GPS Track Details
Difficulty: 3/5 - Medium
Track length: 6.45 Kilometers
Total Ascent: 919 Meters
Total Descent: 244 Meters

F-4.0 Podocarpus lowland (eastern) section


Due to the big difference in altitude, vegetation of the lowland section of the park differs greatly from the western part of the park. While rain is abundant in both sections most of the year, it is even wetter in the “Oriente”. In the highland section you have to protect yourself against hyperthermia, while in the lowland section you’re likely to sweat a lot.

Access to the lowland part of the park is via the town of Zamora (950m), 1 ½ hours by bus from Loja

Entrance Bombuscaro

 The park entrance and Centro Administrativo Bombuscaro is located some 6 km along the Rio Bombuscaro and best reached by Taxi ($ 4.5o) from The Bus terminal in Zamora. About halfway along the access road, (km 3), you pass the entrance of the private owned Reserve Copalinga, where the Belgian couple  Boudewijn and Catherine cater for bird & orchid lovers in 6 cozy, rustic cabins.  Copalinga maintains its own trail system, consisting of 6 trails, totaling 8 Km.

From the parking space of the NP Podocarpus at the end of the access road, it’s a 20 minutes hike along a wide trail to the Park administration center.

The Centro Administrativo Bombuscaro consists of a visitors center, (where you have to register before setting out for the hikes), a building for the park rangers and two cabañas equipped with toilets & showers (but no kitchen), which can be rented for $ 3.00 per day / person. You need your own sleeping bag, and if you are catering for yourself, you should be able to use the kitchen of the rangers.

The centro (tel. 3 039 579) is open from 8 am to 5 pm.

Ministerio del Ambiente Zamora tel. 2 606 606

From the center you have the choice of 6 different marked trails.

  • 1)         No name waterfall. Roundtrip 10 min.
  • 2)         Photo/swimming spot. 5 minutes.
  • 3)         Waterfall “La Poderosa”, 510m, 15 min.
  • 4)         Trail Urraquita verde, 400m, 15 min.
  • 5)         Trail to the viewpoint “Mirador Natural” 800m, 85min.

This trail climbs very steeply without a flat step for 350 altitude meters to a shelter in the opening of the jungle, permitting views of the lower Bombuscaro-valley, Zamora town and the distant Zamora airport to the north-east. The masochist who is not satisfied with the arduous climb, can continue 150 altitude-meters on a faint trail to the top of the ridge, used by the scientists of the San Francisco-research station for their forest monitoring projects.

  • 6)         Trail “Sendero Higuerones”. 2-3 Std.

This trail follows along and above the north east bank of the Bombuscaro River. After 1.5 km you find a turnoff to the left, leading to the suspension bridge “Puente Campesino”. Crossing the bridge you can return on the opposite riverbank and recross to the Centro Administrativo Bombuscaro on another suspension bridge nearby. But this return trail is soggy and wet and requires gumboots. Continuing on the main trail without crossing the river, it follows indefinite into the Jungle. At the time of my research, the trail was blocked by an earth slide at km 2.7 with no way to bypass. Return by the same trail.

Entrance Romerillos

The remote park entrance of Romerillos is rarely used by visitors and is not permanently attended by park rangers. The frontier village of Romerillos alto is located 26 km from Zamora, in the valley east of, and parallel to valley Bombuscaro and can be reached by Taxi or local “Chiva” buses, which leave Zamora bus terminal about twice a day. There are two trails to the park from Romerillos alto. It takes 1 ½ or 2 hours respectively, to reach the park-entrance. Very few locals can direct you, so it is best, to contact the rangers at the Ministerio Ambiente (tel. 2 60 606) in Zamora for more information.

One of the rangers / Guía naturalista is friendly Cesar Jiménez 099 302 098 1



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