"Santa Lucia in the cloud forest" Nanegal by MalenaN

Nanegal Travel Guide: 23 reviews and 136 photos

Santa Lucia Cloud Forest Reserve is situated about 80km northwest of Quito. It is an area which is great for hiking and bird-watching. The mornings can be clear and sunny with good views, but in the afternoon it is always cloudy.

Landless families bought land here after a land reform in 1976 and started an agricultural cooperative. It was not easy to farm the land as it led to environmental problems, and then the area was also declared a Protected Forest. Eventually the families turned to ecotourism and built a rustic lodge. The lodge is owned and run by the local families and besides tourists also volunteers and scientists come here to work with different projects.

I did several hikes while staying at Santa Lucia Eco Lodge. Some of the hikes can be done without a guide and on some of them you must be accompanied by a guide. On most of the hikes you follow trails through beautiful primary forest full of bromelias and epiphytes, and also orchids. It is a very tranquil place without TV or Internet (you can’t even charge your batteries at the lodge). There are no roads to the lodge, but you have to hike uphill for 1-2 hours to come here. It is a lovely place!

  • Last visit to Nanegal: Aug 2011
  • Intro Updated Jan 26, 2012
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Reviews (8)

Comments (9)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2012 at 11:47 AM

    More wonderful adventures for you! Lucky you saw the Cock of the Rock and heard it!

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Nov 29, 2012 at 9:22 PM

      Thank you Dee! It was a wonderful area to hike in.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    The morning view from your room at the Santa Lucia Eco Lodge is indeed awesome. Fabulous page here.

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    That tower hike looks interesting and you get a lot closer to the birds and can watch them in short distance!

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    Eco Lodge seems to be a good place to enjoy tranquility, surrounded by the cloud forest! You did some great hikes. Yes, it would be nice to see orchids in full bloom, but sadly, we can't plan all these in advance.

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    The "Eco Lodge" looks to be a great place to stay and what a great price for room and all meals. You sure were busy hiking on all those trails.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2012 at 4:03 AM

    Good that the Santa Lucia Eco Lodge is owned and run by a cooperative of local families. Sounds like a great place to visit.

  • Redang's Profile Photo
    Feb 4, 2012 at 12:11 AM

    What an interesting destination!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2012 at 12:51 AM

    Great descriptions and photos of all your hikes at the lodge. A shame you missed that waterfall (Jorge should have taken you there!) but it's good you got to see and hear the Cock of the Rock - very colourful! And I love the view from your room and the hammocks on the porch :-)

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    Very nice page! The hikes must have been very scenic and the birdwatching exceptional! I really admire your adventurous spirit in traveling alone, and how you are able to make arrangements in such remote locations. And such great photography too. Also thanks for visiting my Palma de Mallorca page -- a place which is not adventurous at all, LOL!!

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