Tapichalaca Reserve

Tapichalaca is situated in Zamora-Chinchipe Province just across the Continental Divide on the east (or Amazonian) slope of the Andes, adjoining the southern extremity of Podocarpus National Park, and just north of Valladolid on the road south from Loja toward Zumba and the Peruvian frontier.

  • Elevation: 1800-3400 msnm
  • Ecosystems: Low montane Evergreen Forest (1800 msnm), Evergreen Forest mist- High montane, Evergreen Forest (2000-3200 msnm), Paramo (>3200msnm)
  • Zoogeographic floor: Eastern temperate
  • Area: 3000 ha.

How to get?

Directions from Loja: From the city of Loja take the main road south, which leads to the city of Zumba and the Peruvian border. This road was recently improved and is in good condition. This road travels through the towns of Malacatos , Vilcabamba, Yangana, and Valladolid. The Tapichalaca Reserve is located between the towns of Yangana and Valladolid, after crossing the continental divide in the Cordillera de Sabanilla and passing through a narrow corner of Podocarpus National Park. Approximately 10 kilometers after this pass, you will see the first signs that announce that you are leaving Parque Nacional Podocarpus and entering Reserva Tapichalaca, as you cross a small river called “Quebrada de los Muertos” (named after a person died here in a plane crash in the 1950s). Another 10 kilometers ahead, passing through the reserve, you will see a sign and a monument on the right, called the “Cruz de Soldado.” Continuing another ½ kilometer, a sign on the right announces the Reserva Tapichalaca and the Ecolodge, called Casa de Simpson, in honor of a very important benefactor of the foundation.


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