Andean Choc贸

Andean Choc贸


This is an exuberant nature setting, a mist-shrouded world, full of orchids, dominated by the flapping and hissing sounds of countless varieties of birds.


Just 45 minutes from Quito, in the northwest, is one of the natural paradises of the Earth: the Choc贸 Andino de Pichincha. This protected area, with abundant flora and fauna, celebrates one year of its declaration by Unesco as the seventh Biosphere Reserve in the world. A magical environment of exuberant nature and with countless birds that with their whistles enchant our adventures.


This region descends on the western slope of Pichincha volcano and has become Ecuador’s gateway to ecotourism. Due to its proximity to Quito, its formidable fauna and variety of species present spectacular landscapes and great diversity. Add to this, nearby communities such as Nono and the pre-Columbian ruins of Tulipe and it becomes a truly special destination.


It is part of a pioneering project to convert old unpaved roads into a system of ecological roads that offer sustainable development to communities. Waterfalls, a crystal-clear river and a mountain are part of the route to the primary forest. It is the perfect panoramic route!


A unique forest that extends over what was an ancient pre-Inca irrigation system, it is a simple mountain walk with the opportunity to see the beautiful sword-billed hummingbird.

Stay in a family home or in a cabin managed by the people in this conservation, community and sustainable tourism project (detour at km 26 on the way to La Independencia ).

A small town surrounded by mountains and forests, where there are a few restaurants where you can try some empanadas (turnovers). Restaurants are located in beautifully painted houses around a peaceful central square.


When you head west on the Calacal铆-Independencia road, choose your rest points:

Pahuma Orchideological Reserve (km. 52.5 via La Independencia) and discover its beautiful waterfalls.

A coffee in Armadillos (km 44 via La Independencia), also enjoy a delicious dish with local ingredients.

Nanegalito (km. 57): Most people going west stop here for lunch (try some trout!).

El Zagal (km. 60): try the delicious local cheese and other products from the area.

Museo de Sitio Tulipe (9 km from the detour to La Armenia, km 60 via La Independencia)

Possibly the most interesting “site museum” in the Metropolitan District of Quito: these pools were used to perform ceremonies. The pools served as astronomical observatories for the ancient Yumbos civilization.

The Mashpi Luxury HotelMashpi Lodge is the pinnacle of sophistication in the middle of the exuberant subtropical world of Choc贸. A place to have a great time, with all the comfort, in the middle of a beautiful private reserve.


This “tororois charmer” is nothing short of a celebrity in the world of birdwatching. The tororoi (or antpittas) are birds, extremely difficult to find, but 脕ngel has developed a way of attracting the most hidden species to his hand (birds respond to the names he has given them: Rosita, Cari帽o, Susan or Shakira). He also organizes visits to his reserve where he cares for roosters from the rock.


It is one of the few craters in the world where people live. You will find a magical environment, ideal to practicing adventure sports and nature observation.

The view from the Pululahua Crater Viewpoint, attracts the attention of visitors due to the movement of the clouds. In seconds you can have a wonderful view of the crater and later the mist covers the entire landscape. Visit the El Cr谩ter restaurant, and while you have lunch, you will see how the mist can cover everything several times.

The Pululahua volcano is located just 30 minutes from Quito on the Calacal铆-Los Bancos road (from La Mitad del Mundo). The Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve is 13,000 hectares in size. It is a natural sanctuary for various species of animals, plants and insects and it also welcomes a small population that found fertile land for agriculture, inside the crater. Here, life passes slowly to the rhythm of those clouds that intermittently shelter the interior of the volcano.

There are some circuits for trekking: One of them allows the descent from the viewpoint along a well-marked path, with spectacular landscapes, from where you can go hiking or mountain biking on 2 hills: El Pondo帽a and El Chivo, which are inside the crater. Through the access known as Moraspungo, 5 minutes from Calacal铆, you reach the path known as “El Viento”, The Wind, whose name is due to the strong breeze that blows the area. It is an easy trail to be enjoyed by families (750 meters walk). Finally, you can continue, from inside the crater, towards Niebl铆. For adventure cyclists, there is a 20 km descent full of adrenaline and 4 hours of intense adventure in what is known as 鈥淓l Infiernillo鈥, in the Guayllabamba river basin.


Get to know one of the densest and best-preserved primary forests in the area around Quito.

The Maquipucuna Reserve is an ideal place for adventurers, bird lovers and nature lovers. It covers around 5,000 hectares of private reserve around their lodge and 14,000 hectares of complementary conservation area. The project was born in the late 1980s as a non-profit organization for the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable development of natural resources in the north-western region, and was a fundamental actor in promoting the good management of natural areas (state and private), supporting ecotourism programs to empower local communities, with an emphasis on environmental education.


Many visitors look for ‘authenticity’ when they travel. At Santa Lucia, which is owned and run by local people, we offer exactly that.

Responsible ecotourism links Cooperativa Santa Luc铆a’s joint goals of protecting the cloud forest reserve and providing a sustainable income for its members.

By visiting Saint Lucia, you are making a direct contribution to conservation and to our local community.


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Quito Turismo - Visit Quito

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Quito Turismo - Visit Quito