MAQUIPUCUNA ECO-LODGE Fotos y texto: László Károlyi * Visit Maquipucuna´s website by clicking on the logo NATURE AT ITS BEST Maquipucuna Biofauna Reserve began its Ecotourism project in 1989 with the first eco-lodge nicknamed ‘MaquiHilton’, which served as the base camp for numerous scientists from all over the world. It is known as the pioneer in ecotourism in the Ecuadorean continental territory, and thus has become an example of conservation for those who wish to preserve nature. The Maquipucuna Reserve is the most pristine cloud forest in Ecuador, and it only takes a one hour and forty-five minutes drive from Quito to get there. It includes more than 6,000 hectares surrounded by 14,000 hectares that are privately protected, and is located in the heart of the Chocó Andean Corridor, one of the three main biodiversity places found in the world. The reserve includes a wide variety of eco areas at heights that range from 900 to 2,785 meters above sea level, with stunning wildlife. Another characteristic that makes Maquipucuna such a unique place in the Andes is that a large population of the beautiful Spectacled Bears. They migrate annually to this land to feed on ‘Pacche’ trees that contain lipid-rich avocado fruits, a true delicacy that attracts adult and young bears, mainly females with their pups. Maquipucuna Ecolodge, internationally awarded, was built according to its natural environment, along the rivers Umachaca and Cariaco, and amazing hiking trails of Yumbo and Pre Inca period, creating an even more beautiful and relaxing experience back to nature. The lodge is located in the northern section of the reserve, at 1,300 meters over sea level, enjoys warm and comfortable weather throughout the year and is home for 22% of the species of birds that exist in Ecuador. Maquipucuna Ecolodge is like no other destination in the cloud forests, it is where peace and tranquility prevail, converting it in the perfect spot to explore nature and relax with the warm breeze, while you let yourself be carried away by the lush landscape. The tropical style accommodations, including the Cachillacta house and Tulipe house, create the prefect ambiance for an adventure in the cloud forest. The spacious and luxurious rooms have private bathrooms, with spring water, showers with abundant hot water and beautiful terraces overlooking the forest. It is the ideal spot to relax in a balanced environment that combines the sounds of nature with energetic rivers. In other words, a dream come true escape from daily routine that we so badly need, a great choice for long weekends or the holidays.