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BIRD WATCHING WEST TO EAST, CLOUD FOREST, ANDES AND AMAZON 15D/14N - 15 Days

This bird watching tour takes you to some of the best places for birding in Ecuador. The itinerary goes to two regions of Ecuador in 15 days exploring these different areas to try to find some of the most amazing birds. We will be birding in the Cloud forests on the west and eastern slopes of the Andes and the Amazon Rainforest. These ecosystems are great for birdwatching, so get your binoculars and get started!

This bird watching tour takes you to some of the best places for birding in Ecuador. The itinerary goes to two regions of Ecuador in 15 days exploring these different areas to try to find some of the most amazing birds. We will be birding in the Cloud forests on the west and eastern slopes of the Andes and the Amazon Rainforest. These ecosystems are great for birdwatching, so get your binoculars and get started!

Details:

Day 01: Yanacocha – Bellavista (B,L,D)
Day 02: Bellavista FD (B,L,D)
Day 03: Paz de las Avez – Mindo (B,L,D)
Day 04: Mindo FD (B,L,D)
Day 05: Mindo – Rio Silanche – Quito (B,L)
Day 06: Antisana NP – Papallacta Hot Springs (B,L,D)
Day 07: Papallacta – Guango – San Isidro (B,L,D)
Day 08: San Isidro FD (B,L,D)
Day 09: San Isidro – Wildsumaco Lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 10: Wildsumaco Lodge FD (B,L,D)
Day 11: Wild Sumaco – Amazon Rainforest Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 12: Amazon Rainforest Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 13: Amazon Rainforest Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 14: Amazon Rainforest Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 15: Amazon Rainforest Lodge – Quito (B,L,)

Day 1
Yanacocha – Bellavista

We start our tour picking you up in the early morning from your hotel in Quito. We will visit the highlands out of Quito, a reserve called Yanacocha. Here we can enjoy one of the last remnants of Andean forest in Ecuador, an ecosystem in danger of extinction. During the walks we will be able to find a great diversity of birds, including various species of hummingbirds. Today we can start our check list of hummingbirds so by the end of the tour you will realize the great diversity of them living in this region of the country. After Yanacocha we will continue towards Bellavista lodge where we will stay the night. We will have lunch in Yanacocha reserve before we continue to the lodge. The car ride to Bellavista is a long one, almost two hours in which we will have several stops to watch more birds. We will be arriving to Bellavista between mid and late afternoon. We will check in and if there is enough time we will do more birding in the surroundings of the lodge or visit the hummingbird feeders. Dinner will be served at the restaurant in the Lodge. At night it will possible to check on the mammal feeders to look for one of the newest species of mammal described in Ecuador and in the world called Olinguito. Accommodation and meals at the lodge.

Day 2
Bellavista FD

Today we will walk on the trails that Bellavista reserve has to offer. There are a large number of trails offered to the visitors with different lengths and difficulty. Some of the trails are better for birding than others for the topography and visibility. However the option of birding by the road is one of the best. On the trails it will be possible to observe Bromeliads and orchids, hummingbirds and tanagers, toucans and antpittas, all vying for our attention, and could keep any dedicated naturalist enthused for a lifetime of observation.

In the afternoon we will keep exploring the area walking a different trail or enjoying the hummingbird feeders and the surroundings. Accommodation and meals at the lodge.

Day 3
Paz de las Avez – Mindo

This day we will visit “Paz de las Aves” reserve. We will have an early wake up to have the chance to see one of the most amazing wildlife shows in the Cloudforest: The Andean Cock of the Rock Lek. This is an area of display where the Andean Cock of the Rock males congregate to dance, sing and perform in front of the females in order to attract them for mating. After this show, we will walk around the trails of this reserve spotting more wildlife. The person responsible for this reserve, Angel, has trained Antpittas to answer to his call so it is possible to have some close views of some of the most difficult birds to observe in nature. We will have a late breakfast in this reserve while enjoying the view of the Cloudforest.

We will continue to Mindo town for check in and to have lunch. In the afternoon we will walk the trails of the reserve or visit the surroundings of Mindo town to find more birds. Finally we will return to Mindo town and the lodge. Accommodation and meals at the lodge.

Day 4
Mindo FD

This morning we will have a full day birding in the surroundings of Mindo town. We will have an early wake up followed by our breakfast. We will drive to Mindo town and up to the higher part of the mountain ridge. This morning we will be birding by the road. However, because this road is the only one taking visitors to the waterfalls of “Nambillo” we will be here for a time depending on the transit of cars up and down the road. Soon after we leave the road we will drive to different areas and other reserves. We will finish or morning birding and we will continue to have lunch at the Lodge. After lunch we will continue other birding sites to increase the list. Accommodation and meals at the lodge.

Day 5
Mindo – Rio Silanche - Quito

After breakfast, early in the morning we drive to “Rio Silanche” reserve. A great birding place to find some species from the lowest altitudes of the cloud forest. This reserve is 100 ha (250 acre) of Choco-lowland forest and a Bird Sanctuary. There is an ample trail system and a 15 meter (48 feet) tall canopy observation tower to find some canopy birds.

This important site is situated in hilly lowland forest at an altitude between 300-350 meters high (960 – 1120 feet). The main feature at Río Silanche is its incredible birding: mixed species foraging flocks, packed with many important Chocó regional endemic species. Lunch in the reserve. In the afternoon we will return to the hotel in Quito. Accommodation included. Dinner is on your own.

Day 6
Antisana NP – Papallacta Hot Springs

Today we start early in the morning picking you up from your hotel and going to Antisana Ecological Reserve. This day we will go looking for the majestic Andean Condor in one of the most beautiful reserves of Ecuador. The Andean Condor is the bird symbol of Ecuador and it is in danger of extinction in the country with no more than 103 individuals remaining. The Antisana Ecological Reserve is a protected area with high diversity of ecosystems, occupying part of the Andes and part of the eastern cloud forest. This time we will be in the Andean Grasslands called “Paramo”, around 4000 meters high (12000 feet high)

The Andean Condor has made this reserve its home because of the many cliffs found in here for nesting.

After lunch we will continue our journey to Papallacta hot springs. After an hour and half approximately we will arrive at the resort and we will check in. Dinner is included at the resort. Tonight you will have the chance to relax in the hot springs just outside of your cabin. Accommodation and meals at the resort.

Day 7
Papallacta – Guango – San Isidro

After breakfast we will continue to the eastern Cloud forest. On our way we will visit a private reserve called “Guango”, conserving pieces of the Andean Cloud forest, an ecosystem in danger of extinction. Here we will have the chance to watch a great variety of hummingbirds. Ecuador has an amazing diversity of this birds and it is considered one of the best destinations for bird watching in the world. After this visit we will go for lunch in a little town called Baeza, located one and half hours approx.

In the afternoon we will reach our destination in the lower part of the eastern cloud forest at San Isidro. Depending on the time of arrival we will stay in the surroundings of the lodge enjoying the peacefulness of the forest or watching the amazing flight of the hummingbirds living in this reserve. Accommodation and meals at the lodge.

Day 8
San Isidro FD

Full day of birding in San Isidro and the surroundings. Cabañas San Isidro and its immediate surroundings boast a bird list of about 330 species, many of which are more easily found here than anywhere else in the country. It is situated at about 2050 meters above sea level, but the trails lead through habitats from 2,400 meters all the way down to 1,900 meters. What this means to birders is an ideal base to observe Andean birds from the lower reaches of the temperate zone down into the heart of the subtropical zone.

During this full day we have the chance to see the Andean Cock of the Rock Lek. In the eastern slope of the Andes it is orange in coloration.

There are enough trails in the area of San Isidro good for birding and of course the road provides good birding in small distances. We will try to catch as many flocks of birds as possible. Accommodation and meals at the lodge.

Day 9
San Isidro – Wildsumaco Lodge

Early start and we’ll take a box lunch with us when we leave San Isidro. This morning we bird along the Guacamayos Ridge trail. Beautiful pristine cloud forest with dense undergrowth and bamboo. We expect to spend a good time looking for birds on this area of the Ridge. We will be arriving at Wild Sumaco in the afternoon. We will check in and get ready for the night. Accommodation and meals at the lodge.

Day 10
Wildsumaco Lodge FD

A full day of birding in the area of Wildsumaco and the surroundings. There are many trails to walk. The observation deck is a nice place for relaxing, while enjoying the view of the forest and spotting some birds. We will also visit the hummingbird feeders and we will walk on the road. The road passing through the reserve offers great birding, and it is one of many areas from which to see mixed flocks. Accommodation and meals at the lodge.

Day 11
Wild Sumaco – Amazon Rainforest Lodge

Today we depart from Wildsumaco Lodge towards the low basin of the Amazon Rainforest. We will be arriving at the office of La Selva Jungle Lodge in Coca City in the morning. We will get on the transfer (with other guests arriving from Quito that day) first by motorized boat for around two hours on the Napo River (tributary of the Amazon River) until we arrive to the area of the lodge. After a short stop to use the restrooms and a short walk of 100 meters we will board a paddle canoe for a 45 minutes ride crossing a small black water river and Garzacocha (Heron Lake) to finally arrive to the Lodge in the afternoon.

Our activities during our stay in the lodge will be organized according to the groups at the moment of arriving and the operation. However this activities will include:

Observation Tower: Metal tower built parallel to a Kapok Tree (largest trees in the amazon) with a platform on the branches of this amazing tree. We will be at the level of the canopy where many species of birds occur.

Canoe Ride on Garzacocha: Great place to find some birds getting close to the shore of the lake as well as birds specialized in black water ecosystems.

Parrot Clay licks: Areas where parrots congregate in their hundreds to eat clay. The clay that they consume contain minerals that help parrots neutralize toxins ingested while eating certain plants in the forest.

Canoe ride on Mandi Lake: A smaller lake with different vegetation than Garzacocha. It contains great variety of birds, some on them endemic.

Birdwatching on the River Islands: The River Islands are specialized ecosystems with a number of birds living just on islands with certain kinds of vegetation.

Visit the Yasuni National Park: Considered one of the most diverse places in the whole world, the Yasuni National Park has a topography of uplands that will give us the chance to increase our list of birds.

Day 12
Amazon Rainforest Lodge

Our activities during our stay in the lodge will be organized according to the groups at the moment of arriving and the operation. However this activities will include:

Observation Tower: Metal tower built parallel to a Kapok Tree (largest trees in the amazon) with a platform on the branches of this amazing tree. We will be at the level of the canopy where many species of birds occur.

Canoe Ride on Garzacocha: Great place to find some birds getting close to the shore of the lake as well as birds specialized in black water ecosystems.

Parrot Clay licks: Areas where parrots congregate in their hundreds to eat clay. The clay that they consume contain minerals that help parrots neutralize toxins ingested while eating certain plants in the forest.

Canoe ride on Mandi Lake: A smaller lake with different vegetation than Garzacocha. It contains great variety of birds, some on them endemic.

Birdwatching on the River Islands: The River Islands are specialized ecosystems with a number of birds living just on islands with certain kinds of vegetation.

Visit the Yasuni National Park: Considered one of the most diverse places in the whole world, the Yasuni National Park has a topography of uplands that will give us the chance to increase our list of birds.

Day 13
Amazon Rainforest Lodge

Our activities during our stay in the lodge will be organized according to the groups at the moment of arriving and the operation. However this activities will include:

Observation Tower: Metal tower built parallel to a Kapok Tree (largest trees in the amazon) with a platform on the branches of this amazing tree. We will be at the level of the canopy where many species of birds occur.

Canoe Ride on Garzacocha: Great place to find some birds getting close to the shore of the lake as well as birds specialized in black water ecosystems.

Parrot Clay licks: Areas where parrots congregate in their hundreds to eat clay. The clay that they consume contain minerals that help parrots neutralize toxins ingested while eating certain plants in the forest.

Canoe ride on Mandi Lake: A smaller lake with different vegetation than Garzacocha. It contains great variety of birds, some on them endemic.

Birdwatching on the River Islands: The River Islands are specialized ecosystems with a number of birds living just on islands with certain kinds of vegetation.

Visit the Yasuni National Park: Considered one of the most diverse places in the whole world, the Yasuni National Park has a topography of uplands that will give us the chance to increase our list of birds.

Day 14
Amazon Rainforest Lodge

Our activities during our stay in the lodge will be organized according to the groups at the moment of arriving and the operation. However this activities will include:

Observation Tower: Metal tower built parallel to a Kapok Tree (largest trees in the amazon) with a platform on the branches of this amazing tree. We will be at the level of the canopy where many species of birds occur.

Canoe Ride on Garzacocha: Great place to find some birds getting close to the shore of the lake as well as birds specialized in black water ecosystems.

Parrot Clay licks: Areas where parrots congregate in their hundreds to eat clay. The clay that they consume contain minerals that help parrots neutralize toxins ingested while eating certain plants in the forest.

Canoe ride on Mandi Lake: A smaller lake with different vegetation than Garzacocha. It contains great variety of birds, some on them endemic.

Birdwatching on the River Islands: The River Islands are specialized ecosystems with a number of birds living just on islands with certain kinds of vegetation.

Visit the Yasuni National Park: Considered one of the most diverse places in the whole world, the Yasuni National Park has a topography of uplands that will give us the chance to increase our list of birds.

Day 15
Amazon Rainforest Lodge - Quito

Our last day in the amazon is the transfer out. The flight from Coca city is in the morning before noon so the departure from the lodge will also be in the morning after breakfast. We will be arriving to Quito around noon and transfer to the hotel.

Accommodation at Quito. End of the services

The Trip Cost Include

  • Bilingual - bird watching guide
  • Private transportation
  • Accommodation as mentioned
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Entrance fees to the birding destinations

The Trip Cost Excludes

  • Other meals not mentioned
  • Drinks and alcoholic drinks
  • Tips, gratuities and personal expenses

Frequently Asked Questions

How difficult are activities on this trip?

All the activities are from easy to moderate. However this may change according to weather conditions.

What is the highest and lowest altitude reached on this trip?

The highest point will be Antisana Reserve, located at approximately at 3.900 meters high (12.480 feet high). The lowest point will be the Amazon Rain Forest at approximately 280 meters high (900 feet high).

How are the guides?

Our guides are Naturalist Birdwatcher Guides with extensive experience on the destinations. They have knowledge on flora, fauna and ecology in the same way.
They speak great English and some of them have knowledge and experience in photography

What kind of outfit do I need for this trip?

On this trip we will be changing to different altitudes. For Antisana, Papallacta and Yanacocha we recommend to wear layers. Temperature ranges during the day between 12 and 21 degrees Celsius (50 – 70 Fahrenheit). During the rainy season (October through May) the Andes are cloudy and humid and it is recommended to bring rain gear. Wear comfortable hiking or walking shoes (if they are water proof will be much better). In Mindo, in Rio Silanche, Wild Sumaco and the Amazon Rainforest the altitude is much lower so weather is warm/hot and humid. Light weighed clothes will be good for this part of the trip.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

BIRD WATCHING WEST TO EAST, CLOUD FOREST, ANDES AND AMAZON 15D/14N
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$ 5,870 Per Person
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Trip Facts

  • Cloud forest, Andes, Amazon Rainforest
  • 2 to 6
  • approx. from 280 m (900 ft) to 4400 m (14.080 ft)
  • Private transportation
  • All meals included during the tour
  • Tourist Superior Hotels and Lodges
  • Flight Coca - Quito

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