a field guide to the planet - by Damon Ramsey
I visited this reserve in October of 2015. I visited this area as a day trip from Bellavista Lodge. I was mainly interested in seeing Cock-of-the-rock. (That's a bird).
This reserve is accessible as a day tour from Mindo or any of the cloud forest lodges in the region. You will have to leave your accommodation very early, as it is advisable to get to the cock-of-the-rock display area at dawn.
Be aware, that even though the cock of the rocks display here, and quite close to the hides, they might just be hiding behind the vegetation as they bob back and forth. Also, be aware, that due to low light at dawn, it is difficult to get photographs. However, hang around after the display, and the birds will be much easier to get shots of, as they will be out in the open and the light will be better. But they are very strange looking birds, and shots of them look quite abstract!
After the cock of the rock display, one of the brothers Paz will take you around and try to show you several species of very shy rainforest birds. This may include various species of antbirds, antpittas and ant wren.
After the morning activity, you will get coffee and breakfast. During the (slightly) drier season, they also put out fruits out where the staff eat a few metres away. Don't waste time sitting down while having breakfast; grab your coffee and get over there! There are the usual hummingbird feeders below, but on the tree branches there will be various species of colourful tanagers visiting the fruit.
Their website is:
Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? The first expedition I am booked to work on after the virus is Micronesia, New Guinea & Indonesia in 2021 with Silversea. Meanwhile I am giving a lecture on the Sunshine Coast (Australia) on the "Sounds of suburban south-east Queensland".