The cloud forest is located 70 kilometers northwest from Quito on
the western slopes of Mt. Pichincha. The park is labeled by naturalists
(such as the distinguished American scientist E.O. Wilson) an ecological "hot zone" for its uniqueness, biodiversity and for the
threats to its continued existence.
The virgin cloud forest is rich in bird species like hummingbirds
and the Cock of the Rock; has an incredible variety of butterflies;
is covered with abundant plant life including many species of orchids;
and, finally, is blessed with a plethora of waterfalls, rivers and
The town of Mindo is the central area from which to explore the
cloud forest. Like many small towns between the Mountains and the
Coast, Mindo has a colorful and varied atmosphere (similar to the
town of Macundo in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years
of Solitude"). The annual temperatures are between 18 and 24°
C, and the rainfall, like in most of the region between the coast
and the mountains, is abundant.
This enchanting private reserve consists of 4,500 hectares
of cloud forest along the Choco-Andino Corridor and is surrounded
by 14,000 hectares of protected forest. 80% of Maquipucuna consists
of virgin cloud forest.
It covers four different life zones ranging from 1,200 m up to 2,800
m in altitude, housing a tremendous diversity of flora and fauna.
Archeological studies indicate that the area of Maquipucuna was home
to pre-Incan tribes known as the Yumbos.
Currently, the people living in the area are farmers dedicated to
producing agricultural products, raising cattle and working with the
Maquipucuna Foundation on sustainable development projects.
Located an hour east of Quito, en route to the jungle, are the Papallacta
Hotsprings. A great day trip for Quiteños who are yearning
to relax in a steamy natural hot spring amid spectacular mountain
scenery. Hotels and restaurants are available.
Where to Stay
Please visit the following pages for Quito hotels and reservations:
Quito Luxury Hotels
Quito First Class Hotels
Quito Haciendas & Country Inns
Mindo Hotels & Cloudforest lodges