Ecuador Tour

Ecuador Tour

Onaga NeotropicalTour Ecuador, 15 days

15 days/14 nights: Mindo, Tandayapa, Paz de las Aves, Antisana, Papallacta, Guango, San Isidro, Wild Sumaco, Cueva de los Tayos, Mashpi & Mangaloma.
Ecuador is one of the smallest Latin American countries: at 283,520km2 it is about half the size of Spain. However, it holds an impressive biodiversity due mainly to the Andes mountains splitting the country in two from north to south, with the Amazon rainforest to the east, and the Pacific ocean to the west. In addition, the country is tropical, and home to more than 1,600 species of birds. It is one of the richest bird regions on Earth, with 37 endemic species, not including species found in the endemic areas of Choco and Tumba, bordering Colombia and Peru respectively. Ecuador is quite simply the birdwatching mecca for ornithologists.

Day 1Arrive in Quito at night, transfer to Hotel Vieja Cuba de Quito or similar.
 » Hotel Vieja Cuba de Quito
Subida al Parque Nacional Antisana donde podremos ver especies emblemáticas del páramo andino como Cóndor y Andean Ibis y posibilidades de Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, entre otras. Comida en Tambo Cóndor Restaurant y traslado a Mindo. Cena libre ya que Mindo dispone de varios locales donde se puede comer bien y a buen precio, cualquier tipo de comida internacional (ecuatoriana, pizzas, hamburguesas, etc.).
 » Yellow House
Mindo alberga 23 endemismos del Chocó.
Baudó Guan, Dark-backed Wood-Quail, Colombian Screech-owl, Purple-bibbed Whitetip, Empress Brilliant, Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Torrent Duck, Sunbittern, White-capped Dipper, Pacific Hornero, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Golden Tanager, Masked Water Tyrant, Torrent Tyrannulet, Yellow-bellied Seed-eater, Rufous Motmot, Squirrel Cuckoo, White-necked Jacobin, Andean Emerald, Southern Yellow Grosbeak, etc.
Day 3MINDO (trails around Yellow House and the town)
We will spend the whole day exploring the trails around Yellow House and Mindo town, which offer classic Mindo birding opportunities: there are various viewpoints as the trails ascend a small sierra which gives spectacular views over the valley and contain productive forest patches.
Accommodation at Yellow House.
Sunbittern, Crested Guan, Pale-mandibled Araçari, Common Potoo, Scaled Fruiteater, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Hornate Flycatcher, Sickle-winged y Wattled Guans, Yellow-collared Clorophonia, entre muchos otros.
Day 4TANDAYAPA VALLEY (Bellavista lodge)
We will spend the whole day birdwatching in the Tandayapa Valley, an area of cloud forest, a quarter of which is primary and the rest secondary forest. We will observe hummingbirds at the feeders at Bellavista Lodge. Picnic lunch or lunch at the lodge (optional).
Accommodation at Yellow House.
Dark-backed Wood-Quail, Rose-faced Parrot, Brown Inca, Velvet-purple Coronet, Gorgeted Sunangel, Toucan Barbet, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Beautiful Jay, Black Solitaire, Dusky Bush-Tanager, Tanager Finch…
Por la mañana entrada a la pequeña pero potente reserva de Milpe, de los mejores sitios de Ecuador para ver algunas especies endémicas del Chocó, especialmente Club-winged Manakin. Visita al Mirador Río Blanco.
Accommodation at Yellow House.
Plumbeous Forest-Falcon, Glistening-green Tanager, Chocó Trogon, Club-winged Manakin y Long-wattled Umbrellabird.
Día entero pajareando por la Reserva de Mangaloma y alrededores en busca de especies endémicas del Chocó de baja altura, en especial tendremos buenas probabilidades de ver Long-wattled Umbrellabird. Muchos de estos endemismos se tendrían que ver o bien en Esmeraldas (esquina NW de Ecuador) o en zonas poco seguras de Colombia.
Accommodation at Yellow House.
Pajareo por la mañana en la Mashpi road con especies difíciles de ver en otras zonas del NW del país, por ej. Indigo Flowerpiecer, Black Solitaire y Beautiful Jay entre muchas otras. Comida tipo pic-nic y por la tarde, visita a la Cueva de los Tayos, uno de los mejores lugares para ver Oilbird (Guácharo). Regreso a Mindo.
Accommodation at Yellow House.
We will spend the morning at Paz de las Aves Refuge, where up to four species of Antpitta can be seen, the most spectacular of which is Giant Antpitta. There is also a great Andean Cock-of-the-Rock lek (complete with hide), and we might see Ocellated Tapaculo, Dark-backed Wood-quail and Lyre-tailed Nightjar among others.
Transfer to Quito in the afternoon (UNESCO World Heritage City).
Check into Hotel Vieja Cuba de Quito or similar. Dinner will be open: in the hotel or in the city.
Ascent to the Papallacta Pass in the morning. At 4,070asl, this is one of the highest access points to the Andes in Ecuador, with large areas of paramo and Polylepis scrub. In the higher parts, thereare several lakes where we can watch some of the endemic Andean waterbirds. Picnic lunch in the field and transfer to the Guango Lodge (only 11km away).
 » Guango Lodge
Andean Teal, Carunculated Caracara, Masked Mountain-Tanager, Black-backed Bush-Tanager, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Giant Conebill, Curve-billed Tinamou, White-throated Hawk, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Noble Snipe, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Tawny Antpitta, Great Sapphirewing.
Breakfast at Guango and walks around the surrounding trails, that hold a good selection of species from the east-facing temperate rainforest. After birding the trails and river, lunch at Guango where we can observe many species of hummingbird at sugar feeders by the lodge (up to 21 species have been regularly recorded here). An optional siesta at the lodge or some more birding in the grounds, then transfer to Cabañas de San Isidro where we will spend the next two nights at the lodge there.
 » Cabañas de San Isidro
Torrent Duck, Andean Guan, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Turquoise Jay, Scarlet-bellied, Lacrimose, Buff-breasted y Hooded Mountain-Tanagers, Grey-hooded Bush-Tanager, Black-headed, Black-capped y Black-eared Hemispingus y Slaty Brush-Finch, Sword-billed Hummingbird.
We will spend the whole day here, at elevations between 1,8250 and 2,400m asl. The lodge has 1,900 ha of land. It is surrounded by fragments of low montane forest with a dense understorey of Chusquera bamboo. There is a network of trails to explore, with numerous hummingbird feeders and feeding stations where two Antpitta species (White-bellied and Chestnut-crowned) are commonly seen. The exceptional menu at the lodge is all home-made and the rooms are in comfortable cabins dispersed around the finca. Each cabin has its own sugar feeder and a covered porch for observing visiting hummingbirds even when it is raining.
Accommodation at Logde Cabañas de San Isidro.
Highland Tinamou, Greater Scythebill, White-rimmed Brush-Finch, Slate-crowned Antpitta, Peruvian Antpitta, White-bellied Antpitta, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Barred Antthrush, Striped Treehunter, “San Isidro’s Owl”, Bicolored Antvireo, Inca Jay.
After breakfast and a last chance to bird the trails in San Isidro, we head for WildSumaco over the Huacamayos Pass (2,250m asl). This cordillera (Antisana Ecological Reserve) is a densely forested sierra which extends from the Andean slopes all the way to the Amazonian lowlands.It is considered the best birdwatching area in all Ecuador, allbeit difficult to access. The recent opening of WildSumaco Lodge has considerably facilitated birdwatching possibilities in the area. We will spend the next two nights there.
Accommodation at Wildsumaco Lodge.
 » WildSumaco Logde
Gray-tailed Piha, Blue-rumped Manakin, Chestnut-crowned Gnateater, Short-tailed Antthrush, Wing-banded Wren, Gray-throated Leaftosser, Plain-backed Antpittas, Yellow-throated Spadebill, Military Macaw, Spot-winged Parrotlet, Black Hawk-Eagle, Blue-browed Tanager, Yellow-breasted Antwren, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Ecuadorian Tyrannulet, el recientemente descrito Foothill Elaenia o Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater, Rufescent Screech-Owl, Foothill Screech-Owl, entre muchos otros.
All day at Wild Sumaco.
Accommodation at Wildsumaco Lodge.
Viaje a Quito. De camino volveremos a pajarear el puerto de Papallacta, esta vez en su parte más alta para intentar varias especies de páramo pero muy especialmente Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe. Comida tipo picnic en el campo después del pajareo matutino por Wild Sumaco y alrededores y llegada a Quito a media tarde para poder pasear por el casco antiguo.
Accommodation at Hotel Vieja Cuba de Quito o similar.
Transfer to the airport for the return flight to Madrid.

A 5-day extension to the south of Ecuador, visiting the Podocarpus National Park

Flight to Loja and transfer to Tapichalaca Reserve (Jocotoco), in the extreme south of Ecuador, near the Peruvian border. Two nights in Lodge Casa Simpson, Tapichalaca.
 » Lodge Casa Simpson
Jocotoco Antpitta (without doubt the star species here), Highland Tinamou, White-throated Quail Dove, Golden-plumed Parakeet, White-breasted Parakeet, Bearded Guan and Coopery-chested Jacamar, Andean Potoo, Blaquish Tapaculo, Chusquea Tapaculo, Ocellated Tapaculo, Chestnut-napped Antpitta, Black-throated Tody Tyrant.
We will spend all day at Tapichalaca, observing birds from the netwrok of trails.
Accommodation at Lodge Casa Simpson, Tapichalaca.
After a dawn walk and breakfast around the lodge, we will head off to Copalinga and bird for the rest of the day there. The Cabañas de Copalinga are 3km from the entrance to the National Park and have sugar feeders and bird tables as well a s a short but productive system of trails, with many interesting species to be seen.This is one of the best places to observe the endemic White-breasted Parakeet or the scarce and Vulnerable Coppery-chested Jacamar. We’ll spend the night in Copalinga.
White-breasted Parakeet, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Rufous-breasted Woodquail, Lanceolated Monklet, Highland Motmot, Little, Grey and Brown Tinamous.
Day 18COPALINGA – PODOCARPUS N.P. (Río Bombuscaro)
We will enter thje Podocarpus National Park and head for the Bombuscaro valley, spending the day bordwatching there, spending the night at Copalinga.
We will return to Quito in the afternoon. Dinner will be open in the city. Accommodation at Hotel Quito or similar.
Transfer to the airport. Return flight to Spain.
  • October and November
  • Maximum group size: 8 people
  • Price: contact us

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  • Booked accommodation consists of double rooms with an en suite bathroom for private use. If for any reason it is necessary to change this, the tour operator reserves the right to substitute booked hotes for another similar establishment. If the use of inferior accommodation cannot be avoided, the client will be reimbirsed proportionately for the difference in price.
  • The price of booked accommodation is based on a double room per night. If you are travelling alone, and you don’t mind sharing accommodation, please specify in your application (“willing to share”). If there are other members of the group who are also amenable to sharing, the agency will facilitate the booking. If you are travelling alone and wish to have a room to yourself, please add the Single Room Supplement to the tour fees.

  • Being met at the airport on arrival
  • Transport in a private vehicle from the start to the end of the tour
  • Accommodation in selected hotels
  • Three meals a day
  • National Park entrance fees according to the interary
  • Local guide who speaks Spanish and English
  • Health and Safety Insurance
  • Professional support from our team

  • International flight tickets at the start and the end of the tour
  • Travel insurance and flight cancellation insurance
  • Personal extras: drinks, laundry, telephone bills
  • Single room supplement
  • Unspecified food (snacks etc)
  • Activities and excursions not mentioned in the tour itinerary
  • Airport taxes or entry and exit fees
  • Any other service not mentioned above
  • If you suffer from an allergy or dietary intolerance, you should inform us of this when you make your reservation and we will try to offer you adecuate menus on the tour.We would be happy to help.
  • Road travel (journey distance and time) is carefully planned on our tours. However, in the case of unfavourable weather conditions, or a change in opening hours or other technical problems, our itinerary may alter. The guide will decide how to modify each stage of the trip if necessary to adapt to the conditions on the trip. We ask for flexibilty and understanding from tour members should this be the case.
  • Entry requirements for Ecuador. Passport with a minimum validity of 6 months is required to stay in the country for a period of 90 days. Return flight ticket to and from Ecuador. Entry visas are not required for US and EU citizens. More information on visas can be found here: Visas
    If you come from the EU, vaccination is not compulsory to enter the country. However, if you are come from a country considered “endemic” for Yellow Fever, like Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia or Panama and some African nations, you need to present your International Yellow Fever Card on arrival. We recommend you bring a list of medication if you are bringing a personal medicine kit.
  • Leaving the country. In the airport you will have to pay a departure fee of 30 US$. You can pay in american dollars or by credit card. It’s recommended you do this prior to check-in.
  • Vaccinations. There are no compulsory vaccinations. Some may be required if you want to visit certain areas. The Yellow Fever vaccine is recommended for EU vistors who are planning to visit the following areas: Morona- Santiago, Pastaza, Napo, Orellana, Zamora- Chinchipe and Sucumbios.To obtain detailed information on recommended vaccinations, or ask any questions related to tropicald diseases, you should consult your doctor or a doctor specialising in tropical medicine.
    International Vaccination Center: Click here .

  • Health. There is ahealth service available in nearly all main cities, but this might be difficult to find in rural areas. You can obtain more information at the following link: Click here
  • Safety. In general, Ecuador is a safe country, however there are areas of Quito and Guayacil where it is advisable to take precautions to avoid problems. It is recommended to leave anything of value you won’t be using in the hotel safe. Make sure you have a viable insurance policy that covers objects of value you will be travelling with.
  • Money. The currency in Ecuador is the US dollar.Many establishments accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club. There are cash machines in all cities. You can check the exchange rate at the following link: Click here
  • Climate. Although Ecuador is situated on the Equator, its climate is varied, depending on altitude and the influence of the cooler Humboldt current in summer and the influence of sultry “El Niño” in winter. Overall, Ecuador has a warm, rainy climate. The average temperature is between 23 and 26ºC (72-80ºF).
    The driest period is between November and February, but this varies in some subregions. Along the coast, the climate is very hot all year, with temperatures between 25 and 31ºC (76-90ºF). The rainy season, between December and May is hot and humid. The dry season is not that dry!
  • Local time. The time difference between Ecuador and Central Europe is 6 hours. If you want to know the exact time in Costa Rica from where you connect Click here .
  • Advice
    • Birdwatching equipment: binoculars and/or telescope, camera and field guide.
    • Photography: due to the strong tropical glare a polarising filter is recommended. Also the use of flash or a suitable filter is recommended in humid areas.
    • Electricity: voltage is 110v and 60Hz, with two-point plugs.You will need to bring an adaptor to connect your camera, mobile and laptop chargers. Click here for more information.
    • Luggage: you are advised to bring light, comfortable clothing, a waterproof hiking jacket, some warm clothing, a hat or cap, sun protection and mosquito repellent. Spare batteries and memory cards. A shoulder bag (around 10L) for walks.