Birding Ecuador Tour in Northwestern Region
Our 7-day Back Roads Bird Roads, Bird Watching Ecuador Tour is moderate-paced, available on request and explores in-depth Bellavista´s 460 hectares (1150 acre) Private Protected Area. Beyond Bellavista, we visit highlights of Northwestern Ecuador, different elevations of what is now the UNESCO Choco Andino Biosphere Reserve. Birds are special to each elevation. What a wonderful way to get to understand the diverse environment of a cloud forest and its myriad birds! Expect to see some 588 species of birds on this trip.
This Bird Watching Ecuador Tour will take you to the northwest is the easiest place to find great numbers of Ecuador´s over 1600 birds.. no other country has such a concentration of species for its size! And we are really close to Quito – only one hour 50 minutes away! Endemics include: Mammals may include the Olinguito, the Kinkajoo, and even elusive species of wild cats.
Your guide has many years of experience leading birders in our region and elsewhere in the country. He/she has an official guide license (Ministry of Tourism) and speaks fluent English (and native Spanish). Guides in other languages, or a translator, are available on prior request. Our guides are passionate about birds, and love looking for elusive wildlife.. mammals and amphibians! Should you be a photographer, we will choose a guide who deeply shares your interest during this Bird Watching Ecuador Tour.
In this Bird Watching Ecuador Tour you will be enjoying, Our 4 star Lodge offers a unique stay in paradise, above the forest canopy, with views to Pichincha Volcano! All surrounded by glittering hummingbirds! Comfortable rooms await you. You will enjoy our generous servings of gourmet food, the dense forests and majestic mountains, and our extensive network of safe, well-marked trails. Two nights are spent at reserves at lower elevations for quicker access to birding early morning. At the reserves we visit beyond Bellavista, access is moderate on well-maintained trails.
Important Note: This tour includes exclusive full-time private guide service throughout.
If you’d like to try an alternative tour, look at what this Bellavista Birdwatching in Ecuador Tour has to offer.
Alternative Tour Name: Back Roads Bird Roads, Birding Tour in Ecuador
Early morning (05.30 a.m.) departure from Quito for high elevation reserves: the usual choice is the new Zuroloma Reserve.. those who want to hike and explore further might choose Yanacocha Reserve instead. 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-chested Mountain-Tanager, and Scarlet-bellied Mountain-tanager, and also Yellow-breasted Brush-Finch. Antpittas include the Chestnut-naped Antpitta and the Rufous Antpitta. (The endangered Black-breasted Puffleg finds refuge at this elevation .. rather elusive, but always hopeful!) As we drop down the highly scenic Nono Road, Torrent Duck and White-capped Dipper, Black Phoebe and more are attracted by the rushing stream.
Lunch at a hummingbird and tanager garden at a lower elevation (1700 meters) in the Tandayapa Valley. A true hummingbird spectacle, including White-necked Jacobin, White-bellied Woodstar, and Green-crowned Woodnymph. Then Tanagers, Euphonias, Red-headed Barbet, often Crested Quetzal, and more. Late afternoon, we arrive at Bellavista. The hummingbird feeders will be the first attraction – Buff-winged Coronet, Violet-tailed Sylph, Gorgeted Sunangel, Booted Racket-tail and more.
Evening: mammal opportunities right near the Lodge: the delightful Olinguito, the first new species of mammal to be discovered in the Americas in the past 35 years, as of 2013 , might come in, as well as Kinkajoo and more!
Exclusive private transport and exclusive private birding guide. Meals: B(reakfast),L,D
6.15: Early morning birding. Chances for Strong-billed Woodcreeper, White-tailed Tyrannulet, Turquoise Jay, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, White-sided and Masked Flowerpiercer, Masked Trogon, and many more, all around the lodge. You hardly need to walk any distance to see a great variety of birds!
Some mornings the elusive Tayra (giant weasel) comes into a feeding station right at the Lodge!
9.30h. Birding morning to get to know Bellavista´s best: Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Toucan Barbet, Green and Black Fruiteater and tanagers like the Grass-green Tanager and the Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager- a favourite at this elevation. You will go to see the specific area where the range-restricted Tanager-Finch is found .. a true target bird!
After lunch, birding explorations along the ridge road, for Rusty-winged Barbtail, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Pearled Treerunner, Black-capped Hemispingus, tanager flocks and more. And in the forest, such birds as Powerful Woodpecker, Golden-headed Quetzal, Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant, and maybe the Ocellated Tapaculo.
Night birds? Guides have sometimes located the roost of the strange Common Potoo…, and we can look for owls, which can sometimes be a challenge in the dense forest.
Exclusive private birding guide. Transport*** Overnight: Bellavista Lodge Meals: B,L,D
This morning we visit a nearby Photographer´s Paradise, within our immediate region, both with species new to us, and above all photography options set up specifically for the avid amateur (or professional) photographer´s joy. For beauty and colour try: Golden-naped Tanager, Golden Tanager; Flame-faced Tanager, Red-headed Barbet and likely some great toucans.
The lower Tandayapa Valley is our target this afternoon, looking for Beautiful Jay, Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia, Scaled Fruiteater, Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant.
The elevation is everything, which explains why there is such an amazing bird diversity in this area of steep-sided mountains….
Exclusive private birding guide. Transport*** Overnight: Bellavista Lodge Meals: B,L,D
5.00 a.m., Early start (50-minute drive) down to a reserve where an active Andean Cock-of-the.-Rock lek is a big attraction. A short hike takes us down to the lek, and as the day gradually dawns, the remarkable brightly coloured males squawk, preen and prance! If a female shows up !!!????!!
Photography options and a lightbox breakfast is provided. Then the owner of this reserve takes us into the forest and calls out a variety of normally difficult forest birds: Dark-backed Wood-Quail, the difficult Rufous-breasted Antthrush, but the targets are perhaps the antpittas: Giant Antpitta, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Moustached Antpitta, Ochre-breasted Antpitta! A hot breakfast, with the local speciality of “bolones”, is served at the house, where birds like Crimson-rumped Toucanet and Toucan Barbet are often seen in the trees.
A short drive takes us to a hummingbird reserve where the greatest beauty is the Velvet-purple Coronet.
Back for a late lunch in Bellavista. An afternoon looking for some of the more elusive, skulking birds found here.
Overnight: Bellavista Lodge Meals: B,L,D
This morning we visit an area known for the strange Long-wattled Umbrellabird. The male has a swaying beard of feathers, which the female finds most impressive.
We continue to a nice reserve and lodge in Milpe, where there are feeders with yet more species of hummingbirds, Aracari, Rufous Motmot, Choco Toucan, and more. There is an active lek of the Club-winged Manakin here, truly a special bird!
Overnight: Milpe Lodge Meals: B,L,D
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 Rufous-winged Tanager, Blue-whiskered Tanager, Golden-.hooded Tanager, Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Chocó Trogon and Chocó Warbler ……
Our Lodge for the night, at about 500 meters and near Silanche Reserve, is another good birding spot (perhaps also a swim in a lazy-flowing river?). Also, the owner is actively running a butterfly farm here, well worth a visit.
Overnight: Low elevation Lodge Meals: B, L, D
In the region of Mashpi, we visit a small reserve where highlights include Black Solitaire and many tanagers usually seen at a distance, but here at remarkably close quarters: Moss-backed Tanager, Glistening-green Tanager; Rufous-throated Tanager.
We travel on to a cave where a very specialized bird lives: the Oilbird! It feeds on oil-rich seeds of native palms nearby.
A box lunch will be provided, and we will head back to Quito, aiming for arrival around 17.00 p,m.
Wildlife species expected to see:
Sword-billed Hummingbird, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Sapphire-vented Puffleg, highland species of tanagers, Black-chested Mountain-Tanager, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-tanager, Yellow-breasted Brush-Finch, Chestnut-naped Antpitta, the Rufous Antpitta, Black-breasted Puffleg, White-capped Dipper, Black Phoebe, White-necked Jacobin, White-bellied Woodstar, and Green-crowned Woodnymph. Then Tanagers, Euphonias, Red-headed Barbet, often Crested Quetzal, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, White-tailed Tyrannulet, Turquoise Jay, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, White-sided, Masked Flowerpiercer, Masked Trogon, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Toucan Barbet, Green and Black Fruiteater, Grass-green Tanager, the Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Rusty-winged Barbtail, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Pearled Treerunner, Black-capped Hemispingus, tanager flocks, Woodpecker, Golden-headed Quetzal, Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant, Ocellated Tapaculo, Beautiful Jay, Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia, Scaled Fruiteater, Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant
Endemics include: Mammals may include the Olinguito, the Kinkajoo, and even elusive species of wild cats
What is included?
- 20 meals, starting with breakfast Day One, and finishing after lunch Day Five
- 6 nights accommodation
- Exclusive birding guide
- Access to 450 hectare Protected Area
- Exclusive transport for trips outside Bellavista
- *** Transport Days Two and Three: included in and around Bellavista Protected Area only
- Private transport from and back to Quito (airport transfer- moderate extra cost)
- Entrance fees to reserves outside Bellavista
What is not included?
- International flights
- Drinks, tips, personal items, laundry, other services
- Anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary and "what is included"
26 of Experienced running birding and nature tours in North Western Ecuador.
T-shirts or comfortable blouses/shirts, Sweater or fleece for Yanacocha / Zuroloma ,Sunhat and sunscreen, Rain poncho , Camera, Binoculars , Water bottle for hikes, Small daypack for hikes, Plastic bags to protect camera, etc