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A Visit to Condor Park

August 30, 2013 Travel to Ecuador No Comments

IMG_3851Many visitors to the Andes region are disappointed that the emblematic bird of the region – the Andean Condor – is rather scarce and shy. Most visitors never get to see an Andean Condor, which is a pity: there is a reason why these majestic birds are one of the national symbols of Ecuador. The truth is, you don’t have to travel to a remote region to see a condor: there is actually a place not far from the famous Otavalo market which has not only magnificent Andean Condors, but also some other hard-to-see species such as Harpy Eagles as well.

Condor Park is a not-for-profit organization which is dedicated to the protection of birds of prey and condors. Their facility is located on a scenic hill with a breathtaking view of Imbabura Volcano. A main component of their mission is education: sometimes school groups are there to learn more about these impressive birds, and if you’re traveling with kids, they’ll love it.

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A visit to the park is an unforgettable experience. The facility is a bit remote: you’ll probably want a guide to help you get there. Once you’re there and have paid a nominal entrance fee (which goes to help the birds) you are free to explore.

The facility is home to several species of large birds, safely kept in fenced-in cages. You’ll see Andean Condors, Harpy Eagles, a variety of falcons and owls and much more.

Many of the birds have sad stories: some were kept as pets, some were injured and can no longer fly or hunt. They seem happy here, though, as they are well looked after by the dedicated staff. Be sure to time your visit to coincide with one of the “air shows:” that’s when staff members take the birds out for some recreational flying while delighted visitors look on from an airy amphitheater.

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Condor Park is conveniently located not far from the famed Otavalo Market. It is closed on Mondays but appropriately is open on Saturdays (market day in Otavalo).

Visiting the park does not take long: figure about 40 minutes maximum to walk around to see the birds and another half-hour to catch the show.

Adding a side trip to Condor Park to a day trip to Otavalo is easy: ask your Columbus Travel consultant for details.

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