Ecoruta - Paseo del Quinde

This road starts in Quito, climbs Pichincha  on the northern slope and winds down the west slope of Pichincha volcano past Nono, Tandayapa, and ends near Mindo on San Tadeo.  The altitude variation is amazing and the biodiversity covers a wide range from the montane forest of northwestern Pichincha to the subtropical region of Mindo.

This historical road is very picturesque and provides an interesting appreciation of how the Andean slopes which have been deforested for many years give way to a small piece of untouched primary forests on the western slopes.  This area still has primary forest due to the ruggedness of the terrain; the steep walls have trees with roots like cat-claws that allows them to stay erect on the almost vertical walls.  This area has also become prime ground for private reserves sprouting in an effort to keep these forests preserved.

Unfortunately, these primary forests have also been put at risk by the OCP pipeline that cut through the forest crossing the Andes from the Amazon to the port of Esmeraldas.  This pipeline was installed with huge flying caterpillars that hung from the cliffs while they buried this large pipe in a straight line without taking into consideration the biodiversity of this region.   The current major risk to the area comes from land slides or ground movements that can break the pipeline spilling oil on the land and rivers.  


BIRDS of EcoRuta

Plate-billed-Mountain Toucan

Red-headed Barber


Ashy-throated Bush Tanager

Plate-billed Mountain Toucan

Red-headed Barber

Barred Fruiteater

Ashy-throated Bush Tanager

Roadside Hawk

Slate-throated Whitestart

Orange-bellied Euphonia

Dusky-capped Flycatcher

Roadside Hawk

Slate-throated  Whitestart

Orange-bellied Euphonia

Dusky-capped Flycatcher


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Birdwatching Tours

Reservas Noroccidente:
Reserva Yanacocha
Reserva Geobotanica Pululahua
Refugio Paz de las Aves
Cueva de los Tayos
Recinto 23 de Junio
Reserva Mangaloma
Yellow House
Bosque Protector Mindo Nambillo
Reserva Santa Lucia
EcoRuta o Paseo del Quinde
Mirado Rio Blanco
Reserva Septimo Paraiso
Reserva Mindo Loma
Reserva Pachijal
Hosteria Sachatamia
Santuario de Aves Milpe
Santuario de Aves Silanche
Hosteria Reserva Bellavista
Reserva Maquipucuna
Reserva Mashpi
San Tadeo

Reservas Nororiente
Antenas de Papallacta
Parque Nacional Cayambe-Coca
Guango Lodge
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Amazonia Norte
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Cabaņas Copalinga
Parque Nacional Podocarpus
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Reserva Tapichalaca

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Rio Palenque
Isla de la Plata
Rio Ayampe
Parque Nacional Machalilla
Isla Corazon
Humedal La Segua
Reserva Lalo Loor
Humedal Juananu
Manglar de Cojimiess
Reserva Mache Chindul

Islas Galapagos

Sitios de Altura
Reserva Antisana
Antenas de Papallacta
Reserva Cayambe-Coca
Bosque Protector Jerusalen
Parque Condor
Lago Cuicocha
Lago San Pablo