Canton Sardinas, Quijos, Ecuador – 29 February, 2012– Endless River Adventures announces the opening of the RíoQuijos EcoLodge and Reserve alongside the Quijos River, Ecuador.
The Quijos Valley was opened up to a broader population in the late 1960’s when oil was discovered in the northeast corner of Ecuador. A road cut through the Quijos Valley to provide access to this oil-rich area. In the early 1990’s, kayakers followed this road and discovered the Quijos River and its many tributaries. Aside from oil engineers and kayakers, tourism has been fairly non-existent in the area, so there were few accommodations up to a standard that would satisfy tourist. And in the past fifteen years, those accommodations that have become available are usually committed to the oil engineers for long-term leases.
“Building the eco-lodge is another display of our commitment to investment in Ecuador.” explains Ken Kastorff, who was hands-on for much of the construction of the facility. “We have always believed in supporting the local tourism infrastructure in any country we have established ourselves, but here in the Quijos Valley we finally had to make an exception because of the lack of accommodations.”
Accommodations are an integral part of successful tourism. Hot showers, a good night’s sleep and a good variety of activities is what it will take to build tourism in this beautiful area. “We have always struggled with roosters, dogs, loud speakers and being behind the oil company in terms of accommodations,” explains Kastorff. “Our hope is that the RioQuijos EcoLodge will be a landmark for building tourism in the Oriente.”
The property is positioned as a perfect put-in/take-out spot on the Quijos River for kayaking and rafting, as well as a private beach for fishing. Bordering both sides of the Quijos, the 20 acres on river left provides easy access off the main highway. The 90+ acres on river right were purchased specifically for land conservation. A feeding area for toucans and gallo de penas, migration route for hummingbirds and home to such endangered animals as the oso anteojos, the land was registered with Ecuador’s Media Ambiente in 2009 in help in the conservation cause.
While Kastorff was hands-on helping with the construction of the cabins, even with his extensive construction background, he acquiesced to local experience. “In a jungle area, even details such as what phase of the moon you cut your wood can determine the longevity of your buildings.” Shares Kastorff. “These guys have been building for years and know what it takes to make sure that the building lasts against everything the jungle has to throw at it.”
In addition to cabins that are designed to blend into the breathtaking scenery of the riverside property, there are four sets of nature trails that provide exquisite opportunity for bird watching and nature photography. A sauna made out of all local products allows for a relaxing wind-down with music by the Quijos River.
The RioQuijos EcoLodge is not only the perfect setting for whitewater kayakers, but outdoor enthusiasts looking to hike, bird watch, and explore many of the treasures found in this region.
Follow the progress of the project from start to finish through our photo album!
And check out the RioQuijos EcoLodge website….