I was recently visiting Ecuador with a group of hikers from Angeles chapter of Sierra Club organization. We were booked on a 9-day ecotour in the Andes and 4-day Amazon jungle extension. The tour itinerary was prepared by San Jorge Eco-Lodges and Botanical Reserves Director of Marketing & Sales Mrs. Cheryl Korowotny with office in CT, USA who also made all tour arrangements. She is a top travel professional, prompt, friendly, unfailingly helpful even when she had to deal with several difficult last minute changes in the schedule due to our twelve hour flight arrival delay to Quito. The tour went extremely well. When we landed at the airport in Quito past midnight we were greeted by a friendly driver and, to our amazement, by Dr. George Cruz, a native Ecuadorian, who owns and manages four ecological reserves and three beautiful lodges , each located in a different climate zone, different natural environment just two hours drive of one another. We enjoyed our stay in the beautifully restored 18th century Spanish Hosteria set in the foothills overlooking Quito as well as the historical and cultural tour of Ecuador’s capital the next day. From here we moved to the Tandayapa Valley Eco-Lodge and Botanical reserve in the cloud forest. We were fascinated by the rich diversity of plants, a beautiful, pristine cloud forest and by the huge number of hummingbirds of different sizes and colors. No wonder, Dr. Cruz established a hummingbird sanctuary here with beautiful hiking and birding trails and an open air hummingbird restaurant surrounded by feeders – a natural paradise preserved from human impact. Add to this delicious cuisine, freshly squeezed fruit juices, meals prepared from locally grown veggies, lots of fish and seafood. And Happy hours with chilled drinks and cocktails in the evening…All this high up in the hills overlooking a deep green valley? It’s magical!
Our visit at San Jorge de Milpe Orchid and Bird Reserve was yet another special experience. De Milpe is located in tropical forest with dense vegetation and plants with extremely large leaves. It’s a jungle with beautiful trails, lots of small streams and waterfalls where visitors can swim and soak. This place is like an open biology book, a bio lab, a delight for the eye and a curious mind. The brand new De Milpe Lodge is gorgeous, the rooms so bright, colorful and spacious! We loved the open dining restaurant with a beautiful view of the green forest stretching all the way to the horizon. From here we could spot and take pictures of the iconic birds like Toucans and Aracaris that are flying around and resting on the branches. Our host, Dr. Cruz led all our hikes. He is an outstanding English speaking guide with a lifelong passion for nature, birds and conservation. He shared his impressive knowledge of ornithology, plants, wildlife and other related field with humor and enthusiasm that is contagious. You can’t help falling in love with these amazing nature reserves and their friendly staff. They would do anything to make visitors feel welcome and good. This is a real eco-tourism, the kind we all want.
The Amazon jungle extension on the Napo river in the Yasuni Natinal Park, arranged by Cheryl Korowotny, also exceeded our expectations. The Sani Lodge situated at the beautiful lake was simple and nice, with a lovely restaurant and a bar area. The bungalows were clean and comfortable. The meals were delicious. Our expert native guides were very knowledgeable and genuinely friendly . We enjoyed hiking with them across muddy swamps on log bridges through dense deep green jungle learning about medicinal plants, rainforest vegetation, birds, insects and wildlife. Gliding silently in our canoes across the lake and on the narrow streams under the canopy of the trees, looking for sea birds, monkeys, turtles, anacondas and Black Caimans was truly special, an amazing adventure.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve/Quito (High Barren Plains/Highland Rainforest) 18th Century Spanish Hacienda located in the Pichincha Foothills offering airport transfers 24/7 or pick up from downtown Quito. Comfortable Andes hacienda rooms with private bath/hot shower, decorated in typical decor; game room, lounge, restaurant, bar and small museum. Free Wi-Fi offered in upper level rooms. We are the only private nature reserve near the city of Quito, situated on a 230 acre reserve, offering nature and complete relaxation, yet 25 minutes away. Explore our beautiful gardens, birdwatching & hiking trails, hummingbird feeders, delicious cuisine and views of 11 mountains & volcanos in the distance overlooking Quito. Pre-reserved guided tours are available for birdwatching, hiking & natural history, medicinal plants, cultural tours & add on extension cruises to The Galapagos Islands or Amazon Jungle. We also own San Jorge de Tandayapa Hummingbird Lodge & Sanctuary (Cloud Forest) & two Lodges at San Jorge de Milpe Orchid & Bird Reserve - San Jorge Cliff Lodge & NEW San Jorge Forest Lodge (Upper Tropical Rainforest) listed #1 in Trip Advisor. All private reserves & lodges are within 2 hours radius of Quito. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve Hotel Quito
- San Jorge Eco-Lodge And Botanical Reserve