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Buenaventura Reserve

Southern Andes – Tropical Cloud Forest

Overview

The Buenaventura Reserve is located near Piñas and Zaruma in El Oro province and is well known as probably the richest ornithological site in south west Ecuador. This is a rare remnant of tropical cloud forest at about 1000m altitude on the west slope of the Andes with a rich flora. A simple lodge was completed within the reserve in early 2004, at 800 metres above sea level.

The vulnerability of this area came to note when the threatened El Oro Parakeet was discovered here in 1980. Total, there are around 330 species here, including Ecuadorean, Choco and Tumbesian endemics which makes it a magnet for birders.  It is home to the rare El Oro Tapaculo and other important species like the Club-winged Manakin. A lek of the globally threatened Long-wattled Umbrellabird is only a few minutes’ walk away from the lodge.  The reserve is also an important site for endemic and threatened plants. 

Making A Difference
None of this important habitat was protected until July 1999, when Fundación Jocotoco purchased 300 hectares of forestFoundation purchased 300 hectares of forested land and pasture. Additional contiguous properties continue to be purchased and protected, pending funding and the Foundation works with local organisations to reforest the cleared areas. The target size for this reserve is 5,000 hectares. Since its inauguration in 1999, the reserve has been continually expanded, and it now has around 2000 hectares, with an altitude range from 400m to 1200m.

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or emailemail us today.

Facilities

Accommodation

The lodge has been named the “Umbrellabird Lodge”, because a lek of the globally threatened Long-wattled Umbrellabird is nearby.  This lodge has been designed with birders in mind and has capacity for 12 guests – with a combination of doubles and triples, all with private bathrooms.  There is an open dining room with feeders around and nature books to enjoy.

Activities

  • Moderate trails through the forest.
  • The abandoned old road from Piñas to Machala goes through the middle of the reserve. During 2005 this was repaired and now can be used as a six kilometre long ecological trail by visitors.
  • Visit fantastic Manakin and Long-wattled Umbrellabird Leks.
  • Short drive to higher elevation to look for El Oro Parakeet.

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or emailemail us today.

Birding

The combination of Choco and Tumbesian Endemics in the same area makes this place extremely special. The reserve, with a total number of around 330 species, is home to over 30 near threatened and restricted range (endemic) species of birds.

Highlights are Rufous-headed Chachalaca, Club-winged Manakin, Grey-backed Hawk, Ochre-bellied Dove, El Oro Parakeet, El Oro Tapaculo, Pacific Royal Flycatcher, Grey-breasted Flycatcher, Ochraceous Attila and Long-wattled Umbrellabird.

Bunches of bananas are being provided as food for birds and mammals, near to the lodge. This has resulted in regular visits by Aracaris, Toucans, Rufous-head Chachalaca, Coatis and the occasional Morpho butterfly.  The feeders also bring in clouds of at least 10 species of Hummingbirds.

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or emailemail us today.

Think Galapagos

Rachel DexCall Rachel,
Ecuador Specialist
on 01964 552292
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