The Pasochoa Volcano reserve is located 1 hour and 15 minutes from Quito center, Pasochoa Reserve is a nice place to do bird watching, trekking & hiking including some trekking trails with more or less dificulty level, is a good option for real nature contact near Quito.

Quito Ecuador Home
Quito Travel Services


Home / Quito Natural attractions /Pasochoa Volcano Reserve  

Pasochoa Volcano reserve


Pasochoa volcano natural reserve with the Cotopaxi Volcano behind

Pasochoa reserve with the Cotopaxi volcano behind

500 hectares
Altitud Range:
2800 up to 4200 meters

It emerged approximately 100 thousand years ago in consequence of the eruption of the extinct Pasochoa Volcano, which destroyed mostly its entire crater and its occidental slope; transforming the volcanic cone into a collapsed crater with a semicircular shape.

The ground in the Pasochoa became very fertile in consequence of the lava and the thousand of years that passed by. Many different species of plants and trees started to grow up and became after centuries in the forest that now exists. Simultaneously different kind of animals and insects also became part of the Pasochoa and today you can find an incredible wildlife.

The difficult accessibility and the uneven surface made it inadequate for agriculture and that's the main reason for it's actual preservation. In fact that's why in these days the Pasochoa Wild Life Refuge its one of the few original Andean Forests of the world.

Its biological importance made it possible to declare it a Protected Area in 1982, and years later because of the scientific importance it was declared Wild Life Refuge in the year 1996, becoming part of the National System of Protected Areas of Ecuador. Fundacion Natura is in charge of the Pasochoa and they run programs such as the conservation of natural resources, environmental education and scientific research.

Ecuador Useful Travel links

Flora & Fauna

In the Pasochoa there are different kind of species and it is impressive, there are 127 species of birds, 232 of flora and 10 species of mammals, all of that in just 500 hectares.

Among the trees of the Pasochoa some of the ones that stand out are the pumamaqui, that its leafs have the shape of a hand, (pumanaqui = puma paw), the aliso, that grows very fast and the cedrillo, that is very abundant in the area. Also there are other species as the caballo chupa, yerba mora and culantrillo del pozo, which are some of the most important medicinal plants. Other plants and trees are the huavcundos, laurel, Andean cedar, podocarpus, helecho and orchids complete the diversity that exist in the area.

Among the poultry you can find the huirac-churos with it's peculiar singing and hummingbirds that are of great ecological importance. Also there are blackbirds, nursery birds, nuns, tangaras, plateros, turtledoves and wild turkey hens.

In the Pasochoa we can also find some mammals such as wild goats, rabbits, bats, pumas and different kind of rodents. Through out its paths you can watch colorful butterflies, mariquitas, frogs, and other small wild animals.

More Quito Information


In the Pasochoa Wild Life Refuge there is a system of seven different paths of different difficulties, one of those will lead you up to the Pasochoa Volcano.

There are two different kind of lodging services in the refuge:

  • Small Lodges: with a capacity for 20 persons and the following accommodations, folding beds, private bathrooms, kitchen-dinning room and basic infrastructure.
  • Camping Area: with a capacity for 30 tents and bathroom facilities for the area.

Other services are the following:

  • 10 huts for barbecues.
  • Dining room with capacity for 50 persons.
  • 1 conference room with a capacity for 40 persons. It has TV, audio-visual, projectors, etc.
  • 9 guides who are in charge of hikes around the footpaths.
  • Special tours for schools.
  • The possibility to do practices, internships and investigations.

How to get there?

By bus:
Go to the Marin Bus Station and take a bus that goes to Amaguaña, cost $0.45, approximately time 1 hour. In Amaguaña it is possible to rent a pick up truck that goes directly to the Pasochoa Wild Life Refuge, cost $6.00 per trip, approximately time 40 minutes.

By Car:
The Pasochoa Wild Life Refuge is 50 minutes away from Quito; first you have to take the highway General Rumiñahui then take the road that goes to Amaguaña. From Amaguaña you have to drive into a secondary road left from the main church of Amaguaña, from this point it will take around 30 minutes to get to the Pasochoa Wild Life Refuge.

Fees and Services in the Pasochoa Volcano reserve.

Entrance fee:
Adults: $2.00 Children: $1.00
Foreign: $7.00 Foreign Children: $2.00

Information and Reservations:
Walter Bustos
Coordinator Pasochoa Wild Life Refuge
Fundación Natura - Proyecto Pasochoa
Av. República 481 y Almagro -Quito
Phone: (02) 2503 385 Ext. 203
Mobile: (09) 4235357
Email: © 2009 Posicionamiento Web Ecuador
All rights reserved. International and Ecuadorian copyrights apply Contact us