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San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve
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Reviews (351)
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All reviewsgeorge cruzthe magic birding circuithummingbird feedersmedicinal plantscheryl korowotnycloud forestspecies of birdshis knowledgebird watchinggreat birdingbirding guidesword billed hummingbirdnature loverssierra clubexcellent opportunitiesrenaissance manbird life
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Reviewed July 25, 2011

This is a wonderful place to stay right when you land in Quito, then you can head out to surrounding towns at your leisure. Jose is fluent in English and is happy to help you with anything. You'll see several endemic hummers and some other colorful and endearing local birds. the rooms are very comfortable and the shower is hot (a lot of EC places tell you it is but it isn't).

  • Stayed: January 2011
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1  Thank ESJ8453
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2011

If you are planning a trip to Ecuador and want to experience the outskirts of Quito and the cloud and rain forests, San Jorge Eco-Lodges are a must!

We had no idea what a gem we found on the internet. From our first meeting with Jose when he picked us up at our hotel, we knew we were in great hands. He was informative, gracious and assured us our stay would be everything we were hoping for……it was and more!

To join our group, we drove to the Quito Botanical Hacienda, which overlooks the city and also has extensive hiking in the Pichincha mountains. We were then transferred to a minivan driven by the owner/host Dr. Jorge Cruz and his wife. Our first stop was in the Cloud Forest at Tandayapa and our second was in the Rain Forest at Milpe. We quickly realized what a visionary Dr. Cruz is and how he loves to share his vision with his guests. The lodges are secluded and fabulous. The flowers and birds are colorful, beautiful and plentiful. The hiking is breathtaking (in more ways than one) and the food was fantastic (little secret - Dr. Cruz’s wife is a trained chef).

Dr. Cruz is a walking encyclopedia. His knowledge of birds, his ability to call, sight, photograph and paint them indicates his many hours of extensive study. This husband and wife team is the perfect combination.

In summation: Indulge yourself….. study the website and allow Dr. Cruz and his staff to treat you as an honored guest. You will be captivated by the entire experience!

Room Tip: we chose the end rooms w/great views
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Debi G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2011

This place was great!
We spent a week hiking around Quilotoa and Cotopaxi and this place was our one "splurge" on a relatively budget trip (other than Galapagos, which was also a splurge, though well worth it).
The place was really nicely set up - pool table, foosball table, tea and coffee all day long, pool (not in use when we were there), sauna. Our room was right near the restaurant which was nice. It had a wood-burning fireplace and a really large modern bathroom. The grounds of this place are amazing! Lots of trails to explore the nature around it and lots of hummingbirds to keep you entertained while you sip your tea on their wonderful porch.

One downside is that, even though it is technically in Quito, it is really out of the way. It seemed that no cabbies knew where it is and it was impossible to explain how to get there. Even when the manager of the hotel talked to the cabbie and tried to guide him, we were desperatelly lost. after over an hour of driving around Quito, the manager just came and picked us up from where the cabbie left us. That speaks highly of the management, that they would be willing to do that. I would recommend that you get their transfer to/from airport and not try to organise your own. It is also not possible to just walk into Quito or to any stores or restaurants. However, they were very willing to organise any tours to take us anywhere (we did not take them up on the offer as we were on a budget).

Another interesting thing about the place was that when I first tried booking it, they gave me an exorbant price that included, guides and all meals. When I said that this is way out of our budget, and that we didn't need a guide or breakfast and lunch (we just brought some bananas and nuts for the one lunch we were there for - but otherwise there is nowhere else to eat, so you have to get meals there), the price came down by 50%. To be fair, it was a slow time for them, but it's good to know that they were willing to compromise.
But, the strange thing was that, even though we did not order breasfast and lunch, they tried to serve us both. Even after I said that we are only getting dinner there. Because I read the reviews here, I knew that they might try to charge us for it afterwards, so we refused breakfast and lunch, but since they already cooked it for us, I think it was pretty wasteful of them to do that instead of asking us first. I'm not sure if they just didn't check whether we have breakfast and lunch included or if they tried to get us to eat it and then charge us for it later. BTW, the food we had (two dinners) was good but nothing special. However, as I mentioned you really have no option but to eat there.

Another slightly weird thing was that even though there were only 3 rooms occupied when we were there (and the place is huge!), they put us all into rooms next to each other. The guy next door snored like a beast and I hardly got any sleep that night (so, bring earplugs!).

I get the impression that they mostly get older people and people with some money (birders, most likely), or people who are there as a part of a tour. Two young backpackers felt a bit out of place (not ina bad way though - no one treated us differntly - just felt like we were living it up a bit :)

We would be back and would recommend it for people looking to relax, do some easy hiking and birdwatching and those who do not care to go into Quito itself.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank lemurface
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2011

Quito was the least charismatic of the three resorts we stayed but still a special place. The others were simply even better. Accommodation was fine, a serious walk downhill to the restaurant but this was compounded by the effect of altitude. All part of the experience. Jose was fantastic, picked us up at the airport and was ever attentive throughout our stay. Our guide was the owner Jorge who can identify 200 South American birds. A wonderful experience.

Room Tip: As always pay the money and get the best.
  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank SKIMember
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2011

The lodges and surrounding gardens/grounds are immacuately maintained and set in the most beautiful scenic surrounds. The staff are extremely friendly and it feels like they can't do enough for you. The food was absolutely delicsious authentic Ecuadorian food and there was so much of it!

The birdlife is staggering. An array of hummingbirds buzz around your breakfast table or bedroom window dashing from flower/feeder to flower/feeder. We saw emerald toucanettes, toucans, cock of the rock, quetzals, all sorts of tanangers...the list is endless! It seemed every which way we turned another brightly coloured bird was there to amaze us.

Our guides were wonderful, spotting birds we never would of seen or found by ourselves. They were so enthusiastic and passionate and had excellent english speaking skills.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank danam1911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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