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“A great nature reserve”

Reserva Ecologica Rio Blanco
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US$94.00*
and up
Portillo and Inca Lagoon Day Trip from Santiago
Ranked #13 of 55 things to do in Manizales
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 7 March 2014

This is a place for seeing some of Colombias special birds - Antpittas. The warden of the guest house and park, together his charming wife give warm but simple hospitality and he can show up to 5 species of antpitta at close range. Amazingly hard place to find - thank goodness we had a guide who knew the way through the back streets.

1  Thank pnbfried
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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21 - 25 of 67 reviews

Reviewed 20 January 2014

We visited this lodge with our bird tour company Ecoturs. We were on a specialist birding holiday and were visiting here to see the Antpittas being fed with worms. Our room was in a block away from the main building. It was a triple ensuite room, which was fairly basic but clean and with plenty of blankets. The staff were friendly and helpful. Dinner was in the main block and was very tasty, but not lots of it. They were able to cater well for our vegetarian diet and our fussy 11 year old daughter. There were lots of hummingbird feeds around the main building, which brought in a good selection of birds including Swordbilled Hummingbird. The next morning, we went to see 2 Antpitta species (Chestnut -crowned and Brown-banded Antpittas)at 2 separate feeding sites as well as Slaty-backed Nightingale-thrush. We then walked up the road for more birding. There was virtually no traffic on the road and was perfect for birding from. We saw a good variety of new birds in the area above the lodge. The experience at this lodge was fantastic for the Antpittas but also for the birding. if you are not interested in birds, then there is little in point in coming to this lodge and reserve as the landscape is not that beautiful and the reserve is not big enough for hiking.

4  Thank Helena C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2013

We requested a hiking and birdwatching trip and were charged for this but only did a short walk up a road. Our female guide was more interested in talking to they guy with the worms for the ant pittas and other staff she bumped into along the way and wasn't interested in doing any other bird watching. The guy with the worms was almost an hour late and we were just sat at the hummingbird feeders waiting during that time. Overall, way overpriced and not the great birding experience we were expecting. I get the impression that rich birders simply come here and pay the money to see the four species of ant pitta and go again. A total shame because it could be a great little birdwatching place but it is currently falling way short.

6  Thank Bec J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2013

I am a casual birder and the ability to see ant pitas (including an endemic) was nice but...
Good for a day trip. Nice guide (English spoken - very good bird guide) and host living on site. Make a reservation with the owner of the reserve (Manizales Water Department). An aqueduct flows through the reserve and is the main trail other than the road. Captive Spectacled Bear (sad but enclosure is around a 1/4 acre). Foreigners are charged double for room and higher rates for food. Stay in town as Manizales borders the reserve and the reserve charges for each guest regardless of how many are in a room.

You drive past a trash strewn river on poorly signed road to get to the entrance. It looks not at all promising until you get past the gravel mining (by hand) operations.

2  Thank Jiminsandiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2013

I had heard a lot about this sanctuary before visiting. It was clearly hyped and I was disappointed with my experience, compared to other lodges and parks in Colombia, like Rio Claro Refuge. Rio Blanco is certainly not one of the top spots for birds and nature in Colombia. Rather it felt more like a forestry plantation. Overall to much expense and pre-trip hassle to be worth a visit.

3  Thank Luis Eduardo G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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