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EL DORADO NATURE RESERVE – ACCOMMODATION

Named after the legendary city of gold, El Dorado is the ProAves’ flagship reserve and the holy Grail for birding in the Americas.  EL Dorado Nature Reserve includes 10 rooms and five Kogihabs offering wonderful views of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and its legendary sunsets over the Caribbean Sea.

You must make a reservation prior to your visit. 

Visitors will enjoy  full board including

  • Conservation Fee (US$50)
  • Breakfast (value US $8) – Restaurant Hours: From 6:00 a.m. to 9:30 am.
  • Lunch (value $15) – Restaurant Hours: 12:00 m to 2:00 pm.
  • Dinner (value $15) – Restaurant Hours: From 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.
  • Depending on arrival time, visitors can enjoy lunch and/or dinner.
  • Internet access when possible.
  • Unlimited water, coffee, tea and fruit.
  • Bird watching of endemic bird species, feeders as well as different species of mammals and wildlife in general.
  • Enjoy trails, observation towers, terraces and seating areas.
  • If you would like a private guide please add it to your reservation.
  • Visit our Things to do page for more details.

Our NEW KOGIHABS are located about 15 minutes from the main lodge, these rooms are only recommended for visitors able to walk through the forest in uneven paths.

The Sierra Nevada Eco-Center welcomes visitors and has an Eco-shop; ideal for buying gifts and souvenirs that support conservation. The Blue Moon Restaurant serves excellent meals. Relax and enjoy beautiful views from the bar, whilst having a drink in the evening.

Due to its location conditions EL Dorado Nature Reserve often has electric power cuts,  we please enjoy candles and bring your personal flashlight with you.

You must make your reservation with no less than 24 hours in advance.  Walk-in reservations are not allowed at any of the EcoLodges.

Cancellation Policies

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THINGS TO DO AND TRAVEL TIPS

We are a globally significant nature reserve, committed to producing finances to invest in conservation all around Colombia, we do our best to make your stay confortable; however the challenges of being in such a remote place means that sometimes we have issues out of control, please be patient with us and know that it is a privilege to be in a place that is recovering from years of brutal violence and would not have been preserved if wasn’t for the work of Proaves and the individuals and partners who have supported us world wide. We are not yet at the level of other countries that have been able to do this for a lot longer.. but we’re certainly working towards it.

In the mornings you can:

  • 00 am – Watch the sunrise at the Kogi terraces.
  • Birdwatching from the observation tower: 370 meters up the road above the lodge
  • Birdwatching on the ridge overlooking the Carriker Sanctuary.
  • Birdwatching along the trails:
    • Trail to the Mirador (viewing place).
    • The Quetzal trail to the Kogi terraces
    • La Cumbre trail to the San Lorenzo Ridge (may not be available if weather has caused damage to the path)
  • Walking up and down the road is also excellent for birdwatching

AFTERNOON

  • Request a presentation about El Dorado and about ProAves
  • Enjoy hummingbird observation by the terrace.
  • At 4.30 PM each day we invite you to walk along the trail to the terraces and watch the sunset over the Caribbean. Take a torch / flash light as you return to the lodge after 6 PM
  • 6 PM – Enjoy the most amazing sunsets from the Lodge Balcony

  

NIGHT

  • When requested, at 7.30 pm – Night wildlife watching. Leaving from the restaurant. Duration 1 hour.
  • Enjoy the Giles mini pub.
  • Watch for Santa Marta Night Monkeys from the Lodge Balcony after 6.30 PM (spot lights needed)

 

ADDITIONAL

  • Early morning birding
    • In a 4×4 vehicle. Cost $90USD for up to 4 people
    • Early morning birding, leaving at 4.30 AM from the lodge
    • Transportation is required.
    • About 80-90 minutes up the very rough road towards Cerro Kennedy to watch the sunrise over the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Amazing view of the three snow peaks on a clear morning.
    • Most rare endemic birds seen around the tower (e.g. Santa Marta Parakeet, Santa Marta Mountain-tanager).
    • Packed breakfast will be provided at the tower.
    • Bird watching and nest boxes observation along the road and around the tower.
    • Return to the lodge around 11:45am

 EL DORADO ECOLODGE LOCATION

Located about 3.5 hours from Santa   Marta  and 2 hours from Minca,  it is necesary to have a 4×4 vehicle due to the road conditions after Minca. A mecca for birding in the Americas, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta rises 19,000 feet from the Caribbean coast.

Altitud: 900 – 2600 meters (1900m lodge)    Climate: Mild 18 C (65 F), misty.  Dry season: Nov-April

TRANSPORT

We can arrange your pick up from Santa Marta, Minca, Cartagena, or any other location close by,  just add it to your stay in the BOOK NOW page.  For more information contact us at visit@proaves.org

TRIP DURATION

  • Santa Marta Airport to El Dorado Ecolodge  – 3.5 hours
  • Cartagena International Airport to El Dorado Ecolodge –  5 hours
  • Barranquilla International Airport to El Dorado Ecolodge – 4 hours
  • Barlovento to El Dorado Ecolodge – 3. 5 hours
  • Minca to El Dorado Ecolodge – 1.5 hours

TRAVEL TIPS

When planning your trip to El Dorado please take into consideration:

  • Allow at least 3.5 hours to arrive to the Ecolodge from Santa Marta.
  • When departing from the Eco lodge to Santa Marta Airport allow at least 5.0 hours.
  • Bring outdoors clothing and equipment such as walking boots, head torch, rain jacket, sun cream etc.
  • Please let us know your approximate arrival time so that we can prepare either lunch or/and dinner.
  • We recommend you arrive when there’s still day light (before 6:00pm).
  • Temperatures can drop at night time. Average  10 oC – 15 oC in the early mornings; please bring appropriate clothing.
  • During raining season ( May – Oct approximately), please bring appropriate waterproof clothing including a small umbrella which can be surprisingly useful.

El Dorado is the ultimate place to relax and enjoy nature, amid spectacular views and abundant wildlife. Its emerald forests invite encounters with a wide variety of wildlife.

You must make your reservation with no less than 24 hours in advance.  Walk-in reservations are not allowed at any of the EcoLodges.

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EL DORADO SUSTAINABILITY & CONSERVATION

El Dorado – One of the most important reserves for biodiversity in the world

  • El Dorado protects populations of 21 endemic bird species and 9 endemic amphibian species – almost all are threatened with extinction.
  • The global stronghold of Santa Marta Parakeets is within the reserve.
  • The Sierra Nevada reserve was named the “Most Irreplaceable Site on Earth” of over 173,000 Protected Areas assessed worldwide and published by the journal Science
  • It is the most important private protected area in the tropics.
  • Biodiversity in the protected area includes
    Families Genera Species
    Amphibians 6 7 16
    Reptiles 6 9 10
    Birds 42 178 357
    Mammals 15 28 30

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