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Discover the Magic of Birding in Ecuador

It is well known in birding circles that Ecuador is one of the world's top bird watching destinations. The variety and vast numbers of exotic birds is astounding and there are many tour packages aimed at helping keen birders to make the most of a visit to this beautiful South American country. The San Jorge Ecolodges and Botanical Reserves offer nature lovers the opportunity to explore nine different eco-systems at their four private nature reserves by means of their 'Magic Birding & Hiking Circuit'. The circuit covers terrain with running rivers, waterfalls and lush vegetation and is home to more than 1,000 species of birds, 60 of which are hummingbirds.

Located around two hours from Quito, the San Jorge de Milpe Eco-Lodge is located in the lower foothill forest and is home to more than 450 species of birds, along with hundreds of species of plants, including spectacular orchids, as well as butterflies, moths, reptiles and mammals, such as the tayra – a member of the weasel family. There is a network of trails designed for exploring the various features of the reserve which includes eleven spring waterfalls and the Chaguaryacu River. The San Jorge de Milpe lodge lies within the Hummingbird Route (Ruta de Colibrí) and visitors can hike to the hilltop at the edge of the reserve where they will have a panoramic view of the surrounding valleys, offering many opportunities for bird-watching and photography.

Incorporating a superbly preserved 18th century hacienda, the San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve is located on 200 acres of protected land near Quito and forms part of the Magic Birding & Hiking Circuit. Visitors are likely to spot many of the 90 endemic bird species found among the lush flora of the reserve surrounding the lodge, and can explore the walking trails to discover even more.

Visitors to the San Jorge de Tandayapa Hummingbird Eco-Lodge will soon discover the reason for the word 'hummingbird' in the lodge's name. As part of the Choco Bird Area of northwestern Ecuador, this reserve is home to an amazing variety of these fascinating little birds. The open air restaurant at the lodge has feeders to attract hummingbirds and tanagers closer to the lodge, where visitors can observe them at leisure.

Whichever destination you choose on the Magic Birding and Hiking Circuit in Ecuador, you are sure to see more of a variety of birds that you ever imagined possible.


Church and Convent of Saint Augustine

Located just a block away from Quito's Independence Plaza, the Church and Convent of Saint Augustine is a superb example of 17th century architecture and an important part of Ecuado's history, being the site where the country's declaration of independence was signed on August 10, 1809. Many of the heroes who perished in the fight for Ecuador's independence are buried at this historic landmark, which should be an item on the itinerary of everyone visiting Ecuador's capital city.

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Galápagos Petrels

Endemic to the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador, the Galápagos Petrel (Pterodroma phaeopygia) is listed as 'critically endangered' by the IUCN – International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Referred to locally as the patapegada, meaning 'web-footed one', this rare petrel species nests on five of the Galápagos Archipelago islands - Santa Cruz, San Cristóbal, Santiago, Isabela and Floreana - in humid regions above 200 meters. After years of lobbying by the International Council for Bird Preservation, the Galápagos Petrel was granted protection under the US Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Act.

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