This 5-day tour of the Birding Bonanza adds a night away from Bellavista for birding at lower elevations, discovering Choco Toucan, Collared Aracari, Rufous and Broad-billed Motmot, Manakins, Glistening-green Tanager, Choco Warbler, and MUCH more.
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! 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 lightbox 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. Sometimes, guides have located a roost of the Common Potoo. 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 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. 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 Chestnut- crowned Antpitta, White-sided and Masked Flowerpiercer, Montane Woodcreeper, Blackburnian Warbler (when on migration), White-winged Brush-Finch, Glossy-black Thrush, … Some mornings the elusive Tayra (Giant Weasel) comes in to a feeding station right at the Lodge! 13.00h. Lunch 14..30 / 15.00h. 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.