This small but beautiful wildlife reserve stands on the northern flanks of the extinct Pasochoa volcano, at elevations between 2900m and 4200m. It has one of the central valley’s last remaining stands of humid Andean forest, with more than 100 species of birds.
The luxuriant forest contains a wide range of highland trees and shrubs including the Podocarpaceae, the Ecuadorian Andes’ only native conifer (the pines seen elsewhere are introduced). Orchids, bromeliads, ferns, lichens and other epiphytic plants also contribute to the beauty.
Buses from Quito's Plaza La Marín (1½ hours) head to the town of Amaguaña from where the reserve entrance is another 7km south; you can hire a camioneta (pickup truck) to take you the rest of the way.