Quito Turismo, Yunguilla



District Biodiversity

The Metropolitan District of Quito (MDQ) has a vast range of environments. Ranging from tropical areas on the northwest to arid areas in the river valley of Guayllabamba, cloud forests, and wilderness areas along the inter-Andean where it snows, the 424,062 hectares of the district also varies in altitudinal ranges. Gualea and Pacto are located about 500 m and Sincholagua is located 4,950 meters above sea level. This provides for an ecologically diverse landscape and cultural mosaic.


Quito Turismo, ecoturismoWhat is the Metropolitan Systems of Protected Natural Areas?


So far three areas have been declared Conservation and Sustainable Areas: the Ecological Corridor Andean Bear, the Protected Area Wetlands Cerro Las Puntas in Quito’s North West and covering about 125,000 hectares in the neighborhoods of Pacto, Gualea, Nanegalito, Nono, Nanegal, Calacalí, San José de Minas; and the area on Quito’s East which included the neighborhoods of El Quinche, Checa, Yaruquí and Pifo.


There are two protected areas part of the State’s Natural Heritage Areas in the Northwest of Quito, these are the Geobotany and Pululahua Reserves, part of the Cayambe-Coca National Park’s South -West end.


First protected area of MDQ: Mashpi - Guaycuyacu - Sahuangal


Under Municipal Ordinance 088, this area of 17,156 hectares of cloud forest in the western foothills of the Andes was declared a protected area in June 2011. It protects an important remnant forest hotspot: Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena. Additionally, this area protects an area between 500-1800 m and is under a conservation corridor that connects a series of public and private reserves in this area.


Researchers have recorded 182 species of vascular plants, 14 of which are endemic; 50 mammal species, six of which are on the UICN’s Red List and 139 species of birds, of which 11 are endangered and 24 are endemic. They have also found 35 species of amphibians and reptiles and 15 species of fish.


Natural Areas of QuitoProperty: Finca Agroecológica Mashpi
Location: Mashpi Sector
Access: Vía Quito- Pacto- Mashpi community
Services: Bird watching, environmental awareness, hiking, lodging, food, volunteering, experiential agro tourism.


This property is located 500 meters above sea level, covers an area of 56.6 hectares, of which 80% is in natural regeneration and the remainder is handled through agroforestry and housing systems that have a permaculture farm management daily activities in line with the laws of nature. They understand and respect the natural cycles of soil, water and the environment. Consider organic farming as a main tool to transform society to live more fairly between humans and others that inhabit the planet.


Within the estate there is a 50 ha forest patch in which biological research is possible. To date, there have been some preliminary inventories of flora and fauna, which have shown the presence of priority conservation species that only exist in the bio-region of Choco such as tangaré, nutria, and tucán del Chocó among others.


Reserve Pambiliño

Location: Mashpi Sector
Access: Vía Quito- Pacto- Mashpi community
Services: Bird watching, environmental awareness, hiking, lodging, volunteering power, experiential agro tourism.


The reserve is the remnant of a rainforest with an area of over 26 ha, located between 500 and 600 meters above water and is part of the Choco bio-region. It’s known for its high biodiversity and endemism species levels. Its main objective is to create a space to recover the link with nature, creating practical proposals for harmony with the natural environment. Of which activities such as organic farming, ecosystem degradation restoration, animal husbandry, and sustainable tourism are in coordination with the Mashpi community.


Conserving the rainforests in the Northwest: Water system and Archaeological Heritage Pachijal


In July 2012, the Metropolitan System integrated the second protected area with Municipal Ordinance 264. It covers an area of 15,882 hectares, distributed among the neighborhoods Pacto, Gualea, and Nanegalito.


The native forests are home to a large diversity of species of flora and native fauna, many of them endemic. There are 42 species of mammals, 115 species of birds, 17 amphibians, 13 reptiles and 9 fish species.


The attention and interest of public, private, and civil society institutions in the area led to the Mashpi-Guaycuyacu-Sahuangal area to be recognized as an Important Area for Bird Conservation on January 30, 2014, Mashpi Pachijal IBA108. This declaration by Bird Life Internationals implies recognition of that work locally and commitment of the people and its territory is the key to sustaining life on the planet for the benefit of nature and people.


Yunguilla Reserve, QuitoGateway to the Cloud Forest District: Yunguilla

Although the area of Yunguilla doesn’t have a great amount of biodiversity, it does contain small patches of natural vegetation. Mosaics are immersed in the natural regeneration of forest and large growing areas. The important part of this area is its preservation and recuperation of the vegetation in the native to the area.


The protected area was declared as so by the Municipal Ordinance 409 in July 2013, has a population of 500 inhabitants and an area of 2,981 hectares. The importance of this area lies in preserving the few remaining vegetation, allowing the recovery of natural vegetation and initiate restoration actions in certain areas.


In Yunguilla lies the Microenterprise Corporation, Yunguilla with a community that consists of 56 groups. They manage development projects that aim to apply methodologies that are environmentally friendly and are of benefit to locals. The community has developed projects such as making jams with native fruits, cheese and yogurt, crafts in clay or recycled paper, management of natural resources through reforestation, and the cultivation and management of orchids, mainly for the market and in support of Community Ecotourism Project.


Yunguilla Reserve:

The cloud forest is an ecosystem of great importance for the presence of orchids, bromeliads, aesthetic beauty, and environmental services. Also, Yunguilla is located in the tropical Andes, meaning its location is one the highest bio-diversity rich areas in the world. Additionally, it is in the vicinity of two Important Areas for Bird Conservation, the one in of the western foothills and the other one at MaquipucunaGuayllabamba. Finally, the area of the Cuenca Alta de Río Guayllabamba that is located in Yunguilla. They also represent an area of important environmental services, which constitute the birth of hydrological systems whose main dump age drains itself into the Pacific Ocean. Conservation efforts Yunguilla contribute to maintaining this important ecosystem.

• Tours by reservation
• 0980215476

The services offered are hiking, birdwatching, accommodation, food, and camping.


Andean Bear Ecological Corridor, QuitoAndean Bear Ecological Corridor Flagship Species of Quito


The Andean bear or spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), is endemic to the Andes area. The main threat to this species is loss of habitat, expansion of the agricultural frontier and hunting, which is practiced mainly in response to bears attacking crops.


In July 2013, Resolution 431, created the Andean Bear Ecological Corridor in the northwest of the Metropolitan District of Quito, as a mechanism to conserve the habitat of this emblematic and endangered species and other wildlife species that share the habitat of the spectacled bear. The corridor also seeks to promote a model of development in harmony with the environment that will enable the management of natural resources and sustainable development opportunities for local populations.


The Corredor is located in rural neighborhoods of Calacalí, Nanegal, Nanegalito, Nono, San José de Minas, Puéllaro and Perucho within the limits of MDQ and it covers an area of 64,554 hectares. This area includes important remnants of natural vegetation or areas for recovery and production activities. It serves as the connector of the area’s ecosystems - Cotacachi -Cayapas Ecological Reserve – Cayapas (Provincia de Imbabura) in the North and the Los Ilinizas Ecological Reserve (Provincia de Cotopaxi) in the South, this has helped in providing connectivity for this population which is currently isolated by the Calacalí- Nanegalito highway and the Guayllabamba River.



Between the years of 2008-2014, an investigation of the northwestern area of MDQ resulted in the identification of a population of 43 bears that live and are mobilized in the zone giving way to the creation of the Conservation of the Andean Bear Program: an initiative between the Ministry of Environment and the University of San Francisco of Quito, which aims to raise public awareness on issues of respect for nature through habitat protection of this site.


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