250

tour 1tour 2tour 3
tour 4tour 5tour 6

 


 

Day 1:

day 1

We will leave from Quito at 8:00 A.M. to the Amazon watershed, with scenic and biodiverse cloud forests on our minds. En route, however, we will stop for a look at the majestic, high elevation and windswept paramos above Papallacta - a very tundra-like habitat. On clear days here the views of the surroundings and various volcanoes are breath-taking; a stop right up at the continental divide is one of the best spots from which to photograph the snow-capped volcano, Antisana, as it towers over the mountains below. Continuing our journey to San Isidro we will wind our way amongst steep valleys – through the towns of Cuyuja and Baeza - where will see some gorgeous forested slopes and impressive waterfalls, born in Antisana Reserve, as they spill off of high cliffs. Our plan is to get to San Isidro in time to get settled into our rooms, and even for a quick look around before lunch, so barring a quick restroom stop on the way, we’ll make few stops in order to get there quickly, because after lunch, we will have plenty to do!

 

This afternoon we will undertake what we call a “virtual safari” along the primary forest trails below the cabins. While at any moment a rare mammal could pop into view during the walk – they are wary - our safari is designed to run a trap-line of sorts, checking the motion-sensor cameras and the photos that they have taken over the last weeks, days, hours… and even minutes; it really is a thrill to see a photo – that no one else has seen - of a Puma, Tapir, or even an Anteater, taken right where you are standing! We’ll plan to get back to the cabins for some relaxation time before dinner.

 

At dinner we will be officially welcomed to San Isidro with a taste of Ecuador’s most well-known hot toddy, a delicious drink - called “Guayusa” - made from water boiled with guayusa leaves, fruit juice and a dash of cane alcohol, that is sure to help warm us up. The adventurous ones will be able to taste Guinea Pig! After a magnificent dinner - our food is widely recognized for its originality and exquisite quality - a night hike awaits us, where we will be in search of owls, strange insects, nocturnal mammals or any other critter that might grace our presence.

 

OPTIONAL (TASTING MENU):

tasting 1

8 dish sampler menu featuring Amazonian & Andean flavors: $15 + 22% per menu, additional to full board rate. This needs to be pre-booked.

-Visit our Guinea Pig farm and organic garden; many of the veggies and herbs that land on your plate - free of pesticides and other chemicals - are grown right here at San Isidro in our own greenhouse.

-If you are interested in learning a new exotic Andean or Amazonian dish, a cooking class might be up your alley, so let us know and learn to make a “maito” or a “quinoa” soufflé.

 

Day 2:

For those interested, we’ll put our birding caps on this morning and get out for the early morning activity. While we slept the lights around the lodge will have collected a mob of moths and other insects, which means one thing: a buffet for insectivorous birds in search of breakfast! We will spend the early morning watching trogons, woodcreepers, flycatchers and tanagers glean all sorts of bugs in a seemingly frantic attempt to satisfy their morning hunger. Soon after we will venture down a nearby trail to watch the White-bellied Antpitta, an extremely retiring (and subtly beautiful) South American bird, as it comes to devour worms at the feeder… have your camera ready, but please turn off the flash so as to not startle it.

 

day 2

After this it is our turn to hit an 8:00 A.M. buffet with a roaring appetite (where we will meet up with any companions who opted for a lye-in to recharge a bit more). From here we will embark on a hike through San Isidro’s forest reserve out to the archeological ruins on the property for a look at what is left of a group, the “Curisetas” (translated as the “Goldsmiths”), that inhabited the region pre-colonially; most interesting is that they were never conquered by the Incas. Their history is a bit murky, but this small group of natives seemed to have faded away without much of a fuss or fight. The Curisetas were known for their prowess at mining and molding gold into jewelry, and for hauling large, flat rocks from distant areas and placing them as directional monoliths; their pottery shards are also still easily found in the rivers on the property. We will emerge out along the peaceful roadside for a stroll back to the lodge, and if time permits, stop in for a visit to the biology station to learn a bit more about the research being done in the reserve, and its importance to the conservation of the area.

 

Before our transfer to Quito (or continued travel, further down-slope into the lowlands of the Amazon), another delectable lunch awaits.

 

SERVICES INCLUDED: Lodging in standard double room, meals from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day, guide and transfers according to the option chosen, all activities described, welcome coktail, coffee and tea station, purified water and taxes.

 

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED: Extra drinks (sodas, beers, wines, etc.), private guide or transportation services, extemporaneous reserve entrance fees (such as Antisana Reserve) and other personal expenses (telephone calls, laundry, etc.).

 

RATES 2017

Rates per person, based in double room occupancy


With transfers in & out and bilingual guide

Based in 1 participant: $725 (This rate does include single supplement)

Based in 2 participants: $419

Based in 3-6 participants: $363

*Single Supplement: $25 per night, per person

 

With transfers in & out and spanish speaking bird guide

Based in 1 participant: $602 (This rate does include single supplement)

Based in 2 participants: $357

Based in 3-6 participants: $306

*Single Supplement: $25 per night, per person

tour 1tour 2tour 3
tour 4tour 5tour 6

 


 

Day 1:

day 1

We will leave from Quito at 8:00 A.M. to the Amazon watershed, with scenic and biodiverse cloud forests on our minds. En route, however, we will stop for a look at the majestic, high elevation and windswept paramos above Papallacta - a very tundra-like habitat. On clear days here the views of the surroundings and various volcanoes are breath-taking; a stop right up at the continental divide is one of the best spots from which to photograph the snow-capped volcano, Antisana, as it towers over the mountains below.

 

Continuing our journey to San Isidro we will wind our way amongst steep valleys – through the towns of Cuyuja and Baeza - where will see some gorgeous forested slopes and impressive waterfalls, born in Antisana Reserve, as they spill off of high cliffs. Our plan is to get to San Isidro in time to get settled into our rooms, and even for a quick look around before lunch, so barring a quick restroom break on the way, we’ll make few stops in order to get there quickly, because after lunch, we will have plenty to do!

 

Lunch behind us it will be time to get busy for our next adventure. Our timing should be perfect for our first hike along the trails through the cloud forest reserve at San Isidro where we will head down to a mating lek of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock; several males of this loud and bright orange bird - something like South America’s answer to the Birds of Paradise! – can often be found in the late afternoons carrying-on in the tree canopies right overhead in hopes of attracting females. We will hike back up to the cabins and have some time to shower up and relax before dinner.

 

At dinner we will be officially welcomed and have our first taste of Ecuador’s best known hot toddy, a delicious drink - called “Canelazo” - made from water boiled with real cinnamon, fruit juice and a dash of cane alcohol, that is sure to help warm us up. There will be Guinea Pig tasting opportunity for the adventurous ones! After a magnificent dinner - our food is widely recognized for its originality and exquisite quality - a night hike awaits us, where we will be in search of owls, strange insects, nocturnal mammals or any other critter that might grace our presence.

 

tasting 4

OPTIONAL (TASTING MENU):


8 dish sampler menu featuring Amazonian & Andean flavors: $15 + 22% per menu, additional to full board rate. This needs to be pre-booked.

-Visit our Guinea Pig farm and organic garden; many of the veggies and herbs that land on your plate - free of pesticides and other chemicals - are grown right here at San Isidro in our own greenhouse.

-If you are interested in learning a new exotic Andean or Amazonian dish, a cooking class might be up your alley, so let us know and learn to make a “maito” or a “quinoa” soufflé.
Night at San Isidro.

 

Day 2:

day 2

Well fed – after a buffet breakfast - and ready for more, we will set out on one of San Isidro’s newest adventures: a “virtual safari”. While at any moment a rare mammal could pop into view during the walk, they are wary, so our safari is designed to run a trap-line of sorts, checking the motion-sensor cameras and the photos that they have taken over the last weeks, days, hours… and even minutes; it really is a thrill to see a photo - that no one else has seen - of a Puma, Oncilla, Tapir, or even an Anteater, taken right where you are standing! Checking the cameras all the while, our walk will lead us to the beautiful Pumayacu Falls, right in the heart of the reserve, and then down to the edges of the pristine waters of the Cosanga River where we will enjoy a catered lunch at a remote riverside beach where a Torrent Duck might even come drifting by. After a full morning of exploration, and a rest at the lodge, we’ll visit the Yanayacu Biology Station in the afternoon for a chat and more in-depth look at all of the important and fascinating research taking place in the reserve; researchers from Ecuador, and from all over the world, congregate here to do their best to unravel the life histories and secrets of the denizens of a cloud forest system still so very much in need of study. Many new species to science have resulted from these efforts.

 

Dinner is always something to look forward to at San Isidro, so we will take full advantage! After dinner, we’ll take a stroll around the lodge to check the lights, where we will surely encounter a myriad of beetle and colorful moth species that have descended onto the white walls; their designs and patterns seem limitless! For the more gung-ho spirits, a night hike to check some more camera traps might whet the appetite.

OPTIONAL: Try another cooking class to learn yet another local recipe!

 

Day 3:

For those interested, we’ll put our birding caps on this morning and get out for the early morning activity. While we slept the lights around the lodge will have collected a mob of moths and other insects, which means one thing: a buffet for insectivorous birds in search of breakfast! We will spend the early morning watching trogons, woodcreepers, flycatchers and tanagers glean all sorts of bugs in a seemingly frantic attempt to satisfy their morning hunger. Soon after we will venture down a nearby trail to watch the White-bellied Antpitta, an extremely retiring (and subtly beautiful) South American bird, as it comes to devour worms at the feeder… have your camera ready, but please turn off the flash so as not to startle it.

 

After this it is our turn to hit an 8:00 A.M. buffet with a roaring appetite (where we will meet up with any companions who opted for a lye-in and to recharge a bit more)! From here we will visit the archeological ruins on the San Isidro property for a look at what is left of a group, the “Curisetas” (translated as the “Goldsmiths”), that inhabited the region pre-colonially; most interesting is that they were never conquered by the Incas. Their history is a bit murky, but this small group of natives seemed to have faded away without much of a fuss or fight. The Curisetas were known for their prowess at mining and molding gold into jewelry, and for hauling large rocks from distant areas and placing them as directional monoliths; their pottery shards are still easily found in the rivers on the property. We will emerge out along the peaceful roadside for a stroll back to the lodge, where another imaginative lunch will be waiting for us.

 

Transfer to Quito (or continued travel, further down-slope into the lowlands of the Amazon).

 

SERVICES INCLUDED: Lodging in standard double room, meals from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day, guide and transfers according to the option chosen, all activities described, welcome coktail, coffee and tea station, purified water and taxes .

 

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED: Extra drinks (sodas, beers, wines, etc.), private guide or transportation services, extemporaneous reserve entrance fees (such as Antisana Reserve) and other personal expenses (telephone calls, laundry, etc.).

 

RATES 2017

Rates per person, based in double room occupancy


With transfers in & out and bilingual guide

Based in 1 participant: $1041 (This rate does include single supplement)

Based in 2 participants: $633

Based in 3-6 participants: $551

*Single Supplement: $25 per night, per person

 

With transfers in & out and spanish speaking bird guide

Based in 1 participant: $857 (This rate does include single supplement)

Based in 2 participants: $531

Based in 3-6 participants: $470

*Single Supplement: $25 per night, per person

tour 1tour 2tour 3
tour 4tour 5tour 6

 


 

Day 1:

day 1

We will leave from Quito at 8:00 A.M. to the Amazon watershed, with scenic and biodiverse cloud forests on our minds. Our first stop en route, however, will be at a rose plantation where you will have the opportunity to ogle at many of the most popular and spectacular varieties that Ecuador produces. After this it will be time to move up in elevation to the majestic, windswept paramos of Papallacta - a very tundra-like habitat. On clear days here the views of the surroundings and various volcanoes are breath-taking; a stop right up at the continental divide is one of the best spots from which to photograph the snow-capped volcano, Antisana, as it towers over the mountains below.

 

After what will have probably been a chilly morning (at best!) we will get to Guango Lodge in time to enjoy a delicious and hot, sit-down lunch, traditional Ecuadorian style, right next to the active hummingbird feeders. In the afternoon we will embark on a hike along the trails that fan out around the lodge to get a taste of the beautiful Andean temperate forests and the birds that often adorn their branches; colorful mountain-toucans and tanagers would be a hit!

 

Not letting it get too late, we will make our way down-slope – about a 1 ½ hour drive - to Cabañas San Isidro, where we will shoot to get in with daylight and settle into our rooms before dinner.

 

At dinner we will be officially welcomed and have our first taste of Ecuador’s best known hot toddy, a delicious drink - called “Canelazo” - made from water boiled with real cinnamon, fruit juice and a dash of cane alcohol, that is sure to help warm us up. There will be Guinea Pig tasting opportunity for the adventurous ones! After a magnificent dinner - our food is widely recognized for its originality and exquisite quality - a night hike awaits us, where we will be in search of owls, strange insects, nocturnal mammals or any other critter that might grace our presence. Night at San Isidro.

 

Day 2:

day 2We’ll put our birding caps on this morning and get out for the early morning activity. While we slept the lights around the lodge will have collected a mob of moths and other insects, which means one thing: a buffet for insectivorous birds in search of breakfast! We will spend the early morning watching trogons, woodcreepers, flycatchers and tanagers glean all sorts of bugs in a seemingly frantic attempt to satisfy their morning hunger. And if this has not awakened our appetites, the smell emanating from the dining room should. You guessed it: time for a controlled stampede in for a buffet breakfast!

 

Well fed and ready for more, we will set out on one of San Isidro’s newest adventures: a “virtual safari”. While at any moment a rare mammal could pop into view during the walk, they are wary, so our safari is designed to run a trap-line of sorts, checking the motion-sensor cameras and the photos that they have taken over the last weeks, days, hours… and even minutes; it really is a thrill to see a photo - that no one else has seen - of a Puma, Oncilla, Tapir, or even an Anteater, taken right where you are standing! Checking the cameras all the while, our walk will lead us to the beautiful Pumayacu Falls, right in the heart of the reserve, and then down to the edges of the pristine waters of the Cosanga River where we will enjoy a catered lunch at a remote riverside beach where a Torrent Duck might even come drifting by.

 

After a full morning of exploration, we’ll visit the Yanayacu Biology Station – up the road from the lodge - in the afternoon for a chat and more in-depth look at all of the important and fascinating research taking place in the reserve; researchers from all over the world and Ecuador congregate here to do their best to unravel the life histories and secrets of the denizens of a cloud forest system still so very much in need of study. Many new species to science have resulted from these efforts.

 

Dinner is always something to look forward to at San Isidro, so we will take full advantage! After dinner, for those interested, we can take another short stroll around the lodge to check the lights, where we will surely encounter the usual myriad of beetle and colorful moth species that have descended onto the white walls; their designs and patterns seem limitless! For the more gung-ho spirits, a night hike to check some more camera traps might whet the appetite.

 

 

tasting 4

OPTIONAL (TASTING MENU):


8 dish sampler menu featuring Amazonian & Andean flavors: $15 + 22% per menu, additional to full board rate. This needs to be pre-booked.

-Visit our Guinea Pig farm and organic garden; many of the veggies and herbs that land on your plate - free of pesticides and other chemicals - are grown right here at San Isidro in our own greenhouse.

-If you are interested in learning a new exotic Andean or Amazonian dish, a cooking class might be up your alley, so let us know and learn to make a “maito” or a “quinoa” soufflé.
Night at San Isidro.

 

Day 3:

day 3

This morning we will venture down a nearby trail or two to watch the antpittas, an extremely retiring (and subtly beautiful) group of South American birds, as they come to devour worms at the feeders… a photographer’s delight.

 

After a hearty breakfast we will venture out to the archeological ruins on the property for a look at what is left of a group, the “Curisetas” (translated as the “Goldsmiths”), that inhabited the region pre-colonially; most interesting is that they were never conquered by the Incas. Their history is a bit murky, but this small group of natives seemed to have faded away without much of a fuss or fight. The Curisetas were best known for their prowess at mining and then molding gold jewelry, and for hauling large rocks from distant areas and placing them as directional monoliths; their pottery shards are still easily found in the rivers on the property. We’ll make our way back to the lodge for a well deserved lunch!

 

We will take time for a post-lunch “siesta” before hitting the trail again. This afternoon we’ll head down to a mating lek of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock; several males of this loud and bright orange bird  - something like South America’s answer to the Birds of Paradise! – can often be found in the late afternoons carrying-on in the tree canopies right overhead in hopes of attracting females. We might even want to check any motion sensor cameras along the way to see if any critters passed by over the last 24 hours! As always, another inventive dinner awaits.

OPTIONAL: Try another cooking class to learn yet another local recipe!

 

Day 4:

day 2

OPTION 1:

This morning we will plan to rise a little earlier, zip up our bags and bid San Isidro farewell (after breakfast, of course!) for a visit to the spectacular Cascadas San Rafael or, in English, “Coca Falls”. It will take the better part of two hours to get there along the road to LagoAgrio, but highway conditions are generally good and the scenery breath-taking. Set in the foothills (between the cool forests of the subtropical zone and Amazonian lowlands), you will notice the change: warmer temperatures and taller trees. The kilometer hike through the lush tropical forests to the falls can be a great place to spot an Umbrellabird, or even a troop of Capuchin or Spider Monkeys. Upon approaching Ecuador’s mightiest of all waterfalls, you will feel its rumble well before you see it… sort of an eerie feeling, really! We will have packed lunches along and a picnic lunch eye level with the falls would be the ideal setting.

 

From here it will be time to make our way back to Quito (or down into the Amazonian lowlands to connect with the next leg of the trip).

 

OPTION 2:

This morning we will visit the Cordillera de Guacamayos (only a 20 minute drive from San Isidro), on the eastern edge of the Antisana Reserve where, on a clear day from this relatively low mountain pass, you can see jagged, high paramo peaks to the west. Looking the other way, the eastern lowlands of the Amazon sprawl out below us, where Harpy Eagles and Jaguars still prowl. Right at the pass a very historical trail begins, and plummets down through various life zones, through some of the most pristine subtropical forest any visitor to Ecuador could hope to find. Think back half a century when there were no roads into the region, only horse trails; this is exactly where pre-Colombian tribes, conquistadors and old-time explorers trudged through on their journeys across the spine of the Andes to the lowlands. We have it quite a bit better off though, with a rocked and machete-cleaned trail, but the essence is still there. Depending on our energy levels, we may hike down a few kilometers, and even have a decent shot at seeing a wild group of Common Wooly Monkeys that often sound off, betraying their presence. All the while we’ll be enjoying the staggeringly beautiful cloud forest that envelops us, so soak it in!

 

After a lunch back at San Isidro, it will be time to zip up our bags for the trip back to Quito (or down into the Amazonian lowlands to connect with the next leg of the trip).

 

SERVICES INCLUDED: Lodging in standard double room, meals from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day, guide and transfers according to the option chosen, all activities described, welcome coktail, coffee and tea station, purified water and taxes.

 

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED: Extra drinks (sodas, beers, wines, etc.), private guide or transportation services, extemporaneous reserve entrance fees (such as Antisana Reserve) and other personal expenses (telephone calls, laundry, etc.).

 

RATES 2017

Rates per person, based in double room occupancy


With transfers in & out and bilingual guide

Based in 1 participant: $1377 (This rate does include single supplement)

Based in 2 participants: $847

Based in 3-6 participants: $755

*Single Supplement: $25 per night, per person

 

With transfers in & out and spanish speaking bird guide

Based in 1 participant: $1122 (This rate does include single supplement)

Based in 2 participants: $714

Based in 3-6 participants: $643

*Single Supplement: $25 per night, per person