El Chocó Andino de Pichincha, a magnet for all

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A magnet for all

Waterfalls, rivers, labyrinths set amid myriad trees and a forest enveloped in mist, butterflies, orchids and birds of all colors (literally all colors). Discovering these wonders of our natural world as a family is one of the greatest gifts our cloud forests have to offer.

5 Unique experiences

Enter the culunco, a portal into the past

Although fifty years ago those who ventured into the Ecuadorian Chocó were few and far between and it all seemed like uninterrupted vegetation, vestiges of ancient civilizations offer a novel perspective, full of mystery, of what life was like in these jungle realms. The entire family will not only be delighted when visiting the excellent Tulipe Site Museum, discovering the ruins of astrological observatories of the Yumbo peoples, they can visit, in places like Yunguilla (detour at km 26 of the Calacalí-Independencia road), the ancestral culuncos, natural tunnels covered in vegetation that connected the high mountains with the Pacific coast.

Take a dip in beautiful jungle rivers and waterfalls

The steep slope created by the western Andes, gives us the possibility to enjoy dozens of rivers and waterfalls in the area, some easily accessible, including Guagrapamba (near Nono), El Pahuma (at km 43 of the Calacalí-Independenciaroad) or places like Pacto, with walks to find ancient petroglyphs (ancestral inscriptions made in large boulders along the river).

Let a tiny hummingbird sit on your finger

Butterflies also do this, a common experience at the various butterfly farms in the region, but it is not the same to have a real-life hummingbird perch on your index finger. Being able to see hummingbirds of all colors less than a meter away, is one of the great nature attractions of the cloud forest area of North- west Quito. In places like Bellavista or Alambi, they are so tame that they can even land on your shoulder and finger. Accompany this with a birding outing, with specialized guides to see spectacular species: quetzals, toucans, parrots, tanagers, cocks- of-the-rock and more.

Discover the new culinary trends of the cloud forest

You can find excellent organic products from jams and exotic fruits in various communities such as Yunguilla or Mashpi, and young up-and-coming chefs in Ecuadorian haute cuisine. “Zero-kilometer” menus that seek to promote sustainable living and conscious agriculture and cuisine, complementing it with their creative, visionary recipes.

Make some chocolate

Taste the best “no de aroma” chocolate in the world and get to know how it’s done. In the area, there are excellent local chocolatiers: Mashpi’s community craft chocolate, which offer tours to see the cacao plants and show you (and make for yourself) your own bar from the fruit.

A handsome, friendly, special bear, an animal that has even been portrayed in the movies: the Spectacled Bear, Andean Bear, is an icon of Ecuador’s cloud forests and the Chocó. The Corredor del Oso (Bear Corridor) is a project that seeks to protect and raise awareness about this vulnerable species in the eyes of locals and visitors. These forested lands are its home and refuge.

Contact

Parque Bicentenario, terminales del antiguo aeropuerto de Quito

+(593 2) 299 3300

info@quito-turismo.gob.ec

www.quito.com.ec

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