Maps & DirectionsCome Find Us in the Field
Our reserves are loosely aligned along an altitudinal transect on the western slopes of the Andes, Northwest of Quito. The Oreothraupis Reserve reaches 2500 meters altitude (8200 feet) and Río Silanche lies at 350 meters (1150 feet). Counting all the steps along the way we protect habitat for a vast suite of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, trees, orchids, ferns, epiphytes and so much more that you can see pictured throughout this site. All of our reserves are accessible from the Calacalí - La Independencia - Esmeraldas highway leaving from the extreme North of Quito at the Mitad del Mundo Equator monument.
The classic birders´ route the Old Nono-Mindo Road, dubbed the "Paseo del Quinde," gives access to our forests in Tandayapa and the Oreothraupis Reserve just over the pass beyond the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve. Enjoy the views over the 20,000 hectare Mindo-Nambillo Protected Forest. There is fantastic birding all along this route with different levels and types of services for visitors here and there. It can be bumpy and mudslides are frequent in the rainy season, but 4x4 isn´t (usually) necessary.
- Puyucunapi Reserve: from the Via Calacali km 62, take a left and follow road uphill for 4 km following "Bellavista" signs. The entrance is on your right, look for white entrance gate and wooden Puyucunapi sign.
- Milpe Bird Sanctuary: from the Vía Calacalí km 91, take a right next to small chapel (across the street from public school) and go 700 meters Northwest on gravel road to our parking area with wooden "MCF" sign.
- Río Silanche Bird Sanctuary: from the Vía Calacalí km 126, go 7 km North following main road (avoiding secondary turn-offs) and green "MCF" signs to metallic bridge over the Silanche river. From the bridge our parking area is 600 meters uphill on your left.
- Buses leave for Northwest Pichincha from both the Carcelen and Ofelia ground transport terminals, perhaps with greater frequency from Ofelia. For Milpe, any bus that goes to Los Bancos, Pedro Vicente Maldonado, Puerto Quito or Esmeraldas will serve. Ask the driver to let you off at km 91 and walk 10 minutes to our entrance. Pick-up trucks that provide taxi service are abundant in rural Ecuador, usually for reasonable prices: roughly $10-$15 from the park in Mindo to Milpe for example.