"The Crown Jewel of the Andes"
Maquipucuna pioneered ecotourism throughout continental Ecuador and set the example in the Mindo region. The first ecolodge Maquipucuna, dubbed 'MaquiHilton' built in 1989, served as the base camp for numerous scientists. The first part of the actual Maquipucuna Ecolodge was inaugurated in 1995, and since it continues to grow and is one of the main employers for people in the community of Santa Marianita.
WILDLIFE AT A GLANCE
The Maquipucuna Reserve is the closest pristine rainforest from Quito. It spans over 14,000 acres of privately protected cloud forests at the heart of the Chocó Andean Corridor, one of the earth's top three biodiversity hotspots. The reserve covers a vast diversity of ecozones between 900m (2900 ft) and 2785m (9100 ft), meaning you can find a huge diversity of wildlife that call Maquipucuna home.
Andean spectacled bears at Maquipucuna
Maquipucuna is a unique spot in the Andes because a large population of the endangered Andean Spectacled Bear migrates annually to feed on its 'Pacche' trees. These trees bear lipid-rich wild avocado like fruits which are an important nutritious delicatessen that attract old and young bears as well as females with bear cubs.