Day 01.-Arrival in Quito - City TourArrive in Quito. Assistance and transfer from the airport to the hotel Patio Andaluz. The four star Hotel Patio Andaluz is a national treasure that holds history within its walls. Situated in the heart of the historic Old City of Quito, which was declared the first cultural heritage site of the world by UNESCO in 1978, the hotel is surrounded by churches, museums, and national monuments. It is a marvelous colonial building dating back to the foundation of Quito, and has been beautifully and meticulously restored. Enjoy the enchantment of this elegant, 31-room boutique hotel, with wide corridors, expansive stairways, large arches, balconies, and towering atrium-style patios, which lend to the feeling of a long-ago Quito. Welcome cocktail, briefing and accommodations at the hotel. -/-/-
Day 02.- Quito - Yanacocha - MindoAfter an early breakfast we depart from the Hotel in Quito at 6 a.m. towards the ecological nature resort of Yanacocha northwest of the 3,600 meter volcano Guagua Pichincha. This area is known worldwide for its great diversity of tanagers and hummingbirds. In this area we will have the chance to observe several species that we won't be able to see on any other day of the tour, including Black-breasted Puffleg, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Shining Sunbean, Golden-crowned Tanager, Black-chested Montain-Tanager, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, and Giant Conebill. The diversity of bird species in this region is a good reason to try to observe as many birds as possible before we continue traveling along the famous route of Nono, passing Tandayapa and finally reaching the Mindo Gardens Lodge, where we'll spend the night. Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner
Day 03.- Birdwatching in Mindo Cloud ForestBreakfast will be at 5 a.m. and the departure for our bird observation trip at 5.45 a.m. to a 1,200 meter high valley in Mindo. In this area we will meet many mixed flocks of birds including hummingbirds, tanagers, woodcreepers, flycatchers and several types of toucans. Lunch will be served at 1 p.m. before we move on to observing parrots. In the evening we return to the Lodge for dinner, conversation and listing of the birds seen during the day. B/L/D
Day 04.- Mindo - Tandayapa - Bellavista LodgeEarly breakfast at 5.30 a.m. followed by a tour in the area of Bellavista and Tandayapa located at 2,200 meters. In this area the enormous diversity of species is very apparent. Tanagers and hummingbirds are especially common here: in this one day is it possible to see at least 20 different types of hummingbird and at least 12 of tanagers. We should also observe Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Ocellated Tapaculo, Green-And-black Fruiteater, Golden-winged Manakin, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Grass-green Tanager, Tanager-Finch and others. In the afternoon we return to the Bellavista Lodge for dinner and bird listing. B/L/D
Day 05.- Bellavista - Tandayapa - MindoAnother early breakfast and a full day of birding in the Bellavista – Tandayapa area, especially seeking any species we missed yesterday. In the afternoon we return to the Mindo Gardens Lodge for dinner and bird listing. B/L/D
Day 06.- Mindo - Hosteria San JorgeOn the last day our main target is observing the "Gallo de la Peña", the famous "Andean Cock-of-the-rock" at the scene of their morning dance ritual (lek). This could be finished at around 7:30 a.m. and afterwards we continue our tour to watch for toucans, quetzals, hummingbirds, tanagers and many others. After lunch at around 1 p.m. we head back to Quito. On the route we will have several stops to get a last chance to observe different species of the Calacali and Pululahua region. Evening arrival at the Hosteria San Jorge. B/L/D
Day 07.- San Jorge - Chiriboga Road - TinalandiaWe depart Quito this morning for the western slope of the Andes. Throughout the day, we'll bird along the Chiriboga Road as we make our way toward the town of Santo Domingo de los Colorados. The little-used Chiriboga Road descends through upper tropical elevations and a variety of forest types, including montane cloud forest, lower montane cloud forest and premontane cloud forest. Consequently, a broad spectrum of birds is present in forest tracts along the road. Many species, including the endemic Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, are among the most spectacular found on Andean slopes. Other birds seen along this route by last season's tour participants include: Sickle-winged Guan, Turquoise Jay, Masked Trogon, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Swallow-tailed Nightjar, Torrent Duck, Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, Paramo Seedeater, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Russet-crowned Warbler, Golden-naped Tanager, Hooded Mountain-Tanager and Plushcap. The end of the day will find us arriving at the Tinalandia Birding Lodge. B/L/D
Day 08.- Birdwatching in Tinalandia - Quito
We'll have a full day at one of Ecuador's finest birding locations: Tinalandia. Located at around 2,000 feet in elevation (and only 10 minutes from our hotel), Tinalandia and its surrounding tracts of pre-montane wet forest have been deservedly praised by the international birding community. The Tinalandia bird list numbers over 300 species. Feeders on the grounds attract a wonderful variety of hummingbirds, tanagers and other species. Trails through both forest and open terrain are easy to walk. Birders here have an excellent opportunity to view species not only in the canopy, but also along the forest edge and on the forest floor.
Birds seen at Tinalandia on last season's tour include: Gray-capped Cuckoo, Purple-crowned Fairy, Green-crowned Brilliant, Rufous-tailed Motmot, Rufous Jacamar, Pale-mandibled Aracari, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Pale-legged Hornero, Band-backed Wren, Purple Honeycreeper and Golden Tanager. In the afternoon return to Quito and transfer to the hotel Patio Andaluz. B/L/-
Day 09.- Transfer Out.On your last day in Ecuador we will bring you to the airport and say goodbye, hoping to welcome you another time here in the Middle of the World. B/-/-
Comfortable hiking boots, warm clothes, waterproof clothes, binoculars, sun cream, sun glasses, hat, camera, and travel alarm clock, flashlight with batteries, zip-lock bags to keep clothing and equipment dry, tennis shoes, gloves, shorts, cotton clothes, long sleeves shirts, pants (but not jeans) towel and personal toilet kit.