ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Parque Jerusalem – Dry Forest of the Ecuador Highlands

Updated on May 29, 2012
Jerusalem Park
Jerusalem Park | Source

Jerusalem Park, or Bosque Protector Jerusalén in Spanish, is an area of protected dry forest a short distance north of Quito Ecuador. Most people come to this tiny nation to experience the rainforests of the Andean slopes or the cloud forests at the higher elevations. Being unaware of this tropical gem, travelers miss the opportunity to visit one of the foremost parks vying for the attention of tourists and residents in this biodiverse country.


Much of the inter-Andean natural forest has been consumed by agricultural development over the past decades. The Guayllabamba River basis, having a much dryer climate than the surrounding areas, is not as hospitable to the cultivation of crops. The Ministry of Agriculture, wishing to preserve the flora and fauna of the region, dedicated 1,110 ha. (2,800 ac) of land for this purpose in 1989. Since the, Jerusalem Park has become one of the most family friendly reserves within Ecuador.

The Guayllabamba River valley is noted for the last known sighting of the Turquoise-throated Puffleg. This species has no confirmed records since 1851, although there was an uncorroborated observation in 1973. It is considered critically endangered and possibly extinct, though many search for its continued existence. For this reason, BirdLife has designated this region as an Important Bird Area.


Bosque Protector Jerusalén is a dry forest area experiencing less than 600 mm (23 in) of rain per year. It is the only such area with the Inter-Andean valley and the highest dry forest area in South America at an altitude of 2,500 m (8,200 ft). Temperatures are mild averaging 17o C (63o F) during throughout year. The woodland is comprised of ragwort (Baccharis latifolia), elderberry (Cestrum sp.), acacia (Fabaceae) and a numerous variety of cacti.

There are several paths traversing the park, catering to individual abilities and tastes. The paths are well maintained and plaques have been placed around the reserve describing the features of the various terrain and flora species. Every effort has been made to develop an experience that is both enjoyable and educational. Many of the plaques have Braille translations for the visually impaired. Several marquees are posted along the trails indicated the various wildlife that can be encountered.

Vermillion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus)
Vermillion Flycatcher (Pyrocephalus rubinus) | Source

Bird Watching Opportunities

Jerusalem Park is a wonderful stop on any avid birder’s list. Many species that are difficult to spot within the Inter-Andean valley can easily be encountered inside the reserve. Although the bird population is small compared to the rainforest areas, the avifauna in the region is quite impressive. Vermillion Flycatchers are fairly common, as well as Southern-Yellow Grosbeak and Scrub Tanagers. The Giant Hummingbird is rather prevalent to the area and can be seen feeding alongside Purple-collared Woodstar and Sparkling Violetear. The acacia forest and dry scrub is a haven for the Buff-fronted Owl, a very rare species throughout the rest of Ecuador. Burrowing Owls can also be observed within the reserve.

Access and Facilities

Parque Jerusalem is about 28 km (17 miles) north of Quito and can be easily reached by private vehicle or public transportation. Travel north on the Pan-American Highway towards Guayllabamba. Continue passed the town for another 6 km (4 miles) until Puélllaro-San José de Mina road. There will be a large billboard indicting the left turn towards the park. Travel another 3 km (2 miles) and to the entrance of the reserve. Once inside there will be a $2 charge per person ($1 for locals) for access to the facilities.

In addition to the various flora and fauna that abound within the park, other recreation is available. Horseback riding is obtainable and there are several football (soccer), basketball and volleyball areas for the sporting enthusiasts. A small pond provides fishing opportunities and there is a pool for a short dip before or after a hike around the park. Camping grounds are also available. There is a restaurant providing good, inexpensive meals for those who do not want to partake of the picnic facilities.


Jerusalem Park is a great place to acclimatize oneself to the altitude before tackling some of the more strenuous areas of the rainforest and cloud forest. It amicable weather and undemanding trails provide a perfect start for the flight-wearied traveler. The avifauna and abundant flora furnishes a pleasant beginning to an adventurous vacation. 


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Seran Serrano 

      5 years ago

      Ecuador, other than Galapagos, does not charge to get in any National Park.

    • ColibriPhoto profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Quito, Ecuador

      Ecuador was rated as the #1 place to retire by International Living. I came down 11 years ago as a missionary and when I retired last year I decided to stay. There are good points and bad points but you learn to live with the bad ones. Maybe I need to write a hub on that. Thanks Scubadoggy.

    • scubadoggy profile image


      7 years ago

      I've always been impressed with Ecuador and it's location in South America on the equator... It's supposed to be a great country for Americans to retire to. Might be worth a trip down someday! Great hub!

    • ColibriPhoto profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Quito, Ecuador

      We get many migrants, both from the north and the south, making this a wonderful place for observing birds of various countries. Thanks for the comment Naturegirl.

    • naturegirl7 profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 

      7 years ago from South Louisiana

      I think that many of our spring and summer migrants spend the winter in your country. Interesting hub.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)