Driving south from Quito, we arrive at the entrance of Pasochoa Wildlife Refuge in only an hour. The refuge is located inside the huge crater of Pasochoa Volcano. Time and eruptions have collapsed Pasochoa’s crater and cone, leaving the volcano with a horseshoe shape. This geological formation gives the area a unique ecosystem, as the crater collects warm air and humidity, creating an isolated microclimate that is
home to many native species. Inside the collapsed crater are several different types of cloud forest, each one with its own set of native highland trees and shrubs, as well as orchids, bromeliads, lichens, and ferns. This lush vegetation is home
to abundant bird life. Over 100 native bird species have been identified, including at least 11 species of hummingbirds. As we hike through various parts of the reserve, we can observe the
variations in vegetation with changes in elevation and humidity. If the skies are clear, we also enjoy a stunning backdrop of snow-capped volcanic peaks in the distance. We can modify the route based on guest preferences, and the hike can take anywhere from three to six hours depending on the route you choose. We enjoy a delicious and scenic picnic lunch within the reserve and head back to Quito in the afternoon.