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  • 1 person : $665 USD
  • 2 persons : $485 USD
  • 3 persons + : $455 USD
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Discover the Best Ecolodge in the Andes

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Experience a unique ecolodge in the heart of the montane rainforest, with breathtaking views and over 400 species of birds. Make your reservation now!
Duration illustration

Duration

4
nights
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Location

Ecuador
Ecuador
Group size illustration

Group size

From 2 to
6
or solo
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Best season

December to April
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Accommodation

Ecolodge
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Meeting point

Quito
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Category

100% unique
Spiritual
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Difficulty

Easy
Easy
Not really difficult, possible to do it in family with children!

Presentation

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Come and experience the best ecolodge in the Andes! Santa Lucia Ecuador offers stunning views from the top of a mountain at 1900 meters above sea level. With over 400 species of birds and 300 orchid species, you'll be in the heart of a biodiverse Chocó Andean Hotspot. Enjoy guided hikes, a sugar cane plantation tour, a visit to the Cock-of-the-Rock Lek, and much more! Book your trip today 🌳🦅

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Content Summary :

Santa Lucia Ecuador: A Unique Ecolodge Experience

Discover the beauty of the montane rainforest and experience an eco-lodge like no other. Located in one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, Santa Lucia Ecuador offers breathtaking views from the top of a mountain at 1900 meters above sea level. With over 400 species of birds, including the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Beautiful Jay, and White-faced Nunbird, you'll be in the heart of a Chocó Andean Hotspot 🦅🌳


Guided Hikes & Explorations

At Santa Lucia Ecuador, you'll have the opportunity to explore the lush montane rainforest on guided hikes. Our knowledgeable guide will lead you through the mature secondary forest, offering a good chance to observe many bird and invertebrate species. You'll also have the chance to visit our orchid garden, where you can admire up to 30 species of flowers depending on the season. And, for the adventurous traveler, there's the option to take a nocturnal hike and experience the nocturnal fauna and the voices of the forest 🌳🦜


Sugar Cane Plantation & Waterfall Trail

Take a walk to our sugar cane plantation and learn about our conservation activities, sustainability, and research projects. This includes our camera trapping project and monitoring of the Andean Bear and other large mammals. After, embark on a scenic trail to see three different waterfalls and take a refreshing swim in the river (in season). Enjoy a delicious box lunch by the river before returning to the lodge for some well-deserved rest 💦🌴

Cock-of-the-Rock Lek & Quimbolitos

Get up early and visit the Cock-of-the-Rock Lek to see the males of the species display their mating ritual. After a delicious box breakfast in the forest, return to the lodge through a vast primary forest and along the mountain ridge, a great opportunity for bird observation. Enjoy a delicious lunch with panoramic views and have the chance to prepare the typical and very tasty "Quimbolitos" with the help of our kitchen staff 🐦🍴


Itinerary

Day 1

  • Recommended arrival time: 8 am – 11 am
  • Arrival by car at the entrance of the main trail where our guide is waiting for you. He will give you a short explanation about the hike from the parking spot to the lodge
  • Guided hike of about the two hours through the mature secondary forest (about 2,5 km long, 500 meters uphill – appr. 2 hours)
  • There is a good chance of observing many bird and invertebrate species
  • Welcome, introduction and check-in
  • Lunch in our dining room with spectacular panoramic views
  • 3:00 pm - Hike along the self-guided trail: this walkthrough mature secondary forest offers a good chance to have a close look at cloud forest flora and fauna and includes a visit to our orchid garden where, depending on the season, you can find flowers of up to 30 species
  • 7:00 pm - Dinner
  • A good night's sleep in one of our comfortable private cabins



Day 2

  • 4:00 am - Visit of the Cock-of-the-Rock Lek (a place where the males of that species display their mating ritual)
  • Box breakfast in the forest
  • Return to the lodge through a vast primary forest and along the mountain ridge. This is a good chance for bird observation (11km in total – appr. 5 hours)
  • Rest
  • 1:00 pm - Lunch in our dining room with spectacular panoramic views
  • 2:00 pm Preparation of "Quimbolitos": you have the chance to prepare this typical and very tasty little gem with our kitchen staff
  • 7:00 pm - Dinner
  • 8:00 pm - optional - Nocturnal hike to experience the nocturnal fauna (insects, spiders, frogs, and the occasional bird or mammal) as well as the voices of the forest on a short night hike around the lodge.
  • A good night's sleep in one of our comfortable private cabins



Day 3

  • 7:00 am - Breakfast enjoying the spectacular views from our dining room
  • 8:30 am - Walk to our sugar cane plantation: a short explanation of our conservation activities, sustainability, and research projects, including the camera trapping project and monitoring of the Andean Bear and other large mammals.
  • Connection to the waterfall trail.
  • Walk along the trail where you can see 3 different waterfalls and as a destination, you reach the river, where in season you can take a refreshing swim(7km in total – appr. 6 hours)
  • Box lunch by the river
  • Return to the lodge and rest
  • 7:00 pm - Dinner
  • A good night's sleep in one of our comfortable private cabins



Day 4

  • 7:00 am - Breakfast enjoying the spectacular views from our dining room.            
  • 8:00 am - Walk to the upper part of the reserve: the main trail leads from the lodge up to 2.500 meters of elevation, this is a walk along pastures with spectacular views and through beautiful primary forests with all their splendid flora and fauna (12km in total – appr. 5 hours)
  • 1:00 pm - Lunch in our dining room with spectacular panoramic views            
  • Rest
  • 1:00 pm - Dinner
  • 8:00 pm - optional - Experience the nocturnal fauna – insects, spiders, frogs, and the occasional bird or mammal – as well as the voices of the forest on a short night hike around the lodge
  • A good night's sleep in one of our comfortable private cabins.            


Day 5

  • 6:00 am - optional - Bird watching and observation of forest flora and fauna around the lodge and on the self-guided trail
  • 7:00 am - Breakfast enjoying the spectacular views from our dining room
  • 8:30 am - option 1: hike downhill on a trail that leads towards the Umachaca river passing through wonderfull primary forest and a former banana plantation until reaching the river.
  • By the river, you have the chance to walk upstream where can enjoy a wonderful waterfall. After lunch in by the river, you'll follow an ancient pre-Incan trail where you will learn about the history of the region while enjoying a walk through primary forest with spectacular tree ferns and other attractions of our flora and fauna. The trail leads to a pasture that offers spectacular views on the river and the surrounding forests
  • (6km downhill – appr. 6 hours)
  • 10:30 - option 2:  walk down the main trail on which you will keep observing more birds, insects while also enjoying various interesting aspects of our megadiverse flora (2.5km downhill – appr. 3 hours)
  • Box lunch in the forest
  • 2:00 pm - Departure


What's included

  • Entrance to Santa Lucía reserve
  • Lodging in private cabins (incl. Private bathroom)
  • All meals from lunch on the first day to lunch/box lunch on the day of departure.
  • Local guide for all activities
  • Mules for the luggage
  • National taxes (VAT)

What is NOT included

  • Mules for riding
  • Tips
  • Additional drinks (such as alcoholic beverages)
  • Transportation
  • Life/travel insurance
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YOUR ECOLODGE

Your guide

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Discover the Best Ecolodge in the Andes

🌿 Santa Lucia is a 🌍 Conservation and Tourism Cooperative that works towards sustainable alternatives for the conservation of forests for future generations, while also respecting the values of the local community.


The organization provides 💼 job opportunities and 💡 training to members of the community and strives to extend these benefits through its work practices, environmental education, and volunteer programs. Santa Lucia is dedicated to supporting human rights, acting with integrity and respect, and promoting safe and healthy work environments.


The mission of Santa Lucia is to create 🌞 sustainable jobs and activities in the field of eco-tourism, with a focus on conserving forests for future generations.

Santa Lucia

🌿 Santa Lucia is a 🌍 Conservation and Tourism Cooperative that works towards sustainable alternatives for the conservation of forests for future generations, while also respecting the values of the local community.


The organization provides 💼 job opportunities and 💡 training to members of the community and strives to extend these benefits through its work practices, environmental education, and volunteer programs. Santa Lucia is dedicated to supporting human rights, acting with integrity and respect, and promoting safe and healthy work environments.


The mission of Santa Lucia is to create 🌞 sustainable jobs and activities in the field of eco-tourism, with a focus on conserving forests for future generations.

Reviews

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melhertel

Amazing experience in the clouds!

My husband and I had an amazing experience at the Santa Lucia lodge. From the moment we were picked up at our hotel in Quito to the moment we were dropped off we had a totally customized, immersive experience! Our guide Edison and the whole Santa Lucia team was wonderful. We learned so much about the flora and fauna of the region. There was not a question Eddy couldn’t answer! In addition to the beautiful landscape the cabins were very comfortable with amazing views! And if you like to bird watch you can’t ask for a better lodge! Another surprise highlight was the food! It was the best cooking we had while in Ecuador and we went to some really great places! Freddy the chef was very knowledgeable of the local fare and did a great job introducing the food to visitors. If you’re lucky you’ll get to hear Freddy and Edison play local music on your final night. On our last day we saw the spectacled bear - AMAZING! We spend 3 nights and 4 full days at the lodge and I was sad to say good bye!
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Caro W.

Wonderful cloud forest lodge with lovely staff

We spend two nights (3day/2nights tour) at the Santa Lucia Lodge in one of the charming cabins (cabaña #1) and enjoyed every moment of it. The Lodge is a project by local community members, who transformed from agriculture/farming (which consequently included deforestation) to eco-tourism (and preserving the cloud forest). It is located on the top of a mountain (2 hour hike from the nearest road) and surrounded by vast primary and secondary cloud forest - with really beautiful and amazing views! The main lodge houses some dorms and the communal/dining area. It has a rustic mountain lodge charm without being shabby. The cabins (there are 6 or 7) are all beautifully wood-made and have comfortable beds and baths (shower w/ hot water, toilet etc.). We loved sitting at the desk in front of the big windows with binoculars and a copy of „Birds of Ecuador“! There is no wifi, which in our view helped to embrace the atmosphere and allowed for some „off the grid“ feeling. Our guide Noe (not sure if I spell it correctly) was very nice and knowledgeable with a calm and kind character. We spend hours of interesting hikes along the well maintained and marked trails and learned about the flora and fauna of the cloud forest. We did not have the luck to see any bigger animals, mainly birds, insects, frogs (go at night!) and the remains of an Olengo (victim to a puma). However, next to the lodge is a bird feeder which attracts dotens of hummingbirds - an amazing place to hang out. The highlight was a surprise concert by the chef/cook Freddie who entertained us for an hour with beautiful andean music. With loved that so very, very much! All in all we had a wonderful time and would certainly do it again!
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Danielle K

A Week in the Clouds!

What an incredible week at the Santa Lucia Ecolodge! I went with my study abroad group for a week excursion. Gorgeous view off the balcony into the forest, with a beautiful sunset each night. The food was delicious, especially the home-made lemonade and soups. The staff was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. This is a great place for birding! I even saw a toucan barbet from the shower. Compost toilets are eco-friendly and well-managed. Rooms are quaint. The surrounding trails are great for birding...our group was able to mist-net some hummingbirds and we identified several species including the violet-tailed sylph and the brown Inca. It is a hike to get up there...muddy trails and uphill for hours...but it was more than worth it!!! This lodge does group work preserving the Cloud Forest, which is such a unique and beautiful ecosystem.
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