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North West High Andes Tour (10 days)

yumbo crestadoBirdwatching and Photography Tour, in the Ecuadorian Andes

Ecuador is considered by leading ornithologists worldwide as one of the most diverse countries in terms of birds species, Ecuador has officially registered more than 1,600 species among endemic and exotic, and the list is growing!

For this reason Ecuador attracts professionals and enthusiasts bird observers alike for, birdwatching and bird photography, travelers visit this wonderful country to see the know species, but they also have the opportunity to discover a new species!

When people think of the experience of birding in South America, they think of condors circling a flight in the high mountains of the Ecuadorian Andes, a multitude of hummingbirds buzzing on the steep slopes of the Andean Highlands, or finches on the foliage. But there is also the Ecuadorean Amazon Forest: the very name conjures up images of hoatzines in lagoons. Swarms of ants, with assistance from anthills, flycatchers, antpittas etc. The beauty is that all the images - are numerous, as can be found in this compact country that is no bigger than Britain or the state of Colorado north America.

Itinerary:

  • Day 1: Arrival in Quito
  • Day 2: Quito - Yanacocha - Mindo - Cloud Forest
  • Day 3: Visit to the Valley of Mindo - Cloud Forest
  • Day 4: Pedro Vicente Maldonado, tropical forest
  • Day 5: Birding in the Mindo cloud forest and bird sanctuary Milpe
  • Day 6: See and photograph birds in the valley of Mindo
  • Day 7: Observation and photographing birds in Peace Bird Reserve, and in the afternoon return to Quito
  • Day 8: Antisana Ecological Reserve and Guango Lodge
  • Day 9: Guango Lodge, here we spend a second night
  • Day 10: In the morning, we watch and photograph the beautiful birds that are around the garden until lunchtime and in the afternoon we went in the direction of Quito, to leave them at the hotel or directly at the air port, this will be the fon of the tour

Colibri longDay 1: Arrival in Quito

Upon arrival in Quito, you will be greeted at the airport and transferred to the hotel to of your choice. There are magnificent colonial buildings and houses that have been restored and are now stylish hotels. You will find that they are complete with wide aisles, sweeping staircases, large arches, balconies and atrium style patios, which combine to give an idea of ​​life in a time long forgotten.

The hotels are right in the heart of the well-preserved historic district of the city of Quito, a convenient way to take walking tours to see the historic churches, convents and many museums.

Day 2: After breakfast, we will depart from the hotel at 6:00 a.m. and we will head to the Yanacocha Ecological Reserve, located 3.600 meters altitude right next to the Guagua Pichincha volcano. In this area, famous worldwide for its great variety of tanagers and hummingbirds, you will have the opportunity to observe several species on the tour not found elsewhere in the world. These species include. Black-Breasted Puffleg, Golden-Breasted Puffleg, Sword-Billed Hummingbird, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, many species of Tnegers, Antpittas, Eagles, Woodpeckers, Tapaculos etc. and many others

After watching and taking pictures of many birds, we will continue traveling along the famous Eco Nono-Mindo road route to reach the Birdwatchers Lodge, where we spend the night. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Tour LojaDay 3: Birdwatchers Forest Lodge.
5am ​​and After breakfast, we will start our tour in the areas of our Lodge, located 2,200 meters above sea level. Due to the sub tropical climate of this region, there is a huge diversity of species. More prevalent are tanagers and hummingbirds, but today have the opportunity to see at least 20 different species of hummingbirds and at least 15 species of tanagers, in our feeders. It is also likely to observe Plate-Billed Mountain toucan, tapaculos, Woopeackers, Fruiteaters, etc. In the afternoon for dinner and overnight.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Visit the tropical forest of Pedro Vicente Maldonado.

After breakfast 5am, with our lunch packed, we will go watch the birds in the area of ​​the reserve Rio Silanche, located in Pedro Vicente Maldonado, 450 meters. This is an area of ​​tropical forest located between 400 and 450 meters. This is a lush forest that is home to many endemic species of tropical forests, which are found only in southern Colombia, Ecuador and northwest, and in very small areas of Panama.

Some of these are, the Banded ground Cuckooo, Rose-faced Parrot, Barbets, Cotingas, toucans Woodpeckers, many tanagers and hummingbirds. At night, we will Birdwatchers Lodge, for dinner and spend the night and record the species of birds to seen and photographed during the day.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

cock of the rockDay 5: Birding in the Mindo cloud forest and bird sanctuary Milpe
5 am after breakfast, we left at 5:45 in the morning birding in the Valley of Mindo, located 1,200 meters above sea level. In this zone a mixture of flocks including Tangers is, Flaycatchers, Toucans and many different types of Hummingbirds. at 1 pm we will have lunch and take a short break and then continue with observation and bird photography until we return to our base hotel for dinner, after dinner record the species, which we have seen and photographed during the day .
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6: Mindo - Pedro Vicente Maldonado reserve Rio Silanche

5:00 a.m. After breakfast and with our lunch packed we'll leave early to photograph and birdwatching in the sanctuary bird reserve Rio Silanche. For details on possible species of birds that could be seen refer to those listed on Day 4. In the afternoon we will return to Birdwatcher Lodge for dinner, to add to its already extensive list of birds.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7: Birding in Peace Bird Reserve, located very close to our base lodge.

4:45 a.m. with breakfast to go, we will go to will visit the Private Reserve Angel Paz, where the diversity of species is abundant - especially, tanagers, hummingbirds, the famous Antpittas and the famous Cock of the rocks in one day is possible to observe up to 20 different species of Hummingbirs, 18 species of Tangers and Guiant Antpitta, Yellow Breasted Antpitta Ochre Breasted Antpitta, the famous Cock of the Rock, toucans, Oscellated Tapaculo, Green and Black Fruiteater, Golden Winged Manaking, Blue wingwed Mountain Tanager and in the afternoon, we will go to Guango Lodge, located on the east side of the Andes mountains.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

mindo bird andes tour 2Day 8: Antisana Ecological Reserve.

6:00 a.m. after breakfast, we leave for the ecological reserve Antisana, in the eastern Andes. Here are up to 90 different species of birds recorded, ranging from the world's largest bird (Andean Condor) to the smallest (which is a species of hummingbird). It is also possible in this area look Alcones, who live only in the high Andes, Eagles, Ducks, Andean Gulls, and many other species. Antisana is a Reserve that ranges from 3,000 m, where the vegetation is composed of a unique vegetation in the Andes, and especially grasslands. After a few hours of birding, in afternoon, it should be possible to walk around this area, which has stunning views of the Antisana volcano. Then return to Guango Lodge, where you will stay for dinner and overnight.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9: Breakfast 7am, spend the day here, watching and photographing the birds that are in this lodge. many species of birds average elevation and those species of the temperate zones of the Amazon basin will be found. Some of the species you should see are. Sword-Billed Hummingbird, Long-Tailed Sylph, Jays, White Tailed Hillstar, Golden-Breasted Puffleg, Avocet Mountain Bills, Glowing Puffleg, Quetzals, Woodpeckers, Inca Jay, Gray-Breasted Mountain Toucan Mountain. In the evening we will have dinner and spend the night.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner

mindo bird andes tour 3Day 10: Finally, we end our amazing trip, spending the morning photographing the species of birds found in the wonderful garden of the Lodge. Here we are surrounded by the foothills of the Andes. Then you will be driven to your hotel or to the international airport with plenty of time to check in for your flight back home.

We hope you had an incredible adventure photographing and observing birds here in Ecuador.

Meals included: Breakfast

Included in the price:

  • Accommodation in double rooms in hotels outside the city of Quito
  • Meals mentioned
  • Guides specialized in birds (English-speaking equipped with the scope and audio equipment starting from the morning of day 2 until the afternoon of the 10th day
  • Arrival and departure airport transfer
  • Transportation for the group to all sites in the itinerary with a local driver
  • Entrances to birdwatching sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Bird list of the areas we visit

Not included:

  • Tips for cooks, chauffeurs or staff at hotels
  • Domestic flights and / or international
  • Additional snacks and drinks
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • The excursions not included in the tour itinerary
  • Personal expenses

Feel free to contact us for more information

Photography by Vinicio Pérez - All rights reserved