Yanacocha is a great place to get out of Quito for the day, as it is only 45 minutes from the city by car. Located on the western slope of Volcano Pichincha, at an altitude of approximately 3500 m, it is where you will go to find the critically endangered Black-breasted Puffleg (Eriocnemis nigrivestis), a species with a tiny range centered on and near the volcano.
To protect what remains of this bird’s habitat, the Ecuadorian conservation group Jocotoco Foundation established the Reserve in 2001, and then later expanded it to a size of 2,964 acres today. The Reserve is open from 7 AM to 3:0 PM and there are several nice trails to explore.
A recent addition is a worm feeder for the Tawny Antpitta right behind the reserve entrance building, and Rufous Antpittas are now increasingly often seen hopping on the trail itself. Other specialty birds to look for include Andean Condor (mainly in the high páramo, but also sometimes flying high above the trail), Imperial Snipe (wait for it at dusk), and Giant Conebill (with mixed flocks). Side trails down into the valley below the wide level trail can be taken to get a more intimate view of the forest interior, and provide a better chance to see shy species such as the Undulated and Chestnut-naped Antpittas and Ocellated Tapaculo.