Las Gralarias Guest House is one of Ecuador´s finest birding lodges. It is situated on the equator at an elevation of 6200 feet (2068 meters) and just two hours from Quito. This small lodge is located in the middle of the famous birding site Reserva Las Gralarias and provides first-class comfort and service while serving as a model for conservation and restoration of the Andean cloud forest habitat. Conveniently situated just 2 miles (3.5 kilometers) from the main highway, the lodge is easily accessible. It was designed for the comfort of our clients - in fact, you can drive right up to the front door.
The climate is very pleasant with comfortable temperatures (50-80°F/10-28°C). Often in the early mornings the sun rises from clear blue skies dominated by stunning views of the distant Pichincha Volcano and nearby bird-filled forested hills. By late afternoon spectacular formations of cumulus clouds may occur, and sometimes there are days with overcast. Generally there is only some rain in the afternoon, often followed by amazing celestial palettes of color as the sun sets over the western Andes. The main rainy season is normally short, from March to May. At this altitude and climate few bothersome insects are ever noticed, and tropical diseases have never been reported in this area.
From the lodge you have access to over 7 miles (12 kilometers) of birdy, uncrowded, well-marked trails. We maintain three feeding stations for hummingbirds and frugivorous species such as tanagers and toucans.
More than half of all the bird species found in the wider Mindo-Tandayapa-Milpe area have been recorded at Reserva Las Gralarias. We currently have a bird checklist of close to 300 species many of which are endemic to the Chocó Biogeographic Region of the Andes West Slope, and 12 species are considered to be at risk (p.65-66, Birds of Ecuador). Specialties of the reserve include: Wattled Guan, Crested Guan, Hoary Puffleg, Dark-backed Wood-Quail, Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl, Golden-headed Quetzal, Crested Quetzal, Beautiful Jay, White-faced Nunbird, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Giant Antpitta, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Moustached Antpitta,Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Ochre-breasted Antpitta, Scaled Fruiteater, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Green-and-black Fruiteater, Club-winged Manakin, Golden-winged Manakin, Olivaceous Piha, Powerful Woodpecker, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Yellow-vented Woodpecker, 7 species of parrots, 15 species of ovenbirds, 27 species of tanagers, mountain-tanagers and flower-piercers, 25 species of flycatchers, 26 species of hummingbirds and much more!
Our goal is to provide top quality birding in a comfortable setting while conserving the habitat and its avifauna. We sponsor local outreach environmental education programs, including a local birdwatching club for schoolchildren, as well as on-site research and are happy to hear from anyone interesting in volunteering to work at the reserve. The reserve encourages ongoing biological research, not limited to avian fauna but including all aspects of tropical montane and cloud forest ecology.
We manage the reserve for the benefit of native flora and fauna and allow human visitors to enjoy the reserve in areas and ways that do not disturb the ecosystem. No trees were cut to build our buildings. Our constructions are 100% ecological, made with long-lasting non-toxic materials that require little maintenance. All buildings were constructed in previously pastured areas and the surrounding sites are now being replanted with bird-friendly plants and native trees. Our water system is rainfall, collected in roof-tubes and cisterns and filtered through a pumping system. Used water is collected in septic tanks and gray water is filtered through a drainage field.
Our human footprint at Las Gralarias is minimal and blends harmoniously with our beautiful and tranquil surroundings.
This lodge and reserve cater to birds, birders and nature-enthusiasts!
So, if you want top class birding without the crowds, this is the place for you!
We can provide transportation, complete accommodations and an on-site guide as well as full birding tours in this area and anywhere else in Ecuador.
26 October 2011: “Wonderful stay, wonderful birds, great people! We hope you can keep buying more land and preserve more of this amazing habitat.” DQ, St. Louis, MO, USA.
26 October 2011: “The reserve is beautiful and especially nice when Tim reveals the birds and butterflies, Jane shares the history and Vicki´s quiet grace makes everything function well. This is a slow birder´s paradise. http://slowbirding.wordpress.com.” JS, St. Louis, MO, USA.
28 September 2011: “Karen and I really enjoyed both the forest and your hospitality and we shall return.” TM & KW, Dallas, TX, .USA
13 September 2011: “Many thanks Jane. It is always a pleasure to visit you here in Paradise. I enjoyed the trails. I hope to return soon.” JA, Brownsville, TX, USA.
11 September 2011: “Fantastic trekking around the ridges and valleys with fantastic birdlife. The jays were special. Thank you for your hospitality.” AB, Wiltshire, UK.
August 2011: “It was really special getting to stay here. Thanks for all the fabulous conservation work. Hope to see you again soon!!” CJ, West Columbia, TX.
August 2011: “Really enjoyed our stay and the wonderful conservation action here at LG! Thanks for everything.” CR & MG, Lake Jackson, TX, USA.
August 2011: “It is a beautiful & remarkable place with wonderful birds and habitat. Thank you all for your dedication to conservation. Buena suerte to you all.” J&SH, Port Aransas, TX, USA.
Copyright 2007-2012. Reserva Las Gralarias. All rights reserved.