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Ecuador birding: choco highlands & slopes

Explore Ecuador’s most famous birding region

This specialist birding tour takes you to explore the most famous birding region in Ecuador, the “Choco”, in the northwest of the country, where wet cloudforest meets humid lowland forest. Here you will find a hotspot for birding due to its diversity and endemism. In fact, this region supports the largest number of restricted-range birds of any Endemic Bird Area (EBA) in the Americas, so you are in for a real treat!

  • Visit a wide variety of differing ecosystems, including montane cloud forest, Lowland Choco, Foothill Choco & High Paramo grasslands.
  • Join a specialist birding guide who will accompany you to the very best birding sites, and share his expert knowledge and birding tips.
  • Expect to find a wide diversity of bird species in a single week, many of them endemic to this region of Ecuador. It is not uncommon to spot 300-400+ bird species during this tour, including 40 different hummingbirds.
  • Enjoy comfortable lodging and easy organization throughout, so you can focus entirely on quality birding.
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Ecuador birding: choco highlands & slopes Photos

Ecuador birding: choco highlands & slopes

Itinerary Map

Ecuador-Birding-Choco-Highlands-Map

Prices 2019

  • Per person
  • $4295 1 person
  • $3450 2-3 people
  • $3095 4 or more

 

Itinerary

  • Day 1Yanacocha, Bellavista: Yanacocha boasts excellent montane cloud forest northwest of Quito with lots of interesting bird life such as mountain-tanagers, fruit-eaters, Brush-Finches, flowerpiercers, etc.
    Afternoon drive down the Bellavista Road looking for Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, Tanager Finch, Fruiteaters, & mixed flocks.
  • Day 2Silanche, Rancho Suamox & Milpe: Spend the morning in the lowland Choco (below 500 m.a.s.l.) where often flocks of over 30 to 40 species can be spotted. In the afternoon we head to Milpe (around 1000 m.a.s.l.), a foothill birding site with excellent hummingbird feeders & beautiful trails
  • Day 3Birdwatcher’s House (Santa Rosa) & Mindo: We head to the Birdwatcher´s House early for the insectivorous birds. There is also a banana feeder station and hummingbird station. Some of the main targets here are also quality views of Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Gorgeted Woodstar, and Blue-capped Tanager.
  • Day 4Paz de los Aves, Alambi & Puembo Birding Garden: This morning is a real treat, visiting one of the best cock-of-the-rock leks in the country! Wild antpittas and other birds are also commonly spotted. Next we visit Alambi Reserve, very good for White-capped dippers, & local quetzals (Crested and Golden-headed) when avocado is in season.
  • Day 5Papallacta Pass, Parque Nacional Cayambe Coca & Baeza: Along the Papallacta Pass our main target will be the Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, before moving lower down the paramo grasslands to Polylepis forest & Elfin Forest for more spotting opportunities. In the afternoon we leave the high altitude sites behind us, heading to Baeza & San Isidro.
  • Day 6San Isidro y Narupayacu: San Isidro is a bustling place in the morning, including both species of quetzal, masked trogon, black-chested fruiteater, sickle-winged guan, & much more. We will also visit the antpitta feeding station. Afternoon in Narupayacu, for trail walking and Amazon foothill birds, and hummingbird feeders that often have 10 or more species of hummer buzzing around. We maye also look for nocturnal birds (weather permitting).
  • Day 7San Isidro, Guango & Return to Quito: Early spotting opportunities around San Isidro Lodge, before heading to Guango Lodge in search of the fabulous Sword-billed Hummingbird, and Torrent Duck. After lunch, we hit the trails before it is time to return to Quito.

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About this itinerary

  • This Ecuador Birding tour can be CUSTOMISED to your personal needs, according to your specific goals / desires. Just let our sales team know which changes you would like to make, and they will be happy to help!
  • For more specific information about BIRD SPECIES we hope to find on this tour, please read the detailed itinerary pdf.
  • This is a PRIVATE tour giving you maximum flexibility.
  • The exact Itinerary may change based on weather conditions, or unexpected events which could compromise safety.
Inclusions
Exclusions
Tour dates
Recommended
Inclusions

Inclusions

  • Private transport starting and ending in Quito (hotel or airport)
  • Specialized expert birding guide with spotting scope
  • Breakfasts, lunches, dinners (from lunch on day1 to breakfast on final day)
  • Double / Twin room accommodation
  • Entrance fees and access permits to all scheduled visits on itinerary
Exclusions

Exclusions

  • International Airfare
  • Single Supplement ($495)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Extra snacks
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses & souvenirs
  • Extra activities not specified in the itinerary
Tour dates

Tour Dates

  • This tour is available to start on any day throughout the year, depending on the availability of the birding guide.
Recommended

Recommended to bring

  • Cameras, binoculars, rain proofing (just in case), decent walking shoes, warmer clothes, water bottle, head covering (hat or buff), sunscreen, insect repellent, flashlight.

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