RESERVA COPALINGA

Copalinga

ABOUT COPALINGA RESERVE

Province: Zamora Chinchipe

Creation date: 2020

Area: 108.96 hectares (361 acres)

Temperature: 16 - 30 C

Ecosystem: Humid temperate / subtropical climate

Climate: Tropical climate

Altitudinal range: between 950 m. - 1600 m altitudinal

Fauna and Flora: Barred Hawk, Jasper Hummingbird, Coatí, Yaguarundi. As for plants, Orchid Bee. It is estimated a total of 220 species of birds only in the lower part of the reserve.

A Story To Be Told

For almost twenty years, Copalinga was owned by Boudewijn and Catherine Vits, a couple born and raised in Belgium. In 1998 they decided to leave their home country and change their life style. They left their office jobs at the University of Ghen and moved to the South of Ecuador. They chose to settle down in the beautiful Bombuscaro valley, "far away from stress and pollution," and "surrounded by mountains and tropical forest," close to the Podocarpus National Park.

Boudewijn and Catherine created the name "Copalinga" by fusing the names of two local trees and important food sources, "Copal" and "Inga," the latter know for its capability of fixating Nitrogen to the soil. Also, they built their own house from scratch, with the help of local people. Three years after their arrival, their son Augusto was born. "He came as a gift from the heavens." He was well integrated in the local culture and attended public school.

Driven by their enthusiasm about the mega-diverse region they had moved into, they decided to build cabins to host guests, share their passion for nature, and earn a small income. "We wanted our guests to enjoy the stunning nature and tranquil atmosphere in comfortable cabins with all basic amenities, serving delicious and healthy food and offering them a personalized, first class service, and at the same time minimizing our ecological impact."

In 2017, after almost two decades of owning one of the most famous and cherished birding lodges in the South of Ecuador, they decided to move back to Belgium. However, they didn't want all their conservation efforts and commitment to disappear. They reached out to Fundación Jocotoco and offered them to sell the lodge and their property. Appreciative of the valuable work Boudewijn and Catherine Vits had done, the Fundation seeked for funding and started managing the lodge in September of that year. In
August 2018 Copalinga was officially added to the network of private reserves owned by Fundacion Jocotoco and became its twelfth reserve.

Until 2019, we held the Nest Box Program for the Whit-breasted Parakeet.

In 2020, we are more focused on monitoring migratory birds that come from Canada and Unites States such as: Cerulean Warbler; Canada Warbler; Eastern Wood- Pewee; Western Wood-Pewee; Swainson Trush; Blackpoll Warbler; Black- and-White Warbler; Summer Tanager; Blackburnian Warbler, and Olive-sided Flycatcher.

HOW TO GET THERE

From the bus terminal of Zamora, take the road to the roundabout of "La Chapetona" and go through the detour to the Podocarpus National Park. Copalinga is located at Km 3 of this road, before the Bombuscaro entrance to the park.

The trails are open only for our Lodge guests, and those who have a previous reservation in our restaurant.

NOTE: The animals in the reserves must be fed ONLY by the persons in charge.

PLACES OF INTEREST

Services

  • Small Orchid Garden
  • Hideout to observe the Gray Tinamou
  • Feeders of Tangaras and Capuchin Monkeys
  • Hummingbird drinking troughs
  • Sighting of bats
  • 5 Trails of various difficulties
  • Waterfall on orange trail
  • Viewpoint on blue path
  • House of researchers

OTHER IMPORTANT ASPECTS

In the reserve several guabo trees have been planted at the foot of the slopes to improve soil drainage (the guabo helps to subtract water from the earth for high evapotranspiration), in addition to several native plants cedar, arabisco, pachaco, copal , yarasu wild, chonta, cannelloni, porotillo, guabillo, jíbaro in the surroundings of the area. On the other hand, a limited and controlled livestock of two horses is maintained to cut the grass in the pastures and produce fertilizer.

Logo Jocotours
To visit the reserve