Numerous endemic species and many local specialties
The Tandayapa Valley of NW Ecuador has become a world renowned birding hotspot and in its very center you find the Garden and Forest of Pacha Quindi, and boasts to what is probably one of the largest “yard lists” in the world. It is possible to see 19 species of hummingbirds here in less than an hour on most days, and an amazing 42 species of hummingbirds recorded thus far. In addition to the hummingbirds over 300 bird species have been recorded on the property, and Choco endemic species are regular. Pacha Quindi also has a network of trails on the property that are great for birding.
Pacha Quindi Bird List here!
Specially designed gardens for hummingbird enthusiast and photographers
BBC Film Crew
Pacha Quindi Hummingbird Garden is ideal for both the novice and the Professional photographer interested in taking pictures of tropical subjects. Close attention and special consideration to create a garden to attract as much endemic wildlife as possible has been the primary objective at Pacha Quindi. Various types of tropical flowers draw numerous species of hummingbirds and butterflies within close proximity of the attentive photographer. In addition to the flowers, hummingbird feeders make it easier to photograph the vast number of hummingbirds perched nearby. To put it bluntly one is guaranteed to walk away with dazzling photographs of these resplendent fairy like birds. But that is not all, great care has been taken at Pacha Quindi Hummingbird Garden to plant native plants which also attract various species of Tanagers, Parrots, Quetzals, Guans, Toucans, and many other colorful and captivating types of tropical birds. Moreover we are always on the look-out for nesting birds to point out to the fortunate photographer who visits at that time. With tropical flowers continually in bloom, such as orchids, heliconias, bromeliads, etc., numerous tropical bird species, and fabulous views of the Tandayapa Valley, Pacha Quindi Hummingbird Garden is an ideal location for the aspiring Nature Photographer.
A unique experience off the beaten track
There is a self-catering cabin available for those who wish to extend their stay at Pacha Quindi and fully experience all the activities offered. The cabin stands on a ridge-top with spectacular views and immediate access to the forest trails. In addition to taking advantage of the activities offered at Pacha Quindi, at the same time the cabin is so centrally located that one can use it as a homebase to visit various other destinations nearby. A convenient option for the independent traveler who prefers privacy and the flexibility of creating one´s own schedule. Since the cabin is without electricity, one should come prepared to enjoy the peace and natural sounds of the Cloud Forest environment. (We suggest bringing extra batteries for camera, etc.; however, batteries can be charged upon request.) The cabin offers 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, balcony with a view, hot H2O, and seperate facility with bathroom and shower. 30USD p.p.
It is very easy to buy food to bring to the cabin. There is Super Maxi a grocery food chain with practically every modern food item one would desire in Quito. We can arrange transport to Pacha Quindi that will take you to buy food in Super Maxi before you arrive. Another option is to buy food supplies in Nanegalito a nearby town although the choices are limited to basic items.
For each Activity knowledgable and experienced guides available on site
(English, German, and Spanish spoken)
Easy to walk forest and garden trails
Pacha Quindi offers over 7km of hiking trails through the cloud forest, plus a complete trail system where one can stroll around the garden. In the cloud forest itself the trails range from easy to hike to more challenging according to one´s desires. The trails wander past pristine clear-water streams and waterfalls, spectacular views of the surrounding forest, as well as breath-taking views of the Tandayapa Valley from various look-out points. Inside the forest are rest stops with covered benches to escape rain if needed, plus many other benches strategically located to enjoy the views. There is also an elevated covered platform where large groups of people can enjoy a nice place to have a meal or just admire the surrounding forest and valley views. The garden trails also have various rest stops equipped with benches, look-out points, and an area for eating.
Centered on inspiring increased understanding and appreciation of the Cloud Forest environment
Pacha Quindi Nature Refuge and Habitat Restoration Project includes an important piece of existing natural cloud forest with and enormous diversity of trees, birds, insects, and other flor and fauna. The property also includes an important area of restoration where many species of flor and fauna have begun to return and reproduce ensuring the natural regrowth of this most precious habitat. Therefore Pacha Quindi is an ideal location for schools to visit in order to instruct future generations of the importance of preserving the cloud forest biodiversity as well as teaching and encouraging students of the possibilities and successes of habitat restoration.
Pacha Quindi encourages Universities, High Schools, and Elementary Schools to visit in order to experience and see first hand the biological diversity that exists in the cloud forest here at the Nature Refuge. In addition we give guides tours of the Habitat Restoration Project in hope that students gain a true understanding that it is not only important but also possible to restore once degraded areas back into healthy bio-diverse habitats. At Pacha Quindi we believe it is crucial to the health of the planet to inform students of the necessity of biodiversity both worldwide as well as in Ecuador, and look forward with enthusiasm at every opportunity to do so.
Here at Pacha Quindi we encourage volunteers to join us in our Nature Refuge and Habitat Restoration Project. We provide an excellent opportunity to help restore a deforested part of the Andean Cloud Forest on NW Ecuador, as well as work in the conservation efforts of our Nature Refuge. Volunteers should be able to adjust to a plain, basic, uncomplicated, and natural lifestyle with little or no distractions, disturbances, or interferences from computer technology or electronic equipment. No conservation experience is needed; however, volunteers are expected to be responsible, reliable, and dependable while learning and applying the skills needed to achieve the desired aim and purpose of the program.
Example of possible volunteer activities include: removal of non native plant species, planting native trees and other cloud forest plants, creating trails within the reserve, trail maintenance of existing trails, working in hummingbird garden, data collection for ecological studies, etc. Volunteers are needed for periods of 3 days to 3 months. Beyond 3 months is also possible, but then a visa is required.
Living quarters are provided within a self-catering cabin overlooking the cloud forest. Single and shared rooms are available. There is safe to drink running water, hot water in kitchen and shower, gas stove and oven for cooking, as well as kitchen utensils and dishes for preparing meals. There is no electricity; however, candles, candle holders and matches are provided. Bedding (pillow, sheets, and blankets) will be provided and washed when needed, nevertheless it is recommended to bring a sleeping bag, especially if one plans to camp within the Nature Reserve. A flash light and house shoes to use exclusively in the cabin are also needed.
[Note: Controlled and limited charging of electronic equipment is available; however, emphasis on a quite, meditative, self-reflecting environment and lifestyle is one outstanding feature of the program.]
We try to keep the cost to a minimum. The main cost is the volunteers physical labor. It is worth noting that alongside the volunteer program activities, as you will be living in the self-catering cabin, you will be required to participate in the maintenance of the infrastructure. Volunteers are expected to work 6 hours a day, Monday thru Friday. You do not work on Saturday or Sunday. Food is not provided which allows the volunteer to save money by buying and cooking their own food. (1 hour to cook lunch and 1 hour to eat lunch provided each working day) However, a minimal cost of $100 a month (3.33 USD a day) is required to pay for cooking gas, heating gas, candles, matches, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and washing Bedding, etc.
The airfare to Ecuador, travel and medical insurance plus personal expenses are obviously not included within this price. Airport pick up and transfer to your hotel, as well as transfer to Pacha Quindi Nature Reserve are not included in the above price. However, transports can be arranged for you if you wish by contacting us.