Visiting El Pahuma

El Pahuma Cloud Forest

The natural beauty of the forest and its waterfalls, the abundance of spectacular birds and mammals, and the singular opportunity to walk the ancient Yumbo trail, are unforgettable attractions that bring people to El Pahuma for reasons beyond orchid viewing.  Visitors help support the protection of the forests plants, animals, and water resources, and in return they gain awareness of the unique nature of cloud forests and the rare species, including orchids, that call these slopes home.

El Pahuma is open to the public virtually every day of the year.  A short one-hour drive from Quito, it makes for an easy day trip.  Parking is available, and the entrance can readily by reached by public buses.  Today, the reserve is owned and operated by the Lima family, who are now wholly in charge of El Pahuma’s day-to-day operations.  They will greet you when you arrive, point you to some of the orchids or other plants in bloom, and ensure that you have a fabulous visit.  A hot bowl of delicious soup in their restaurant is a great way to end the day!

Getting There

El Pahuma is located about 1 hour from the capital of Quito, and can easily be reached by bus, taxi, or rental car.  The reserve is on the main road that passes through the Mitad del Mundo (Equator) monument about 25 km before reaching El Pahuma; this road continues on to Mindo, San Miguel de Los Bancos, and the coastal city of Esmeraldas.  Buses can be found readily in Quito — consult guidebooks or websites for the most up-to-date information — that will take you to Mitad del Mundo.  From there, you can catch almost any bus continuing northwest, and ask the driver to let you off at El Pahuma.

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