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Guango Lodge and Reserve - A Birding Paradise Near Papallacta
Guango Lodge and Reserve is part of the Cabañas San Isidro family of tourist/birding accommodations on the western slopes of the Andes in Ecuador. This lodge, opened in 2000, continues the tradition of catering to those who enjoy the natural habitats of the tropical rainforest. The reserve is open to the public for day visits or arrangements can be made to stay for one or several nights.
If previous reservations have been acquired with the lodge they will have transportation provided to ferry visitors from any location in Quito to their facilities. However, if a traveler wishes to visit the reserve for a day of birding or enjoying the natural beauty of the rainforest, access can easily be obtained through the public transportation system.
To get to Guango Lodge, travel east on the Pifo-Papallacta road and cross the apex of the mountain near the Papallacta Pass antennas. From this point it is necessary to travel down the eastern slope for about another 20 km. (12.5 miles), 10 km (6 miles) past the village of Papallacta. Once the Guango River is crossed it is advised to slow down because the lodge is on the right about another 50 m. The gate is normally closed but a quick inquiry will bring someone to open it to allow vehicles to park safely within the compound. It is very easy to travel here by bus since there is a multitude of local transportation between Quito and the Oriente (Amazon Basin). The driver will allow a passenger to disembark at the gate and there is an abundance of bus traffic returning to Quito so it is very easy to acquire transportation for the return trip.
Guango Lodge has a plentiful supply of amenities such as rooms with private baths, restaurant, and a small gift shop. Room rates are very reasonable compared to many of the lodges in Ecuador and spending one or several nights can be considered a bargain. There are seven nature trails traversing the extensive grounds of the reserve, teaming with avifauna and other wildlife. Hummingbird feeders abound and a walk around the grounds can bring a person face to face with a curious natural tenant.
For those who prefer a more pampered vacation, Guango Lodge is a short distance (10 km or 6 miles) from the natural hot springs of Papallacta. Here one can partake of the soothing warm waters obtained from the subterranean aquifer in the area. The mineral enriched water is claimed to alleviate problems with arthritis, muscle pain, pulmonary disorders, digestion and other ailments. If this were not enough reason for a visit, perhaps the thought of a relaxing massage from a trained therapist or a peaceful hour of aromatherapy would be an enticement.
Guango Lodge and Reserve is a magnificent location to enjoy the tranquil environment of a tropical rainforest while experiencing first hand the abundance of flora and fauna that nature has to offer.