Recommended by Lonely Planet, Frommer’s Ecuador & The Galapagos Islands, Moon Travel, Fodor’s S.A, Hunters Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands & Footprints travel guides










#2 Itinerary prepared on:  August 13, 2008

For:  Chris Bazinet ~ St. John’s University

Travel dates:  January 7 – 16, 2009

9 nights/10 days


San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve - the regions only private reserve, situated on 200 acres of native flora and fauna, in the Pichincha Foothills, just 17 minutes from Quito Airport, and yet a world apart from the busy city.  We are a traditional 18th Century Resort, nestled in a rustic mountain setting.  San Jorge offers peace and tranquility, quality personalized service, restaurant, pool and convenient airport transfers.  Enjoy virgin nature and Ecuadorian tradition at San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve, within a comfortable Eco-Resort environment.  Our tours offer practical education on ecology, botany, ornithology, archeology, and the awareness of the surrounding environment, with bilingual private guides.   The Last Inca Emperor’s Trail at San Jorge Eco-Lodge Botanical Reserve provides a first hand experience of pre-Inca and Inca history with its ancient trails for miles of hiking and trekking.  Enjoy the pristine beauty at San Jorge de Milpe Eco-Lodge, with beautiful hiking trails, running rivers, cascading waterfalls, observatory sites, 300 varieties of orchids, 30 varieties of hummingbirds and over 450 bird species.  San Jorge’s two eco-lodge locations are central to the 4 climate steps of Ecuador; the High Barren Plains, Highland Rainforest, Cloud Forest and Subtropical Rainforest, making it the ideal retreat for nature enthusiasts.

San Jorge owns 4 private natural reserves throughout Ecuador, known as The Magic Circuit.  Kept in the rich, natural state, all of our exclusive reserves offer the chance to fully immerse yourself in all that is Ecuador; a diverse array of flora, fauna, climate regions and hundreds of beautiful bird species await you.  Our tours will take you through San Jorge Botanical Reserve (High Barren Plains/Highland Rainforest), San Jorge de Tandayapa (Cloud Forest) lower valley, San Jorge de Cosanga-Yanayacu Wildlife & Bird Reserve, connected to Antizana National Park,  (Andes Cloud Forest), and San Jorge de Milpe Orchid & Bird Reserve, located near Mindo (Subtropical Rainforest)  known for its majestic waterfalls and swimming holes.  With over 1,000 species of birds, 52 species of Hummingbirds, wildlife, and diverse flora and fauna within 5 different eco-systems, we offer the best options for birdwatching, nature and cultural tours.

Upon your evening arrival at Quito Airport, you will be met by your escort and transferred to the beautiful San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve, which will be your primary base.

San Jorge Eco-Lodge & Botanical Reserve located in the High Barren Plains/Highland Rainforest.  Beautiful Andes hacienda rooms with private baths & hot showers, comfortable & decorated in typical décor, heated with fireplaces, central heat/electric heat. Accommodations include triple rooms (3 beds), with private bath and hot shower. Enjoy peace & tranquility at our mountain lodge in the Pichincha Foothills.  Enjoy our outdoor tempered swimming pool, sauna, Turkish Bath, and Jacuzzi; game room, lounge, and museum.  Explore our beautiful vast gardens and exotic birds, within a comfortable Eco-Resort environment.   Relax at our festive El Cucayco Restaurant, serving delicious Ecuadorian and international cuisine, and overlooks the valley of Quito.


NEW San Jorge de Milpe Eco-Lodge is located in the Subtropical Rainforest at San Jorge de Milpe Orchid & Bird Reserve.   Accommodations include standard triple or double rooms with twin beds, with private bath and hot shower, an observatory deck with panoramic views; relax and watch the hummingbirds eating at their feeders. You can even spot birds from the windows of your room! This brand new eco-lodge has the comfort and rustic elegance of a rainforest lodge, with spectacular scenery, making it the ideal retreat.


San Jorge’s tour’s are all inclusive, including airport transfers, lodging, meals, bilingual guides, tours, private transportation, reserve entrance fees, Galapagos Cruise & Airfare, and tax.

  • Day One – Jan 7 – Airport transfer from Quito Airport to San Jorge Eco-Lodge, overnight lodging San Jorge/Quito
  • Day Two – Jan 8 – Conservation at San Jorge de Tandayapa Hummingbird Reserve (Cloud Forest)  A wonderful eco-day with hands-on projects of planting native trees/plants and helping to maintain trails, including a guided nature hike through the network of trails in the Cloud Forest, with botanical and bird identification.  Picnic lunch at San Jorge Bungalow viewing hummingbirds feeding at their feeders, spectacular views.  Later in afternoon continue on to visit The Middle of the World Original Monument in Cala Cali with latitude of 00.00, on the way to San Jorge de Milpe Eco-Lodge ; overnight San Jorge/Milpe  (B, bL, D)

  • Day Three – Jan 9 - San Jorge de Milpe Orchid & Bird Reserve (Subtropical Rain Forest)  Hiking and nature expedition with swimming.  Visit a wild virgin cloud forest around Pichincha Mountain and trek on great jungle trails inside a natural paradise, observing a variety of birds along the way, along with orchid observation, hummingbirds at their feeders, and bird observation on our pre-inca hillside. This is considered a bird watching paradise, of about 450 species; majestic waterfalls, wild surroundings, tropical plants/flowers/300 varieties of orchids, and exotic birds within our tropical reserve.  A unique soft adventure for active people of all ages. Overnight San Jorge/Milpe (B,L,D)
  • Day Four – Jan 10 – After breakfast, transfer to San Jorge/Quito.
  • 1:30 – 4:30 pm - Sacred Waterfalls & Medicinal Plant Hiking Tour at San Jorge Botanical Reserve.  We will trek to the Highland Tropical Rainforest, visiting up to 5 sacred waterfalls. Here, we will learn about some of the 250 varieties of native medicinal plants in the region. At the same time, you will take in the fabulous panoramic views of Quito, its lush valleys and majestic mountains and the volcano peaks of Cayambe, Antizana, Pasochoa, Pululahua, Pichincha, and Illalo. We can observe 11 mountains from various points of San Jorge Botanical Reserve. Overnight San Jorge/Quito (B,L,D)
  • Day Five – Jan 11 – AM transfer to Quito Airport to The Galapagos Islands (B) airfare included.
  • Days Five – Nine – Jan 11 – 15 – Galapagos Islands Cruise aboard The Aida Maria Yacht, Superior Tourist, 16 person charter, 8 twin cabins with private bath/hot shower, 3 meals per day, naturalist guide for daily excursions to the islands, airport transfer to yacht.  For more information on Aida Maria, see:,
  • Day Nine– Jan 15 – Return flight to Quito Airport; transfer to San Jorge/Quito; overnight lodging (D)
  • Day Ten – Jan 16 – AM transfer to Quito Airport for your flight home (B)

Student “program cost” from St. John’s: $3450.00 includes all airfares, meals, accommodations at Ecolodges and aboard Galapagos cruise, ground transportation/trasfers in Ecuador.  Admission to Galapagos Natl park (currently $100.) tips, extra drinks, and tuition not included.


Includes: Lodging - based on triple/double occupancy, airport transfers, meals as shown – B = Breakfast, bL = boxed Lunch, L = Lunch, D = Dinner), bilingual guides, transportation, tours, Galapagos Cruise & Airfare, tax.

Excludes:  Travel or medical insurance, extra meals, soda/bar, extra transfers or tours other than ones noted in package inclusions; personal expenses; Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee - $100.00 USD per person (16 people) upon arrival; Galapagos Transit Card - $10.00 USD per person (16 people).


All tours include bilingual guide and transportation; are moderately paced for active people and may be joined with other guests at San Jorge Eco-Lodges.





Please visit our guest book from recent visitors at San Jorge:


San Jorge Photo Slideshow link: