How to visit the Jocotoco Reserves
Well known for the wealth of biodiversity found on the Galápagos, perhaps Ecuador’s best kept secret is the even greater diversity of life found on the mainland.
The Jocotoco Foundation is an Ecuadorian non-profit, non-governmental organization that established to protect threatened and endemic birds and other wildlife in mainland Ecuador. The foundation achieves this primarily through the establishment of a network of private reserves situated in some of the otherwise least protected regions of Ecuador. So far, we have created eight reserves that together total over 12,000 hectares: Canandé, Narupa, and Yanacocha in the North; and Buenaventura, Jorupe, Tapichalaca, Utuana, and Yunguilla in the South. We are presently working to establish two new reserves, one in the North and one in the South.
We welcome those with an interest in conservation, birding, or tropical ecology to visit our three modern and comfortable ecolodges: Umbrellabird Lodge at our Buenaventura Reserve, Casa Simpson at our Tapichalaca Reserve (our first, and still largest, reserve, home to the foundation’s flagship bird the Jocotoco Antpitta, Grallaria ridgelyi – now easily seen!), and Urraca Lodge - our newest - at our Jorupe Reserve. We also have an older lodge located at our Canandé Reserve, a lodge whose relatively rustic character is offset by its prime location in the Chocó forest and access to some very special birds (birds like the near-mythical Banded Ground Cuckoo!). Each of our lodges is located in a special place, right in the forested habitats of their respective reserves far from busy roads and other disturbance. The lodges provide all the comforts of home, ample space and privacy, hot water, and delicious meals. All have porches and public areas from which it is possible to watch flocks of birds over a coffee in the morning or a beer in the afternoon, with busy hummingbird feeders a constant attraction. We can’t promise that every bird can be seen from our lodges – many do require some walking – but many of them can!
By visiting our reserves, not only will you enjoy yourselves, but you will also be helping us to conserve some of Ecuador’s amazing diversity of birds and its natural heritage. In accordance with Ecuadorian regulations, our ecotourism operation at the reserves is managed by a licensed tourism company we call Jocotours (JOCOTOURS CIA. LTDA). Please feel free to visit our website http://www.jocotoursecuador.com/en/.
Jocotours was established in February 2011 to promote conservation-related birdwatching in Ecuador, primarily at our own reserves. Jocotours handles all the logistical details that make for a smoothly functioning ecotourism operation, ranging from handling reservations through providing food (it’s ample and good!) to guiding services on our varied and far-flung properties. We can also work with our visitors to provide transportation to and between our reserves as well as guiding service, and encourage you to do so and take advantage of our experience. However we recognize that there are numerous other well-established ecotourism operators in Ecuador (indeed we have worked with all of them over the years), and if it is your preference we encourage you to contact one of the agencies listed below. All of us are working, each in our own way, to make Ecuador’s incredible biodiversity riches more accessible to an ever-expanding number of visitors, international and national alike.
For more information about visiting Jocotoco’s reserve, please contact the Jocotours office directly, either by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephoning (593) 2 505 - 129 during normal office working hours, or via on line information in Skype: paola.villalba.o. Our staff are fluent in Spanish and English.
Some of the most important ecotourism agencies who have worked with Jocotoco Foundation and Jocotours are listed below. While we are pleased to offer you services through Jocotours, we can also recommend the following companies if doing so better suits your planning and itinerary. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at Jocotours.
Cabanas San Isidro / Bird Ecuador
We would be happy to include other conservation oriented tourism agencies in this list. Please contact us if you would like to nominate another agancey to be included here.