The Pululahua extinct Volcano is a unique micro weather laboratory with high altitude forest and cloud forest inside volcanoes crater, also as a reserve is a nice place to do a camping or trekking trip, The Niebli town is a city in the mist, Pululahua is a place must add to your Quito Ecuador travel plan.

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Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve


January 28, 1969
3383 hectares
Altitude Range:
1800 - 3356 meters

The Pululahua Geo-botanical Reserve is located 30 minutes North from Quito near the Mitad del Mundo Monument. Pululahua means "smoke of water" in the indigenous language Quichua. The Pululahua is an inactive volcano which its last eruption was believed it happened around the year 500 b.C. Around the Pululahua crater there are visible three other elevations which are Pando ña, El Chivo and El Pan de Azucar.

The Pululahua crater is completely inactive and in its surroundings it's inhabited mostly by farmers, with is a town called Nublin. The first settlers in the Pululahua Crater were the Incas. Later in the year 1825 the Dominicos monks settled in the crater to search for treasures, extract lime and tosow the land. In the year 1905 with the Liberal Revolution the lands were confiscated by the government and later in 1979 given back to the huasipungueros, (farmers).

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The Pululahua was declared a National Park in 1969, being the first in Ecuador and the continent. The hillsides of the Pululahua are a Geobotanical Reserve that protects more than 53 botanic species and 21 animal species; all of this is under the administration of the "Instituto Ecuatoriano de Areas Naturales y Vida Silvestre (INEFAN).

Among the fauna species found in the Pululahua are: rabbits, chucuris, sparrow hawks, wolves, bats, raposas, lizards and frogs. The flora species are unique and numerous some of those species are granibeas, briofitas, bledo, chilca, llanten, peralillo, suro and uña de gato.

Hiking and mountain biking are some of the preferred activities by the tourists and many tour operators organize this kind of trips to the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve.

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Other attractions within the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve are:

  1. Ventanillas Lookout point; located at the edge of the Pululahua crater, from this point it is possible to see the crater and a great sightseeing of the landscape. You can get here by car and from this part a very steep path of 450 meters starts that drives you to the interior of the crater.
  2. Moraspungo Area; it is a small path that takes 1 hour to cross it, were you can enjoy a great view of the area and the flora of the cloud forest.
  3. The Pululahua Community (San Isidro), it has a really nice weather but during the afternoon the community is covered by haze.
  4. Pondoña Hill; in this area there are visible a great amount of butterflies, mostly seen during the sunny and warm days.
  5. El Chivo Hill, it's a natural lookout point were it is easy to see the vegetation of the area were many orchids, bromelias, mosses and ferns.
  6. Lulumbamba Hill; in its higher point it has been discovered traces of human settlements like vessels, pans and skeletons similar to those who were found in Pucará de Rumicucho

How to get There to the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve

By Bus:
From the Cotocollao station of the Metrobus, take the bus that goes to the Mitad del Mundo, it cost around $ 0.45. In the Mitad del Mundo you can take a taxi up to the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve. Cost $2.00.

By Car:
Take the Highway Manuel Cordova Galarza up to the Mitad del Mundo, from there advance 10 more minutes up North until you find a detour that will take you to the lookout point of the Pululahua. © 2009 Posicionamiento Web Ecuador
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