TUR ECUADOR

Ecuador

Quito - Mindo - Antisana

May 6 - 20, 2023
cada dia es una nueva aventura

Every day a new adventure

To visit the cloud forest of the Andean Chocó is to rediscover nature. Our journey starts at the Paz de las Aves Refuge, one of the most fascinating nature reserves in Ecuador, where you will have the opportunity to capture the beauty of wonderful quails and antpittas.

From this strategic site, we will travel along the trails of Yanacocha, El Antisana, Zuro Loma and other incredible reserves that are home to hummingbirds, tangaras, golden-headed quetzals, and the beautiful cock-of-the-rock.

Ecuador

15 days / 14 nights

May 6 - 20, 2023

Price: $5,328*
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Day 1
Our adventure begins with your arrival in Ecuador. I will pick you up at the Quito International Airport and take you to a nearby hotel where you can spend the night.

Day 2
I will pick you up at the hotel at approximately 5:45 am. The first place we will visit is Yanacocha. This reserve was founded to preserve endangered species such as the black-footed hummingbird. The reserve is at least 3.66 square miles. Here, you will be able to meet antpittas Leonardo and Rufo and a wide variety of tanagers such as the scarlet-bellied mountain tanager or the hooded mountain tanager.

In the tour you will have my guide and experience in preparing a landscape that has a good background and an exposed histogram, so you can capture the perfect photo. During bird watching time you will have coffee, tea and other snacks at your disposal.

Our second stop will be at Zuro Loma, a reserve that protects part of the cloud forest. Here you can admire and photograph the sword-billed hummingbird, so I will provide you with a series of multiple flashes that you can use for 20 minutes.

At the end of the day, you will arrive at the Paz de las Aves Bird Sanctuary, one of the best and most complete bird reserves in Ecuador. This is where you will spend the rest of your stay.

Day 3
Paz de las Aves Bird Sanctuary is a private reserve dedicated to the conservation of the natural habitat of the antpittas. Here you will meet the man who talks to birds, Ángel Paz, one of the founders of this magical refuge, who will personally guide you through the almost 0.0386 square miles of forest that he and his family protect.

At 5:45 am, we’ll go on an excursion to the cock-of-the-rock hideout, where you can put your photographic skills into gear and observe this exotic bird in its natural habitat.

Then we will start a 15-minute walk to observe the giant antpitta, yellow-breasted antpitta, moustached antpitta, chestnut-crowned antpitta and ocher-breasted antpitta. You will also be able to admire the beauty of the dark-backed quail, the golden-headed quetzal and other unique species.

Lunch will be served in a really beautiful space, surrounded by nature and small species that make up the cloud forest ecosystem.

We will dedicate the rest of the afternoon to photographing tanagers and hummingbirds that perch at the reserve’s feeders.

Dinner will be served at 6:30 pm.

Day 4
We will visit the Bird Observation House in Mindo, habitat of toucans, hummingbirds and tanagers. Here we will dedicate the whole morning to photograph these beautiful birds with multiple flashes and reflections and after lunch we will return to the Paz de las Aves Bird Sanctuary to visit again the habitat of the cock-of-the-rock and take advantage of the opportunity to photograph this beautiful species.

Day 5
We will arrive to Mashpi, one of the areas with the most diversity in the northwest of Pichincha. We will visit the bird feeders and wait for the orange-breasted fruiteater, indigo vase, moss-backed tanager, black-headed tanager, glistering-green tanager and the buffy tuftedcheek.

After lunch we will go to San Tadeo Birding, an ideal place to photograph tanagers, toucans and hummingbirds. Once at the Paz de las Aves Bird Sanctuary, we will have dinner and take a night walk to observe the different species of owls that inhabit the reserve.

Day 6
We will visit the Silanche river, created by the Mindo Cloud Forest Foundation. In this reserve of around 0.386 square miles, we will walk an average of 4 hours along its trails and climb a tower over 49.21 feet high. From there, we will be able to observe and photograph the chocó trogon, scarlet-breasted dacnis, white-bearded manakin, striped woodpecker, cinnamon woodpecker, purple honeycreeper, plumbeous kite, orange-fronted parakeet, masked tityra and others.
Here you will have the guidance of a bird specialist who will help you spot them, while I will prepare the right background for you to get a perfect photo.

Our second stop will be in Zuamox, a favorable place to photograph the golden woodpecker, black-cheeked woodpecker, rufous motmot, black-faced tanager, silver-throated tanager, ecuadorian thrush, buffalo-throated manger, thick-billed euphonia, belly orange euphonia and brown wooden rail.

In the afternoon we will return to the Paz de las Aves Refuge, where we will have dinner and go out to photograph countless beautiful owls.

Day 7
We will travel to the 23 de Junio private reserve, where we will walk between 20 and 30 minutes to admire the beauty of the umbrellabird.

We will have lunch at the Rio Blanco viewpoint and observe a unique variety of beautiful birds. In the afternoon we will return to the Paz de las Aves Bird Sanctuary, to photograph the beautiful hummingbirds with multiple flashes.

Day 8
On our last day of adventure in the Chocó Andino cloud forest, you will have the opportunity to photograph the golden-headed quetzal, ocellated tapaculo, and masked trogon.

We will have lunch at 12:30 pm and travel to Alambi, where you will be able to see and photograph several species of hummingbirds, white-capped dipper and red-headed tanager, among others.

After 2 hours of photography, we will go to the Birding Garden Hotel in Puembo where we will spend the night.

Day 9
We will get up early to visit the Antisana Ecological Reserve, where our main objective is to photograph the andean condor.

Here the magical landscape of the Andes and its beautiful birds will make your visit an unforgettable experience. In this reserve we will look for the ecuadorian hummingbird, black-tailed trainbearer, picota cinclodes, red-crested cotinga, carunculated caracara, andean gull, andean lapwing, black-faced ibis, among others.

Later we will head towards the Papallacta Pass, here we will try to see the rufous-bellied seedsnipe, viridian metaltail, ecuadorian hillstar, giant conebill, white-chinned thistletail and the black-backed bush tanager.

At the end of our day we will arrive at Guango Lodge, a special place for hummingbirds. Here we will have dinner and spend the night.

Day 10
Our day will start at Guango Lodge at 7:00 am, after breakfast we will take pictures of hummingbirds in flight using the multiple flash. Some of the species that we will see in this magical reserve will be the sword-billed hummingbird, collared Inca, chestnut-breasted coronet, white-bellied woodstar, and tourmaline sunangel.

Here we will also look for the torrent duck and white-coated booby.

Days 11 – 12
After noon we will arrive at Cabañas San Isidro, here we will stay for two nights. In this reserve we will hike to spot and photograph beautiful birds.
However, our main objective will be to capture a photo of the San Isidro owl, a bird exclusive of this area.

Days 13 – 14
After breakfast we will continue with the magical experience. Our journey begins at the entrance of the Amazon.

We will go to Wildsumaco, a reserve with a great variety of birds and fauna. Here you will get to know the feeders and salt licks, considered one of the best in South America. In this unique place we can observe the lined antshrike, dusky spinetail, squirrel cuckoo, marble-faced bristle tyrant, slaty-capped flycatcher, dusky-capped flycatcher, Napo sabrewing hummingbird, Gould’s jewelfront hummingbird, black-throated brilliant and violet-fronted brilliant, short-billed hummingbird, golden-tailed Ecuadorian sapphire hummingbird and the gray-chinned hermit hummingbird.

Day 15
After having enjoyed the fauna and the unique beauty of the birds of the Amazon, we will return to Quito, ending our tour.

Here we can help you book an extra night in a hotel near the airport or you can wait for your flight back home. The approximate time of arrival at the airport is at 5:00 p.m.

Commute time between the reserves may take up to two hours.

Most of the roads along the way are in excellent condition; however, some stretches of the roads might not be in the most optimal condition, and that’s why it is important to depart early each day.

Breakfast will be served between 5.30 a.m. and 6 a.m. If you prefer, we can go for night walks to explore the owls and other nocturnal species.

During each excursion you will walk approximately 1-2 miles. For the days reserved for visiting the Reserva Antisana, a slower walk will be necessary as we will reach between 8,530 and 13,780 ft above sea level.

The climate in the Andes may vary between 37.4 and 62.6 ºF, whereas in the cloud forest of the Andean Chocó the temperature oscillates between 12 and 26º F.

Your passport must be valid for another six months before you depart for international travel. If you are a citizen of the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or any European countries, you won’t need a visa. Visas are required for tourists from most countries of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

You need to have proof of medical insurance to enter Ecuador.

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