Join the Birding Movement
• International Birding Tours
• Group & Private Guiding in California
↓ Check out my tours ↓
Ecuador is a small country, yet boasts a whopping 1,632 species of birds, and 133 species of hummingbirds, the 2nd most of any country in the world! Whether you’ve been to the tropics five times or this is your first journey, Ecuador’s bird life, and breathtaking scenery will leave you wanting more.
Our carefully crafted 9-day tour explores a variety of habitats including Páramo, Andean cloud forests, and the Amazonian-influenced foothills just downslope.
Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries on earth, with over 70 different species of endemic birds. Our tour focuses on seeing as many birds as possible, however, we combine a moderate pace, and excellent accommodations and integrate big-picture topics such as sustainable forestry, tropical ecology, and bird migration physiology to provide an unparalleled experience in just 9 days!
Dates: 10 July – 19 July 2024 (9 days 8 nights)
*Price: $3,750 per person/double occupancy
Single supplement: $550.00
*Based on double occupancy at lodgings with a minimum group size of 4 and a max of 8.
Note if you have requested a roommate we will try to find you one, but this is not a guarantee, if none is available you will be charged the single supplement fee.
Extend your tour with our Ecuador Amazon Birding Adventure! July 19-25, 2024
Type: Bird watching and Wildlife Viewing
Length: 9 days
Starting city: Quito, Ecuador
Ending city: Quito, Ecuador
Pace: easy to moderate
Physical difficulty: easy to moderate
Focus: Bird Watching and Wildlife viewing
Max group size: 8 + 1 leader + local guide(s)
Ecuador is a paradise for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Boasting a whopping 1632 species of birds, hundreds of orchid species, striking wildlife and a vibrant culture, Ecuador has so much to experience. Throughout our time together we will visit a variety of different and unique habitats of NW Ecuador as we search for some of the most beautiful birds this special country has to offer.
July 10th – Flights Arrive
Today we’ll pick you up from Quito International Airport (Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre) and transfer you to your comfortable and proximal hotel for the evening.
D & ON Zayasante Eco-lodge
The official start of our amazing trip begins today at the mystical Yanacocha Reserve to search for the Imperial Snipe. Then we drive to Zuroloma reserve, where we can expect to see the Ocellated Tapaculo, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Equatorial Antpitta, Chestnut-naped Antpitta, Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Masked Flower-piercer, Rufous-breasted Chat-Tryrant, and Tyrian Metaltail.
At around 11 AM, we’ll load and drive back to Yanacocha where we’ll have an early lunch and then walk the trails.
Located in the Northwest Andes, a short drive from Quito, this high-elevation cloud forest and páramo habitat will provide chances to take pictures of Scarlet-bellied, Hooded, and Black-chested Mountain-Tanagers, Spectacled Redstart, Gray-browed Brush-Finch, Great Sapphirewing, White-throated Screech-Owl, Ash-colored Tapaculo, Golden-breasted Puffleg, and many other gorgeous cloud forest birds!
Following our day here, we will head back to our nearby lodging to freshen up, have a delicious dinner, and get settled in for the night.
At night we’ll search for the Swallow-tailed Nightjar, Band-bellied Owl, and Rufescent Screech-Owl in the Bellavista cloud-forest Reserve.
BB Zuroloma Reserve L Cafe del Zamarrito D & ON Bellavista Lodge
Today we’ll spend a half day at Bellavista Reserve trails in search of Tanager Finch, Turquoise Jay, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, White-faced Nunbird, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Plushcap, White-throated Quail-Dove, Rus-set-crowned Warbler, Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant, Buff-tailed Coronet, Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant, and many other birds.
After lunch, we’ll drive to Tandayapa making some stops on the way searching for Beautiful Jay, Black Phoebe, Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant, White-throated Quail-Dove, Russet-crowned Warbler, Zeledon’s Antbird, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan Streak-capped Treehunter, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, and sometimes even Scaled Antpitta, White-winged and Tricolored Brush Finches, Masked Trogon, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Golden-crowned Flycatcher, Slate-throated Whitestart, Toucan Barbets, Golden and Golden-naped Tanagers, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Red-headed Barbet, Crimson-rumped Toucanet and other birds from this beautiful valley.
BB L D & ON Bellavista Lodge
Refugio Paz de las Aves is run by the talented and world-famous Angel Paz and his family. This former farmer has developed a thriving eco-tourism business that protects unique habitats and mastered his renowned bird-whispering skills. At his reserve, we will observe the unique and entertaining behavior of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock. In addition, we will see if the usually elusive Giant, Moustached, Yellow-Breasted, Ochre-Breasted, and Chestnut-crowned Antpittas will grace us with an appearance.
These special birds often respond by name, and yes one of them is actually named Shakira! If we’re lucky we’ll get to see all five Antpitta species here!
Additional birds in this area include; Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl, Golden-Headed Quetzal, Rufous-breasted Anthrush, Powerful Woodpecker, Golden Tanager, and Dark-backed Wood-Quail.
After what is always an amazing time with Angel Paz and his family, we’ll drive to the Milpe Bird Sanctuary. Once we arrive we’ll have lunch and bird the trails looking for After what is always an amazing time with Angel Paz and his family, we’ll drive to the Milpe Bird Sanctuary. Once we arrive we’ll have lunch and bird the trails looking for Club-winged Manakin, Rufous-rumped Antwren, Scaly-throated Foliage-gleaner, Brown-billed Scythebill, Golden-collared Chlorophonia, Choco Warbler and others.
Once the sun sets and we’ve had a delicious dinner at the Sachatamia Lodge, we’ll head out and look for Black-and-white Owl and Crested Owl! and others.
BB Refugio Paz de Las Aves L Milpe Bird Sanctuary D & ON Sachatamia Lodge
Today we have a full day of birding at two fantastic sites! First, we’ll drive to the small village of La 23 de Junio where a local farmer protects the Long-wattled Umbrellabird lek and habitat, this incredible bird and its behavior will be the main target for this location!
With the morning still on our side we’ll head to the Pacific lowlands to bird the Rio Silanche Bird Sanctuary where we’ll search for Blue-tailed and White-tailed Trogons, Olivaceous Piculet, Red-rumped, Cinna-mon and Black-checked Woodpeckers, Tawny-crested, Scarlet-and-white, Rufous-winged and Blue-whiskered Tanagers, Scarlet-thighed and Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Squirrel and Little Cuckoos, Plumbeous Hawk, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Checker-throated Antwren, White-bearded Manakin, Masked Tityra, Slate-throated Gnatcatcher, Black-capped Pygmy-Tyrant, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Barred Puffbird, and many other species.
BB La 23 de Junio BL Rio Silanche Bird Sanctuary D & ON Sachatamia Lodge
Today our journey begins along an easy dirt road that passes through the verdant cloud forest, loaded with superb Chocó endemics not easily seen elsewhere. We’ll visit the Amagusa Reserve which protects a good remnant of Choco Foothill Forest loaded with specialties not easily seen elsewhere. Species possible here include Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Indigo Flowerpiercer, Moss-backed Tanager, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Glistening-green Tanager, and Buffy Tuftedcheek.
With luck, this area could also produce Uniform Treehunter, Black Solitaire, and Esmeralda’s Antbird. Other targets in the Mashpi area include Uniform Treehunter, Black Solitaire, Esmeraldas Antbird, Ochre-breasted and Rufous-throated Tanagers, Red-faced Spin-etail, Scaly-throated, Buff-fronted and Lineated Foliage-gleaners, Choco Vireo, Slaty Antwren, Tawny-breasted Flycatcher, and Cinnamon Becard. After lunch at the Amagusa Reserve, we’ll drive the Guayabillas road making some stops looking for Scarlet-and-white Tanager, Yellow-green Bush-Tanager, Pacific Flatbill, Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo, Russet Antshrike, Striped Woodhaunter, and Baudo Guan.
Following some targeted birding we’ll load up and drive 3 hours to the Zaysant Ecolodge!
BB & L Amagusa Reserve D & ON Zaysant Ecolodge
Today begins at the prompt hour of 6:00 AM. Why are we starting so early? It is, of course, to arrive in time to view the massive Andean Condors taking flight from their roosting sites in the incredible Paramo habitat. At this hotspot, we will also look for highland specialists including Black-faced Ibis, Carunculated Caracara, Andean Gull, Giant Hummingbird, Andean Lapwing, Tawny Antpitta, Many-striped Canastero, Andean Tit-Spinetail, Paramo Pipit, Chestnut-winged Cincloides, Andean Duck, Silvery Grebe, Plumbeous Sierra-Finch, Ecuadorian Hillstar, and many more.
In the afternoon depending on the weather, we’ll explore Papallacta Pass in search of Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Blue-mantled Thornbill, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, and more.
The beautiful Paramo is tropical-alpine habitat composed of sweeping grassland landscapes, ponds, and short shrubs, making for relatively easy bird-watching opportunities. The absolutely breathtaking scenery of Antisana and Papallacta is unlike anything we’ve seen on the trip, so get excited!
B Zayasant EcoLodge L Tambo Condor D & ON Guango Lodge
Just downslope from Papallacta Pass, we will spend the day exploring the beautiful trails at Guango Lodge. Here, tumbling mountain rivers, lush cloud-forest and paramo habitat provide excellent opportunities to look for; Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager, Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant, Mountain Cacique, Grass-green Tanager, Barred Fruiteater, Mountain Avocetbill, Plain-tailed Wren, Cinnamon Flycatcher, White-banded Tyrannulet, Gray-hooded Bush-Tanager, Capped Conebill, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Speckled Hummingbird, White-capped Dipper, Powerful and Crimson-mantled Woodpeckers, Flammulated Treehunter, Montane Woodcreeper, Turquoise Jay, Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant, Pale-naped and Slaty Brush-Finches, Dusky Piha, Black-crested Warbler, Black-capped Hemispingus and others.
This unique lodge has a quaint European wood-cabin feel with good coffee and great birds and incredible scenery with waterfalls in streaming down the cloud forest across the canyon.
After several hours of great birding we’ll load and head down slope to the famous WildSumaco Lodge which will take us about 3.5 hours.
B & L Guango Lodge D & ON WildSumaco Lodge,
Today, we’ll spend the first part of the day looking for birds at one of the most famous birding lodges in Ecuador! The WildSumaco lodge has an incredible diversity of birds, with this hotspot surpassing 450 different species. Today we’ll focus on the species we might have missed yesterday.
The lodge and associated reserve features no shortage of amazing birds and views. Here we’ll look for Fiery-throated Fruiteater, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Plain Antvireo, Yellow-breasted Antwren, Black Antbird, Black-faced Antbird, Sooty Antbird, Foothill Antwren, Military Macaw, Lined Antshrike, Wire-crested Thorntail, Gould’s Jewelfront, and tons of other species.
B, L, D & ON WildSumaco Lodge
The main targets for today will be Gould’s Jewelfront, Wire-crested Thorntail, Golden-collared Toucanet, Gilded Barbet, Paradise Tanager, Spotted Tanager, Green-and-gold Tanager, Long-tailed Tyrant, and many other species.
After lunch, we’ll drive back to Quito City and transport you to the airport to catch your international flight.
This will be our longest travel day, folks should book flights that depart after 7 PM or plan to spend the night in Quito. Please feel free to reach out if you would like assistance with hotel recommendations for the night of the 13th.
B WildSumaco Lodge BL Guacamayos Ridge D & ON Not Included T Included
B – Breakfast
D – Dinner
BB/BL – Boxed Breakfast/Boxed Lunch
ON – Overnight lodging location
2. Yanacocha / Zuroloma
3. Bellavista/Tandayapa Valley
4. Refugio Paz de Las Aves / Milpe Bird Sanctuary
5. La 23 De Junio / Rio Silanche Bird Sanctuary & Amagusa / Guayabillas Road
6. Antisana National Park / Papallacta Pass
7. Guango Lodge
8. WildSumaco Lodge