It was great to sit at the dining terrace and observe the many hummingbirds which came here to feed themselves at the feeding troughs.
It was great to see how fast they moved their wings, in order to hang still while flying, and like this they were eating (or drinking).
You can see that it was not so easy to make a sharp picture on these hummingbirds, as they are so fast.
More pictures in My Hummingbird Travelogue.
At the dining area, at the first floor of the Maquipucuna lodge there were two feeding troughs.
What the contents was, I do not know. Maybe water with sugar. Anyway it was something the hummingbirds really liked.
It was great to see the hummingbirds come so closely.
But as they move their wings so fast in order to hang still while flying, it is not easy to make a picture of this. So it was much easier, to wait until they stopped flying and were sitting on a branch. Like this it was possible to see their beautifully coloured feathers.
During our walks in the Maquipucuna Biological Reserve we did see lots of beautiful blooming flowers,
It was a great sight, also because the rest of the nature was very green.
And with the help of a local guide we learned a lot on the unique ecosystem of the Cloud forest. Of course it was a great advantage of speaking some Spanish, as the local guide did not speak English.
The Cloud forest is perhaps the ecosystem that holds the greatest variety of Birds and plants in the world.
Also this ecosystem includes many species from the Rain forest, some from the highlands.
There are several bids and animals which can be seen here. But it is not easy to see them. We did see some red macaws flying away.
Anyway the Cloud forest is a unique ecosystem. And it is a great experience to discover it with the help of a local guide.
The waterfall trail started near the parking lot of the Maquipucuna reserve. At first we had to climb briefly through secondary forest.
Like this we arrived at an open lookout spot. At this spot there was a kind of picnic shelter.
On the way back we stopped here, we did sit down here for some time, in order to admire the great scenery, to relax and enjoy our stay here. Also we had plenty of time, so why not stop and look around.
Picture shows the view we had from the lookout spot.
A la Cascada : to the waterfall.
To the waterfall was the shortest trail they had, it was very close to the Maquipucuna Lodge.
All hiking trails were very well indicated with this kind of signalisation. You just had to follow the arrows, and it was almost impossible to get lost (if you stayed on the paths, of course).
It was a short walk to the waterfall.
Near the waterfall there was a warning sign. It warned for the slippery rocks near the waterfall. And it was true, the rocks were very slippery . . . as I was searching for a better spot in order to make a better picture, I slipped with one foot from a rock, so I ended up with one half-wet foot, but it was worth it, as I made a good picture from the new spot.
During our stay at the Maquipucuna Reserve, we had plenty of time to make pictures.
And as an amateur photographer this is a great area to shoot pictures. And also to try some things out.
Like this picture made from the wooden bridge. Here it looks as the river is frozen; in fact it is just a matter of playing with the closing time of your camera.
And as I had no tripod, I had put my camera on the railing of the bridge, so that it could not move during the recording. I also had to ask my travel companions not to cross the bridge at the moment of the shooting.
Just near the Maquipucuna lodge the Umachaca River was passing by. It was possible to go swimming.
After you crossed the bridge, about 50 m further there was a safe place to go with children, as the river was not so wild at that place.
Another swimming spot was along the road after you had passed the parking lot. But here it was a bit dangerously as the rocks were very slippery and the current could be very strong when there was a lot of water in the river.
(I did not swim, as to me it looked as the water was very, very cold.)
It great to see, that everything here was build with natural products. Like the Maquipucuna lodge was made entirely of wood, and so was the bridge over the Rio Umachaca.
I can tell you that it was great to stay here in such a natural, relaxing and peaceful place.
During our stay in the Maquipucuna reserve we did make several hikes.
And on every hike we did see these banana plants (or are it trees?). Every plant was wearing a big amount of green bananas.
These bananas were used in several dishes by the locals. And also one evening we did see the ladies’ using these huge banana leafs in order to bake some cake in it.
In the previous tip you could see the Heleconia flowers and how beautiful they were, but let’s not forget to zoom out. Like this you admire the big leafs of the Heleconia.
This long-leaved plant is closely related to the banana plant and the plantains.
Along the self guided nature trail we did see lots of Heleconias. These Heleconias have beautiful flowers. These yellow flowers are hanging below the base of a leaf; these yellow flowers are sheltered by a red cover.
Whenever you spot Heleconia flowers you might also see hummingbirds. These hummingbirds just love to eat the nectar of these Heleconia flowers.
I have already mentioned the great vegetation in this Cloud forest.
During our hikes, we did see lots of bromeliads. In this area there are also lots of varieties of orchids, however we did not see orchids, maybe it was the wrong season. ( we were there end of July)
Visiting the Maquipucuna reserve means visiting the cloud forest. And in this Clod forest is perhaps the ecosystem that hold the greatest variety of plants and birds in the world.
The vegetation was also surprisingly rich. Numerous epiphyte species, including bounteous orchids and bromeliads could be admired on these hills.
It was great to discover and to admire all plants and flowers along the hiking trails.