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You are here:3.2 Guayabamba Valley

3.2 Guayabamba Valley

The Guayllabamba Valley is a largly developed locality with weekend houses and the small town of Guayllabamba itself; most of the houses have big gardens with flowers and fruiting trees. One of the most interesting areas is the Municipal Quito Zoo and the road into. Most of the birds from the Jerusalem Protected Forest occur in the Valley but they are less numerous. The elevation ranges from 2150-2250 meters.



Andean Montane Scrub and Orchards



Guayabamba Valley

The town of Guayllabamba is located very close to Quito and there is free access along the streets heading to the Municipal Quito Zoo. The Zoo opens Tuesday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, Mondays it is closed.

There are plenty of public buses from Quito going to and by Guayllabamba. You can get on board the buses towards Guayllabamaba on the La Ofelia bus terminal or at the start of the Pan American highway heading north of Quito. Guayllabamba is so close to Quito that hiring a taxi would not be expensive.



Guayabamba Valley

From Quito you take the “Panamericana Norte” which is the Pan American highway.   Follow Ave. 10 de Agosto or the Ave. Eloy Alfaro until they end in the north of Quito.   From here the road becomes the Pan American Highway, as you pass toward below a bridge where you access the road to Carcelen.  This will be point 0.0 as you leave the city and start descending toward Calderon and Guyaalbamba.  From here to a point 11, 9 km down the highway there is a toll booth.  Go another 10.4 km, or 22.3 km from Quito, and you will arrive at a fork in the road. 

(Click here to download Map. Guayllabamba Valley).

To go into Guayllabamba take the right hand turn and drive for 600 meters or 22.9 km from Quito. Take the street to your right and drive for 1.0 km or 23.9 km from Quito. Here begin to look for any bird activity in the gardens. You will need to turn to the right and drive for 300 meters and enter the street on your right. The way to access the Zoo is sign-posted and getting to it should not be a problem.  From this point the parking place for the Zoo will be only 250 meters away. Driving the outskirts of Guayllabamba slowly and looking for suitable habitat for bird activity could also be a good idea.

The zoo is well run and the species are in nice shape. It could be an interesting family visit for it gives you the opportunity to see close up views of Andean Condor and King Vulture. In one of my family visits I saw a fly by hummingbird which I thought could have been a puffleg. I came back several times trying to relocate the unidentified hummer but never saw it again. The zoo area despite having some interesting species could be a place that might have supported the habitat for the long lost Turquoise-throated Puffleg. The very remote possibility that the bird I glimpsed could have been this puffleg is the real reason to include this site in this guide. Hoping for someone to rediscovered.


Birds to look for

Guayabamba Valley

Dry   Montane Scrub (DMS), Gardens (Grd).

Common: Eared   Dove (DMS), Sparkling Violetear (DMS), Azara's Spinetail (DMS), Southern   Beardless-tyrannulet (DMS), Great Thrush (DMS, Grd), Blue-and-white Swallow   (DMS, Grd), Cinereous Conebill (DMS), Blue-and-yellow Tanager (DMS, Grd), Southern   Yellow-grosbeak (DMS, Grd), Ash-breasted   Sierra-finch (DMS,Grd), Band,tailed Seedeater (DMS), Hooded Siskin (DMS,   Grd).

Uncommon: American Kestrel (DMS), Common Ground-dove (DMS), Western Emerald (DMS, Grd), Black-tailed Trainbearer   (DMS, Grd), Tufted Tit-tyrant (DMS),Vermilion Flycatcher (DMS,Grd), Streak-throated   Bush-tyrant (DMS), Rusty Flowerpiercer (DMS, Grd), Golden-rumped Euphonia   (DMS, Grd), Scrub Tanager (DMS, Grd), Streaked Saltator (DMS), Yellow-bellied   Seedeater(DMS), Grassland Yellow-finch (DMS).

Rare: Giant Hummingbird (DMS, Grd).

Copyright © 2010 by Lelis Navarrete

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Meet the Author

Lelis Navarrete – Birding tour leader. Lelis has 19 years of experience as a birding guide and naturalist in the field. He has led groups of birders throughout most of Latin America, guiding frequently in countries like his native country of Ecuador and in the Galapagos Islands, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Panama. A Biology B.Sc. graduate from Universidad Católica in Quito, Lelis has supported Jocotoco Foundation since its founding in 1998 and was an active Board Member until 2010 supporting Ecuadorian bird and wildlife conservation. Lelis divides his time between his two great passions in life: birding and spending time with his wife Solange and son Fabian with whom he lives in Quito.


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