• JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 44

You are here:6.7 Jorupe Reserve and Macará

6.7 Jorupe Reserve and Macará

The Jorupe Reserve is owned and managed by the Jocotoco Foundation.  The reserve is 1500 hectares in size, and there are plans to increase this protected area to 2500 hectares.  Jorupe is located in El Oro Province near the city of Macará.  The reserve lands are located very close to the Peruvian border at elevations between 500 m to 2200 m.

As of January, 2009, reserve staff and visitors recorded 177 bird species, that include some 30 regional endemics only share with adjacent northern Perú.  The Jocotoco Foundation is the leading organization protecting land for the most threatened and endangered bird species in Ecuador.



Tumbesian Lowlands, Southwestern Lower Montane and Foothill Forest.



Jorupe Reserve and Macará

Jorupe can be easily accessed from the nearby city of Macará.   There are many buses running on the Loja-Cariamanga-Macará Highway that reach the entrance road to Jorupe Reserve.  If you take a bus to Macará, you can drop off at the entrance and bird the reserve by foot.  You can easily hire a pickup truck in Macará to explore the reserve and the neighboring areas.

The Jocotoco Fundation recently built a wonderful lodge surrounded by forest inside the reserve.  The Urraca Lodge is certainly the best place to stay while visiting this reserve.  There are also a couple of nice, clean hotels in Macará.  Information regarding hotels in Macará can be obtained visiting the webpage:  Visitors will be asked to pay the US $10 or $2 for Ecuadorians, entrance ticket fee and register unless you are staying in the Urraca Lodge.

The lodge can only be visited upon request and permission from the Jocotoco Foundation / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Phone: 02-2457090 in during working hours, Monday to Friday).  The foundation will schedule your visit and make sure the park rangers and the lodge staff know you are coming.

The dirt road inside the reserve can be driven only with a high clearance vehicle.  During the rainy season from December through April, past the lodge a four wheel drive vehicle is necessary.  The Jocotoco Foundation staff will help you with transportation needs.



Jorupe Reserve and Macará

Starting at the fork in the north side of Macará, where the E35 Highway heads north toward Catacocha, and the road east goes to Sozoranaga and Utuana, set your odometer to 0.0 km. To read instructions on how to get here see the birding instructions in the Portovelo-Catacocha-Macará Road subchapter.

(Click here to download Map. Jorupe Reserve and Macará)

Drive east toward Sozoranga for just 4.7 km.  At this point you will see a dirt road on the left side of the highway.  This is the entrance road heading into the reserve and to the Urraca Lodge. Reset your odometer to 0.0 km for future references. If the gate is locked, drive for another 0.3 km where you will find a driveway on the left.  This leads to the ranger station, where you will get assistance to visit the reserve.

Drive the reserve entrance road for 0.5 km.  Here you will see the head start of trail # 1on your left.  Continue on up the road for 0.4 km, or 0.9 km from the highway.  Here you will see the start of trail # 2 on your left.  Driving on for 0.7 km, or 1.6 km from the highway you will find the driveway heading to the Urraca Lodge on the left.  The parking spot will be only 0.1 km from this point.  

The road continues up the mountain through forest for another 3.9 km, or 4.5 km from the highway.  This road ends at a house at an elevation of 800 meters.

The forest right around the lodge is home to several pairs of West Peruvian Screech-Owls and also a pair of Spectacled Owls.  Walking the road from the lodge down to the highway is a good way to get wonderful views of the canopy and bird activity along the edge.  Look especially for:  Red-masked Parakeet, Pacific Parrotlet, Black-billed Cuckoo (migrant, mainly april), Tumbes Swift, Gray-chinned Hermit, Long-billed Starthroat, Ecuadorian Trogon, Ecuadorian Piculet, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Blackish-headed Spinetail, Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner, Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner, Red-billed Scythebill, Collared Antshrike , Tumbesian Tyrannulet, Pacific Elaenia, Tumbes Pewee, Gray-breasted Flycatcher, Sooty-crowned Flycatcher, Slaty Becard, White-tailed Jay, Gray-and-gold Warbler, Black-and-white Tanager (seasonal), Black-capped SparrowWhite-edged Oriole, Yellow-tailed Oriole and Saffron Siskin.

The forest trails behind the lodge, specially heading down toward trails 2 and 1 are a better choice to look for:  Pale-browed Tinamou, Ochre-bellied Dove (seasonal), Blackish-headed Spinetail, Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner, Watkins´s Antpitta and Gray-breasted Flycatcher. The tinamou is now coming to feeders at the lodge!

Following the road above the lodge to its end, you can hike a trail climbing the hillside opposite to the house.  This strenuous trail goes through second-growth for almost 0.8 km before entering forest.  Once inside this forest you can climb as high as 1100 meters of elevation.  The forest at this elevation is where the healthiest and largest population of Gray-headed Antbirds to be found in Ecuador.

Another site important to this reserve is the Santa Teresa Protected forest of which 80% belongs to Jocotoco Fundation.   To visit the Santa Teresa property you must to return to Macará.  From the road divide on the outskirts north of Macará, where the E35 heads north toward Catacocha, and the road heading east goes to Sosoranaga and Utuana, mark 0.0 km.  

Take the highway heading north toward Catacocha and for 4.9 km.  At this point on the right hand side, and at the outer side of a sharp bend, you will find a dirt road.  This spot is near a site known as “Campamento Mandala”.

Reset your odometer for future reference to 0.0 km.  Drive up the dirt road for 1.9 km.  Here you will find the start of some forest patches that extend beyond for 1.3 km along this road until 3.2 km from the highway.  

Drive on for the next 1.4 km or 4.6 km from the highway.  Here you will find another patch of forest at an elevation of 1300 m.  The forest patches in this upper area are worth exploring as here you can find:  Line-cheeked Spinetail, Chapman´s Antshrike, Andean Slaty-Thrush, Silver-backed Tanager, Black-cowled Saltator and White-winged Brush-Finch.

To be able to explore some of the sites around Macará you can bird in or near the city.  Try driving in town, and particularly go the main plaza and church.  If the Macará’s clergy hasn’t knocked off the nests of Chestnut-collared Swallows hanging from the Church’s facade, you might see the swallows here.  Otherwise, you will have to tour around the city looking for an old house where the swallows have been allowed to keep their nesting colonies.

The rice fields between Macará and Jorupe , close to Río Macará, host Comb Ducks

Another interesting area is found along the road from Macará to Zapotillo.  From the divide in the outskirts north of Macará, where Highway E-35 heads north toward Catacocha and the road heading east goes to Sosoranaga and Utuana 0.0 km.  

Take the road south toward the Peruvian border and avoid entering town and drive for 8.0 km.  At this point you will find a road diversion. The main road continues ahead to the left and in just 0.9 km arrives at the Peruvian border.  

Take the right road toward Zapotillo and drive for 15.8 km.  Here you will find a dirt road on your right.  The signs might read “Pindal del Jujal”.  Find a place to park and walk back the highway toward Macará for about 1.8 km.  The forest patches along this stretch of road have some of the important birds also protected in Jorupe.   Look here for:  Tumbes Swift, Ecuadorian Trogon, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Blackish-headed Spinetail, Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner, Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner, Red-billed Scythebill, Collared Antshrike, Chapman´s Antshrike, Elegant Crescentchest , Pacific Elaenia, Tumbes Pewee, Gray-breasted Flycatcher, Sooty-crowned Flycatcher, White-tailed Jay and White-headed Brush-Finch.

From Jorupe Reserve and Macará you can continue toward Sozoranga to visit El Tundo Reserve and some forest patches along the road.  From the road entrance to the Jorupe Reserve, drive toward Sozoranga for 24.3 km, or 29.0 km from Macará.  Here on the left side is the entrance road to Tundo Reserve.  The small town of Sozoranga is only 0.9 km on ahead, or 29.9 km from Macará.


Birds to look for

Jorupe Reserve and Macará.

Andean   Mountain Scrub (AMS), Deciduous Forest (DF), Second-growth (2G), Rice Fields   (RF).

Common: Pacific Parrotlet (DF, 2G), Long-billed Starthroat (AMS,DF), Ecuadorian Trogon (DF), Line-cheeked Spinetail (AMS,2G), Collared Antshrike (DF,   2G), Pacific Elaenia (DF,2G), White-tailed Jay (DF,2G), Gray-and-gold Warbler (DF,2G), Silver-backed Tanager (AMS,2G), Streaked Saltator (AMS,2G,   DF), Southern Yellow-Grosbeak (AMS,2G,   DF), Black-capped Sparrow (DF,2G).

Uncommon: Pale-browed Tinamou (DF), Red-masked Parakeet (DF,2G), Gray-cheeked Parakeet (DF,2G), West Peruvian Screech-Owl (DF), Spectacled Owl (DF), Tumbes Swift (AMS,2G,DF), Gray-chinned   Hermit (AMS,2G, DF), Ecuadorian Piculet (DF, 2G), Scarlet-backed Woodpecker (DF,2G), Guayaquil Woodpecker (DF), Blackish-headed Spinetail (DF), Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner (AMS,2G), Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner (DF), Red-billed Scythebill (DF), Chapman´s Antshrike   (AMS,2G), Watkins´s   Antpitta (DF), Elegant Crescentchest (2G), Tumbesian Tyrannulet (DF,2G), Tumbes   Pewee (DF,2G), Gray-breasted Flycatcher (DF), Sooty-crowned Flycatcher (DF,2G), Slaty Becard (DF), Chestnut-collared Swallow, Andean Slaty-Thrush (AMS,2G), Black-cowled Saltator (AMS,2G), White-winged Brush-Finch   (AMS,2G), White-headed Brush-Finch (AMS,2G),White-edged Oriole (DF,2G).

Rare: Comb Ducks (RF), Ochre-bellied Dove (DF), Black-billed Cuckoo (DF), Black-and-white Tanager (DF,2G), Saffron Siskin (DF,2G).


For a complete Jorupe Bird list visit Bird List-Jorupe.

Copyright © 2010 by Lelis Navarrete

All rights reserved. This web book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author and Jocotoco Foundation except for the use of brief quotations in a book review and to print the information for traveling in Ecuador purposes.

You may not mirror, modify or otherwise alter any files in this website for rebroadcast, print or distribute in anyway the information contained therein with commercial purposes , without written permission from the author. Except as expressly provided above.

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.


Jocotoco Foundation

  • Lizardo García E9-104 y Andrés Xaura,
  • Quito - Ecuador
  • Tel: +593 2 250-5212
  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.