We're Building a Lodge!

NOTE: We are raising funds to help us furnish the hotel- no small feat for 9,000 square feet! If you would like to help (THANK YOU!) you can do so here.

While members of our family disagree as to who first thought about building a lodge on our property, we all agree that it’s a great idea! It just makes sense.

About a year and a half ago, our parents gifted a piece of property to the three siblings: Anna, Michael and Chris. Chris, the middle brother, already owns a tourism company, Colombia Birdwatch, which he has operated for 10 years and specializes in birdwatching and photography tours. Being in tune with travel trends and traveler needs, Chris mentioned that travelers have very limited lodging options in the area where we own our property.

Our property is on the highway between Cali and Buenaventura, the largest port on Colombia’s Pacific coast. It is an incredible destination for nature lovers, specifically those interested in plants and birds. Based on all this, we decided to build the lodge and develop our property as a place that will encompass all our dreams and passions- Michael’s love of and obsession with endemic and native plants will manifest in our greenhouses, plant collections and botanical tours; Chris’s birdwatchers and photographers will have a beautiful and comfortable place to stay on their excursions and; Anna’s love for hosting people and making way too much food is a perfect match for our organic farm (over an acre of yuca, plantain, coffee, citruses and too many veggies to name).

Once we decided to build, it was really important for us to choose a ‘green’ architect. This led us to Veronica Restrepo, founder of EcoLab Studio, an architect who specializes in green buildings. After a few months of design and permitting work, we were ready to start building! Construction started in June and we’re projected to be done in early 2019. Take a peek at our construction pictures below! In the meantime, we’ve been busy thinking through the interior design of the place. We will be highlighting local photographers and artists throughout the hotel, with a focus on native birds. Every room has a hammock that is handmade by a weaver of the Wayuu community in La Guajira that we are connected to through bird watching. A great deal of our furniture is made up the street by a neighbor, with some of the wood coming from our property. Our gardens are being designed by our father Alvaro, who has been creating beautiful landscapes for decades. It’s important to us that we highlight local artisans and food producers, that we generate employment, and that we create a special place where the exchange of knowledge and ideas is palpable, and most importantly, that our guests can connect with nature.

Chris’s birdwatchers and photographers at Araucana Lodge

Chris’s birdwatchers and photographers at Araucana Lodge

Jean, a farmer/neighbor who lives up the road from the lodge, is making a great deal of our furniture! Here he is in his workshop.

Jean, a farmer/neighbor who lives up the road from the lodge, is making a great deal of our furniture! Here he is in his workshop.

Walls going up at the hotel!

Walls going up at the hotel!

The silhouette of a papaya tree in the sunset at Araucana Lodge.

The silhouette of a papaya tree in the sunset at Araucana Lodge.

Students touring the farm and gardens going in the front entrance.

Students touring the farm and gardens going in the front entrance.

Alvaro and a prized blue bamboo, one of many species on the property.

Alvaro and a prized blue bamboo, one of many species on the property.

Internal gardens going in, featuring giant bromeliads!

Internal gardens going in, featuring giant bromeliads!

Anna Calonje