Reserva Buenaventura

South Coast

Run by the Fundación Jocotoco, this 27-sq-km cloud-forest reserve is a fantastic spot for bird-watching. There are a number of short trails, simple wooden cabins (per person including full board $130), and a restaurant (day visitors should pre-order meals before their visit) with hummingbirds whirring about. Half-a-dozen hummingbird feeders are set up on the balcony, so you can see them up close. Other species in the area include umbrella birds, toucans and parakeets.

At the time of research there was a coati family living near the lodge. It's located about 9km from Piñas down a dirt road. Ask for comprehensive directions when you book, as it's tricky to find.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby South Coast attractions

1. La Mina el Sexmo

8.91 MILES

While Zaruma's mines are mostly exhausted or closed to visitors, you can step inside a 500m-long tunnel in La Mina el Sexmo. Guests don boots and a helmet…

2. Virgen del Carmen Church


The town's beautifully decorated church, with a white, mint green and gold interior, dates back to 1912, and is worth a look. It's located in the main…

3. Templo de Lourdes

28.04 MILES

The Templo de Lourdes is worth a peek inside for its replicas of famous European religious paintings. You won’t mistake this church for the Louvre, but…

4. Peña de Shiriculapo

28.15 MILES

The infamous Peña de Shiriculapo is a shrine-cum-mirador (lookout) known for its vertigo-inducing views of the Casanga Valley. Access it through the small…

5. El Bosque Petrificado Puyango


A 4km boardwalk loop leads to the petrified forest (take the trail behind the toilet block; another dirt road to the left leads to private land). The dry…