The Chuparosa Inn was a beautiful little oasis in the desert of Southern Arizona.
It is nestled in the heart of Madera Canyon, long considered one of the top birding locales in the US. Development in the canyon is restricted, so it is one of only three lodgings available in the main canyon and for us, it was the best.
Ownners Luis Calvo & Nancy Hertel made us feel at home from day one, calling us by name as we drove into the parking space. They quickly got us tucked into the Trogon room, a cozy but bright suite featuring a kitchenette and (wow!) a washer-dryer. The main room is built into a circular tower which gives a 180 degree view, with the bedroom window adding another 60 degrees. You can wake up in the morning and see the beautiful, birdy surroundings. And that's just from he inn.
There are gorgeous trails leading up and down the mountain, the highest one leading to areas where the Elegant Trogons lurk as a prize for the dedicated birder. The area is surrounded by numerous other locales for every level of energy that a birder might have. We were travelling with an elderly uncle, so we stuck mostly to the easy walks, but the tales we heard from other inn-mates indicated that there was much more to be found.
Because it caters to birders, it doesn't serve a sit-down breakfast, but insted provides delicious baked treats and egg dishes that one can consume whenever you decide to get started, plus fresh cereal, juices, milk and really, more than most people could eat. We never started out hungry. And Luis was the perfect instructor, pointing us to the perfect places for our level of activity and telling us where certain birds would be. He is himself and avid naturalist and knows all about the critters and plants that make up his world.
But what we found is that one of the greatest pleasures was to plop ourselves into one of the many comfy patio seats located all around the inn and watch the natural scenes in cool comfort while enjoying a refreshing beverage. We spent many an afternoon like this, escaping from the heat of the valley.
Luis kept the grounds and kept the dozens of feeders filled. Nancy and Rebecca take care of the rooms and everything was always exactly as we had asked. They are all cheerful and interactive hosts and a wealth of information.
We spent eight days at the Chuparosa (it is Spanish for "Rose Sucker and means "hummingbird") and it was far too short. We'll be back soon.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Chuparosa Inn is located 40 miles Southeast of Tucson, Arizona, nestled in the heart of Madera Canyon. A stay in Madera Canyon is ideal for those seeking a peaceful retreat in the Santa Rita Mountains. The Inn offers a wonderful environment for couples with a romantic heart, nature lovers, hiking and biking enthusiasts, or anyone who enjoys meeting others in a relaxed atmosphere. At an elevation of 5300 ft (2450m), this area offers four mild seasons, over 305 days of sunshine, and an average summer temperature of 85°F (29°C). ... more less