On the highway heading from Quito to Mindo, there is a small dirt road leading up into the mountains just before the town of Nanegalito. It is normally a way to the subtropical cloud forest of the Bellavista Reserve but the road is in bad condition and not recommended for the faint of heart. But just a short distance up the road, before the worrisome parts, there is a small home called Alambi. Most people just drive on by, not even realizing that this property provides a small oasis for hummingbirds and those that appreciate seeing them. It is a spot where you can stop for a few minutes, an hour or two and include a meal, or overnight in the beautiful home itself. All you need is a reservation.
We only discovered Alambi because on our first visit to the Bellavista Reserve, our driver was replaced last minute by the caretaker of this property. He had us visit for a few minutes so that we could marvel at the plethora of hummingbirds in the small garden. Since then, I have been waiting for an excuse to return.
I found the reason a few weeks ago when I planned a trip with friends to the Bellavista Reserve. Our itinerary included a morning visit to Alambi where, for the very reasonable cost of $10, we breakfasted on the back patio with a view of at least a dozen hummingbird feeders and the constant movement of tiny birds. I found it very hard to sit down even for the excellent breakfast of scrambled eggs, croquettes made of yucca stuffed with fresh cheese, home-made ají, freshly squeezed orange juice, freshly brewed coffee, and a bowl of fruit salad. The breakfast was stellar but I couldn’t get enough of the birds, their tiny feathers shining in the morning light. Both my husband and I photographed prolifically. Here are some of the better shots of the morning.
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