We just returned from a 9-day trip to Ecuador. The purpose of the trip was strictly birding. We stayed one night at Guango Lodge so that we could be there at first light in the morning. The rooms are small, but so cozy and quaint with stone walls and curved ceilings. There are thick wool blankets on the beds which were needed as this lodge is at about 9000' altitude. Hot water bottles were served up before bedtime. They kept our feet warm and made us feel so comfortable. The food was very good. The birds were outstanding! There are many hummingbird feeders and many hummingbird species. Some of my best photos of the trip are from the feeders at Guango. A beautiful mountain stream runs alongside the lodge and you can find torrent ducks and white-capped dippers there. The only negative is that the road from Papallacta to Baeza runs close by and traffic noise might be an issue if you like to sleep late.
Our next stop was Cabanas San Isidro. We stayed 6 nights and did not want to leave. The cabins are scattered about the lovely grounds. Ours was at the far end, so we had the forest as a neighbor. The balcony and sitting area looked out on the Guacamayos Ridge for a beautiful view. The room is huge with two double beds and a large closet with big roomy shelves for stowing your stuff. Ask for a room with a balcony. Some just have little porches by the front doors. We had both. Our balcony was a great spot for watching birds, reading and journal-writing when we weren't out enjoying the marvelous network of trails every day.
The food was AMAZING! It was all very fresh and delicious. If you're lucky you will have Carmen's black pepper ice-cream with ginger syrup served on a slice of babaco. Or how about passion fruit mousse? Or seafood ceviche for lunch?
There are hummingbird feeders all over the grounds and an orchid garden. The trails go on and on through the beautiful cloud forest. We were there in November. It was technically the dry season, but that just means it rains less than it does during the rainy season. We had beautiful sunny mornings. The clouds would start to build up around noon or early afternoon and by late afternoon it would rain. The rain sometimes lasted all night, but always stopped in the morning. The temps were probably in the 50's at night, and up to the low 70's in the day. Very pleasant. A light jacket was all I needed and usually a tee shirt was sufficient. Bugs were not a problem. Bring sunscreen. Altitude at San Isidro is about 6700'.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cabanas San Isidro, a large reserve with some of the best access to primary mid elevation cloud forest in Ecuador, is renowned for its world class birding, exotic cuisine and outstanding conservation ethic. Our extensive trail system will lead you through gorgeous forest to a Cock-of-the-Rock lek, waterfalls, rivers and even archaeological sites. Fun activities for kids! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cabanas San Isidro And Guango Hotel Quito
- Cabanas San Isidro Ecuador/Cosanga