Searching for Choco Endemics

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Next Departures

  • From 6 Jan to 13 Jan
  • 18 Feb to 25 Feb
  • 10 Mar to 17 Mar
  • 16 Jun to 23 Jun
  • 14 Jul to 21 Jul
  • 18 Aug to 25
  • 15 Sep to 22 Sep
  • 13 Oct to 20 Oct
  • 17 Nov to 24 Nov

Day 1

BFIArrival in Quito. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. Night in Quito.

Day 02

We will enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel, then depart for Yanacocha Reserve. At 11,483 feet, Yanacocha is famous for its high-elevation specialties, and we will spend the morning birding the Trocha Inca Trail. Here we will see at least ten species of hummingbirds, and the mixed feeding flocks we will encounter will add many more tantalizing birds to the list! Like , Barred Fruiteater, Great Sapphirewing, Golden breasted and Sapphire vented Pufflegs, Sword billed Hummingbirds, and much more. We will enjoy a picnic lunch while taking in the grandiose montane vista, after which we will begin the drive to Mindo via the Old Nono Mindo Road, birding along the way. This road offers spectacular views of the forest and excellent birding, with the possibility of such sought-after birds such as Torrent Duck and White-capped Dipper. We will then spend a night in Mindo, where we will spend the next four nights.

Night in Mindo

Day 03

Giant antpitta22After an early breakfast we will drive to the Tandayapa Valley, where the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve is located. Our target species will include Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, Toucan Barbet, and one of the most rare and sought-after birds: the Tanager Finch. After lunch, we will relax by the feeders and enjoy up to 20 species of hummingbirds, including Brown and Collared Incas, Violet-tailed Sylph, and Booted Rackettail.

Night in Mindo

Day 04

MFEarly this morning we will head to Paz de las Antpittas Reserve to observe the Andean Cock of the Rocks at their lek, where males assemble during the mating season and engage in competitive displays that attract females. Afterwards we will join Angel (the owner of the reserve) as she draws her “charges” in for breakfast: Maria the Giant Antpitta, Willi the Yellow-breasted Antpitta, and Susan the Moustached Antpitta! We will then enjoy our own breakfast, and on the way back to the lodge we will make a stop at Mindo Loma Reserve to look for Black-chinned Mountain Tanager and Hoary Puffleg. After lunch we will have about an hour to “chill out” before visiting the Milpe Bird Sanctuary in the afternoon to search for Choco endemics such as Moss-backed, Rufous-throated, and Glistening-green Tanagers, as well as Club-winged Manakin.

Night in Mindo

Day 05

After an early breakfast, we will drive downslope to the Silanche Reserve. At 1000 feet, this is the lowest preserve we will visit, and we will spend a few hours at the Canopy Tower looking for Choco endemics such as Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Rufous-winged and Blue-whiskered Tanagers

Night in Mindo

Day 06

OilbirdAfter breakfast, you have a choice! We can explore the trails around the lodge (which has a bird list of 350 species), or we can travel an hour’s drive to the Oilbird Cave in hopes of seeing this enigmatic bird! In the afternoon we will drive to Quito.

Night in Quito

 

Day 07

Today, we will visit Antizana National Park, which is a spectacular place to observe Andean Condor, Black-faced Ibis, Giant Hummingbird, and Ecuadorian Hillstar, in addition to many other paramo specialties.

Night in Quito

Day 08

PBWTThe tour ends with a transfer to Mariscal Sucre airport and flights home.

Please note that this tour may be taken in conjunction with an extension tour to the Amazon Basin or the Galapagos Islands.

Tour prices include in-country transportation, guide and driver fees, lodging, meals outside Quito, and entrance fees to all reserves visited.

Tour prices do NOT include airport taxes, tips, personal expenses, alcoholic beverages, and meals in Quito.


 
 

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