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“Lodge stay and volunteer experience were excellent”

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Santa Lucia Cloud Forest
Ranked #30 of 271 Specialty Lodging in Quito
Reviewed May 29, 2013

First the lodge, truly a special place in the midst of astounding plant and animal biodiversity. Everything from the hummingbirds to the orchids and other epiphytes were just magical.
The guides, the staff and the food were over-the-top good, and the showers with a view were the best showers ever!

We also volunteered for four weeks in Nanegal with the Santa Lucia community. The staff were lovely, the work interesting, and the accommodation more than adequate.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank LaN0mada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (49)
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22 - 28 of 49 reviews

Reviewed March 10, 2013

Our family of seven, ranging from ages 25-55 stayed at Santa Lucia lodge from December 31st-Jan 4th 2013. As you can imagine, or may know from experience, arranging a trip for a group of adults can have its challenges. Santa Lucia Lodge was extremely helpful, informative, and accommodating from our first contact via e-mail to the end of the trail head on our hike down.

Our entire family hiked up New Years Eve and received a very warm welcome upon our arrival. The staff at Santa Lucia all chipped in and prepared a lovely dinner for us too. We were even able to help create two dolls (effigies) to burn, as it is a local tradition.

Despite it being off season, we enjoyed every last minute of our experience. Our days were as action packed as we wanted them to be. Some of our group chose to relax on the hammocks at the lodge and some of us hiked all day long, went to the sugar can plantation etc. Pancho was our guide and he was phenomenal. His passion for the land, flora, people and animals in this area was palpable. Holger was also extremely helpful in providing us with further information and at times bridging the odd English-Spanish communication gap. If the 4am start to the cock of the rock is a bit too early for you, think again. It was an incredible and unique experience. We aren't even big "birders" and we were left breathless.

The accommodations were beautiful-the cabins were all locally made and the views were breathtaking. Extremely clean and comfortable. The shower was also one of the best we had..and it was hot too! Food was delicious too and a lot of it is locally grown.

Staying at the Santa Lucia cloud forest was the highlight of our trip to Ecuador. At Santa Lucia, you are able to focus on the beauty and serenity of nature. But more importantly you know that you are supporting eco-tourism and a group of local farmers/community members that are committed to preserving an incredibly beautiful and important ecosystem.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank TKulyk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2012

We only stayed here for a few days, but it made a big impression on us. It has genuine Eco lodge credentials, and is a properly community led tourist lodge. Santa Lucia sits at the top of a hill, surrounded by primary and secondary rainforest. The views acros the mountains and down to the valley are spectacular and you really feel away from it all. There is no electricity, so bring a torch. All meals were typical local Ecuadorian food, with many of the ingredients grown on site. Spanish would definitely be useful, although several people here including volunteers speak excellent English. Our guide Eddison deserves a speacial mention, he was an expert at spotting the wildlife in dense jungle cover, and named them in English, Ecuadorian and Latin. We will never forget our trek with him to watch the Andean Cock of the Rock birds first thing in the morning.
We did a few smaller treks the rest of the time we were there, and also relaxed a lot watching the hummingbirds feeding near the restaurant and just drinking in that view!!

Room Tip: All the rooms looked good. We had number 1, Sami's Lodge, with great views.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Little_Beret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2012

We stayed at the Santa Lucia lodge for two weeks. It was truly a once in a lifetime kind of experience. It is the most pristine forest environment I have ever been in. If you like to the feeling of really getting away from it all (which I do), this place if for you! The Lodge is almost like a giant tree house. Although they also have really cool private chalet bungalows. In order to get there you must drive to the end of the road as it ascends into the mountain and then hike for two hours farther. All the gear/luggage is packed in on the back of mules as you climb up into the forest. Each evening the clouds and mist descend to cover the lodge and mountains in a blanket of moisture. This place is a diamond in the rough. Go now before it gets "discovered". If you are looking for a five star resort, then keep looking. But if you want to experience nature in a deep but safe/comfortable way you should give it a shot. The food was good, and is made by the local staff. Make sure to bring some snacks from home (Cliff Bars, etc.) because you will be doing a LOT of hiking in the forest. The lodge itself is owned and run by a cooperative of local farmers who have made an amazing commitment to preserving one of the most important and unique bio-spheres on earth. I loved it!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank JacobPinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2012

We stayed here for 5 nights in June 2012. The location is magical with views over the cloud-forest. The 2km trek up to the lodge was not as hard as I had expected. Wellies were offered at the trailhead - accept them and choose yours very carefully - they will be your constant companions!

The staff were fantastic - friendly and helpful. Noe - our bird-guide, and Marco - the cook deserve a very special mention. The food was very good! Their love for their forest and commitment to its on-going health are palpable - which is humbling and inspiring.

They need help in what they are doing and do accept volunteers - it would be like volunteering in paradise! (At least as long as the sun shines!)

We had a cabin (number 2) with a private bathroom, hot water in showers but not in wash basins, It was simple and excellent. It is worth getting up early to find the birds or walk as the clouds close in around lunch time and activity seems to stop - except around the humming-bird feeders which are a constant source of interest and activity until night falls.

There are walks to take from the lodge, you'll need your wellies.

Room Tip: Choose a cabin with private bathroom.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank hollybush2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2012

My two friends and me had a great stay in Santa Lucia. Since we are traveling on low budget we hiked up on our own to the lodge, which is no problem at all. It took us around one hour. You can find the way easily. The view from the lodge is just great and the countryside is beautiful. The stuff is really lovely and the atmosphere is great. The food and the rooms are good and exactly what you expect. Its a mix of western and Ecuadorian food. Thank you for the adventurous stay!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Carina J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2012

After a somewhat arduous hike we reached the lodge of Santa Lucia. We went with a group of 24 people including four small children. The large group stayed in the lodge and the families in the cabins. The cabins are beautiful if not rustic. The lodge rooms are also rustic but exactly what you would want in this surrounding. The showers look over the cloud forest and have hot water. The whole trip was perfect. We had great food, we were entertained by the owners and guides music, moonshine and our dancing late into the evening. We went on an early morning birding hike with wonderful guides. We walked to three beautiful waterfalls and drank sugar cane juice. We swung on a really scary but fun swing over the tops of trees and then lay on hammocks and watched the rain. The guides let my 5 year old feed the donkeys and were super patient when he found a huge worm and insisted in carrying it all over the place with him. The hummingbirds were beautiful and overall it was just a great adventure. It is a perfect blend of rustic, adventure and comfort.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Ann335
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Santa Lucia Cloud Forest

Address: Barrio La Delicia | Nanegal Grande, Quito 00000, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Pichincha Province > Quito
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 271 Specialty Lodging in Quito
Price Range: $35 - $75 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Community-based, Santa Lucia owns a 1800 acre montane cloudforest reserve in the Chocó Andean region, a biodiversity 'hotspot. Just 2.5 hours from Quito, we offer beautifully crafted cabañas on a mountain peak with amazing views over the forest. 80% primary forest, the reserve has over 394 species of birds; 45 species of mammals including pumas and the endangered Spectacled Bear; and thousands of tropical plants native to the region. Ideal for birding and hiking. ... more   less 

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