Two nights was not enough in this beautiful and stimulating environment. It took me 2 1/2 hours to get up the hill (not a long hike but a steep one) and I would do it again to be part of this special experience - and stay longer. We met scientists and local community members, enjoyed great meals, and gorgeous birds. This is the place to see some outstanding cloud forest birds. We selected a Spanish speaking guide and Mauricio was not only a superb educator about the birds, but also made us feel welcome in his community. His love and respect for the local wildlife was inspiring. We like the blend of birding, conservation and research, and community development for sustainability that this organization has put together. They were very well organized and on point at all times.
Be prepared for up and down hiking, elevation about 6,000 feet, muddy and rough trails, no electricity. Be sure you know where you are going and have your flashlight ready that first night after dinner when you are ready to retire.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Community-based, Santa Lucia owns a 1800 acre montane cloudforest reserve in the Chocó Andean region, a biodiversity 'hotspot. Just 2.5 hours from Quito, we offer beautifully crafted cabañas on a mountain peak with amazing views over the forest. 80% primary forest, the reserve has over 394 species of birds; 45 species of mammals including pumas and the endangered Spectacled Bear; and thousands of tropical plants native to the region. Ideal for birding and hiking. ... more less