OVERVIEW

Almost 1/6 of all known bird species can be found in Ecuador, making this country a true paradise for birdwatchers and photographers. Our Ecuador Birding Tour gives you the possibility to see a lot of them. Unique about this country are the many different altitudes and habitats on a very small space. Consequently Ecuador has the highest number of species per square mile. Our birdwatching tour starts in the Northwest of Ecuador, in the area around Mindo, which belongs to the endemism-rich Chocó, continues close to the wet Páramo of Papallacta, visits the cloud forests of the Northwest- and Northeast Cordilleras, dives down into the Amazon lowlands and leads on the penultimate day up to the dry Páramo of the Antisana Volcanos to observe the majestic condor. We thus move from sea level to 13,123 ft. a.s.l. We hope to see about 400 species during our 16-day tour.

TOUR FACTORS
Difficulty 45%
Adventure 60%
Comfort 80%
Family friendly 90%

ITINERARY:

Click to see every day in detail

Upon your arrival, you get picked up from the airport in Quito. For the first night you stay close to the airport. Relax after your flight before you start your bird-watching tour early the next morning.

After breakfast, you will head to Mindo in the cloud forest, located northwest of Quito. In this biodiversity hot-spot you can observe colorful tanagers (Blue-grey, Palm, Lemon-rumped, and Silver-throated tanagers) around a banana feeding station. If you are lucky you will also see toucans (Pale-mandible Arassari) and the impressive Rufous Motmot. Afterwards, you travel to Bellavista to observe hummingbirds (for example Buff-tailed Coronet, Gorgeted Sunangel) and explore the western cloud forest with species like the Turquoise Jay, Foliage-Gleaners and mountain tanagers like the Blue-winged Mountain-tanager, and Grass-green Tanager. The very vocal Plate-billed Mountain Tanager is another species to look for.

Meals included: Breakfast

Very early in the morning you visit a real highlight: the lek-spot of the Andean Cock-of-the-rock. Afterwards, the experienced local guide Angel Paz will take you on a tour to spot up to five different Antpitta species, among them the rare Giant Antpitta. He is a real master in attracting the Antpittas that are usually difficult to observe. You continue your bird-watching tour to Mindo where you can observe about ten different types of hummingbirds, among them some that are endemic in the Chocó region, such as the beautifully colored Velvet-purple Coronet.

Meals included: Breakfast

Today you are going to visit two important birding areas). Before dawn you leave the hotel for the Reserve Río Silanche, which is located at an altitude of 980 ft. Here you can find many regional Chocó species, like the Chocó Trogon, Scarlet-breasted Dacnis or the Blue-whiskered Tanager. From the 50 ft. high observation tower you can enjoy an amazing view over the cloud forest and discover the different groups of birds in the treetops. Walking easy trails, you get a better opportunity to see the woodpeckers, wood-creepers and a lot more.

In the afternoon, we look for groups of parrots (Bronze-winged Parrot and Maroon-tailed Parakeet) and Toucans (Chocó Toucan and Chestnut-mandibled Toucan) that live close to the road.

Walking easy trails, you get a better opportunity to see the woodpeckers, woodcreepers and a lot more. In the afternoon we look for groups of parrots (Bronze-winged Parrot and Maroon-tailed Parakeet) and Toucans (Chocó Toucan and Chestnut-mandibled Toucan) that live close to the road.

Meals included: Breakfast

Early in the morning, you visit the Yanococha Reserve, which is located at about 11,500 ft., on the flanks of the Pichincha Volcano. Your way leads you to through a fairy-tale forest to the hummingbird feeders. Observe the unique Sword-billed Hummingbird as well as the different types of Pufflegs and the huge Great Sapphirewing. On the way up you also look for mountain tanagers (Scarlet-bellied, Hooded, and Black-chested Tanagers), the Andean Guan, Rufous Wren, Glossy Flowerpiercer, and many more.

In the early afternoon, you depart for the Guango Lodge, which is located on the eastern side of the Andes. There you will be impressed by the amazing variety of hummingbirds like for example the Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Tourmaline Sunangle, Long-tailed Sylph, and the White-bellied Woodstar.

Meals included: Breakfast

Depending on the weather conditions, get to the Papallacta pass in the morning or in the afternoon. At an impressive altitude of about 13,000 ft. you try to spot the bird species that live in the high Andean Páramo: Tawny Antpitta, Many-striped Canastero, White-chinned Thistletail and Brown-backed Chat tyrant. The rest of the day you can enjoy hikes on the trails of Guango looking for the Torrent Duck, among others.

Meals included: Breakfast

Today you continue your tour to San Isidro Lodge which is located at 6,700 ft. The character bird of San Isidro is certainly the vociferous Inca Jay, which lives in small groups in the surroundings of the bungalows. Hummingbirds, that visit the feeders, include the Speckled Hummingbird, Bronzy Inca, Collared Inca, and Gorgeted Woodstar. From the viewing platform you have great opportunity to see the Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, the Montane Woodcreeper and the Cinnamon Flycatcher on the tree trunks.

Meals included: Breakfast

A short detour takes you along the Jumandy trail in the Guacamayos mountains. You look for the Masked Trogon and the Emerald Toucan as well as for the Hemispingus and Bush Tanagers. In the afternoon, you explore the open areas around San Isidro and in the evening you can try to spot the very rare and yet undescribed San Isidro Strix owl, which hunts near the restaurant.

Meals included: Breakfast

Once you arrive at the Sumaco Lodge, you first observe the hummingbird feeders, where the amazing number of 42 species was registered. Fourteen of them visit the feerders frequently, among them the Napo Sabrewing, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Wire-crested Thorntail, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Many-spotted Hummingbird. You also explore the beautiful forest around the lodge on easy trails and on the dirt road, accompanied by a local bird guide. Toucans (for example Many-banded Arassari, Channel-billed and Black-mandibled toucan), Woodpeckers (for example Crimson-bellied and Crimson-crested), Antbirds (like the Lined Antshrike and Blackish Antbird) and Tanagers (Orange-eared Tanager, Paradise Tanager, Magpie Tanager) might cross your way. Special highlights are, among others, the Plain-backed Antpitta and the only very locally occurring Coppery-chested Jacamar.

Meals included: Breakfast

In the morning you leave for Coca, which you reach after about 2 hours. You travel by large motorized canoe downstream on the Napo River to Sani Lodge’s dock. On a small trail you reach the Challuayacu River where you take a small dugout canoe which takes you to the lodge. It is picturesquely situated on the Challuacocha Lake in the corridor between two large protected areas: the Cuyabeno Reserve to the North and the Yasuní National Park in the South. During your journey your expert local bird guide will show you the first lowland river birds: for example the Anhinga, Rufescent Tiger-heron, Greater Ani and Red-headed Cardinal.

Meals included: Breakfast

The next three days you have time to gain an insight into the very colorful bird life of the Amazon. You visit at least one parrot lick, where you can expect to spot the Mealy Amazon, Dusky-headed Parakeet, Cobalt-winged Parakeet and the Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet. With luck you can also discover the Boa Constrictor which lives close to the lick on the Napo River. Most birds you will see during quiet canoe tours: the Limpkin, Hoatzin, White-chinned Jacamar, Silvered Antbird, Cinnamon Attila, Black-capped Doncacobius, Masked Crimson Tanager. Short walks through the forest let you discover terra firme species like the White-fronted Nunbird, Great Jacamar, and Cinereous Antshrike. With lots of patience maybe also the White-lored Antpitta and the Pink-throated Becard. A real highlight is the observation tower with its dizzying height from which you can easily watch treetop species: the majestic King Vulture, the colorful macaws, the small White-browed Purpletuft, a sleeping Great Potoo, the impressive Blue-throated Piping Guan and many more. A half-day tour takes you to an island in the Napo River, where special species can be observed: Plaincrowned Spinetail, White-bellied Spinetail, Black-and-white Antbird, Spotted Tody-flycatcher and the Olive-spotted Hummingbird.

Meals included: Breakfast

This morning, on your way back to Coca, you have the final opportunity to observe the Amazonian lowland species. Back in Coca your car awaits you to take you back to Guango. On your way you should look for the big Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, the Swallow-tailed Kite and other raptors.

Meals included: Breakfast

Depending on your flight time, transfer to the airport “Mariscal Sucre” in Quito. Or you can extend your stay with a tour to the Galapagos Islands.

WHAT'S INCLUDED:

  • Fifteen (15) nights in Comfort-Hotels in double rooms, breakfast included
  • Private transportation and professional, English-speaking guide
  • Meals as described in the program
  • Local bird guide form day 9-13
  • Entrance fees at Paz de las Aves, Mindo Lindo, Río Silanche, parrot leck and Yanacocha
  • 24-hour local emergency support number

starting from

$ 4380,- p.p.

in US DOLLAR

*Please contact us for special offers and child discounts. Prices are subject to change.

*Price based on double occupancy.

Consider as you reserve:

My own room: 

Single supplement fee: USD $390,-p.p.

Not Included:

> International airfare to and from destination
> Meals not described
> Alcoholic beverages or soft drinks
> Cost of medical immunizations as needed
> Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
> Cost of optional activities
> Excess baggage charges; airport taxes (if any);
> Optional gratuities to your guides
> Items of personal nature

Travel Insurance:

To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Travel insurance is intended to cover medical expenses, trip interruption and cancellation, theft and other losses incurred while traveling domestically or internationally.

Visa and Entry Requirements

Ecuador requires a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements.