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Birding Ecuador Bonanza Tour - 4 Days

Birding Ecuador Bonanza Tour
645

Birdwatching Ecuador Tour

Our 4-day Birding Ecuador Bonanza Tour is moderate-paced and explores in-depth Bellavista´s 460 hectares (1150 acre) Private Protected Area. Beyond Bellavista, we visit local highlights of Northwestern Ecuador, different elevations of what is now the UNESCO Choco Andino Biosphere Reserve. What a wonderful way to learn about the diverse environment of a cloud forest and its myriad birds! Expect to see some 374 species of birds on this trip.

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 the elusive species of wild cats in this birding Ecuador tour.

"We had an amazing time at Bellavista in late April. Our guides Richard, Jaun Carlos and Dario were extremely knowledgeable and helpful, showing us the incredible flora and fauna of the cloud forest. Plate billed mountain Toucan, Masked Trogan, Toucan Barbet and an array of colourful Tanagers were seen without even leaving the grounds of the lodge, as well as rare mammals such as the Kinkaju, Olinguito and Tayra. Richard also organised day excursions to other reserves including Alambi, Yanacotcha and Angel Paz, where we were lucky enough to see 3 Andean Condor, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill and a variety of Antpitta." - Arron Roberts

In this birding Ecuador tour, 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.

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 during this birding Ecuador tour.

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 Northwestern Ecuador Birding Tour has to offer.

Alternative Tour Name: Birding Bonanza in Ecuador
Day 1
Day 1 - Starts from Quito

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 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.

Dinner

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

Day 2
Day 2 - Early Morning Birding

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 in to a feeding station right at the Lodge!

8:00h. Breakfast

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!

13.00h. Lunch

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.

19.00h. Dinner

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

Day 3
Day 3 - Photographer´s Paradise

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.

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

Day 4
Day 4 - The Last Day

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. After lunch, we will head back to Quito, aiming for arrival around 17.00 p,m.

Meals: B, L

Wildlife species expected to see:

Tawny-breasted Tinamou, Curve-billed Tinamou, Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Torrent Duck, Short-tailed Hawk, Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Barred Forest-Falcon, Wattled Guan, Dark-backed Wood-Quail, Andean Snipe, Imperial Snipe, White-throated Quail-Dove, Pacific Parrotlet, White-capped Parrot, Scaly-naped Amazon, Rufescent Screech-Owl,White-throated Screech Owl, Andean Pygmy-Owl, Cloud Forest Pymy-Owl, Short-eared Owl, Swallow-tailed Nightjar, Lyre-tailed Niqhtjar, Rufous-billed Nighthawk, Band-winged Nightjar, Eastern Wedge-billed, Green-fronted Lancebill, Purple-backed Thoronbill, Long-billed Starthroat, Violet-bellied Hummingbird, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Rufous-gaped Hillstar Hillstar, Green-tailed Trainbearer, Black-breasted Puffleg, Golden-breasted Puffleg, Hoary Puffleg, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Crested Quetzal, White-faced Nunbird, Toucan Barbet, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Powerful Woodpecker, Ochre-breasted Antpitta, Rufous-breasted Antthrush, Undulated Antpitta, Giant Antpitta, Scaled Antpitta, Moustached Antpitta, Chestnut-naped Antpitta, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Rufous Antpitta, Tawny Antpitta, Ocellated Tapaculo, Nariño Tapaculo, Scaled Fruiteater, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Beautiful Jay, Giant Conebill, Chesnut-breasted Chloronhonia, Metallic-green Tanager, Golden-crowned Tanager, Black-chinned Mountain- Tanager, Rufous-chested Tanager, Black-capped Hemispingus, Western Hemispingus, Plushcap, Slaty Finch,Tanager Finch

What is included?

  • 11 meals , starting with breakfast Day One, and finishing after lunch Day Five
  • 3 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
  • Taxes

What is not included?

  • International flights
  • Medical Insurances
  • Drinks, tips, personal items, laundry, other services
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary and "what is included"
Wildlife Reviews
5 stars
- based on 3  reviews
  1. Wonderful Bella Vista
    Arron Roberts24 Apr 2018
    5
    Overall

    Tours

    Wildlife

    Guides

    Conservation

    Location

    Value

    We had an amazing time at Bellavista in late April. Our guides Richard, Jaun Carlos and Dario were extremely knowledgeable and helpful, showing us the incredible flora and fauna of the cloud forest. Plate billed mountain Toucan, Masked Trogan, Toucan Barbet and an array of colourful Tanagers were seen without even leaving the grounds of the lodge, as well as rare mammals such as the Kinkaju, Olinguito and Tayra. Richard also organised day excursions to other reserves including Alambi, Yanacotcha and Angel Paz, where we were lucky enough to see 3 Andean Condor, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill and a variety of Antpitta. Cock of the rock and Occilated Tappaculo were also highlights as part of our 150+ new bird species list from the area. The hospitality and food was fantastic and welcome after full days of wildlife watching. We would recommend Bella Vista and the North West of Ecuador for anyone with an interest not only in bird watching or wildlife, but also for the unique natural beauty. Thank you to Richard and the team for a once in a lifetime trip! Arron & Kieron Roberts
  2. Our Wonderful Wedding!
    Nicola & Barney24 Apr 2018
    5
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    Value

    Yes, we are the first people to actually get married at Bellavista and what a lovely day we had. We have to say a huge thank you to Richard without whom it would not have been possible. Richard organised all of the actual wedding day details and the legalities (of which there are too many) in Equador for us. We had a day of memories and a evening of great fun with a local band again organised by Richard with all the guests joining in. The rest of our stay at Bellavista was truly amazing, comfortable lodge, great food, amazing friendly staff and the birds and wildlife unbelievable. Thank you to all at Bellavista xx Nic & Barney
  3. Awesome birding and first class organisation
    Paul Varney18 Nov 2017
    5
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    Fantastic. Richard Parsons organised birding in and around Bellavista Oct/Nov 2017 including visits to other sites including Antisana and an extension to the Amazon. he organised a personal guide - Nathalia Escobar - she was brilliant, a driver, Luis - excellent and travel and accommodation throughout. It was well organised and thorough and an excellent, first class trip. Would thorougly recommend. Bellavista Lodge we stayed at for 3 nights - excellent accomodation - it can be a bit cold at night so be aware - but food, accommodation and staff all excellent. Birding not too shabby either.

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Why book with Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve?

26 of Experienced running birding and nature tours in North Western Ecuador.

What to bring?

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 the camera, etc

You can send your enquiry via the form below.


4 Days

Price & Availability

From
USD645 / per person
Based on twin/double room
This tour is operated by: Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge and Reserve
5 based on 8 reviews

Quick Enquiry Form

Operator Review Summary

5 Based on 8 reviews
Tours
Wildlife
Guides
Conservation
Location
Value

Tour Facts

  • Northwestern Ecuador
  • Available Daily
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • 4 Days
  • All year
  • 9+ years
  • Moderate
  • No
  • English & Spanish (other languages on request)
  • Mariscal Sucre Airport Quito
  • Mariscal Sucre Airport Quito