A 4 day tour based at Bellavista Lodge, with its Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Masked Trogon, Crested Quetzal (etc) this tour includes options for a diversity of species in northwestern Ecuador´s mid-elevations. Hummingbirds like Green-crowned Woodnymph, Purple-throated and White-bellied Woodstar, and a full day for Cock-of-the-Rock and Antpittas. If you want to thoroughly explore one particular area, with a one lodge base, this is your tour!
06.15 / 06:30h: Departure from your hotel. Arrival at Bellavista and breakfast. 09.30 h: Our first Bellavista explorations start around the Lodge, and then along some of our trails. The hummingbird feeders will be the first attraction – Buff-winged Coronet, Violet-tailed Sylph, Gorgeted Sunangel, Booted Racket-tail and more. Then we will be looking for Toucan Barbet, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Masked Trogon, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Grass-green Tanager, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager and more. 13.00h: Lunch 15.00h: Further explorations will include forest birding for species like Grey-breasted Woodwren, Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant, Spillman´s Tapaculo, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Green and Black Fruiteater. 19.00h: 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! And sometimes, our guides have located a roost for the amazing Common Potoo! Overnight: Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. Meals: B, L, D
05.00 a.m.: Depart from Bellavista at 05.00 and drive about 45 minutes to the valley of the San Jose river, where Angel Paz´s reserve is located. A short hike takes is down to the lek, and as the day gradually dawns, these remarkable brightly coloured creatures squawk, preen and prance! Photography options, and a light box breakfast is provided. Then Angel Paz will be the star as he calls out a variety of normally difficult forest birds, in different areas of the nearby forest: Dark-backed Wood-Quail, the difficult Rufous-breasted Antbird, and then the stars of the show for which Angel Paz, the bird whisperer, is famous. Giant Antpitta, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Moustached Antpitta, Ochre-breasted Antpitta! A hot breakfast, with the local speciality of “bolones” is served at Angel´s house, where birds like Crimson-rumped Toucanet are often seen in the trees. After a while, we proceed about 45 minutes drive to a hummingbird garden at low elevation in the Tandayapa Valley, which has a true hummingbird spectacle, with birds like White-necked Jacobin, White-bellied Woodstar, and Green-crowned Woodnymph, plus Tanagers, Euphonias, Red-headed Barbet, often Crested Quetzal, and more. Down by the river, we can expect the Torrent Tyrannulet, and the White-capped Dipper, which, as elsewhere in the world, indicates a clean river! Late afternoon return to Bellavista. 19.00h Dinner Options for other nocturnal mammals: Kinkajoo, White-eared Opossum. Owls? — chances for the Black-and-White Owl. Overnight: Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. Meals: B, L, D
05.00H. Today we make an early start to look for Swallowtailed 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. 08.00 Breakfast 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. 13.00 Lunch 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! 19.00h. Dinner Overnight: Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. Meals: B, L, D
06.15: Early morning birding. Chances for Strong-billed Woodcreeper, White-tailed Tyrannulet, Turquoise Jay, Chestnut- crowned Antpitta, White-sided and Masked Flowerpiercer, Masked Trogon, and more, all around the lodge. You hardly need to walk any distance at all to see a great variety of birds. Some mornings the elusive Tayra (Giant Weasel) comes in to a feeding station right at the Lodge! 08.00h.Breakfast During the morning, hikes into the forest. We will be on the lookout for Ocellated Tapaculo, Green and Black Fruiteater, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Toucan Barbet and more, while the melodious tune of the Plain-tailed Wren is heard in the stands of native bamboo. 13.00h. Lunch 14..30 / 15.00h. After lunch we take time to relish the sight of the ever-active hummingbirds, before your departure for Quito. 17:00h /17.30h: Arrive at your Quito hotel Meals: B,L. ADDED SUGGESTION: For an extra cost, this trip can include, instead of the direct route, travel out to Bellavista along the old Quito-Nono-Mindo road, visiting the high altitude Yanacocha Reserve. Bird highlights include Sword-billed Hummingbird, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, and Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager.