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“San Jorge Eco-Lodge Jungles to the Amazon”

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San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve
Ranked #21 of 114 Hotels in Quito
Certificate of Excellence
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“San Jorge Eco-Lodge Jungles to the Amazon”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2013

This is my 2nd trip to Ecuador with San Jorge Eco Lodges August 2013. Excellent pre-departure reservation assistance, guide service, lodges, new Milpe lodge, hiking at private nature reserves, birds, flora, fauna, food, yeah and what FOOD, those cooks are outstanding. After San Jorge Eco Lodges, we traveled on to the Amazon for 4 days all organized by Cheryl, the US agent. (I think she even returned some of my phone calls at midnight.) My co leader and I set up this Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Travel Adventure trip just after our first visit in 2011. 15 happy travelers this past August and ready to go again.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank SierraRaven682
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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328 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hertford, UK
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2013

A fantastic location and excellent guiding by Jorge who is extremely knowledgeable. We had a few days at the Quito lodge, one brilliant night at Tandayapa (more than 1 night would have been much better as the place was magical), and a day trip to the Milpe lodge. The food was excellent, staff were attentive and the whole experience thoroughly recommended - especially if you want to sit and watch humming birds for hours! We'd be very happy to pay a return visit, hopefully to spend longer in this lovely relaxing place.

The only slight criticism was with the timekeeping. Most day trips left late (which was a little irritating as on one occasion we had got up especially early) - including our departure when a taxi had been ordered for the wrong time; this caused us some embarrassment as we were linking up with another trip and kept the group waiting.

Room Tip: Be aware that most of the rooms are considerably higher than the dining area, which can be a challen...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank ClaireHerts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013

You're reading this because you're into birds in Ecuador, right ? Our birding experience was as good as all the reviews say - excellent located lodges across the Andean transect, and an eagerly awaited new one due on the east slope, expert guidance from everyone, timely logistics to use all daylight hours etc. All true. But what was quite unexpected was the cultural side, including emphasis on local ingredients and an amazing ethnogastronomic experience. At every meal there was at least one request ¿qué es esto - for identification of fruits, vegetables or grains outside our experience. Wonderful.
We were three biologists, one a seriously keen (professional) birder, me an interested amateur ad my partner a general biologist. With guides knowledgeable also about plants, and keen to learn from our knowledge of insects, we had a great time as biologists for the 16 day tour. The pre-tour days in Quito were valuable for getting over some jetlag (ex-Australia) and for acclimating to the altitude, which was not a problem even to 4500m., and to see the old town and start to familiarise with some of the commoner birds around the Quito lodge (yes, even in eucalypts).
On a serious note, ecotourism should benefit the host country. The Magic Birding Circuit uses local people in all lodges - your cash stays in country. Ecuador has immense pressures to develop its natural resources (including oil) while the world wants its nature conserved, but it seems that conservation-orientated international donors are unprepared to fund it -
see http://www.theworld.org/2013/08/ecuador-amazon-drilling-plan/
As individuals we can make a difference - visit Ecuador and use local guidance like San Jorge.

We'll be back again when the amazon side lodge opens up (we saw the site).

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank Pete C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lady Lake, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2013

This was my third trip to the Magic Birding Circuit and it was as spectacular as the first two. One thing is for sure, if birds, butterflies, and botany are your interests, you will have a fabulous time at San Jorge Eco Lodge & Botanical Reserve.
The service beginning with pre departure reservation and pickup at the airport in Quito was great.The information on what to bring is always helpful, especially for first time visitors.
The guides are exceptional and know all the birds by sight and sound, and are a real pleasure to be with.
To have every meal ( which are very good) in the presence of dozens of hummingbirds is an added bonus. The trails that have been made in the forests make it possible to see birds you ordinarily would not. Dr. George Cruz and all of his employees will make sure you have a memorable experience in Ecuador. The new airport in Quito makes traveling to and from Ecuador much easier. Although I have been to San Jorge before, I was able to see one hundred and seventy new species of birds,

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tom H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Dora, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2013

this was my second trip with Jorge and his fabulous lodges in and around the Quito province.
The second time was better than the first and with his promise of a new lodge in the East side of the Andes soon to come, I will definitely be back.
If you are looking for New York style accommodations and food, this is not going to be the place for you. The rooms were wood, tile and sometimes fireplaces with an Ecuadorian flare. Every meal was four courses with juices and food that I had never tried before. Always something alittle different but very good. Irina, Jorge's wife has promised to send me some of her recipes.
The birding guides were all excellent and spoke very good english. They went out of their way to find a bird thsat they might hear out the car window. Amazing.
I would highly recommend this as a birding trip for anyone that does not mind some walking. However, two of their lodges would be perfect if you want to stay put and enjoy the birds and flowers close by.

Room Tip: The rooms in the lodges are all nice.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Neetzs1945
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2013

A truly wonderful experience! Some primary reasons for travelling to Ecuador was to watch humming birds and venture into the Amazon. Seeing any other birds would be a bonus, especially the myriad of colorful varieties, including the toucan. We were treated to many species. We especially loved two of the Eco lodges, the result of a man's dream (the owner Jorge, who most enthusiastically was our tour guide for a couple of the ten days). Tandayapa and Milpe lodges are fantastic. The tour guides were mostly bi-lingual, but we realised the importance of asking for a daily download of the program. A couple of times were uncomfortable as a result. We didn't know that there'd be no toilets for hours whilst travelling on public roads with fenced off private properties either side; hence nowhere to go (awkward for women especially). And a night walk through the rain forest for an unexpected three hours, until 11.45pm, after 5am starts. The cooks at each lodge were amazing. Three course Ecudorian meals, three times a day! - much walking was in order. The only disappointment was Borja. We travelled for hours on treacherous roads towards the Amazon (roadworks throughout) weaving between huge trucks and lorries, in heavy mist and wet roads. We arrived to find accommodation the equivalent of Soweto (South Africa). This was quickly resolved with the owner, Jorge, who immediately granted our request to return to Tandayapa and Milpe. Albeit exhausting in the treacherous conditions, and we lost a day, it was worth it. Jorge explained that he is currently developing his own lodge in the area, and we wish him and his excellent team the best. Ecuador's outdoors is very beautiful and highly recommended.
(Carey Arber).


San Jorge birding tour was a wonderful experience. Tailored for serious twitchers Jorge owns 3 lodges each with its own charm, Quito hacienda, Tandayape hummingbird haven, Milpe tropical rain forest. Lodging and Ecuadorean food were much better than expected. Guides and San Jorge staff were very good; however Spanish is the primary language so communication issues can result. Itinerary and days are full with early starts and late nights, full of wonderful sights, sounds and birds.

Ecuador is currently going through an industrial revolution with roads and infrastructure upgrades so be prepared for difficult travels through wet, cloud, mountains, roadworks with crazy driving. First world prices for first world goods and third world prices for third old goods. From Quito altitude to cloud forest insects, to tropical rain and mists, be prepared for a true experience back to nature.
(Steele Arber)

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank steelearber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlisle, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

My wife and I planned a couple extra days in Quito as an extension of our Galapagos Islands trip. We had heard that Ecuador was a great place to go bird watching but we are not really avid bird watchers so we arranged a one-day trip with the Magic Birding Circuit to see what it is all about. The contact, Cheryl, is based in the US and provided all the pre-departure reservation assistance for us and was really helpful, especially since this was somewhat last minute for us. Advice is to reserve ahead of time, be honest with what you can do in respect to hiking ability and birding ability or expectations as they say they can customize your trip (once there we found we could even arrange a trip up the volcano to see condors! although we stuck with the Cloud Forest and Nomo-Mindo road for our day). Recommend bringing light hiking shoes, hat, binoculars and camera. Can bring snacks but we picked up snacks in the small towns we visited during the day. We do not speak Spanish either but that was not a problem on the trip.

Very early in the morning our guide, Dr. George Cruz, met us in the lobby of the Sheraton Quito hotel where we were staying and the three of us drove to the town of Nomo to start looking for birds. We had our standard binoculars but Dr. Cruz brought a spectacular spotting scope that he expertly trained on birds that he spotted (but we could only hear) or were at great distances. He taught us how to better spot birds in the brush and educated us in their identities and how to photograph them with our camera (great photos through the spotting scope, didn’t need any big lenses). From there we went up the Nomo-Mindo road and saw many other types of birds out in the fields high up in the Andes. The landscape was beautiful too. We then went to the Eco-lodge in the Cloud Forest for a freshly prepared hot Ecuadorian lunch of soup and fish. The hummingbird sanctuary was there and we must have seen more than 15 types of hummingbirds, some endemic and rare, all from a few feet. These are all coming to feeders, so not as natural as out in the field but they are beautiful all the same and no need for binoculars. George turned us over to one of his guides who took us around the Cloud Forest territory. In the Cloud Forest we also saw several toucans, flocks of parrots, tanagers and many other birds and orchids. Throughout the trip we learned about some history of Ecuador and current conservation efforts. The knowledgeable guides and sheer numbers of bird species make the trip truly worthwhile. We even stopped by the original equator monument on the way back to Quito. Overall, quite an experience and a wonderful day in the Ecuadorian countryside with more birds seen that we thought possible. We now have lovely pictures (that we took) framed in our offices and Dr. Cruz’s bird book so that we know the identities of each of the birds in our many, many pictures.

One reason to write this is that many from out Galapagos Tour group had not planned to stay extra days and regretted that when they heard what we were doing, especially as they did not know this type of excursion was available. One couple did have a chance to book a trip with another of Dr. Cruz’ Magic Birding Circuit guides for a short trip up to the hummingbird sanctuary after talking with us. From our perspective, if we had investigated earlier this type of outdoors/wildlife opportunity we would have even liked to have seen more and stayed at one of the San Jorge Eco-Lodges one or two nights instead of or in addition to our stay in downtown Quito (although Quito is a great city and we enjoyed our stay). Loved Ecuador, guess we need to go back.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Peter J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve

Property: San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve
Address: Km 4 Cotocollao-Nono Road, Quito 00000, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Pichincha Province > Quito
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Quito
#10 Family Hotel in Quito
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve/Quito (High Barren Plains/Highland Rainforest) 18th Century Spanish Hacienda located in the Pichincha Foothills offering airport transfers 24/7 or pick up from downtown Quito. Comfortable Andes hacienda rooms with private bath/hot shower, decorated in typical decor; game room, lounge, restaurant, bar and small museum. Free Wi-Fi offered in upper level rooms. We are the only private nature reserve near the city of Quito, situated on a 230 acre reserve, offering nature and complete relaxation, yet 25 minutes away. Explore our beautiful gardens, birdwatching & hiking trails, hummingbird feeders, delicious cuisine and views of 11 mountains & volcanos in the distance overlooking Quito. Pre-reserved guided tours are available for birdwatching, hiking & natural history, medicinal plants, cultural tours & add on extension cruises to The Galapagos Islands or Amazon Jungle. We also own San Jorge de Tandayapa Hummingbird Lodge & Sanctuary (Cloud Forest) & two Lodges at San Jorge de Milpe Orchid & Bird Reserve - San Jorge Cliff Lodge & NEW San Jorge Forest Lodge (Upper Tropical Rainforest) listed #1 in Trip Advisor. All private reserves & lodges are within 2 hours radius of Quito. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve Hotel Quito
San Jorge Eco-Lodge And Botanical Reserve

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