Tandayapa Bird Lodge is an Andean cloudforest lodge designed for nature lovers. Everything about the place has this in mind, be it the deck with hummer and fruit feeders, the outdoor jacuzzi, the setups available for hummingbird photography, or the forest blind and on site trails for birding. It is also well-located, within the heart of many great birding areas, making it a great base to visit a variety of local sites.
This is a place where nature lovers, photographers, and birders will feel at home. It is not unusual to walk into the main lodge and see a scattering of binoculars, telescopes and cameras lying around.
It’s also a place that caters for the special needs of such groups; birders requiring a pre-dawn breakfast in order to visit one of the many surrounding birding areas at first light will be catered for accordingly. It is not uncommon for various groups to have a variety of breakfast times during one day; those who wish to be in the field at dawn can do so, while those who wish to rise late can too.
The words “Tandayapa Bird Lodge” and “Hummingbirds” have become synonymous with each other; it is rightly regarded as one of the premier hummingbird lodges in the World. Over 30 species have been recorded on the property since it opened, and 12-20 species typically come in daily. There are also forest trails on site, and the lodge is strategically positioned in the heart of the rich Tandayapa/Mindo birding area, meaning it provides a regular base for birders wishing to thoroughly explore this world famous, and extraordinarily diverse, birding area. You can choose to walk from the lodge to bird, drive a short distance to partake in some easier roadside birding, or venture further afield on half day or full day trips to cover a wider area within this endemic bird region. These trips further afield do not only apply to the birding fraternity, other sites are provided for photographers looking for different birds to shoot, and general tourists look for a waterfall to visit. These are all covered in this rich natural area.
Building of the lodge began in 1999, after it became apparent that there was no existing lodge designed specifically for birdwatchers on the west slope of the Ecuadorian Andes. Rather than destroying forest to build the lodge, it was decided to locate it in pastureland, on a steep ridge, just seventy meters/two hundred feet from the surrounding forest. In the years since then, the planting of over 30000 trees has brought the forest to the lodge.
A main building comprises of the main dining area, the hummingbird balcony, and twelve of the lodge’s fourteen rooms, meaning that for most visitors the journey between the rooms to meals and hummingbirds is a short one. For those looking to be deeper into the forest, there is an outlying building, a five-minute, downhill, walk from the main lodge building, with two further rooms. All rooms have private bathrooms, 24-hour electricity, and hot water.
Tandayapa offers something for everyone with an interest in nature; for birders it is located within the endemic rich Choco bioregion, close to a number of other sites, making it readily combined with other areas for a long bird list in a short time; for bird photographers, the hummingbird feeders are some of the best in the World, and photography equipment can also be rented on site to improve your experience; and for those who just want to experience the cloudforest it is also a great location to relax with a unique and special place in Ecuador’s Andes mountains.