Donald Loria

For Donald, being a naturalist guide offered the perfect career as a student. He focuses his studies alternatively on biology and English, dedicating time to both subjects. Currently, he’s been a guide for seven years and came to Monteverde Lodge at the beginning of 2015. Given what our guests are saying about his knowledge and infectious enthusiasm when out walking the cloud forest, we're pleased to have Donald on our team. 

He isn’t surprised that he ended up guiding. As a child, he had a fascination with nature. So his observation of Monteverde, where “the forest is all around you,” illustrates Donald’s passion and respect for the natural world. In fact, he’s especially enamored by the many bird species that call the cloud forest home. Today, his favorite siting, like that of many of our guests, is the resplendent quetzal. Every year from December to June, Donald has the opportunity to show off this remarkable bird species as it moves up to the high altitudes of the cloud forest for the length of its mating season. 

These days, he’s watching that love of nature develop in his young daughter. Donald says she’s showing a great ‘aficion’ for seeing the birds that visit their family home just outside of the mountain town of Santa Elena. Along with his daughter, wife and a son, Donald’s other love is music. He plays the piano and the guitar as a long-standing past-time. 

Donald believes that guiding in Monteverde is a chance not only to help guests spot rare birds and forest species, but also to impart a sense of how nature tourism can benefit the community. He relishes the opportunities his work gives him to be a part of what he calls the “national project” of ecotourism. 

"…Donald took us on a great trek through the Monteverde Cloud Forest, where he showed us many wonderful birds including the three-waddled bellbird and the beautiful resplendent quetzal - both a male and a female! He helped us get great photos through his scope, and took a nice photo of us in front of a waterfall. …" 

April Y, April 30/2016 

"…The undisputed highlight was the tour arranged through the hoteI with our guide Donald, which was fantastic, including an extended view of a Resplendent Quetzal. Note: the park is probably 15 degrees cooler than the town, particularly when the clouds are in…" 

world_of_buddy , April 02/2016