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“Guango Lodge: Wish we could have stayed longer”
Review of Cabanas San Isidro

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Cabanas San Isidro
Certificate of Excellence
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level 6 Contributor
90 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“Guango Lodge: Wish we could have stayed longer”
Reviewed December 26, 2013

We stopped at Guango Lodge as part of a tour with Tropical Birding. We were only there one night, but wished we could have stayed longer. The food was excellent, the birding was fantastic (there are about a dozen hummingbird feeders on the property), and the accommodations were cozy and exactly what we needed. After dinner when we were retiring to bed, someone from the staff handed us two hot water bottles to take to bed with us. What a surprise! Such a lovely idea and they definitely kept us warm. But besides that, I got my target bird: The Torrent Duck the morning we were leaving.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MsBoice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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104 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Surrey, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
168 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
Reviewed December 23, 2013

I visited as part of a birding tour by Birdquest. Some of the food at previous stops had varied from dull to pretty awful so I was delighted to find that San Isidro lodge had a reputation for good food and service.

We were not disappointed, the food was delicious and well presented with friendly and helpful service.

The setting in the mid elevation of the Andes was stunning, this was a great base for birding and enjoying the outdoors. We saw almost everything that we wanted to apart from the local San Isidro Owl.

Rooms are simple but pleasant enough. They required a walk through the grounds to get to the restaurant (and wifi) but the grounds were a joy, so no problem (though be prepared for rain).

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank M&G_OnTheRoadAgain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weaverville, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
259 reviews
121 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2013

Cabanas and Guango are actually two separate properties that are owned and operated by the Busamante sisters (Carmen for San Isidro and Irene for Guango). They are both located on the eastern slope of the Andes but at different elevations. Guango at around 9600 feet and San Isidro at about 7000. Hence you get different bird communities at each place.
I will start with Guango. There is one main building that houses all of the rooms as well as the dining room and common areas. The rooms are fairly small, but very comfortable. The beds are doubles and are very comfortable. Hot water is abundant and available at all times. The staff is very good and very helpful. There are several miles of trails on the property and the birding is excellent. It is best that you arrange for a guide so that you get the most out of the birding. Hummingbird feeders are placed about the main building and you can often see 4 to 6 species of hummingbirds are one time. The food is very nicely prepared and of high quality.
San Isidro has a separate dining room (hardly a shack as one reviewer stated), along with a very nice lounge are located about a 5 minute walk for the dining area. The lounge is comfortable with a large deck at ground level for bird watching etc. as well as an open "patio" on the roof with a 360 degree view of the surrounding forest etc. Beer and wine are available in the lounge on the honor system. For entertainment there is a dart board, regulation size pool table and a large flat screen TV in a separate alcove. The rooms are spacious and nicely appointed. We had two double beds as well as a sitting area. The bathroom is large and hot water is available at all times. A roofed private porch was attached to the room and overlooked the forest.
Meals were a treat. Always of good quality and often of very interesting design. The staff were very friendly and helpful. We did meet Carmen and she is a delightful host.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Art H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheringham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2013

Lodges are run by two sisters, and both are first-class. Friendly service, appetizing and plentiful food. At San Isidro I saw two species of Antpitta, they are by staff, both absolutely stunning. At Guango feeders attract Sword-billed Hummingbird. Recommend both.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank NorthNorfolkBirder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2013

My husband and I stayed at both places in April 2013 and were delighted with our experience. Carmen organised a great birding guide, Andres Trujillo, who met us at Quito airport with driver Mauricio. We stayed overnight at Guango, a comfortable lodge with great views from an upstairs lounge. Rain hampered our walks to some extent but Andres was determined to show us the best birds. We are not expert birdos, but saw 43 species there, including a family of torrent ducks, Andean potoo, mountain toucan, 2 chat-tyrants, many tanagers and hummingbirds
Next day we drove to San Isidro to stay in a good cabin for 3 nights, enjoying the excellent food. Alejandro was a good host. Andres again showed us many birds, 72 species - highland motmot, crested and golden-headed quetzals, 4 woodpeckers, many tyrranulets, tanagers, hummingbirds and the famous San Isisdro owl.
On our last day, we were driven to Coca for our trip to Napo, Andres ensuring that we waited at the right jetty and pointing out the various water birds there.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank bernrosie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013

Our cabana was wonderful. It was very spacious with a porch overlooking the rain forest. The bathroom was large as was the shower. My sister-in-law stayed in a smaller cabana which also had a porch. It seemed to be closer to the bird activity. The advantage to this cabana was that it had hot water all day whereas we only had it in the morning and evening.

All of the staff are very nice. The manager, Alejandro, was super nice and provided interesting information. We met Carmen Bustamante, the owner, who was also very accomodating. We needed to change cabanas because of lack of information on our part and it was done quickly and with a smile.

The only thing to remember is that this is a rain forest. As Alejandro, in the dry season it rains everyday. In the wet season it rains all day everyday.

Room Tip: This s a wonderful place to bike.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank NashvilleGran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
218 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 382 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2013

While TA has been advised that Guango and San Isidro are different places, they have not been responsive. They are about 1.5 away from each other by car, in different cities, at different elevations, with different bird life, and with very different levels of amenities. Travelers BEWARE

Hummingbirds at Guango are better than 5*! Incredible! It was overwhelming to see so many birds (and types!) as they fly from the feeders to the nearby trees. It's a birder's and photographer's dream. Video and cameras are welcome - but not high-speed multiple flash. You can linger and enjoy the shady paths and amazing hummingbirds. Once was just not enough for me... I traveled back and went again! This place is not yet well known - enjoy it now when you can have it almost to yourself like we did!

I have been to Guango Lodge which is a hummingbird paradise. Located in the eastern Andes slopes in the cloud forest, it's hard to find though it's right on Highway 28 between Quito and Baeza. It is a 10 minute drive east of Papallacta town on the down-slope side (accessible by regional public bus). All you will see is a simple sign saying Guango Lodge and the gate is often closed. However the side walk-in gate is open and you can follow the path to the building... enquire there for your $5USD day pass which includes a coffee or tea. The staff ignore you like they just don't care. However, you are not there for them - enjoy the hummingbirds.

An easy-access must for anyone visiting the nearby thermal hot springs at Papallacta. I have not stayed at Guango Lodge overnight - it might be basic accommodations.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank 2-4-T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cabanas San Isidro

Property: Cabanas San Isidro
Address: Via Cosanga | Caucheras, Km 3, Cosanga 150751, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Napo Province > Cosanga
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Cosanga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 14
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

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