For a very different festive season experience contact Cheryl Korowotny @ Birdwatching@eco-lodgesanjorge.com.
With Cheryl’s help, a year in advance, we planned a 27 day adventure from Cape Town, South Africa to Ecuador from Dec 11 2013 to Jan 6 2014.
Our Itinerary started at our ‘base-camp’ for the month, San Jorge Quito. This homely hacienda on the outskirts of Quito was where we kept returning to prepare for next leg of our trip. San Jorge Quito is one of three (currently) Eco Lodges owned by the Cruz family. Each lodge is at a different altitude and hence has its own birding specials.
San Jorge Tandayapa and San Jorge Milpe were the 2 destinations on our first 6 day excursion within the Pincincha province. The second (3 days) was over the Pappallacta pass via Cayambe Coca park (Paramo) to the East Andean slopes in the Napo province. Here we visited towns like Baeza, Cosanga and Hollin. The third was a short flight over the Andes to the Napo town of Coca, a 2 hour motor boat ride down the Napo river to Sacha Lodge, for 4 nights.
Additionally we had short excursions from San Jorge Quito to Yanacocha and Jerusalem dry reserve as well as day visits to Otavalo and Quito old city with Jorge Cruz snr.
Our transport, meals and guides were co-ordinated via San Jorge Quito. Bisente’ and Maria (who ran San Jorge while we were there) were wonderful hosts, making us feel like we kept coming home whenever we returned to San Jorge Quito. Staff at San Jorge Tandayapa (run by Starling and Pillar) and San Jorge Milpe (run by Secunda and Hercilia) were all equally warm and welcoming.
All 3 venues have very comfortable accommodation, excellent food as well as their own special views, walks and BIRDS. Mealtimes were special occasions and are geared toward birds visiting at any time. Adding a 4th San Jorge run Cosanga Yanayachu Eco Lodge will certainly add to the excellent birding on the Eastern Andean slopes.
We had the privilege of being allocated 3 excellent and very patient bird guides (Miguel, Danny and Julio) whist at the San Jorge Eco Lodges. Two of the short excursions were led by Jorge snr and jnr.
The last leg of our adventure was down the Napo River to Sacha lodge. This section of the trip into Ecuadorian Amazonia was extremely special. This professionally run, remote lodge is an Ecuadorian asset that is preserving Ecuador’s plants, animals, birds and people. Thank you to Pablo and Wilmer who were our bird guides at Sacha.
This trip was an adventure of a lifetime for us. It is highly recommended to birders. We saw just over 400 new bird species in 20 days of active birding.
Highlights – ALL the hummingbirds, tanagers, toucans and woodpeckers.
Specials – Crested Quetzal and Hoatzin
Unbelievables - Oropendulas (and their nests), Potoo and Umbrellabirds
CrazyNoisy – Parrots +++ at the licks in the Yasuni National park
Hard-work – Tinamou, Andean Guan and Mannikins
Amazing – Plate billed mountain toucan at a nest
Ecuadorians are very tolerant of birders. Go and see this ‘kaleidoscope of birds’ for yourself.
- 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