The nearly 15,000 acres Maquipucuna Reserve, located just 50 miles from downtown Quito, harbors about 10% of Ecuador’s plant diversity and 4% of all the bird species known for the entire planet! Maquipucuna has the category of Protected Forest and has been declared as Important Bird Area (IBA).
The visit to the Reserve and the internationally awarded Maquipucuna Ecolodge offers the opportunity to explore one of the most spectacular natural sites on the planet. Maquipucuna is home to at least 376 species of birds, 45 species of mammals, 250 species of butterflies and over 2000 species of plants.
Our non-profit Fundación Maquipucuna has pioneered the development of ecotourism in continental Ecuador. In addition to establishing the Maquipucuna Reserve & Ecolodge, we have worked with surrounding communities Yunguilla and Santa Lucía to help them initiate their own ecotourism operations. Our own operation, the Maquipucuna Ecolodge itself offers 14 permanent job positions locally and generates income to help Fundación Maquipucuna protect the 6000 hectare Maquipucuna reserve. We offer a variety of activities and services:
- – Birdwatching
- – Unique Spectacled bear season
- – 7 trails of varying distances and difficulty levels through the cloud forest. For a total 32 km of trails.
- – A beautiful waterfall located very close to the Lodge where you can cool off after a long walk
- – A water hole along the river to swim in, also located very close to the Lodge
- – Chocolate Massages: Wonderful after long hikes through the rainforest
- – Many hammocks where you can completely relax
- – Wildlife guides
- – Visits to our organic garden
- – Visits to our Orchid Garden
- – Free use of rubber boots
- – Educational Safaris during Bear season **
- – The service of local naturalist guides: Perfect for bird watching or learning about all kinds of wildlife **
- – Chocolate Massage: Wonderful after long walks through the cloud forest **
- – Cupping coffee and coffee tour **
- – Visit the handicraft workshop of the Community of Santa Marianitas **
- – Visit the Yumbo (Pre-Inca) Ceremonial Center of Tulipe **
- – Mindo Butterfly Garden in Mindo area **
- – Toucanopy ziplines**
(**At a little additional cost and by prior arrangement)
We are able to offer a 10% discount to Tourism Concern Members
Fundación Maquipucuna has had several projects aimed at strengthening neighboring communities by providing training, infraestructure and funding.
The surrounding communities to the Maquipucuna Reserve Yunguilla, Santa Lucía and Santa Marianita benefit from our ecotourism work through training, planning and local job creation. Maquipucuna employees all receive social benefits; we employ locals without discrimination of any type such as gender, race, disability. A large portion of the revenues stay locally in the form of salaries and local purchases.
We manage and protect directly close to 6,000 hectares of highly biodiverse pristine Cloud forest with the proceeds of the ecotourism operation. We reuse and recycle our trash. All organic trash goes to a compost pile used in our organic vegetable garden. Plastic, paper/cardboard and glass get separated at the source and recycled whenever possible.