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You are here:2.3.3 Rio Palenque Reserve

2.3.3 Rio Palenque Reserve

Recently known as “Rio Palenque Tropical Forest”, the Rio Palenque Reserve is a 115 hectare preserve that is owned and managed by the Wong Foundation.   The elevation ranges from 100 to 170 meters and is one of the last remaining forest patches in the region of Rio Palenque.  The reserve is surrounded by farm and grasslands. The Rio Palenque preserve property is actually 190 hectare of which 75 hectare are dedicated to the tropical fruit production and Agro-forestry. 



Chocó Lowland Rain Forest.



Rio Palenque Reserve.

This site is located very close to the Santo Domingo-Quevedo-Guayaquil highway.  There is plenty of public bus transportation stopping along the front entrance of the reserve. You can also drop off a bus in the nearby town of Patricia Pilar and hire a pickup truck or taxi to take you into Rio Palenque.  From Patricia Pilar it is about 3 km. to the forest edge and 3.5 km to the Palenque Field Station.   There are no camping facilities, but the Palenque Field Station has very comfortable rooms with private or shared bathrooms, and also provides full board if required.   It is necessary to arrange your visit, even if only for a day, through the Wong Foundation email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.%20">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call the Guayaquil headquarters during working hours 2208670 /2208680 Fax: 2208707.   You can also call the RioPalenqueScientificCenter at 099745790.   As a day visitor a there is a $5 US per person entrance fee.

You can visit Rio Palenque after you have visited the Tinalandia lodge.



Rio Palenque Reserve.

To get to the Rio Palenque after leaving the Tinlandia Lodge entrance, you will drive toward the coast along the Aloag-Santo   Domingo Highway. This is point 0.0 toward Santo Domino.   After going 9.9 km you must make a right hand exit at a sign to Quebedo.   This is the Santo Domingo bypass to avoid the city.  After 10.7 km you will exit the Santo Domingo bypass at 20.6 km from the Tinalandia entrance.   Here turn to the left and drive for 40.9 km to the town of Patricia Pilar, which is 61.5 km from the entrance to Tinlandia.  Drive only 2.7 km from Patricia Pilar, which is 63.2 km from the Tinalandia entrance, you will see the Rio Palenque gate on your left.

(Click here to download Map. Rio Palenque Reserve).

The guard at the gate should know about your previously arranged visit.  After going through the Rio Palenque Reserve entrance at 0.0 km, you will drive along farmland for 2.3 km.  Here the road forks. The left road goes into forest in about only 700meters, 3.0 km from the entrance, further 500 meters more at the end of the road, 3.5 km from entrance, you will reach the parking place and the Rio Palenque Research Station.  Returning to the fork 2.3 km fork from the Rio Palenque entrance the road to the right goes through farmland for 1km more at 3.3 km from the entrance. There is another fork in the road here.  The left road immediately enters the forest.  Begin looking for the Slaty-winged Foliage-gleaner at this spot. This road after a rather long walk ends up by the Research Station. The right hand road goes ahead for 700 more meters, or 4.0 km from the entrance, through farmland.   There will be a fork with the left hand road going to the “Casa Dodson”.  This area is surrounded by forest and nice overlooks.   The right hand road continues through farmland for 400 more meters before entering forest and descending to the Palenque River in approximately 1 more kilometer.

The forest surrounding the research station is a great place to look for birds where Orange-fronted Barbet and Dusky-faced Tanager are fairly common.   The forest surrounding Casa Dodson, and especially the forest along the road to Casa Dodson, is good for Rufous-headed Chachalaca and Rufous-winged Antwren.  There are many worthwhile trails to explore and especially the path heading down the river from the Research Station.  Here close to the river the rare and local Ochraceous Attila can be seen. The grassy forest edges heading towards Casa Dodson is a good place to look for the Elegant Crescentchest. Red-billed Scythebill is fairly common in bamboo stands.


Birds to look for

Rio Palenque Reserve.

Second   Growth Forest (2GF), Forest (F), Grasslands (G), Rivers (R).

Common: Ecuadorian Ground-Dove (2GF, G), White-tipped Dove   (2GF, G), Pallid Dove (2GF, F), Pacific Parrotlet (2GF, G), Gray-rumped Swift    (2GF, F), Orange-fronted Barbet (2GF, F),   Pale-mandibled Araçari (2GF, F), Black-cheeked Woodpecker (2GF, F), Pacific   Hornero (G), Plain-brown Woodcreeper (2GF, F),Wedge-billed Woodcreeper (2GF,   F), Streak-headed Woodcreeper (2GF, F), Dot-winged Antwren (2GF, F),   Chestnut-backed Antbird (2GF, F), Sooty-headed Tyrannulet (2GF), Southern   Beardless-Tyrannulet (2GF, G), Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet (2GF),   Yellow-bellied Elaenia (2GF, G), Common Tody-Flycatcher (2GF, G), Bran-colored   Flycatcher (2GF), ), White-bearded Manakin (2GF, F), Lesser Greenlet (2GF,   F), Band-backed Wren (2GF), Bay Wren (2GF), Blue Dacnis (2GF, F), Thick-billed   Euphonia (2GF, F), Bay-headed Tanager (2GF, F), White-shouldered Tanager   (2GF, F), Lemon-rumped Tanager (2GF, F), Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager (2GF, F),   Buff-throated Saltator (2GF, F), Variable Seedeater (2GF, G), Chestnut-throated   Seedeater (2GF, G).

Uncommon: Cocoi Heron (R), Gray Hawk (2GF, F), Laughing   Falcon (2GF, F), Rufous-headed Chachalaca (2GF, F), White-throated Crake (G),    Ruddy Pigeon (2GF, F), Blue Ground-Dove   (2GF, G), Blue-headed Parrot (2GF, F), Mealy Amazon (2GF, F), Little Cuckoo (2GF),   Black-and-white Owl (2GF, F), Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift (2GF, F),   Band-tailed Barbthroat (2GF, F), Baron's Hermit (2GF, F), Stripe-throated   Hermit (2GF, F), Black-throated Mango (2GF, F), Blue-chested Hummingbird  (2GF, F), Ecuadorian Trogon (2GF, F),

Western   White-tailed Trogon (2GF, F), Northern Violaceous Trogon (2GF, F), Rufous   Motmot (2GF, F), Blue-crowned Motmot (2GF, F), Pied Puffbird (2GF,   F),White-whiskered Puffbird (2GF, F), Chocó Toucan (2GF, F), Olivaceous   Piculet (2GF), Red-rumped Woodpecker (2GF, F), Guayaquil Woodpecker (2GF, F),   Scarlet-backed Woodpecker (2GF), Western Woodhaunter (2GF, F), Buff-throated   Foliage-gleaner (2GF, F), Red-billed Scythebill (2GF, F), Fasciated Antshrike   (2GF, F), Great Antshrike (2GF, F), Western Slaty-Antshrike (2GF, F), Plain   Antvireo (2GF, F), Checker-throated Antwren (2GF, F), White-backed Fire-eye   (2GF, F), Black-headed Antthrush (2GF, F), Brown-capped Tyrannulet (2GF, F), Gray   Elaenia (F), Greenish Elaenia (2GF, F), Ochre-bellied Flycatcher (2GF, F), Black-headed   Tody-Flycatcher (F), Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher (2GF, F), Purple-throated   Fruitcrow (2GF, F), Blue-crowned Manakin (2GF, F), Gray-and-gold Warbler   (2GF, F), Purple Honeycreeper (2GF, F), Scarlet-thighed Dacnis (2GF, F), Guira
  Tanager (2GF, F), Silver-throated Tanager (2GF, F), Dusky-faced Tanager (2GF,   F), Crimson-breasted Finch (2GF, G).

Rare: Little Tinamou (2GF, F), Tiny Hawk (2GF, F), Plain-breasted   Ground-Dove (2GF, G),

Band-rumped   Swift (2GF, F), Bronzy Hermit (2GF, F), Cinnamon Woodpecker (2GF, F), Slaty-winged   Foliage-gleaner (2GF, F), Rufous-winged Antwren (F), Elegant Crescentchest   (2GF, G), Pacific Royal-Flycatcher (2GF, F), Ochraceous Attila (2GF, F).

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Meet the Author

Lelis Navarrete – Birding tour leader. Lelis has 19 years of experience as a birding guide and naturalist in the field. He has led groups of birders throughout most of Latin America, guiding frequently in countries like his native country of Ecuador and in the Galapagos Islands, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Panama. A Biology B.Sc. graduate from Universidad Católica in Quito, Lelis has supported Jocotoco Foundation since its founding in 1998 and was an active Board Member until 2010 supporting Ecuadorian bird and wildlife conservation. Lelis divides his time between his two great passions in life: birding and spending time with his wife Solange and son Fabian with whom he lives in Quito.


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