Ecuador's avifauna with nearly 1,600 species is considered one of the wonders of the natural world with a high percentage of endemic species. Nowhere else can you find this diversity in such a small country. No less than 12% of Ecuador's territory has now been incorporated in the protected national system within its four regions, giving the opportunity to the avifauna to exist in their natural environment.
The northwest road from Quito is a well known birding route because it is the gateway to the Cloud Forest that provides ideal access to well preserved areas, where you can admire Toucans, tanagers, cotingas, woodpeckers, hummingbirds and others. Near this road is one of the best places of the country to see hummingbirds (41 species registered), this place is known as 'Tony´s House', where we can see many different species of these little birds and in great numbers, while enjoying a cup of coffee and talking with the owners, Tony and Bárbara.
In Maquipucuna Reserve, visit different conservation projects that this Foundation manages in their 1400 hectares of forest located in the Andean Choco bioregion. This place is considered one of the top 10 biodiversity hot spots of the world.
Mindo, located on the lower flanks of the western Andes, is an area that supports an extremely rich and diverse avifauna. Its most notable bird is perhaps the Giant Antpitta and there are also a few leks of the Cocks of the rock and the Umbrella bird.
Rio Palenque Scientific Station is a small private reserve in the tropics of the western slope of the Andes. This is the last patch of this kind of ecosystem, because as a scientific Station it was saved from the agricultural development that happened in this region. Its diverse avifauna is well known and here we can see some species like the pacific royal Flycatcher, King Fishers, Parrots, Hummingbirds, etc.
In Tinalandia are numerous highly visible birds and some species are more readily found here than elsewhere. One of the most important species are the Choco trogon, flycatchers, parakeets and tanagers.
Chiriboga Road is located on the slope of the western Andes, here there is a wide range of mountain birds along the transect. In this place we can see torrent ducks, Spot-Fronted Swifts, Quetzals, and others. Antisana Ecological Reserve, situated on the east ridge of the Andes has a good number of Andean Condors, Silver Grebes, Black Faced Ibis, etc.
Pasochoa private Reserve protects some of the last remaining natural forests in the central valley. The most representative birds of this area are the Andean Guans, Ocellated Tapaculos, the Sword Billed Hummingbird and other species.
Very early in the morning we will travel to the northwest of Quito crossing the western slope of the Andes range to arrive at Nono. On this route we will see some bird species of the temperate and subtropical forest. Box, lunch on route surrounded by colorful hummingbirds. In the Afternoon visit the famous Tonys House to see more than 30 hummingbird species. Departure to Maquipucuna, dinner and overnight. Optional hike at night to try to see some nocturnal birds. (L,D)
At 5 am, hike through a trail close to the lodge to observe some bird activity. After breakfast we will have time to rest in order to continue walking through the trails of Maquipucuna to enjoy of the birds of this amazing place.(B,L,D)
After breakfast we will choose one of the trails to learn about the Cloud Forest and its avifauna. Departure to Mindo Region, lunch in Sachatamia Lodge and short hike around this place to see some species. Dinner and overnight.(B,L,D)
Really early in the morning, we will have one of the most amazing experiences, visiting the cock of the rock lek, where, in the breeding season, the males produce a special sound and fly like real acrobats waiting for the female to choose one of them to mate. Breakfast and walk through the different trails of Mindo-Nambillo Reserve. Lunch in Sachatamia Lodge to continue our trip to Tinalandia for dinner and overnight.(B,L,D)
Activities in the morning in Tinalandia that has been considered the favorite birding area since 1970. Lunch and travel to the highlands to see some birds during the route. Arrival to La Carriona, hotel close to Quito, where we will have time to rest. Dinner and overnight.(B,L,D)
During these last two days we will observe the most representative bird species of the highlands, visiting Antisana Ecological Reserve and Cotopaxi National Park. In the morning we will go to Mica lake in order to see greves, ducks, coots and many small birds. Here there is a high probability of seeing the biggest flying bird, the andean Condor. Lunch in Hacienda Antisana and later we will travel to Cotopaxi National Park to arrive at Hacienda Porvenir in volcano Land. Dinner and nocturnal visit to Rumiñahui s cave, to try to see a few owl species. Overnight in this Hacienda (B,L,D)
Breakfast and departure to Pasochoa private reserve. In the past this place was difficult to reach and was saved from the agricultural activity. Thats why it is now considered an oasis of the andean Forest. Here we can find more than 100 hundred species concentrated in this small preserved area. We will spend all morning here and continue our trip to La Matilde restaurant where we will enjoy a delicious typical lunch. After an enlightening trip of birdwatching, full of ecosystems, beautiful views, cozy places and spectacular and colorful bird species, we will return to Quito. (B,L)
Prices arebased on double occupancy and vary with group size. If you are travelling alone or in a group of more than 4 participants please ask for a quote. We are happy to book you a room for the first and last night in Quito, please ask for a quote.
For questions and booking inquiries please email Sacred Earth