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Walk on the Wildside

March 2, 2018

ACOR copyIf you’re not coming to Las Tangaras to see these guys (Andean Cocks-of-the-rock), you might be wondering what else the reserve has to offer. We’ll be the first to tell you, A LOT.

There’s birds, bugs, herps, orchids, bromeliads, ferns (tree ferns!), swimming holes, camping, colibres, mammiferos, fungi, and the list could endlessly go on if we don’t stop ourselves now.

You can enjoy ALL of the above listed things (and more) by taking a trip down one of Las Tangaras’ 10 hiking trails. Each trail is different in its own right, whether that be flora and fauna frequencies, elevation, difficulty, length, etc etc.

To give you a better understanding of the reserve and what wonders you can enjoy here, we’re gonna break down each trail for you and show ya some pictures, too!


Entrada Trail (Entrance):

Travel Time 45 minutes
Distance 2.0 km
Elevation minimum 1340 m – maximum 1515 m

This trail is the FIRST impression someone gets of Las Tangaras, but it’s misleading. Your initial vista views are of cleared farmland, which isn’t Las Tangaras at ALL. Since our reserve is located on the far side of the Nambillo river, you’ve gotta trek through other properties to get there. The trail cuts through farms and a patch of cloud forest owned by another reserve. Its status as a share trail (meaning it’s used by the owners of the farms and their mules) means this trail gets the most traffic and as such, gets the most muddy (especially in the rainy season).  It’s best to wear boots on this trail and if its your first time ‘mud skiing’, be sure to take it slow.

As you make your way to the reserve, don’t forget to look up! On a clear day, the views of the forested mountains are spectacular and you might even see toucans flying along the canopy. Make sure to scan for  mudslide scars. Brown scars are fresh (mud), green are old (new plants).

About 30 minutes into your walk on the Entrada trail, you’ll begin to notice a roaring sound growing ever louder. This is the Nambillo river and it is your final obstacle to get to the reserve. Don’t worry, we’ve made it easy by building and maintaining a hanging bridge.

As soon as you start hearing the river, you’ll begin your descent through a Club-winged Manakin Lek, an onslaught of Darwin Wallace Poison Frogs, and Crested Guan resting trees. The rushing river ruido (noise) means you’re close to the lodge.

Of all the trails, we are most familiar with this, simply because it is our lifeline to all things modern. It’s muddy, it’s grassy, and pock marked by mule prints, but at its end, after you catch wind of the Nambillo river and cross it to the reserve, it becomes cloud forest lushary.

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Los Patos (ducks), Los Colibres (hummingbirds), y Tres Tazas (three cups):

Total Travel Time 25 Minutes
Total Distance 0.60 km
Elevation minimum 1335 m – maximum 1370 m

These three short trails join up to make one long trail, but each has its own characteristics.


Los Patos: This is one of our easiest trails and we frequently suggest it to those looking for a quick jaunt through the reserve. It’s also one of our favorites to stroll after sunset as there’s plenty of Emerald Glass frogs to go around.

Los Patos is a low trail (by comparison), because it runs alongside the river. You are never out of range of its roaring and almost never out of sight of the river. It starts with a duck (pun not intended) under a fallen tree trunk covered in bromeliads, orchids, ferns, mosses, lichens, and bladderworts. Though they’re a pain to manage, fallen trees lend a sneak peak into the going ons of the canopy (orchid photos, mosses, etc).

At night, you can often hear Emerald Glassfrogs as they call to each other over the rush of the raging river.  During the day, Darwin Wallace frogs are often heard and seen moving in and out of the leaf litter. There’s a camp site and a swimming hole (Playa de las Ranas aka Frog Beach). Depending on the river level, you can enjoy some great rock hunting at the beach, maybe see Basilisks basking and running on water, and find orchids in the trees along the trail.   

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Tres Tazas:  This trail is an offshoot from Los Patos. It dead ends at a stream that eventually meets the Nambillo River. At one point in time, it ended at a swimming hole, but the ever failing foliage has filled that area in. This trail doesn’t seem to be the most frequented, despite it’s proximity to one of our most often suggested trails, but it’s got a lot to offer. You must pass through one creek (now several creeks due to the amount of rain we’ve had…), duck under Angel Trumpet shrubs, watch out for Babbling torrenters, and look for hanging heliconia flowers.

As mentioned, a portion of the trail is in a shallow stream and much of it is muddy, so keep those rubber boots on while you search its subtle wonders.

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Los Colibres: While the Los Patos and Tres Tazas trails are largely flat, the Colibres trail takes a sharp incline up to the elevation of the lodge, leading you away from the river. The staircase is beautiful and covered in the types of plants often found in hobbyists’ terrariums.

This trail is short and sweet, but it sheds a lot of light on the daily (nightly) going ons of the cloud forest. Animal tracks litter the trail. We’ve found evidence of Red-brocket Deer, Jaguarundi, Coatis, Agoutis, and white-faced possum on this trail. We think the animals like to use it to get to the river and given the amount of mud in the area, they usually leave a trail for us to follow.

Colibres ends at the lodge, bringing the LosPatos/TresTazas/Colibres loop to an end.

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Quetzales Trail (Quetzals): Travel time 40 minutes
Total Distance 1 km
Elevation minimum 1330 m – maximum 1440 m

Quetzales trail is the “popular kid” of the reserve. It’s one of our most frequently suggested trails for tourists looking for a hike longer than 20 minutes.

Quetzales takes you up into the mountain and brings you back down again in a horseshoe. It features beautiful root staircases (courtesy of the trees), a variety of flora communities, canopy-level views (bird nerd alert!), several small streams you must cross (herp nerd alert!), and one small mudslide sight (Geo nerd alert!). It’s here, as you climb over the wide trunk to continue your hike, that you really begin to understand the ins and outs of the cloud forest.

The Quetzales represents both the light and dark side of the cloud forest. It’s the perfect trail for all hiking skill levels and takes up just the right amount of time to get you back to town again before nightfall.

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Barbudos Trail (Bearded): Total Travel Time 20 Minutes
Total Distance 0.4 km
Elevation minimum 1350 m – maximum 1470 m

Barbudos is a “stepping stone” trail. As in, you must use it to connect to other trails. It’s entirely up hill (one way, at least) and connects hikers to the Bosque and Tucanes trails.

Barbudos is incredibly different from any other trail on the reserve. It’s canopy-less and made of clay, which does make it a tad bit slippery, despite the amazing staircases built by previous managers. Given the lack of shade, there are gads of colonizing shrubs taking over the area and plenty of sun-loving organisms (i.e. bugs) to gaze at. (Seriously, though, if you haven’t taken the time to look at the bugs in the cloud forest, you are really missing out.)

Though it’s a lot of work in a short amount of time, the view from the top and halfway points of the Barbudos trail are simply lovely, even if the clouds are sitting low (typically happening). One can almost always appreciate the cloud forest for its cloud-covered mountains here and we’ve even been fortunate enough to see a rainbow. It’s also where the sun first hits the trees early in the morning, meaning lots of tanagers to look at (just as colorful as the bugs).

We don’t typically suggest this trail on its own, it’s a package deal.  And if you’re going on an ACOR tour, you gotta put up with it, because it’s your ticket to the Bosque trail.

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Bosque Trail (Forest): Travel Time 2 hour
Total Distance 1.4 km
Elevation minimum 1470 m – maximum 1800 m

The Bosque trail is like the kindly, wise old woman that lives a few doors down from you, but don’t you EVER cross her, because she can be a real tough lady.

The Bosque features lots of primary growth forest (you can find it on other trails, but this is the best place to experience it). It is laden with laenas, bromeliads, orchids, mosses, fungus, lichen, etc which, simply put, means it’s really stinking green, like a forest wonderland. It is always, ALWAYS wet because it is pretty much always in the clouds. The higher you climb, the more frequent the drops, even if it isn’t raining.

The Bosque dead ends at a clearing through which you *COULD* see a view of the surrounding mountains if it weren’t for the clouds. We’ve yet to enjoy that experience…

IMG_5161 Cloudy

But, lower on the trail, we do sometimes get lucky enough to see the views. And if you’re willing, it’s a great place to enjoy the sunset on a clear evening.

The Bosque trail is best known for the ACOR lek (Andean Cock of the Rock mating site). The ACORs come to the same spot every day, twice a day, to get it on. The males form small groups and try to attract females by harshly crying, clumsily flying, and showing off their florescent red plumage.

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Spiny Devil Katydid discovered in the night on the Bosque trail

The trail is less well known for its nightlife, but equally as notable. This is where we frequently go when exploring the dark side of the reserve. Anything from delicate, beautiful orchids to tough, spiky katydids can be discovered here.  It’s also where we’ve most frequently encountered lizards, rainfrogs, and mammals (including the jaguarundi and capuchin!).

If you decide to do this trail, be prepared to work hard in some areas, as it’s mostly up hill. It’s not easy, but it’s truly worth it. The Bosque is a beautiful slice of life in the cloud forest and a shining gem in the Las Tanagaras crown.

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Tucanes Trail (Toucans): Travel Time, 20 minutes.
Total Distance 0.5 km
Elevation minimum 1425 m – maximum 1470 m

The Tucanes trail is a short trail that also leads you in a horseshoe, but takes you down and then up again (opposite of the Quetzales trail). It rests on the downward slope of the mountain that pushes towards the river which slices around the property. It’s lush, filled with low lying plants, and wet. Because of it’s proximity to both the river and a sunny, canopy-less spot on the reserve, you can almost always run into mixed flocks here. Tune in for bird chatter and have fun!

Cascades Trail (waterfalls): Travel Time 15 minutes

Total Distance .4 km

The Cascades trail is a brand new trail that hasn’t even made it on the maps yet. Granted, it’s still a work in progress, but the novel thing about the Cascades trail is that it ends at a waterfall. Definitely wear your boots, though, because where there’s a waterfall there’s water, and where there’s water, there’s mud.


Motmotos Trail (Motmots): Travel Time TBD
Total Distance TBD
Elevation minimum 1357 m – maximum 1455 m

This is probably our favorite trail and we can’t even share it with guests because it’s currently closed (should be opened again within two weeks tops, though!)

When we aren’t in town and aren’t at the lodge, we are most likely at the Motmotos trail working on our main project, a reroute. The motmotos has got problems, y’all, but we love it and it’s recovering.

Motmotos has got it all! Intrigue, daring, innovation, romance (maybe?)! It features the widest variety of micro-ecosystems of the cloud forest. Walking this trail takes you through recovering mudslide zone (no canopy), a fresh water wetland (in the rainy season), a small canyon (you could call it that), a reforestation zone, over a ridge and back down again, along the river (both above and next to), and through lush, green riverside forest. You can never get tired of the scenery on the Motmotos trail because it doesn’t stay the same for long.clownfrog

It also features views of the mountain tops looming overhead and not one, not two, but three swimming holes. One of which is the most divine place on this planet. Seriously. Stop whatever you are doing and do everything you can to get here and see it. When we first happened upon it, we were both awe-stricken. Our reroute, of course, does not prevent visitors from experiencing the joy of this secluded, waterfall swimming hole.

Since the Motmotos has a variety of transitions through ecosystems (which inevitably means altitudinal ups and downs), it’s one of our harder trails, ranking up there with the Bosque. But like the Bosque, it is so worth it.

The reason it is currently closed is because we are working on rerouting the trail around a mudslide that happened a little over a year ago. The slide completely wiped out a portion of the trail, but c’est la vie in the cloud forest.

We can’t wait for this trail to be finished because when it is, it will be our TOP recommendation to visitors as a must see area of the reserve.

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So there you have it. There are our 10 babies we tediously look after. And even though you’re not supposed to have favorites..we do (can you tell?), so maybe you should just visit us and come to your own conclusions?


Rainy Seasoned

January 26, 2018

Hi! We’re Juliana and Jake, the first managers at Las Tangaras for the new year (2018). During our stay, we will regale y’all with tales from the trails on a regular basis. Here is the first installment:


Before our baggage arrived, we used garbage bags. . . 

“It’ll be the rainy season,” we were told when we applied for this job. “Prepare to be wet all the time. Bring lots of desiccant!” And we did. We prepared by packing rain jackets, pants, ponchos, desiccant tins, Epsom salts to make desiccant, and plenty of plastic bags to protect our things. However, due to a delay in receiving our luggage, we sometimes, very rarely, had to make due with more rudimentary measures during our first week here….

But, for the first several days of our stay, the Cloud Forest was anything BUT rainy. The sun was shining, the ground was dry and sandy, we were sweaty every where we went. Heck, we could get our laundry to dry in a day or less in the warm sunshine and soft breezes.

Four days into our stay, though, and things changed dramatically.

During our third night here, it poured harder than I’ve (Juliana) ever experienced and I lived through a reported 1000 year rain! Have you ever felt like the river in your front yard was rerouted during the night to flow directly over the roof of your room? I have. It was loud, it was hard to sleep through, and by god, I don’t think there were any individual “drops” in that downpour. I think it was one massive wash of water.

The next morning, we checked our rain gauge. It’d rained over an inch in the night and would continue to rain over an inch during the day.

We also checked the river. It was now raging.

And our bridge, it was still standing (or..hanging). And our trails, they were…well..needed some work. Trees and plants are constantly falling here, it’s the way of the wood.

So what is the Cloud Forest anyway? And why is it so wet?

The Cloud Forest is exactly as it sounds, mountainous forest that is constantly enshrouded in clouds. The trees here harbor many mosses, epiphytes, and lichens due to the constantly moist nature of the air. Even when it’s not raining, you will hear water drip-dropping all the live-long day in the Cloud Forest. This is because the trees and their communities of flora collect the moisture from the air and reroute them to the ground in what we like to call “dew form”. You’ll often see leaves turning over from the weight of the water they hold and bugs hiding beneath the leaves to stay dry. The Cloud Forest isn’t always rainy, though. This depends on the seasons, of which there are only two: wet and dry.

Wet season occurs during the summer here (jan – may). There aren’t four seasons like we have back home, because the sun is directly overhead here at the equator, so the amount of sun received is relatively constant throughout the year. So instead of spring, summer, fall, winter, you get wet and dry. It all has to do with the relationship between land and sea and the wind created by this relationship. During the summer, the land heats up faster than the ocean, which means the cool air over the ocean blows landward, hits the mountains here (Andes), and is forced up. Once up in the mountains, all of the moisture collected along the way rains back down in the Cloud Forest (or drips, or torrents, whichever). The rain is relatively predictable, happening in the afternoon between 1 to 3 and usually dwindling by nightfall, but not always as the last few nights have seen.

During the day rains, we used feel trapped inside or to our porch. We’ve since adapted and can be found out an about, like the animals, during the rain. The animals don’t seem to mind the rain. We’ve seen Guans hiding under the massive leaves of the “Poor Man’s Umbrella Tree”. And the hummingbirds continue to visit our feeders as madly as ever. The nights, though. That’s when the getting is good for fauna during the rainy season.

Recently, most of our explorations happen after sunset, when the forest comes alive with different sounds: amphibians and bugs for days (or..nights?), y’all. Here are some of the buddies we’ve encountered during our night walks.

We’ve also had the good fortune of having not one, but two locally renowned herpetologists walk with us and show us the ropes of herping in the Cloud Forest: Jaime (a contributor to the actual book on herps of Mindo) and Eric (basically our neighbor!). Here is a smattering of the organisms we found while romping around with them:

Some learnings on Cloud Forest Frogs:

The most abundant group of amphibians in Ecuador (and subsequently night time noise makers) are rainfrogs. Yep, they are actually called “rainfrogs”. We have the privilege of hearing hundreds of the Pastures and Yellow-groined Rainfrogs outside our house every night. As we move up into the cloud forest via one of our trails (aptly named the Bosque Trail), higher in elevation, we can run into the rarer Bashful Rainfrog, Blue-thighed Rainfrog, and the Mindo Rainfrog— a recently described species appropriately named after this biodiverse region.

Unlike most other families of frogs, rainfrogs undergo direct development—they skip the tadpole phase. This definitely makes sense in a mountainous cloud forest where standing, still water is hard to come by. There are other unique development behaviors, such as that of the Darwin-wallace poison frog. We caught a glimpse of this frog hiking one of the reserve trails (Tres Tazas) and can hear bunches of them on the walk in. The adult females of this poison frog carry the tadpoles on their moist back until and drop them into a small, slow moving stream. Food can be scarce in these moving bodies of water, so these tadpoles have been known to be cannibalistic.

However, there are certainly frogs here who do adhere to the teachings of the United-statesinized science textbooks. Frogs who lay eggs on vegetation (leaves) next to rivers. The adults say, “Peace, babies! I’m out of here.” When the eggs hatch, the tadpoles fall into the river and find their way to the very bottom where the water moves slower. The tadpoles sit and eat other larvae they can find and, well… you know the rest. One of these frogs is the Emerald Glassfrog, a must see for us while in Ecuador. Knowing we wanted more than anything to gently squish their little, see-through (glass), froggy bellies, our herpetologist friends were able to show us right where to find them: next to the river, the one that sometimes reroutes to flow right above our heads.


Bonus Photo of Jake and Jaime (the herp guide) making froggy photo magic with our first guests:


Taking photos of the Emerald Glassfrog. Jaime is in the gray shirt, Jake is taking photos. 

Feliz 2018! Happy Birding at Las Tangaras

January 8, 2018

Thanks to 9 super-enthusiastic volunteers and our Ecuadorian staff we had a very successful avian monitoring project at Reserva las Tangaras in December.  We recorded 173 bird species during our two-week expedition and netted 419 birds of 71 species.  Volunteers also learned how to use Hall traps to net hummingbirds, make hummingbird bands, and band the little gems. We all participated in the Mindo Christmas Bird Count and racked up 104 species for the count.

2017 group shot DSC_8989

December 2017 Life Net Nature Avian Monitoring Expedition: Team and Support Staff at Reserva Las Tangaras research lodge

November Update

November 6, 2017

Please support Reserva las Tangaras during the giving season with a donation via the Life Net Nature website.

Reserva las Tangaras will be open with full services for guests starting January 10, 2018.  Meanwhile, contact Dr. Becker (, or call Pascual Torres in Ecuador at 098-680-1316 to organize day visits, overnights, group uses, or internships.

Reserva las Tangaras will be closed to overnight guests for annual winter avian monitoring – December 4-17, 2017.  Day guests are welcome.

Please also note that Life Net Nature is recruiting Bird Banding Volunteers for June 2018 avian monitoring at Reserva las Tangaras.  Contact Dr. Becker for details and Life Net Nature application form.


Life Net Nature bird banding team  – July 2017




Andean Cock-of-the-Rock

Tough Luck at Las Tangaras

September 20, 2017

September 2017.  Sadly and shockingly, our reserve managers were robbed at gunpoint at the end of June, 2017, so we closed the reserve, and are still not back to normal operations.  We are hoping it was a freak event, but we aren’t taking any chances. Police are currently investigating the situation.  We hope to reopen with full services for guests in 2018.  Meanwhile, visitation is limited to day visits and camping, with advanced notice.

If you would like to visit and are in Ecuador, please contact our current stewards, at 099-058-7084 or email them at prior to making the wilderness hike into the reserve.  We encourage going as a group, and not alone. For reservations for overnight stays or volunteering, please contact the reserve stewards or Dr. Dusti Becker – P1000794.jpg

A Rufous Motmot often seen around the guest cabin.


Your New Managers! John & Jaclyn

April 9, 2017


We are John Whitefield and Jaclyn Knapp, the new seasonal managers of Reserva Las Tanagaras. We are very grateful to be here in such a gorgeous location bursting with vibrant diversity. We are excited to become acquainted with all the other creatures that live at Reserva Las Tangaras.


While we have not been here long it has been enough to leave a lasting impression and endow a love of the diversity offered in the New World Tropics. Every morning (unless we are doing ACOR tours and monitoring) we awake to a symphony of voices, singing for love or the morning sun. We attempt to spot where all the voices come from and identify them but we have yet to find them all! All the birds are very quick, sneaky and do not like to stay put for long, adding an extra challenge for us. The pictures below are a good example of how difficult it can be to spot wildlife amongst all the crazy diversity of plants. Try to find the Creature!


A Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus) hunting for it’s breakfast.



Choco Toucans (Ramphastos brevis) saluting the morning.


An Ornate Flycatcher (Myiotriccus ornatus) on it’s perch

The reserve offers many gorgeous subjects for photography both male and female, avian and mammalian.

On the right we have a common agouti (Dasyprocta spp.) enjoying some fruit. On the left we have a Plain Brown Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla fuliginosa) hunting in the moss.

The most common visitors to the reserve can be quite demanding in the mornings, but are soon satisfied once their sustenance has arrived (below).


A White Whiskered Hermit (Phaethornis yaruqu) approaches on the right, to the chagrin of a Green Crowned Woodnymph (male) (Thalurania fannyi) and Purple Bibbed Whitetip (female) (Urosticte benjamini).

Of course we shan’t forge the main attraction, available every morning and evening for your viewing pleasure!



Two male Andean Cock of The Rock’s (Rupicola peruvianus) perch and call as they perform for perspective mates at the lekking site. The lek is truly a spectacle of sound and color. Well worth the early rise or late return!

This is a snapshot, pun intended, of our first week as new managers of Las Tangaras. Stay tuned for further updates!

J & J

Desde la cabaña

March 21, 2017
By Luis e Inés  (Reserve Managers Jan- Mar 2017)


Estando sentado en el porche de la cabaña no es difícil darse cuenta del privilegiado lugar en el que nos encontramos. Tras recorrer durante 45 minutos el sendero de entrada se llega al puente colgante que da acceso a la Reserva Las Tangaras, al otro lado del río Nambillo. El tramo final de escaleras en subida requiere un último esfuerzo que se ve recompensado al llegar al bonito jardín de la cabaña de madera. Una vez sentados en el porche llega el momento de relajarse y disfrutar del verde paisaje que invade nuestro campo de visión.

El murmullo del río y el canto de los pájaros ayudan a recuperar la serenidad aunque hay que mantener siempre los ojos abiertos. Si eres un apasionado de la naturaleza y los animales existe la posibilidad de observar una gran variedad de especies simplemente estando sentado en el porche.

Los colibríes son visitantes permanentes desde primera hora de la mañana pues acuden puntuales a los bebederos de agua con azúcar que colocamos alrededor del porche. Las especies que pueden avistarse varían según los meses aunque entre las más comunes se encuentran el Brillante Coroniverde (Heliodoxajacula), el Zafiro Coroniverde (Thalurania fannyi) y el Colibrí Punta Blanca Pechipúrpura (Urosticte benjamini). Así mismo, tal y como indica el nombre de la Reserva, también pueden observarse gran cantidad de Tangaras de pequeño tamaño y de todos los colores.


Colibríes en el bebedero

Además contamos regularmente con la presencia de Momotos Piquianchos (Electron platyrhynchum), también  conocidos como  relojeros debido al movimiento de su larga cola como el péndulo de un reloj de pared cuando se posan. Su gentil y silencioso vuelo capta la atención de cualquiera pues poseen un colorido patrón que hacen de su avistamiento un evento espectacular. Más ruidosos son los Tucanes, las Pavas y los Gallitos de la Peña que dejan oír sus cantos por todo el valle y permiten desvelar su localización en la densa vegetación verde.

Momotos couple

Pareja de Momotos Piquianchos

En cuanto a mamíferos, tenemos otro pequeño vecino que anda siempre merodeando en busca de comida por el jardín. Se trata del Aguti o Guatusa (Dasiprocta puntactata), un pequeño roedor de unos 35cm que tiene por habito esconder los frutos que encuentra para volver a por ellos cuando escasea la comida. Suele olvidar donde entierra su despensa  por lo que contribuye así a la dispersión de semillas en el bosque. Cierto es, que suele hacer el mismo recorrido para encontrar su almuerzo a diario pero es además porque tiene su madriguera cerca de la cabaña. También se pasean por el jardín sin ningún temor el Coatí (Nasuella olivacea) y la Paca (Cuniculus paca) aunque esta última tiene hábitos nocturnos y hay que madrugar para poder descubrirla antes del amanecer. Otro mamífero que escarba en la oscuridad buscando raíces, bulbos e insectos es el armadillo de nueve bandas (Dasypus novemcintus) y deja continuamente el rastro de sus agujeros por el jardín y los laterales de los senderos.


Coatí paseando por el jardín

Los múltiples senderos con lo que cuenta la Reserva ofrecen caminatas para todos los niveles. Partiendo de la cabaña a unos 1400 metros hasta llegar a los límites del bosque protector Mindo-Nambillo a unos 1800 metros de altitud. Por ellos se puede caminar cerca del río y disfrutar de varias pozas de agua para bañarse con agua cristalina procedente de las siete cascadas que recorren el río Nambillo a su paso por la Reserva. También cerca del agua pueden observarse variedad de aves acuáticas como el Cinclo Gorriblanco (Cinclos leucocephalus) que vuela de roca en roca capturando pequeños gusanos y, el Pato Torrentero (Merganetta armata) que suele posar en las piedras en medio del río. Además, si se tiene suerte, puede observarse la Nutria de río (Lontra longicaudis) pescando y disfrutando de las olas que crea el agua en su encuentro con las grandes rocas del río.

Si comenzamos a subir un poquito en altura podemos ver como la distribución de aves va cambiando ligeramente hasta llegar a los 1500 metros de altitud donde se puede disfrutar de una de las maravillas de Mindo: el LEK o zona de exhibición del Gallito de la peña (Rupicola peruviana). Los machos se reúnen dos veces al día, al amanecer y atardecer, durante todo el año para realizar una serie de sonidos y danzas para llamar así la atención de las hembras.


Gallo de la peña, macho

Sin duda alguna a lo largo de los senderos de la Reserva se puede disfrutar de cientos de aves diferentes, desde pequeñas Bataras a los increíbles Trogones y Quetzales. Pero incluso sin moverse de la cabaña puede apreciarse la gran diversidad de flora y fauna que caracteriza la región del Chocó en la que nos encontramos.  Una maravilla de la naturaleza a poco mas de una hora a pie de Mindo y a dos horas en Bus de Quito.