Las Tolas Recommended

Las Tolas is a classic self sustaining cloudforest community that exists entirely in the presence of the community members. The village itself has just one cobble main road through the centre, enclosed by the beautifully crafted houses on either side. Nearly every one has been made with wooden slates, comparable to the decking of a boat all more or less having baloneys acting as gangways. A stroll down the main street is sure to acquaint you with the wonderful closed environment of the people.

It is an absolute delight to see how a group of people can be so self managed, where everything in sight is used as either food or a medicine. Arguably the most surprising thing was the level of choice that Las Tolas has, being spoilt enough to have a choice of four types of lemons, two types of coffee and three types of cabbage. They have even found a use for Stinging Nettles as a remedy for pain. If you have stomach problems, children will rub a cluster of nettles on there arm to focus the pain on that part of their body and also bring blood to the surface of their skin.

In the past few years this community has become open to the idea of inviting tourists to see their way of life in nature and the culture. By this, the people have agreed to show, on a very real basis, how life is lived in the Cloud Forest and have subsequently put on a range of activities to do.

Las Tolas (meaning workshop) runs a small company just below the main road making bracelets and jewellery using nothing but the resources from forest. The company has gone torrid time over the years with several large companies using their power over small time communities to take advantage, meaning that they now face huge debts. This has not soured the attitude of the people, however, who are only too pleased to welcome and show outsideres how to make your own jewellery.

Famous not only for its ‘workshop’ a trip through the forest itself provides amazing views and a deep and interesting insight into the workings of an eco-system in full flow. From the coffee we drink, to the lemons we suck after a tequila shot, you can see where these everyday items actually come from to the very seed. The track ends in a waterfall, which when under, acts as a proficient masseuse that relaxes you from head to toe.

A walk up and down the town which is scattered between the trees and the thickets of the cloud forest will present you with an eerie portrayal of how these people live and how they exist. There is rarely the sound of an engine or any other artificial noise. The sound of rain is just a soporific ‘patter’ on your anorak.

In what the community calls the ‘stadium’, exists only a soccer pitch with a few benched on the side. It looks over the treetops of the forest in a crazy location to have an arena of sport, but I was told that it is used regularly in a ‘soccer mad’ town where tournaments are played weekly.

Places to stay in Las Tolas +
Practical information about Las Tolas +
Getting to and around in Las Tolas +

Map of Las Tolas

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Events in Pichincha

Facts and figures Pichincha


In the north Pichincha borders to Imbabura, south to Cotopaxi and Los Rios, west to Manabi and Esmeraldas and east to Napo and Sucumbios




Quito is located on 2850 meters.



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