“Dreaming doesn’t cost a penny”. Those were the words Jorge’s mother told him when he shared his dream with her. Today, 13 years later, he runs two lots of paradise for wildlife conservation in the Amazon Basin, both located in Pastaza.
Getting to Tamandúa Ecolodge along tiny jungle paths is not an easy task: it is a 30-minute walk, submerged in vegetation. Imagine how much more complicated it was for the people and horses that brought the building materials from Puyo, the same ones that make up 90% of the lodge’s structure.
The place is an authentic sanctuary of flora and fauna: this independent reserve is dedicated to reintroducing rescued wild animals into their natural habitat. Currently there are over 300 individuals: birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles.
Night-time walks in search of frogs, having a coffee while hummingbirds zoom nearby, walking alongside a shaman in search of medicinal plants or enjoying a wonderful view of the Upper Amazon Basin from the balcony during breakfast, are just some of Tamandua’s unique experiences. Ceramic remains are also kept and displayed (estimated to be between 1,200 and 2,000 years old). They belong to the communities that migrated from Brazil to the Ecuadorian Andes and are true relics.
The project is young, it turned only two this year, but Jorge linked it with a previous venture: the Yana Cocha Biopark, a wildlife rescue center where many of the animals that now live in Tamandúa come from. The maintenance of the project is not cheap or simple: it is self-managed and does’t enjoy the support of public institutions. But, little by little, it continues to expand its borders: today it offers programs that include lodging, food and guiding so people from all over the world can visit. Tamandúa also accepts volunteers, research students or people who wish to contribute to a crucial rescue and conservation model for the country.
Pastaza, km.21 Vía Puyo-Tena
+(593 9) 87 12 3029