Colibri Nature Trail: A Rare Bird Watching Paradise

The Ayampe Reserve

The Colibri Nature Trail lies within the Ayampe Reserve, which consists of 14 hectares of protected semi-humid forest along the Pacific Coast of Ecuador. Every year hundreds of visitors arrive to Ayampe to explore the Colibri Nature Trail.

Bird watching in this trail is special, not only because of its natural, serene beauty, but because Ayampe is home to the 2nd smallest bird in the world called the Estrellita Esmeraldeña Colibri or the Esmeraldas Woodstar Hummingbird in English. The Esmeraldas Woodstar Hummingbird is about the size of a bee and can be spotted throughout this route.

With hectares of protected area, the Ayampe Reserve is full of diverse plant life as well as a variety of bird and butterfly species. While the majority of bird watchers come to spot the Esmeraldas Woodstar Hummingbird, you can also spot other globally threatened bird species, such as the Grey-backed Hawk, Grey-cheeked Parakeet, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Little Woodstar, Slaty Becard, Ochraceous Attila, Henna-hooded Foliage-Gleaner and, if you are lucky, the Ghost Bat.

Observe the world’s second smallest bird

The Ayampe Reserve is vital to the preservation of the endangered Esmeraldas Woodstar as it is the only known protected breeding site. Additionally, the hummingbird is unique to Ecuador as it has not been spotted in any other country in the world.

The best time of the year for bird watching in the Ayampe Reserve is between December and March, during the mating season of the Esmeraldas Woodstar. To spot the Esmeraldas Woodstar Hummingbird, La Casa long-term hostel recommends finding its food source: the Muntingia Calabura tree, which is a small cherry tree with white flowers.

For more information on the Ayampe Reserve, its bird species, and preservation efforts, please visit Jocotoco Foundation. The Jocotoco Foundation, the community of Ayampe, and La Casa long-term hostel encourage visitors and bird watchers alike to the practice the “Leave No Trace Policy”, but…

If you take anything, take photos.

If you leave anything, leave footprints.

Together we can preserve our planet for generations to enjoy.


  • La Casa
    long-term hostel

    Long-term beachfront living in Ayampe, Ecuadorfrom $150 / weekLa Casa — Long-term beachfront living in Ayampe, Ecuador
  • José Barba and Arian Nabavian

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La Casa — Long-term beachfront living in Ayampe, Ecuador


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  • Ayampe


    La Casa is situated right on the beach of the small coastal town of Ayampe.

    Travelers from all over the world come to Ayampe to cultivate a community of peace, happiness, and mutual respect.

How to get to La Casa

Arriving in Ecuador

The nearest international airport is in Guayaquil. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to Ayampe.

from Guayaquil

Take a bus either to Olon or Montanita. It is the CLP bus company (large brown/maroon buses) direct from the Guayaquil Bus Terminal.

from Montañita / Olon

Take a green Manglaralto bus heading north. Ask the bus to stop at Ayampe. Ayampe is approximately 25 minutes away. Taxis from Montanita or Olon are around $15.

from Quito

Take the Reina Del Camino Bus directly to Puerto Lopez.

from Puerto Lopez

Take a green Manglaralto bus heading south. Ask the bus to stop at Ayampe. Ayampe is approximately 15 minutes away. Taxis from Puerto Lopez are $5.

Once in Ayampe

The bus will let you off on the E15 by a small store. It is a five minute walk to La Casa from here. Walk straight towards the ocean. At the end of the road, La Casa is the large white three-story building directly on the corner.

See you soon!

La Casa — Long-term beachfront living in Ayampe, Ecuador