Maquipucuna Reserve is absolutely amazing. I spent a week there, and I had the best time. The staff is fantastic to say the least. I'm not much into birding, but I went birding almost every morning while I was there because the array of species and the guides are so good. The guides could literally spot a toucan from half a mile away and put him right in a telescope for you to see. I saw three varieties of toucan, hawks, parrots, motmots, ducks, tanangers and many small birds. I wouldn't have spotted anything without the guides, much less known what they were.
The hiking trails there are amazing on their own and quite extensive. I was there in the rainy season, but they provide rubber boots of all sizes for you to take, and hiking in the rain there actually isn't bad because it's a warm rain, and it's usually just an afternoon shower. There is a short hike to a waterfall that you can get in (be careful the rocks are slippery), and there is a long hike up to what is called a primary forest, which means that it has never been cut. There is all kinds of wildlife up there, and there are some amazing viewpoints that overlook the mountains and cloud forest. Maqui is one of the few remaining homes of the Andean bear, and if you go there while there avocados are in season you're practically guaranteed a sighting
The meals there are simple but very good and filling. The rooms are nice, simple, and clean. There are hammocks strung up everywhere for you to use. There are banana trees galore on the property, and they have a small organic garden and coffee plantation on the property that are worth checking out. If you have any requests like, "hey can I chop down a banana tree with a machete?" they are pretty accommodating.
In summation Maquipucuna is definitely worth a visit. I'd recommend spending a couple nights there if you're into hiking and bird watching. It is a two hour ride from Quito so I would recommend spending the night there, but either way it's worth seeing for its stunning natural beauty alone. A giant rainforest set in the mountains so high that it touches the clouds. Pretty amazing.
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