Ecoruta - Paseo del Quinde

This road starts in Quito, climbs Pichincha  on the northern slope and winds down the west slope of Pichincha volcano past Nono, Tandayapa, and ends near Mindo on San Tadeo.  The altitude variation is amazing and the biodiversity covers a wide range from the montane forest of northwestern Pichincha to the subtropical region of Mindo.

This historical road is very picturesque and provides an interesting appreciation of how the Andean slopes which have been deforested for many years give way to a small piece of untouched primary forests on the western slopes.  This area still has primary forest due to the ruggedness of the terrain; the steep walls have trees with roots like cat-claws that allows them to stay erect on the almost vertical walls.  This area has also become prime ground for private reserves sprouting in an effort to keep these forests preserved.

Unfortunately, these primary forests have also been put at risk by the OCP pipeline that cut through the forest crossing the Andes from the Amazon to the port of Esmeraldas.  This pipeline was installed with huge flying caterpillars that hung from the cliffs while they buried this large pipe in a straight line without taking into consideration the biodiversity of this region.   The current major risk to the area comes from land slides or ground movements that can break the pipeline spilling oil on the land and rivers.  


BIRDS of EcoRuta

Plate-billed-Mountain Toucan

Red-headed Barber


Ashy-throated Bush Tanager

Plate-billed Mountain Toucan

Red-headed Barber

Barred Fruiteater

Ashy-throated Bush Tanager

Roadside Hawk

Slate-throated Whitestart

Orange-bellied Euphonia

Dusky-capped Flycatcher

Roadside Hawk

Slate-throated  Whitestart

Orange-bellied Euphonia

Dusky-capped Flycatcher


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Birdwatching Tours

West Slope Tours:
Yanachocha Reserve
Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve
Refugio Paz de las Aves
Oil Bird Cave
23 de Junio
Yellow House
Maquipucuna Cloud Forest
Mindo Nambillo Reserve
Santa Lucia Cloud Forest
EcoRuta o Paseo del Quinde
Mirador Rio Blanco
Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest
Mindo Loma Cloud Forest
Pachijal Reserve
Sachatamia Rain Forest
Milpe Bird Sanctuary
Bellavista Cloud Forest
San Tadeo

Western Lowlands
Mangaloma Reserve
Rio Silanche Bird Sanctuary
Mashpi Reserve
Bilsa Research Station
Rio Canade Reserve
Botrosa Road

East Slope Tours
Papallacta Pass
Cayambe Coca Reserve
Guango Lodge
Cabaņas San Isidro
Hosteria Hacienda Cumanda
Guacamayo Cordillera

Northern Amazon Tours:
Jatun Sacha
Laguna Paikawe

Southern Ecuador:
Cordillera del Condor & Maraņon Region

Cabaņas Copalinga
Podocarpus National Park
Cabaņas Yankuam
Tapichalaca Reserve
El Cajas

Southwestern Ecuador: Tubmesian & Aquatic  Birds
Rio Palenque
Isla de la Plata
Rio Ayampe
Machalilla National Park- Aguas Blancas
Isla Corazon
Segua Marsh
Lalo Loor Reserve
Juananu Marsh
Cojimies Mangroves
Mache-Chindul Reserve

Land Tour & Darwin’s Finches

Northern Highland Sites
Antisana Reserve
Papallacta Pass Antenas
Cayambe-Coca Reserve
Bosque Jerusalen
Condor Park
Cuicocha Lake
San Pablo Lake