We want to thank you so much for helping us plan, arrange, and execute our recent whirlwind trip to San Jorge Eco-Lodge. It was sort of a last minute idea - returning to one of our favorite birding places in the Western Hemisphere to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. And it turned out to be one of our best trips - our 3rd to this area of Ecuador, because we are mainly interested in birds, and the area northwest of Quito is full of them. Because our time was short, we opted to stay all of our nights at the San Jorge Eco-lodge and requested a driver and birding guide to help us get around. And we requested 3 special birding destinations - one day at the nearby Yanacocha Reserve, one at the San Jorge lodge at Tandayapa and its superb cloud forest trails, and one up in the peaks of the Andes at Papallacta. And you all and the Magic Birding Circuit came through for us!
Our stay at San Jorge was nothing short of fabulous! Vicente, Fernando, Rosa, and Maria (and others) saw to our every need. Hot water was there, the ambience of the old Hacienda, the beautiful flowering grounds, the busy hummingbird feeders around the patios, our lovely balcony, and comfortable queen-size bed - all as we remembered from our previous trip. Rosa prepared meal after meal, all of which were delicious and beautifully served. We never tired of the myriad of fresh fruits and juices served. All the meals except breakfasts began with an appetizer or a bowl of delicious soup, different at every meal. Entrees were usually chicken or fish, accompanied by potatoes or rice or veggies. And there were always yummy desserts.
Not only that, they had gone the extra mile for me in making sure my meals had no wheat in them. Once in a while my soup would be specially made and my dessert would be different from the rest. I really appreciated them taking care of me in this way.
The day we were birding and hiking at the Tandayapa lodge, lunch began with a wonderful shrimp gazpacho, filled with onions and other vegetables. Then we had soup, with vegetables and potatoes. The entrée was a delicious tilapia dish with a cucumber salad and a lentil side dish. Dessert was a fig in some kind of sweet sauce. On our previous stay, Senora Cruz (Erina) had come to the Tandayapa Lodge to cook for us, and we knew she was an expert chef. So, this trip, when I had a chance to speak to her, I asked if she was still the “head chef” and meal planner and she said she was. I complimented her profusely on all the food we had been served.
Julio Alaya was an excellent birding guide who knew the places to go, the sounds and identification of the birds we encountered, and never showed any impatience as we struggled for good looks and waited out reluctant birds. And it was a relief to have someone else drive!
On our anniversary, we returned to our room after a walk on the San Jorge Eco-lodge trails to find Maria furtively scurrying away and upon entering our room, we discovered a trail of flower petals strewn upon the floor and a lovely arrangement of flowers on the bedspread. A gift of fresh fruits and a bottle of champagne had been provided to help us celebrate, and we felt like the absolutely most special guests at every turn. Rosa even prepared a special cake for dessert that night and all the guests and George Cruz, the owner, shared in the celebration.
When we departed for the airport at 2AM in a pouring rain, Vicente was right there with a huge umbrella and vehicle to drive us and our gear down to the lodge entrance and waiting ride. San Jorge Eco-lodge is a wonderful place with an even more wonderful staff - and we've not even begun to tell about the fabulous trails and birds at the Tandayapa Eco-lodge. Or the snow up at Papallacta Pass! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Ann and Phil Weinrich
Lake Worth, FL, USA
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- San Jorge de Tandayapa Eco-Lodge & Hummingbird Sanctuary (Cloud Forest) located in Tandayapa Valley on 150 acres of prime birding and hiking property, just one hour from San Jorge Eco-Lodge/Quito. Newly built gorgeous mountain top lodge with 12 beautiful new rooms, 36 person capacity; spectacular views; private baths/hot shower. 500+ Possible bird species, 19 species of Hummingbirds, tropical plants/flowers and wild orchids unique to the cloud forest. Open air Hummingbird Restaurant surrounded by hummingbird & tanager feeders. Optional Deluxe spacious Rooms with Panorama Views & Balcony with queen & twin bed. Enjoy birding and hiking on beautiful pristine trails; observation deck; with great photo options and is part of the Choco Bird Area of N.W. Ecuador. Specialized guides, birding tours, hiking & natural history by pre-reservation. Also visit San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve/Quito & our two Eco-Lodges at San Jorge de Milpe Orchid & Bird Reserve in the Upper Tropical Rainforest, all located within 2 hours radius of Quito. San Jorge offers transportation from downtown Quito. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- San Jorge De Tandayapa Hummingbird Sanctuary & Lodge Ecuador