Although the accommodations are fine and the meals are excellent, there would really be little reason to stop here if you have no interest in birds. However, if you are interested in birds you have to see this!
Physically, Guango is a small hotel upstairs and public room/dining room/kitchen downstairs. The rooms are clean and charmingly rustic, but small. The highway nearby has big trucks that labor down the highway at all hours, but the river just outside mostly drowns them out. Bottom line, you would not stay here just for the accommodations.
Meals, on the other hand, are killer. Multiple courses of mostly local products done to perfection. Considering how basic the place itself looks, we just couldn't believe what they bring out of the kitchen. Even if you are not staying, time your trip to eat here if you can.
So, cut to the chase. You come here for the birds. The hummingbirds alone will consume all your time. They have so many regulars that they have laminated charts outside to tell you which ones are which.
But there is so much more than hummers! The hotel arranged a birding guide for us, and with his leading we spotted maybe 50 species of birds during a one-night stay. Mindo may be the birding capital of the world like they say, but Guango is the birding Monte Carlo.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Guango Lodge, located near the paramo of Papallacta, is a paradise for hummingbird lovers and photographers. Seeing 14 species of hummingbirds within an hour is not uncommon, and the Sword-billed hummingbird with it's unique, long bill is sure to amaze you. Our scenic vistas and a variety of trails offer the visitor great opportunities to hike in a beautiful setting surrounded by forest-covered mountains. This small, cozy lodge is right in the middle of it all. Previous reservations are required. ... more less