BIRDING IN THE ANDES AND CLOUD FOREST ECUADOR
10 days /9 nights
For only $ 1,900 we take you to high andes, temperate, paramo enjoy 300 species of specialty birds dont miss this one time offer. come before all spots are taken filling fast
April 3th - 12th
April 17th - 26th
May 8th - 17th
May 22 - 31th
You can also choose your own dates at any time during 2010
Day 1 Arrival to Quito , transfer to Hotel Fuente de Piedra , overnight
Day 2 Full day birding from Quito- Yanacocha - Tandayapa- Bellavista Lodge
Day 3 Bellavista are full day , overnight in Bellavista
Day 4 Birding from Bellavista to Mindo, overnight in Sacha Tamia
Day 5 Mindo area birding full day , overnight in Sacha Tamia
Day 6 Birding full day in Milpe, and later return to Quito, overnight at Fuente de Piedra
Day 7 Early departure and birding at Papallacta area. late arrival to Guango Lodge
Day 8 Birding at Guango, Baeza area, later arrival to San Isidro Lodge
Day 9 Around the lodge , or Guacamayos area, full birding and late return to Quito, Fuente de Piedra
Day 10 Transfer to International flight
CLIMATE: Cold or very cold in Papallacta to hot and humid in the Amazon. Rain is possible anywhere.
DIFFICULTY: Mostly easy. There are some short, slippery trails in the Andes. t. Two mornings of the tour will be spent at high elevations from between 3500 - 4300 m (11,200 - 14,100 ft)
ACCOMMODATION: Very good throughout, we stay at the best lodges in the region.
Day 1 Quito
You leave Miami in the afternoon on America's scheduled service to Quito. We will arrive in Quito in the evening and transfer to our simple but comfortable and centrally located hotel. Although we will not have much opportunity to see the city, Quito is probably the most attractive of all the colonial capitals of South America. The city is located in a hollow at the foot of the volcano Pichincha. On a clear day Andean peaks tower around and the sun is bright and stronger than other cities. The climate is delightful: the name means "Eternal Spring" in the ancient language of Quechua. Standing at 9,000 feet, Quito is the second highest capital in the world. It is a small capital by South American standards and it is easy to wander around the streets of the colonial city without getting hopelessly lost or put off by the distances involved. A big city and capital with almost two millon habitants. Arrival to Quito to Fuente de Piedra Hotel.
Day 2 and 3 Nono-Mindo Road, Bellavista
After an early coffee and breakfast in the hotel, we will drive up out of Quito to our first stop at Yanacocha, an area of moss-clad temperate forest on the slopes of Volcano Pichincha. Hummingbirds will be especially active during the early morning, and possible species include Golden - breasted Puffleg, Sword -billed Humingbird ,Shining Sunbeam, Tyrian Metaltail, Great Sapphirewing and, with a good deal of luck, the very rare and local Black-breasted Puffleg. This will also be our first experience of mixed-species feeding flocks, and we will be on the look out for mountain-tanagers and the attractive and sought-after Blue -backed Conebill.
We next pass over the western ridge of the Andes and drop down onto the pacific slope along the famous old Nono-Mindo road. Over the years this forested valley has gained an impressive reputation for the quality and number of birds that can be seen along its length including Toucan Barbet, Buff -breated Mountain Tanager, Masked Trogon, White-capped Dipper, Black -crested Warbler ,and many species of tanager and hummingbird. Lower down on the approach road to Bellavista after first passing the Tandayapa area, a different suite of birds appear including Crimson -rumped Toucanet, Blue -winged Tanager, Fawn-breasted Tanager and the usual-looking, hummingbirds surely one of the most attractive species of these area .
We will take a box lunch to eat while birdwatching on the route and aim to arrive at Bellavista in the late afternoon for a 2-night stay.
Day 4 Bellavista - Mindo
The Tandayapa Valley area reserves about 3,500 ha in size, 80% of which is steeply-sloping primary cloud forest. The rest of the area is secondary forest in various stages of succession. The reserve covers a range of altitudes from 1,500m to 2,300m and it is this altitudinal range and variety of habitats which contribute to an exceptional level of diversity. Around 350 bird species have been recorded here, amongst them spectacular species such as Andean Cock of the Rock and Toucan Barbet. Mammals, whilst much harder to see, are also very diverse. At least 45 species are present and include Puma, Ocelot, many species of bats, agoutis, peccaries, tapirs and, in particular, the rare Spectacled Bear. These area is also incredibly rich in orchids, ferns and bromeliads and they greatly add to the wonderful and mysterious atmosphere of the cloud forest. The variety of plants is staggering and over 1,200 species have so far been identified, although it is thought the total could be nearer 2,000!
Mindo Lodge has been carefully designed to fit into the wonderful landscape of the cloud forests that surround it. Entirely made of natural materials with a thatched palm roof, the dining and reception areas are open sided so that it is possible to make the most of the wonderful views and serious bird watching is even possible whilst relaxing in the porch enjoying the Hummingbird feeders . The design of this unique lodge allows intimate contact with nature and the soothing sounds Mindo area . The lodge sits in a wonderful location from which to explore the reserve's various trails on foot. It is location near the main road will give us access to the most popular birding spots in the area. The lodge has a full kitchen that serves three meals a day, utilising the best of local ingredients and recipes (although we may choose to take a packed lunch with us today).
The birding is wonderful here. As the sunlight penetrates the canopy it may illuminate the splendid plumage of a Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, whilst a pair of Toucan Barbets may reveal their presence by their loud duetting calls. As the mist rolls in, swirling flocks of dazzling Golden, Flame-faced, Golden-naped, Beryl-spangled, Blue-capped and Fawn-breasted Tanagers may be seen feeding on the fruits of the silvery-leaved Cecropia trees. Sets of hummingbird feeders around the lodge provide a thrilling spectacle as White-whiskered and Stripe-throated Hermits, Green-crowned Brilliant and Green-crowned Woodnymph indulge themselves on the artificial nectar. Other species we may see in this area include Barred and Roadside Hawks, Band-tailed, Plumbeous and Ruddy Pigeons, Red-billed Parrot, Golden-headed Quetzal, Masked Trogon, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Azara's and Red-faced Spinetails, Rusty-winged Barbtail, Uniform Treehunter, Long-tailed Antbird, Spillmann's and Nariño Tapaculos, White-tailed Tyrannulet, Bronze-olive Pygmy-Tyrant, Smoke-coloured Pewee, Black Phoebe, Streak-necked, Cinnamon, Ornate and Golden-crowned Flycatchers, Green-and-black Fruiteater, Olivaceous Piha, Turquoise and Beautiful Jays, Mountain Wren, Grey-breasted Wood-Wren, Brown-capped Vireo, Black-crested and Three-striped Warblers, Spectacled and Slate-throated Whitestarts, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Dusky Bush-Tanager, Superciliaried and Black-eared Hemispinguses, Tricoloured Brush-Finch and Masked and White-sided Flowerpiercers. Overnight at Sacha Tamia.
Day 5 Angel Paz and Mindo full day .
Early start morning's birding at Angel Paz places a unique and different place to enjoy the Giant Antpittas, Yelllow - bellied Antpitta, Moustached Antpitta and the icon bird of this bird Cock of the Rock . Here also we will have chances to see hummingbird feeders and fruit feeders to enjoy close views of Blue -winged Mountain Tanager, Sickle -winged Guan, Olivacious Piha,Toucan Barbet, Empress Brillant, Speckle Hummingbird, Purple throated Hummingbirds, among others.After this a huge and local breakfast will be served making of all this a nice cultural experience, we will move later on today to the nearby Mindo area (15 milles away from Mindo). , El Mirador del Rio Blanco (950 m.a.s.l.), a well located hotel in the foothills area. Great food, lush gardens and bird feeders, where we will be able to see some birds species such as Black-cheecked Woodpecker, Green Thorntail, Ecuadorian Thrush, Thicked-billed Euphonia, Rufous-throated, Emerald, Silver-throated and Guira Tanagers; Orange-billed and Black-striped Sparrows, overnight in Sacha Tamia
Day 6 Mindo - Milpe - Quito
This morning we will also start early to start our visit to Milpe area to enjoy the visit to a subtropical habitat located at 650mts ( 2.145 feet ) to get some other Choco endemic birds such as Moss - backed Tanager, Barred Puffbird, Green thorntail, Olive -crowned Yellowthroat, Club -winged Manakin, Black -striped Sparrow, Swallow Tanager, Emeral Tanager, Bronze -winged parrot, Maroon -tailed Parakeet, among others we will also visit a set of humminbgbird feeders to enjoy viewews of White - whiskered Hermit, Empress Brillant, Rufous -tailed Humminbird among others.Box lunch will be served after this we start our way back to Quito, near Pululahua Reserve we can stop to get some extra birds as Golden Rumped Euphonia, White - tailed Shrike Tyrant , Black tailed Trainbear. arrival to Quito and overnight at Fuente de Piedra Hotel There may even be time for a quick photo stop at the equatorial monument Mitad del Mundo, where it is possible to stand with a foot in each hemisphere! We overnight in Quito.
Day 7 Papallacta Pass - Guango
The eastern slope of Ecuador offers more excellent birding. Today we drive up over the eastern ridge of the Andes and drop down to Papallacta which is in the Amazon Basin and not far from the source of the Napo River, Ecuador's largest Amazon tributary. The road affords splendid views of several snow-capped peaks as it winds its way over the 4,000-metre-high Papallacta Pass and with good luck we may find an Andean Condor soaring over the crags. Other species to look for include Black-chested Eagle, Giant Hummingbird, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Slaty Flowerpiercer, Band-tailed Seedeater, Tawny Antpitta, Spot-billed Ground-Tyrant, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, White-chested Elaenia, Red-crested Cotinga, Giant Conebill and Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe. The flowering shrubs in this inhospitable habitat act as a magnet to a plethora of splendid hummingbirds such as Shining Sunbeam, the endemic Ecuadorian Hillstar, Mountain Velvetbreast, Tyrian Metaltail and the bat-like Great Sapphirewing.
After crossing Papallacta pass and heading down towards the Amazon basin, lush vegetation soon begins to blanket the valleys. The forested roadsides and trails around Papallacta offer fantastic habitat for tanagers and hummingbirds. We will hope to see Sword-billed Hummingbird (a species with the longest bill in relation to body length of any bird in the world), and Shining Sunbeam, together with mountain-tanagers such as Scarlet-bellied, Buff-breasted and Lacrimose.
Our accommodation for the night is at the lovely little lodge at Guango.
Day 8 Guango - San Isidro
As we descend down the picturesque eastern Andean slope, past tumbling waterfalls and small villages, we open up a whole new chapter in possible target species. Torrent Duck, White-capped Parrot, Scaly-naped Amazon, Crested Quetzal, the mouse-like Blackish, Equatorial Rufous-vented and Ash-coloured Tapaculos, Rufous-breasted and Pale-edged Flycatchers, the endearing Rufous-crowned Tody-Tyrant, Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant, Smoky Bush-Tyrant, Dusky Piha, Rufous and Plain-tailed Wrens, Glossy-black and Chestnut-bellied Thrushes, Capped Conebill, Grass-green Tanager, Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager, and Subtropical and Northern Mountain Caciques are all possibilities as we descend down towards San Isidro for our next destination the whole area wil allow us to enjoy the unique birding chances on east slopes of Andes, . Box lunch on our way , and late arrival to Sn I sidro lodge after geat moments of birding.
Day 9 San Isidro - Quito
A further morning exploring the environs of San Isidro, targeting any species that we may have missed. we can look for day birding private reserve and trails around San Isidro. Look for Tanagers like Saffron crowned and Rufous crested, Cinammon Flycatcher, Inca Jay , Chestnut - crowned and White - bellied Antpittas , Black -billed Peppershilke, Golden -headed Quetzal, Long -tailed Antbird, Collared Inca, Bronzy Inca, Bluish Flowerpiercer, White -Capped Tanager, Chesnut -breasted Clorophonia, Crimson -mantled Woodpecker, among others.After lunch we will start our way making some stops trying to search for those birds we missed on our way down. Arrival to Quito and overnight. Farewell dinner.
Transfer out to airport for your international flight
Per person in double room
Single supp : $180
2 Participants : $ 1.980
3 participants $ 1,750
4 - 6 paticipants $ 1,600
8 participants $ 1,300
Price includes :
hotel in Quito ( breakfasta included )
Private bird guide
Accommodation and meals at lodges
Not included :
airport departure fee $ 41
meals in Quito