Cabañas San Isidro

About an hour east of Papallacta, down a windy road on the eastern slopes of the Andes, is Cabañas San Isidro. It was the first time that Julia and I have travelled to the eastern Andes. Cabañas San Isidro is a reserve that lies between two national parks and has well-marked and maintained forest trails where one can see various species of birds and Colibris (Hummingbirds). We started our hike into the humid cloud forest and, as the administrator told us, "In the rainy season it rains all the time but in the dry season it rains every day", it began to rain. For the most part, the thick forest protected us from the downpour. At the end of the trail there was a hummingbird watch station where there was some intense feeding activity as the birds were not bothered by the rain. To view the entire album click here.

Some Videos

Trip to Reserva Yanacocha (FAIL!)

Julia and I decided to drive to Reserva Yanacocha, a reserve near the Volcán Pichincha just to the west of Quito and home to a wide variety of humming birds. The trail was near Quito and although the trails were at high altitude, they were relatively flat -- perfect for my pregnant wife and her out of shape husband. It took us only an hour to get there thanks to the directions we found on a great blog. While driving up the mountains west of Quito to the reserve, we noticed clouds hanging around the peaks. We turned onto the roughly 10km dirt road that leads to the reserve, at an elevation of ~10,000 feet, and soon we were in the clouds. Duh! So this is what a cloud forest looks like! When we reached the reserve rain was coming down at a pretty good clip and the temp was near 48F. Today was not a good day for a hike after all. We regrettably decided to drive back down to Quito and try again some other time when the weather cooperates.

The good thing is that we know the route and even though we were technically less then 10 miles away from Quito, it felt as if we were hundreds of miles away. Stay tuned to our next attempt at this reserve!

Rain soaked road to Reserva Yanacocha
Rain soaked road to Reserva Yanacocha
Rain begins to break driving back down to Quito.