Antpittas Special Trip
We can see:
Antpitta feeding from Angel Paz at Paz reserve and from Jocotoco Park rangers at Tapichalaca Reserve.
*Yellow breasted antpitta
Great chances of...
Arriving to Quito. Overnight in Quito.
Yanacocha and Tandayapa Valley. Overnight at Paz place
Antpitta area (Paz Reserve) full day , return to Quito
Early flight to Loja , birding at Catamayo, and drive to Tapichalaca Reserve ( Jocotoco Reserve )
At Tapichalaca Reserve full day (enjoying the antpittas) and hummingbirds ( Jocotoco Reserve )
Valladolid Valley ( marañon birds ) return to Tapichalaca
Drive birding to Loja , late flight to Quito, overnight in Quito
Antisana Full day and drop at airport.
Day by Day
Arriving to Mariscal Sucre Intl, Quito Airport (9,186 feet / 2800 meters). Transfer to Hostal Darwin or Hotel Embassy.
Our staff will pick you up upon your arrival and then take you to your Hotel in Quito. The city is located at 9,186 feet (2800 meters). It is the second highest capital of South America after La Paz in Bolivia. Quito is a modern city with a lot of cultural atractions and colonial architecture.
Early departure to Yanacocha (Jocotoco Foundation Reserve), which holds Cloud Forest: Upper Mountain forest (1,000 hectars) that protects several unique birds such as Black-breasted puffleg, Giant conebill, Imperial snipe.
A walk in this forest will give us a chance to admire some mountain tanagers flocks flying by and various hummingbirds at feeders strategically located along the trail. During this day your guide will work hard for two antpittas: Tawny and Rufous antpitta s.
Chances are really good since both of them inhabit this type of vegetation. After this walk we will continue driving towards Tandayapa Valley. In this area other birds can be seen: Turquoise jay, Spectacle whitestart, White-capped dipper among others. At the end of the day we will arrive to our lodge to have dinner and for our overnight.
Very early start at 04:30 and then drive to reach EL REFUGIO DE LAS ANTPITTAS, where Angel Paz has developed a unique relationship with three antpitta species: Giant ,Yellow-breasted, and Moustached.
There are also good chances to see Andean Cock of the Rock at a hide that has been set up appropriately to admire these creatures during their lek activities. After this, a walk along the trails is a must to enjoy the unique richness of this forest. Some birds likely to be seen in the forest are Golden-headed quetzal, Olivacious piha, Toucan barbet, Black-chinned mountain-tanager. After this we will walk back to the entrance to enjoy a huge tipycal breakfast. After the meal continue with a walk to see some other unique birds in these area such as Scaled and Orange-breasted fruiteaters, Beryl-spangle tanager, Golden tanager, and various hummers around the property.
Afternoon birding session happens at Sacha Tamia lodge, where we will see hummingbirds coming to the feeders. Some special birds can be seen here like Velvet-purple coronet, Violet-tailed sylph, Brown Inca, Collared Inca, among other 17 species registered in this place. On our way back to Quito we will stop at Calacali and try looking for some dry forest birds like White-tailed shryke-tyrant and Tufted tit-tyrant. Return to Quito for an overnight at our local hotel.
Our flight to Loja departs at 5:45 am. It will require as you might imagine a very early morning start. We will land at Catamayo airport near 06:30. We inmediately start birding around the area looking for Fasciated wren, Saffron finch, Elegant crescentchest, Tumbez sparrow.
Then we continue to Loja City, an important XVI pass to the Amazon and its treasures. From here its easy to explore this Upper mountain forest from the interandean slopes at Cajanuma Area inside the Podocarpus National Park. Some of the birds likely to be seen here are Red-hooded tanager, Bearded guan, Gray-breasted Mt-toucan, Hooded Mt- t anager, among many others. We will enjoy a picnic lunch at this unique place.
From here we will drive towards Tapichalaca Reserve. On our way there we will cross Vilcabamba, a remote town located amidst a Dry forest valley where we could see White-tailed jay, Pacific hornero, Plumbeous-backed thrush, and Plumbeous rail. Then after some stops looking for birds a late arrival to Jocotoco House dinner and overnight.
This morning we will prepare our camaras and binoculars to admire how the park ranger: Franco, has developed a relationship with a couple of Jocotoco Antpittas; they come to the trail looking for the worms that Franco has collected and cleaned for them. Great views of Jocotoco Antpittas (an endemic and restricted-range antpitta species) and Chesnut-naped antpittas are almost guaranteed since they have become familiar with Franco.
After this event we will look for birds such us Andean potoo, White-capped tanager, Golden-crowned tanager, Golden-plumbed parakeet, Orange-banded flycatcher, Masked saltator, Black-capped hemispingus, and Red-crested Cotinga. Today each one of us will have time to admire some hummingbirds at the feeders as well.
From Tapichala (8,202 feet / 2500 meters), we will descend in less than half an hour to the Valladolid and Palanda areas (5,469 feet / 1667 meters) through a gradient of type of habitats.
There we will look for some Marañonian - Tumbesian specialties such as Marañon trush, White-breasted parakeet, Black-faced tanager, and Bay-crowned brush-finch. We will have box lunch birding on the way, and a late return to the cabins for our dinner and overnight.
We will drive on the way to Cuenca exploring the hills that surround the Cuxibamba Valley, were Loja is located. There we will try to collect all those birds that we have not seen in previous days.
We will also look for some new birds for the trip such as Rainbow starfronlet, Three-banded warbler, Red-faced parrot, Chesnut-crowned anpitta. After having our box lunch we will drive straight to Catamayo airport to catch or flight back to Quito. Upon our arrival to Quito we will be transfered to our Hotel.
Early departure to Antisana, a private reserve that protects Paramo habitats (slightly above 11,000 feet / 3353 meters). This unique place harbors populations of the endangered Black-faced Ibis.
It is also a great place to look for Andean Condor. Other important species are Andean-tit spinetail, Streak-backed canastero, Ecuadorian hillstar, Caranculated caracara, Paramo pipit, Anden gull, Torrent duck, Black-winged ground-dove, Andean lapwing, Andean Coot, Andean-ruddy duck, and Silvery greebe, among others.
After lunch at the Hacienda or a box lunch at the La Mica Lake we will drive straight to Quito Airport to check in for our international flight. Otherwise overnight in Quito and then next day early morning transfer to our flight back home.