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“Lunch at San Jorge de Tandayapa”

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San Jorge de Tandayapa Hummingbird Sanctuary & Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Lake Worth, FL
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Lunch at San Jorge de Tandayapa”
Reviewed October 13, 2013

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

Room Tip: We didn't spend the night there this trip. We were there for a morning of birding and a wonderfu...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Ann W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
63 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
Reviewed September 9, 2013

I stayed 4 nights at San Jorge de Tandayapa. It turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences in my life. I was helped with the reservation by Cheryl Korowotny, a very competent and friendly lady. She was very flexible with the dates and services which was just what I needed as I was not sure about the dates. We were picked from the Quito hotel y Vicente and taken to the lodge, a nice 2-hour drive.
I had the corner room on the top floor (no.8) with the views on 3 sides that seemed to float in the air above the mountains. We could watch birds from the balcony. The room is very spacious, tastefully furnished with original items, and altogether beautiful. The dining area is open, there's just a roof and you can watch humming birds, tanagers, barbets (even tucans) and squirrels right from were you are sitting having your meals (which were excellent, artfully cooked and creatively decorated by flowers and served by Carolina and Yolanda). The lodge even offers laundry services (which is quite rare in such places) for a very reasonable price and you get your clean clothes just in a couple of hours.
The hummingbird feeders are strategically placed on three sides of the table so you can watch these fantastic creatures wherever you are seated. We could also see squirrels coming every day to steal bananas intended for the birds. I have been to several very nice places in the cloud forest but here I saw the greatest variety of hummingbird species. The most fantastic thing, however, I saw at dinner was a kinkajou coming to eat or steal bananas laid out for birds - the animal so cute it broke my heart. We saw it on the first and the last night. It was not in a hurry and let me make wonderful pictures and a perfect film. There are many very diverse trails around the lodge (sometimes quite steep) and if you are into birdwatching - this is the most perfect place for it. We were offered a guide's services but I was there with a friend who is a well-known naturalist guide in Ecuador, Mr. Rodrigo Jipa, and he showed me many beautiful birds including the Andean cock-of-the-rock, quetzal, trogons, lyre-tailed nightjar, etc.). I have visited two cock-of-the-rock leks before but here I had the best, the clearest sighting of this striking bird and made the best picture and a film. Actually we saw this cock-of-the-rock every day. We also went on nightwalks and saw more birds and kinkajous in the trees. We hoped to see the deer and the armadillos whose fresh tracks we sighted many times but - alas! I hope I will see them next time. One kinkajou I was even able to spot during one of our afternoon walks. It was sitting on a branch, sleepy and yawning, and looked at me serenely for quite a long time before walking to a tangle of branches where it settled for a nap, curled up and went to sleep,
Thus, if you are fit and like to hike and walk a lot, it's a perfect place to go, If not at all - it's still a perfect place to go because of the wealth of avian species, squirrels and kinkajous you can see right at the dining area and from you balcony. A unique place to come!
Dr.Cruz, Cheryl, Carolina and Yolanda, and Vicente, thank you for this happiness!

Room Tip: I stayed at No. 8 - just perfect!!!!!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank Maria_the_Snorkeler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2013

We are not normally into birding, but thought San Jorge de Tandayapa would make a nice stop on our Ecuador trip. Besides, the possibility of easily seeing lots of hummingbirds (as in, from your dining table) seemed attarctive since we were travelling with two four-year old children who love nature and animals, but can't be expected to patiently observe the forest canopy with binoculars... We loved every bit of our stay. We seemed to be the only guests of the lodge at the time we were there and the staff spoke very little English, but they were very friendly, preapred great food for us, and gave us a brief intro to the short trails surronding the lodge. The location in the Andean cloud forest is fantastic, birds are evrywhere, and our children really enjoyed walking around the trails in the rainforest and spotting various plants and insects. And then there were the hummingbirds - we saw at least 12 species buzzing around the feeders within our first ten minutes of having breakfast. They were truly amazing.

You will clearly get more out of your stay there if you are a birder (and come with a guide) - but it's a great place even for casual family tourists, such as ourselves.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank MilioMila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2013

The location of this lodge is hard to beat. It is remote in the cloud forest and absolutely gorgeous. The dining area is open air (with a roof) and the sheer number of tanagers, hummingbirds and other birds visible without having to leave the table is just stunning. The food is excellent (as is the coffee....important for 6 am birding) and the service was terrific. My sister was sick for one of the days we were there and was attentively and lovingly cared for by the staff while we were out birding. The host/proprietor, George Cruz is a wealth of information and a genius at locating incredible properties for his birding lodges. We saw 48 species of birds BEFORE BREAKFAST one morning. Highly recommended for any birders.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Susan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Campton, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
152 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2013

We stayed at three of the San Jorge lodges. This was our favorite. All had great food and Pilar's was no exception. The birds are also great. Hummingbird feeders and fruit feeders right around the dining area - hard to decide what to concentrate on, the great food or the birds. Nice trails to hike, some go way up high on the mountain, others down to the river.

Room Tip: All the rooms have the same view so not much difference.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank nhraven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Woods, Michigan
Level Contributor
150 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2013

This is the second property of the same proprietor that we stayed at on this trip.
I can't begin to say how amazing it is. I saw at least 30 species of birds from the breakfast table ( which is open air with a roof) without getting off my chair. The vistas from the room is breathtaking and service is impeccable.
The afternoon we arrived I took unexpectedly ill. My group went off on a hike and I stayed behind and slept. I awoke to knock on my door, Staleen, the all around caretaker, was there with a tray of soup and crackers and tea.
The next morning I opted out of the morning hike not wanting to chance falling ill on a several hour trek. Staleen took me under his wing so to speak. He took me a short little walks around the property pointing out birds and showing me good little places to sit at watch as birds flew all around me. The peace and quiet was so soothing.
Once I was I was my feet and joined the others, Jorge, the owner, who had been with us for several days and was our guide (and father figure in the best possible way) made sure to check and make sure I was ok.
The others enjoyed the hikes and reported seeing several different species of birds ( Jorge is THE bird guide in the region. This guy can find birds no one else can. He's literally written the book. Look him up, Jorge Cruz).
I can't think of better place to be have taken ill! I think between the vistas, the birds and the amazing staff the place has restorative powers!
Thank you Jorge and give Staleen a hug from The Michigan Delegation.
Only recommendation: no screens on windows ( for better viewing I'm sure) but there was no fan in the room. Need on or the other

Room Tip: All are amazing but ask for number 5. Even more amazing than the rest
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Beth B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nuenen, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
67 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed September 22, 2012

We stayed here for 3 nights and really adored this place. Very helpful and friendly staff and Dr. Jorge Cruz is a stunning bird guide and a really nice guy. Before this lodge we stayed at the Bellavista cloud forest lodge. The San Jorge de Tandayapa Lodge is so much better (in every way). Very nice big rooms with an amazing view, good bathroom, good beds, good food and more birds. The trails around the lodge are perfect: Very well maintained, easy to walk, more light for photography

We loved this place.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank JeroenandNancy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about San Jorge de Tandayapa Hummingbird Sanctuary & Lodge

Property: San Jorge de Tandayapa Hummingbird Sanctuary & Lodge
Address: Km 3,5 Partidero Antiguo a Tandayapa | Tandayapa Valley, Tandayapa, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Pichincha Province > Tandayapa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Tandayapa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 15
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

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