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Pasochoa Forest was established in 1982, when in the household Pilopara, in Monjas, were designated about 320 hectares as Protective Forests and Protective Vegetation by the Ministry of Agriculture and livestock.



Pasochoa Nature Refuge is located 45 kilometers at the south-east of Quito, Ecuador, in the Parish of Uyumbicho, Canton Mejia, Pichincha Province. It has an area of 500 hectares and an altitude range that goes from 2950 up to 4199 meters.


The Sierra  of  Ecuador, 500 years ago, was characterized by Andean forest covered with flora and fauna; however, the landscape was changing with the development of agriculture and management of pets, as the Incas needed to cut down forests to establish places for farming. When the Spanish introduced plants and animals, this one’s replaced native species, causing a change in the landscape of the inter-Andean region, for example, with the introduction of eucalyptus and pine trees. Andean forest footprints can be seen in Pasochoa volcano area, this place is one of the last remnants of Andean forest and you can still find the flora and fauna and the characteristics of the original Andean ecosystem.


The Pasochoa volcano has an elevation of 4199 m. Its boiler collapsed in the last eruption, and now owns about 2 km in diameter creating a large amphitheater. Its base is about 15 km and born between 2800 and 3000 meters. Pasochoa consists of layers of volcanic ash and lava flows cooled and solidified composite with andesite (volcanic igneous rock of intermediate composition). Its glaciers are covered with volcanic ash which is forest and grassland.


In Pasochoa there are three life zones: Lower Montane rain forest, Montane wet forest and Subalpine rain Moor. Lower Montane rain forest is below 3000 m, with a temperature of 12 Celsius  degrees. There are plants such as cascarilla, cedar, myrtle, laurel wax, among others. Its soil is rich for growing corn, potatoes, wheat, vegetables and grasses.


Montane wet forest is located between 3000 and 3380 meters. It is characterized by the variation of moisture and the considerable presence of fog. The wettest place is the 2,800 meters and the less humid, at 3,000 meters. The soil is good for grass, wheat and potatoes.


The lower montane rain forest is between 3380 and 4200 meters. Soils are of volcanic origin also is characterized by very fine sand. The land is suitable for pasture and wheat.


In the Pasochoa Andean forest inhabit bromeliads (tropical American plant genus of the family Bromeliaceae), consisting of three typical species highly endangered: "palm branches" used for the Catholic Church in its ritual of Holy Week, the Romerillo the only conifer native to north-central Ecuador and coveted for its fine wood, and Polylepis queñual known as a rosacea. In the upper parts of the moor it can reach exceptional heights. Its bark is reddish, with small leaves, thick and covered with resin, its flowers are small in cluster and its trunk is twisted.


how to get there

To get to Pasochoa  you should go to the “Estación interparroquial La Marín”, known as the Playon de La Marin, from there you have to take the bus that goes to the town of Amaguaña.


We recommend you find to  ake the bus that goes all over the highway, because there are other routes passing through the center of the valley's population and therefore take longer to arrive.

Once in  the center of Amaguaña there are vans that take you to the shelter Pasochoa basis, for $ 15 USD.


The entry fee is $ 7 , foreign, and $ 2 for nationals.


There are two fish species In Pasochoa: the preñadilla and trout. The preñadilla is the only native species that exists in high lands.
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