Maquifucuna Travel Guide

  • The Maquipucuna Lodge
    The Maquipucuna Lodge
    by filipdebont
  • The hanging bridge near the Lodge
    The hanging bridge near the Lodge
    by filipdebont
  • Bananas
    by filipdebont

Maquifucuna Things to Do

  • Flying Hummingbirds

    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

    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...

  • Beautiful flowers

    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...

  • Cloud forest

    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...

  • Great view

    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...

  • A la cascada

    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).

  • The waterfall

    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...

  • Great pictures

    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...

  • Swimming in the river

    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...

  • Wooden bridge

    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.

  • Banana plants

    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...

  • Big leafs

    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.

  • Heleconia flowers

    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...

  • Bromeliads

    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)

  • Great Nature

    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...

  • Strangler Fig

    At Stop number 3 we did see a strangler fig that had taken over a tree. Inside this fig you still could see the remains of the host tree.Such a strangler tree takes advantage of other trees. After the sprouting in the tops of the trees from seeds dropped by birds, it acts like a vine, and it roots search the ground. The fig tree's roots put...

  • Selfguided Nature Trail

    It was already afternoon, as we arrived in the Maquipucuna reserve. First the rooms were divided (see accommodation tips).But it was still too early to sit and relax with some beers; we decided to do the self guided nature trail with a small group.That nature trail was a good start, in order to observe the environment of the Lodge.The start was...

  • Several hiking trails

    There were several trails in the Maquipucuna reserve. Every trail was indicated with coloured arrows.There was a self-guided Nature trail (length: 1 kilometre - 45 minutes), this was an easy trail with several stops. In fact this was an educational walk. (Yellow trail on the map)The main trail had a variable distance, like it was 1,5 hour to the...


Maquifucuna Restaurants

  • filipdebont's Profile Photo

    Maquipucuna Lodge: Local food

    by filipdebont Written Jan 22, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The dining area was at the first floor of the lodge, below the terrace.

    The food was prepared by some local ladies.

    The food was prepared with local products. I can tell you it was delicious and plenty.

    We did see how they prepared some cake in big banana leafs.

    Favorite Dish: no favorite dish, everything was good.

    The Lodge
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Birdwatching

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Maquifucuna Transportation

  • walking

    There were several hiking trails in the Maquipucuna Biological reserve (see Must see tips for a map).All trails were indicated very well, so it was almost impossible to get lost.We also made some trails with a local guide. This guide explained a lot on the plants and animals in this Cloud forest. He also told us about the use of some plants by the...

  • With our own bus

    We made the first part of the trip from Otavalo to Maquipucuna with our own bus.The bus just brought us to the small village of Nanegal. From there it was still 19 km to the Nature reserve. But it was a dirt road, and this road was in a very bad condition.So in Nanegal we changed from our bus to an open truck.

  • Open truck

    So in Nanegal we changed to an open truck.Yes, same model as they use to transport animals, but now they were transporting tourists to the Nature Reserve of Maquipucuna.It was 19 km of dirt road to the Nature Reserve, and the road was very bumpy.We also passed the small village of La Delicia. The local children were waving at us as we passed by....


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