Maquipucuna cloud forest lodge, Ecuador
Description of Maquipucuna cloud forest lodge, Ecuador
This ecotourism cloud forest lodge is only 80kms from Quito, yet in another world. Three days at Maquipucuna gives plenty of time to fully immerse yourself in the Ecuadorian cloud forest where the lodge is located. Not just a lodge, however, Maquipucuna Reserve has a scientific research centre benefitting from the 15,000 acres of forest that it owns. And no ordinary forest either, but part of the Choco Andean Bioregion, one of the world’s leading biodiversity hotspots.
Not surprisingly, therefore, it is flora and fauna rich, and guides can take you hiking or biking through the forest in search of its bevy of birdlife, including toucanets and cock-of-the-rock. Other wildlife includes spectacled bears, armadillo and even puma. Our guides also lead trips to the ancient archaeological ruins at Yumbo.
The Maquipicuna Foundation was founded in 1988 as a local non-profit, with a mission to research and study biodiversity conservation and sustainable resource management in Ecuador. We are delighted to host scientists and naturalists from all over the world, as well as volunteers who want to help out for a longer period. For those guests who want to immerse themselves fully in this biodiverse beauty, we also have camping facilities. Chilling in hammocks and river swimming are all part of the Maquipucuna remit too, of course.
Planet and peopleThe Maquipucuna Foundation was founded in 1988 as a nonprofit organisation dedicated to the conservation of the Ecuador's biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resourses. The foundation promotes the participation of local communities in its programs, and 90% of what the traveller pays us goes to the foundation.
Objectives and activities include: Establishment and management of private and governmental nature reserves, scientific, social and archaological research to achieve ecological restoration and cultural preservation, implementiation of ecotourism programs for generating local economic opportunities, environmental education and training of rural communities to promote sustainable use of natural resources, development of community-based resource management programs, and promotion of inter-institutional cooperation.
Accommodation is provided in a small but modern lodge built in accordance with its natural surroundings. The open-air design allows intimate contact with nature and the sounds of the rushing Umachaca River. The lodge is staffed with guides and staff almost entirely from the local communities.
Meals are prepared using local ingredients including fresh vegetables grown in the organic garden. Organic waste is fed to pigs or composted for use on the farm and inorganic waste is taken to Quito for treatment.
The reserve also has a research station with facilities which may accommodate up to 18 researchers. Maquipucuna shelters 4% of bird species on the planet and is considered by scientists to be a "global priority zone" for bird life conservation.
We are also now supporting the UK registered chairty Amantani. As this charity is very much in keeping with our ethos of small scale, targetted help which is educational & sustainabale. HuchuyYachaq is the other main Peruvian charity we support by paying a for a full time teacher. A % of all our income goes to support those projects.