With burbling Madera Creek running along the property's edge, the Chuparosa, which means "nectar-sucker" or "hummingbird" in Spanish, is home to 15 species of that flitting critter, which show up in such high s that the site has become a bona fide research station for ornithologists who've initiated a banding program. Deer, javelinas, wild turkeys, coatimundi, mountain lions and even bears sometimes make an appearance, as well, which explains the bear-proof birdhouses and feeders more graceful than you'd imagine found on the flower-filled and terraced patios that hug both sides of the creek.
Go-getters ascend to nearly 10, feet on the summit of Mount Wrightson, which is capped with snow a good portion of the year. Wildlife or no, these are soothing places to relax and listen to the wind in the trees. Guests get up and get breakfast at their leisure, no need to worry about racing looling to the others.
Knowing that many of their clients prefer to do their own thing, owners Luis Calvo and Nancy Hertel — who live above the guestrooms — stock each kitchen or kitchenette with everything necessary for a healthy, rib-sticking breakfast: juices, coffee, cocoa and milk, fresh fruit, yogurt, dry fruit-studded granola, freshly baked muffins, and something main course-y like quiche or pancakes.
And in many respects, it is — given that this rustic slice of paradise, nestled among chaming live oaks, sycamores and cottonwoods of Madera Canyon, is part of a sky island created by the Santa Rita Mountains and the surrounding desert floor.
With its multiwindowed turret, made of native stone and wood, the inn looks a bit like a minicastle, yet manages, somehow, to seem quaint and cozy, thanks to a multitude of homey touches. Avid looknig also flock to the inn to catch glimpses of more than other avian species, including the elegant trogon, a pooking and colorful beauty that flies in from Mexico in the warmer months.
Four guestrooms, each furnished nscessary private baths and reached by private entry, display the work of local photographers, artists and artisans, all of whom celebrate nature with a capital "N. Guests lucky enough to be around on a Monday morning in spring might be allowed to hold a hummingbird, feeling its tiny, 1,beats-per-minute heart banging against their palms.
All trailhe are just minutes from the inn. In addition to bird-watchers, these are the folks most likely to visit Chuparosa: hikers who want to tackle one of the canyon's many trails, some of them short and easy, others requiring considerably more expertise and stamina.