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Back Roads Bird Roads - 10 Days

Back Roads Bird Roads
1950

10-day tour to maximise the experience of northwestern Ecuador’s avian diversity! Changes in elevation bring changes in species, and memorable landscapes losing themselves in the distance. This birding adventure, frequently on small roads that see little traffic, offers great views of Cock-of-the Rock, a variety of Antpittas and Trogons, specialities like Velvet-purple Coronet, White-faced Nunbird, Ocellated Tapaculo, Banded Ground-Cuckoo, White-tipped Sicklebill, Moss-backed Tanager, Chestnut-fronted Macaw and MUCH more. Mammals can include the rare Brown-headed Spider Monkey! Great lodges, expert bird guide, no difficult hike and great for photographers too!

Day 1
Day 1

STARTS IN QUITO: Early morning departure from Quito for Yanacocha. Many high elevation hummingbird species to look for, including the unbelievable Sword-billed Hummingbird, as well as Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Sapphire-vented Puffleg, and highland species of tanagers, such as the Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, and Scarlet-bellied Mountain-tanager. Maybe in the rushing stream, Torrent Duck and White-capped Dipper, etc. (The endangered Black-breasted Puffleg finds a refuge at Yanacocha rather elusive, but always a hopeful!) Exclusive private transport and exclusive private birding guide. Meals: B(reakfast), L, D. Overnight at Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

Day 2
Day 2

Full day at Bellavista Lodge starts with early morning birding right at the Lodge, where many species, often including Toucan Barbet, Strong-billed Woodcreeper and Masked Trogon (to name but a few!) come really close to feed on moths attracted at night. A little beyond the Lodge, we look for the rare Tanager-Finch. During the day, we expect to find among many others, Plate- billed Mountain-Toucan, Grass-green Tanager, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager. Local transport at lodge and immediate surrounds, (upper Tandayapa valley) and exclusive private birding guide. Tonight, expect to see really close up the delightful Olinguito, the first new species of mammal to be discovered in the Americas in the past 35 years, as of 2103! Also Kinkajoo and more. Overnight: Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. Meals: B, L, D

Day 3
Day 3

Today we make an early start to look for Swallow-tailed Nightjar. Then we go to the area where the Tanager Finch, a range-restricted species, whose first ever nest was discovered on land now protected by Bellavista in 1997. After breakfast, our birding explorations continue along the ridge road, for Rusty-winged Barbtail, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Pearled Treerunner, Black- capped Hemispingus, tanager flocks and more. After lunch, we offer an optional visit to a new Hummingbird Garden, Velvet-purple Coronet sound good? Also Orange-breasted Fruiteater, and Streak-capped Treehunter are frequently seen. As the Hummingbird Capital of the world, Bellavista and our immediate area produce an amazing variety of these avian jewels …. A change in elevation means a different species! Overnight: Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. Meals: B, L, D

Day 4
Day 4

Day at Angel Paz Antpitta Reserve and Alambi Hummingbird Garden. Early morning spectacle of the Andean Cock-of-the –Rock at its lek! Angel Paz Reserve is most famous for its Antpittas, of which we can expect three—even as many as five - species at close quarters Giant Antpitta, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Moustached Antpitta…... Alambi, at a low elevation in the Tandayapa Valley, has a true hummingbird spectacle, with birds like White- necked Jacobin, White-bellied Woodstar, and Green-crowned Woodnymph, plus Tanagers, Euphonias and more. Exclusive private transport and exclusive private birding guide. Overnight: Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. Meals: B, L, D

Day 5
Day 5

Travel down through Mindo region to Milpe Reserve and Mirador del Rio Blanco. Around Mindo, we can likely expect such marvels as Glistening-green Tanager, Crested Quetzal, Chocó Toucan, and much more. Exclusive private transport and exclusive private birding guide. Overnight: Hostería El Borojó Meals: B, L, D

Day 6
Day 6

Travel on and visit the Silanche Reserve and surrounds. The birding along the roads and some trails within the reserve often reveals such Chocó endemics such as Moss-backed Tanager, Chocó Trogon and Chocó Warbler and we also hope for views of exquisite Club-winged Manakins. Exclusive private transport and exclusive private birding guide. Overnight: Hostería El Borojó Meals: B, L, D

Day 7
Day 7

Today we hope to discover the incredible Long-wattled Umbrellabird. The display of the male with its unbelievably long “wattle” is well, something else! In the region of Mashpi, we visit a small reserve where highlights include Black Solitaire and Moss-backed Tanager. Exclusive private transport and exclusive private birding guide. Overnight: Hostería El Borojó Meals: B, L, D

Day 8
Day 8

Today, we travel on down to coastal lowland rain forest at Canande. In route we may visit a small reserve that often produces Banded Ground-Cuckoo (if recent sightings confirmed!) Exclusive private transport and exclusive private birding guide. Overnight: Canande Reserve and Lodge. Meals: B, L, D

Day 9
Day 9

Full day at Canande Reserve. Here, among other birds, we can expect good chances for Plumbeous Forest-Falcon, Rosefaced Parrot, Black-tipped Cotinga, Whitetipped Sicklebill, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Golden-chested Tanager, Scarlet-and-White Tanager. We will drive deep into this thicklyforested area along remote roads to discover this little-explored region. Exclusive private transport and exclusive private birding guide. Overnight: Canande Reserve and Lodge. Meals: B, L, D

Day 10
Day 10

Full morning at Canande Reserve. Further explorations in the trails around the Lodge, should reveal White-throated Capuchin Monkey, and Brown-headed Spider Monkey. After lunch, we take the road back to Quito. After lunch, we take the road back to Quito. We will likely make a stop in the dry zone near the “Mitad del Mundo” Equator line which is good for Variable Hawk, Blacktailed Trainbearer, Vermillion Flycatcher, White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant, Tufted Tit-Tyrant, and Black-and-white Seedeater. End of tour (dinner and overnight not included). Exclusive private transport and exclusive private birding guide. Meals: B, L

Wildlife Reviews
5 stars
- based on 2  reviews
  1. Two weeks visiting both slopes of the Andes
    Ken & Lys Hall16 Jun 2015
    5
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    In June 2015, my wife and I spent just over two weeks on a birding tour organised by Bellavista Lodge. The first few days were at the Lodge itself, then they took us to other reserves further down the western slope, as the range species is completely different even a few hundred metres lower (or higher). During this time we saw olinguitos at Bellavista, cock-of-the-rock and various antpittas at the Angel Paz reserve, and dozens of hummingbirds everywhere. In the second week we were accompanied (again by a driver and a guide throughout) to three well-known reserves on the eastern side of the Andes, as far down as Wildsumaco Lodge, some highlights being spectacled bear, Andean condor and rufous-bellied seedsnipe among many other species. I should add that the original itinerary here had to be rearranged at very short notice due to some massive landslips, but they handled the enforced detours perfectly, and used the opportunity to find us some extra birds at some sites rather more off the beaten track. The bird total was about 400 species in all, although we are not listers as such, preferring rather to spend time getting good views of fewer species rather than amassing a huge total of glimpses. It was our first trip to Ecuador, and we liked it so much that we returned in January 2016 for an equally enjoyable tour, again arranged by Bellavista Lodge, of the southern part of the country.
  2. A Few Days Is NOT Enough
    Ralph Sherwin22 Sep 2017
    5
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    Doro and I returned to Bellavista for the second time in two years. As before, we stayed for most of a week, and (as before) we left feeling that we needed more time in this amazing world. Your love of the place, and the people will expand as the days fly by, but more importantly the quiet you want to experience will begin to replace the stress of your hectic life, a bit more every day. It takes a little time. Over our two stays we have spent time with Luis, Nelson, Christina, and Richard as guides. With them we learned much more than how to spot and identify some of the wealth of birds in this part of the cloud forest, we learned more about forest ecology, plants, mammals, amphibians, and the history of the region. We experienced the cloud forest at sunrise, at night, and all times of the day, and in all types of weather. We encountered these experiences with the guides, with other travelers, and quietly by ourselves. The place and the people are dedicated to pointing you to a truly quiet and happy place in yourself. ...but it takes a little time. By all means, bring a checklist of the birds and experiences that you want to tick off, one by one, but don't fail to miss the big message of this place; the world will reward your quiet times with a sense of adventure and wonder that will best be found when you give it time to speak to you. Read all the reviews, and know you'll find everything everyone else has found there, but don't forget to wait for your own adventure. Give it a little time. Ralph and Doro (will be back)

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10 Days

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USD1,950 / per person
This tour is operated by: Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve

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Operator Review Summary

5 Based on 8 reviews
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