Mindo-Nambillo Ecological Reserve
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Wet and  foggy forests located around Quito are known for their wide variety of butterflies and orchids, the charming hummingbird and it is the best place for birdwatching.



Quito's rainforests  are spread across the north-west of the capital of Ecuador. Jump up names like Mindo, Yanacocha, the valley of Tandayapa, Nanegalito, among other less well known. This whole area is perfect for bird watching, over 400 species, with a wealth of fauna and flora, being remarkable the wide variety of orchids (over 200 species), hummingbirds and butterflies.


Specifically, the Mindo-Nambillo Ecological Reserve contains approximately 22,000 hectares located on the slopes of the volcano Guagua Pichincha and humid subtropical rainforest area. Its forests are home of diverse species  noted for their beauty and attraction, as the wide variety of orchids, mammals, reptiles and butterflies. This Reserve also has important water sources, including the river Nambillo. The Reserve was fundated on April 12, 1988. It has a temperature between 31.2 ° and 19.22 ° Celsius degrees and its altitudinal range varies between 1220.330 and 4593.670 meters. 


The Reserve is located between Lloa and  Nono, part of  canton Quito, and Mindo, part of San Miguel de los Bancos. Is bordered at the north with the Guayllabamba River basin, at the south with the forest Yasquel and Santa Rosa; and at the west by the River Cinto; at the East with part of the forest area of ​​the sub basins of the Ríos Pichán and Verde Cocha.


 Nambillo River Waterfalls are among the moor zone, cloud forest and humid forest. Here is estimated significant biodiversity represented by different species of birds, plants and mammals such as pumas and spectacled bears. These waterfalls are located 90 km. northwest of Quito, in the “Bosque Protector Mindo-Nambillo”.


The “Bosque Protector Mindo-Nambillo” is part of the Choco Andean region of Ecuador and is considered one of the five hottest places in the world. It is characterized by a high diversity and endemism. Includes six bioclimatic systems with its fauna and flora:Humid temperate weather, Wet temperate weather, Humid sub-temperate weather, Humid sub-tropica weather,  Very humid temperate weather and  rainforest moor.


 These lands were occupied by humans from 10,900 years BC and it is expected that the settlement was due to migration from the coast to the northwest of Pichincha in search of new lands. Between 800 and 1560 A.C. the area, currently the Mindo-Nambillo Reserve, was inhabited by the cultural group called "Yumbo". However, between 1534 and 1662 may occured several eruptions of Pichincha or Pululahua and consequently, the area starts to become depopulated.


The Guagua Pichincha is located at an altitude of 4,000 meters with two large craters produced by the dynamic of the volcano. In 1662 The Guagua Pichincha covered Quito with 30 centimeters of ash and its last eruption was on March 22,  1999. On the south side was held on May 24, 1822, the Battle of Pichincha. The result of the struggle for independence in South America, where the liberation army, led by General Antonio José de Sucre defeated the royalist army of Marshal Melchor de Aymerich.


 Among the 500 species of birds in this place, there are: the cock of the rock,with bright red, which builds its nests in the vertical walls of the canyons jungle. The region is also home of birds such as toucans, parrots, owls, wild ducks, quetzal, robins, hummingbirds, caciques among others. It also has 2000 species of native plants in the area, including a host of wild orchids.


The ecological importance of the area is made up by diverse species of flora and fauna:


Mammals. Armadillo, cuchucho, guanta de cola, fruit bat, vampire bat, oso de anteojos(spectacled bear), field mice, deer.


Birds. Osprey Bird, carpenter, piquicurvo, hummingbird, green hummingbird, cucupache, raven, esparragón, garrapatero, white egret, kingfisher, mirlo(blackbird), among other species.


Flora. Avocado, chili mountain, alder, wax myrtle, red bayberry, balsa, yellow cinnamon, White  cinnamon, black cinnamon, carachacoco, cedrillo, ceibo, chachacomo cream chumbil, Colca, Colorado, Colorado manzano.


how to get there

Mindo is just two hours from Quito. In the north of the Metrobus station (La Ofelia) take the bus to Mindo, company Flor del Valle.


When you get to Mindo is prudent to buy your return ticket.


If you are traveling by own car, take the Quito Calacalí – Independence road until the 80 kilometer, then find the Y of Mindo where you should take the detour to the left until the town.

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