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Visiting Las Tangaras

June 9, 2019

This month we received a special visitor…our dad! Fortunately for us, he volunteered to write a post about his experience at Reserva Las Tangaras from the perspective of a guest. After all, we’ve been here over two months and have a certain bias we cannot shake. So, want to know what it’s like to spend 3 days at the reserve? Read Eduardo’s experience below…

After a two-hour drive from Quito I arrived in Mindo.  Finding the main plaza was hardly a challenge in this remarkably small and cute little town.  My sons have told me “we will meet you in the plaza”, and immediately we did; a slow drive around was enough to spot them having lunch at one of the local restaurants.  I joined them for lunch eager to head to my final destination, Reserva Las Tangaras.

They suggested (more like they decided) to take a taxi to cover the 5km, uphill, from town to the trailhead leading to the reserve.  It did not take me long to appreciate their wise decision.  If this is your first day in the mountain, after an international trip spanning 12 hours, you may want to catch a ride and save your energy for the 2km walk from the road to the reserve.  An easy, downhill, pleasant stride, a wonderful warming-up to the nature wonders of the area.

After crossing the river over the recently renovated hanging bridge, we arrived at the lodge.  I was shown to my “quarters”, a comfortable mattress on the floor of an open area with absolutely fantastic views of the forest, the river and the birds.  I could tell right away that I had ahead some very relaxing days.


I am writing this when I am about to leave.  During these 4 days we did some pleasant, yet challenging, walks along the trails; the best one started before dawn, heading up along the Bosques trail to the Cock of the Rock lek.  The opportunity to observe the lek and the males singing and displaying makes the visit worth it.  But it wasn’t just that.  I take home, and to be with me for the rest of my life, so many wonderful moments: having breakfast in the porch while observing up to 12 (yes, 12!) different hummingbird species a yard away, waking up to the first rays of light, laying on the mattress, watching the sky and listening to the river, enjoying some delicious candle-lit meals prepared by Matías and Facundo (disclaimer: my sons), going on a night walk to find a glassfrog, and not having internet or wifi (yes, try it, what if you realize it feels amazing?).

In conclusion, if you want to truly experience what it feels to be in a remote area, only surrounded by nature, it does not get any better than spending sometime in the reserve.  I hope you will visit!

Eduardo Fernandez-Duque

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