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Birding in the East and West Slopes of the Andes
DESCRIPTION11 DAYS / 10 NIGHTS
During this tour we can expect to see around 400 bird species visiting the Cloud Forest of the east and west ranges of the Andes including the Choco region, the Amazon basin and the central Andean Paramo of Ecuador.
DAY 1.- ARRIVAL TO QUITO, ECUADOR
At your arrival to Ecuador our guide will be waiting for you to meet and transfer you to Café Cultura Hotel where you will overnight.
HOTEL CAFÉ CULTURA
Café Cultura is a delightful mix of English tradition and contemporary trend. Some sixty years ago, the hotel was home to one of Quito's oldest families and it was carefully restored over a period of four years, with special detail given to maintaining the unique characteristics of the original interior. The house is hemmed by a beautiful garden, with secluded seating areas for relaxing.
DAY 2.- THE LAND OF HUMMINGBIRDS: QUITO – MAQUIPUCUNA
BLACK BREASTED PUFFLEG (R. WILLIAMS)
Very early in the morning we will travel to the northwest of Quito crossing the western slope of the Andes range to arrive to Tandayapa. On this route we will visit Yanacocha reserve a high-altitude cloud forest situated at 10,500 ft elevation. The reserve protects 964 hectares of elfin Polylephis Forest, which is home to many bird species like the famous Black-breasted Puffleg (Eriocnemis nigrivestis), while we continue our trip we will see other species such as Black-collared Jay, Barred Fruiteater, Hooded and Scarlet-bellied and the Choco Endemic Black-chested Mountain-Tanagers. Box lunch on route surrounded by colorful hummingbirds. late afternoon departure to Maquipucuna Reserve, dinner and overnight.
Maquipucuna Reserve is located in the heart of Ecuador's cloud forest, it is a great place to experience exotic species of birds specially hummingbirds and flowers in bloom such as orchids and bromeliads. Maquipucuna is not only a Reserve is also a foundation that is protecting this forest and it is helping the people of the area giving them economic alternatives to improve their way of life and to avoid the destruction of the Cloud Forest.
DAY 3.- MAQUIPUCUNA RESERVE
Early in the morning, after a cup of coffee we will hike through the trails close to the lodge to observe some of the amazing birds of this place, where we can find 350 species like the Golden-headed Quetzal, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Violet-tailed Sylph, and Broad-billed Motmot. After lunch we can be witness and part of the different conservation projects that this Foundation managed in their 1400 hectares of forest located in the Andean Choco bioregion. Some of these projects are the production of the traditional Sugarcane alcohol, the invitro orchid production, the organic farm, the coffee production, the recycle paper and others. Possible nocturnal walk, dinner and overnight.
DAY 4.- THE MAGIC CLOUD FOREST, MAQUIPUCUNA – MINDO
SPARKLING VIOLET-EAR BOOTED RACKET-TAIL
After breakfast we will choose one of the trails to learn about the Cloud Forest and its avifauna. Departure to Mindo, place that has a primary forest with an immense biodiversity that includes one of the greatest concentrations of bird species anywhere in the world. This region that has an impressive bird list of 360 species, highlights including Maroon-tailed Parakeet, Toucan Barbet, Nariño Tapaculo, Golden-headed Quetzal and Golden and Flame-faced Tanager. Lunch in Sachatamia Lodge and in the afternoon short hike around this place to see some species like the Giant and Scaled Antpitta, Choco Toucan, Scaled Fruiteater, Tanager-Finch and Club-winged Manakin. Target birds here include Wattled and Sickle-winged Guan, Bronze-winged Parrot, Sparkling Violet-ear, Andean Emerald, Booted Racket-tail and Long-tailed Sylph. Dinner and overnight.
Sachatamia is a marvelous, private, ecological reserve exceeding 120 hectares of cloud forest. Other areas include recuperates forest, as well as, forest undergoing processed of reforestation.
Sachatamia has the privilege of being located next to the Protected Forest of Mindo. Nambillo. The zone is renewed as one of the foremost in terms of the wealth of biodiversity that is rich in flora and fauna. It has attained first place in the annual count of bird spaces on a global level.
DAY 5.- THE AMAZING COCK OF THE ROCK
GIANT ANTPITTA ANDEAN COCK OF THE ROCK
Early in the morning, we will travel to Angel Paz reserve where we can 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. After this once in a life time experience we can also observe the Giant Antpitta and the Yellow-breasted Antpitta. Lunch in Sachatamia Lodge and in the afternoon we will have time to see the hummingbirds in the feeders of this place where it is possible to see the rare Choco endemics Empress Brilliant and Velvet-Purple Coronet. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 6.- MINDO – QUITO
Early in the morning we will walk in the area looking for more bird species such as Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Crested Quetzal, Masked Trogon, Choco Toucan, and Powerful Woodpecker. Other colorful birds we may see here include Blue-winged Mountain-tanager, Green and Black Fruiteater, and Moss-backed Tanager. After lunch we will return to Quito to overnight in Café Cultura hotel.
DAY 7.- ANTISANA ECOLOGICAL RESERVE
CARUNCULATED CARACARA APLOMADO FALCON
After breakfast we will travel to Antisana Ecological Reserve, where we will visit the Mica Lake in order to see Silvery Grebe, Andean Teal, Andean Duck, Yellow-billed Pintail, Andean Coot, and as well as many land birds such as Aplomado Falcon, Andean Gull, Andean Lapwing and Carunculated Caracara. Here we have a high probability to be in contact with the majestic Andean Condor and other species like Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle and Variable Hawk, Bar-winged and Stout-billed Cinclodes, Black-faced Ibis, Shining Sunbeam, Red- rumped Bush-Tyrant, Paramo Pipit, Giant Conebill, and Spectacled Whitestart. Lunch in Hacienda Antisana and departure to Guango Lodge through the Papallacta region. This area has well conserved patches of Polylepis forest and is an excellent place to observe high mountain bird species. The 4000-meter high páramo holds a fascinating group of high-altitude species like the Variable Hawk, Many-striped Canastero, Tawny Antpitta and an Andean Condor. Other species expected in this area are the Sword-billed Hummingbird, Great Sapphire-wing, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Torrent Duck, Torrent Tyrannulet and the superb White-capped Dipper. Dinner and overnight in Guango Lodge.
Guango Lodge lies at a higher elevation (about 2,700 meters) on Ecuador's eastern slope, only 11 kms down the main Interoceanic Highway from Papallacta. This area is located in a zone classified as humid temperate forest, characterized by its more stunted trees (and thicker canopy), cooler climate, and different bird and plant composition.
DAY 8.- PAPALLACTA - SAN ISIDRO LODGE
Early in the morning we will hike through the trails of this lodge looking for more bird species. After breakfast we will continue our trip to San Isidro Lodge where we will seek out specialties such as Black-chested Fruiteater, Long-tailed Antbird, Barred Antthrush and the little-known Peruvian Antpitta. Lunch and in the afternoon we will walk close to the lodge discovering more bird species. After dinner we will have a nocturnal walk looking for nightjars and owls. Overnight.
San Isidro (of Napo, Ecuador and only 2 ½ hours from Quito) lies at an elevation of about 2,000m (6,800 ft.) above sea level in a zone still mostly blanketed by extensive humid forest. This combination of factors means agreeable temperatures, exciting birds, and a diversity of other wildlife, including large mammals.
Besides in San Isidro and its surroundings we can find night birds, including Andean Potoo (rare, but sometimes staked-out), Rufous-bellied Nighthawk (almost every dawn and dusk around the cotages) and Rufous-banded and Mottled Owls (both of which inhabit the immediate surrounding forests), but the most exciting night attraction in recent years has been a large and beautiful species of owl that is only currently known from the forests next to the lodge.
DAY 9.- SAN ISIDRO: HUACAMAYOS
After breakfast we will travel to the Cordillera de Los Huacamayos where we walk one of the trails specialized for birdwatching. Here it is possible to see many different species and we'll look for Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, White-bellied Antpitta, Bicolored Antvireo and the very local White-rimmed Brush-Finch among others. Box lunch on route and return to San Isidro.
DAY 10.- SAN ISIDRO – QUITO
During this day we will walk through the trails of San Isidro learning about the plants of this place and spotting for some bird species like Black-chested Fruiteater, Long-tailed Antbird, Barred Antthrush and the little-known Peruvian Antpitta, a nest of which was discovered right on the property. Return to Quito to overnight in Café Cultura Hotel
DAY 11.- HOME FLIGHT
After we have gotten a long list of birds in this unforgettable expedition in Ecuador we will be transferred to the airport to catch our home flight.
END OF THE SERVICES
A NOTE ON THE ORDER OF THE ITINERARY: Itinerary subject to change based on local conditions. It could be flexible according to the client's interests.
B- Breakfast; L-Lunch; BL- Box Lunch; D-Dinner
PRICES PER PERSON
|2-3 PAX||4-7 PAX||8-11 PAX||12-15 PAX||16 PAX||SING SUP|
|US$ 2463||US$ 2152||US$ 1897||US$ 1648||US$ 1526||US$ 325|
PRICE INCLUDES: Private transportation, bilingual naturalist guide (specialized on birdwatching), accommodation based on double room in all the hotels detailed in the itinerary; meals as described on the itinerary, entrance fee to Yanacocha reserve, , Maquipucuna Reserve, Paz de las Aves, Antisana Ecological reserve, Cayambe Coca reserve (Papallacta area), Huacamayos reserve.
NOT INCLUDED: International departure taxes (US$ 41.00), meals not specified, alcoholic drinks, tips, and personal expenses.