Ecuador: A Paradise for Bird Watchers

Astrid was a former staff member of SOLEQtravel


For being such a small country, Ecuador has an amazing diversity of plants and animals. For bird lovers, Ecuador is a true paradise with a huge variety of birds in the different areas of the country.

Recently we went to check out Yanacocha and the area close to Mindo. Yanacocha is a nature reserve at an altitude between 2,800 and 4,000 meters / 9,186 and 13,123 ft. which is home to alone 50 different species of hummingbirds.

On our visit we were able to observe these beautiful birds, as well as different tanagers, flowerpiercers, and even the Andean guan.

On our way down from Yanacocha we traveled on the old road. It isn’t in the best condition but offers great bird watching from the car because there’s not a lot of traffic. Close to Mindo we visited a great place that is frequented by lots of hummingbirds as well – but because the altitude is lower, the species are quite different from Yanacocha.

The “noroccidente”, this area northwest of Quito, is an amazing place, whether for passionate and experienced bird watchers or for people who just enjoy being outdoors, seeing the different birds without necessarily knowing all of their names (like us).

Yanacocha and Mindo can be visited in a day tour from Quito but should best be part of a longer bird-watching tour.

You enjoy bird watching? Then you should check out our Birdwatcher’s Paradise Tour which will take you through Ecuador in the search for the most unique birds.

Here are some practical tips for your bird watching tour:

What are the best spots for bird watching in Ecuador?

  • Mindo and Bellavista
  • Angel Paz
  • Rio Silanche and Milpe
  • Yanacocha and Guango
  • Papallacta
  • San Isidro
  • Guacamayos
  • Sumaco
  • Sani
  • Antisana

What do you need to bring?

  • Binoculars – Those are needed to observe birds from greater distance since they are usually quite shy and will not let you come to close
  • Identification book – For monitoring the species you are going to discover
  • Proper clothing – Bird watching can take some time so make sure you bring comfortable clothes and avoid bright colors
  • Hides – Sometimes hiding an proper clothing is not enough, so you might want to think about bringing hides to come closer to the animals without being notices
  • Camera – Try to capture the birds during perfect movement but be aware, it takes some skills and high quality equipment for the perfect shot
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