
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