Price: US$2,980 per person based on double occupancy
Single Supplement: US$660
* 10 nights accommodation hotel/lodge in Quito, Andes & Amazon Jungle
* English speaking guide/birding specialist for the full tour
* Transportation in private bus and car to all birding sites
* Transportation in motorized canoe to Amazon lodge and birding trails in the Amazon
* Fees, tips and taxes: Entrance fees to parks, native villages where applicable, tips to guides and service staff and all taxes
* Meals from breakfast on day 2 and ending with breakfast on day 11. Dinner will not be provided on day 1 (arrival day) due to the late and varying arrivals of tour participants.
January 3 – January 13 2018 (SPACES AVAILABLE)
April 5 – April 15 2018 (SPACES AVAILABLE)
Max group size: 8
Min group size: 4
Departure of this tour will be guaranteed with a minimum of 4 participants. If you have registered for this tour a confirmation will be provided six (6) months prior to departure. Please ensure you take this into account when booking your flight and other travel plans. If we cannot attain the minimum of 4 participants, the tour will be cancelled and you will be refunded any payments/deposits made in full.
Length: 11 days/10 nights
Starting city: Quito
Ending city: Quito
Birding pace: Slow
Physical difficulty: Easy to moderate. The Andes portion of the trip is high altitude and can be chilly.
Tour Highlights: Photography of colourful tropical birds including Andean Condor, Scarlet Macaws, Blue & Gold Macaws, various other species of Parrots, Paradise Tanager, Grey Breasted Mountain Toucans, colourful tanagers, various hummingbird species including Swordbill and other species. Excellent photographic opportunities with very slow pace to focus and facilitate bird photography.
Climate: Temperate moving to a tropical climate. Average temperature can vary between 10 to 30 degrees Celsius. The Amazon portion of the tour can be hot and humid with rainfall expected at any time.
Accommodation: Hotels/Lodges will be utilized along the route. These include Zaysant Eco lodge, Kopal Cabins, Yacuma Amazon Eco lodge/Other as available.
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HUMMINGBIRD & SCARLET MACAW TRIP DETAILS
With over 1600 species, Ecuador has one of the highest number of bird species anywhere in the world. From the stunning landscape of the Andes with the Amazon to the east and the spectacular cloud forest to the west, Ecuador provides the ideal environment for birding that is hard to beat anywhere on earth. This tour will take you to the paramo grasslands, through the Andes and then you descend into the hot and tropical Amazon Basin.
Some of the species we expect to see on this tour include: Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Andean Condor, Torrent Duck, Golden-coloured Honeycreeper, Channel-billed Toucan, Green and Gold Tanager, Paradise Tanager, Sword-billed Hummingbird and many other Hummingbird species, Toucanets, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Blue and Gold Macaw, Mealy Parrots, Parrotlets, Manakins, Golden-coloured Toucanet, Cream-coloured Woodpecker and much more. Our tour will be focused on finding the various species of birds for photography and viewing pleasure and our guide will take you to the spots to seek out these species.
Our birding tour schedule is set out below:
DAY 1: ARRIVAL QUITO: You will either be arriving into Quito on an international flight in the evening or from another location within Ecuador. You will be picked up at the airport or preferred pick-up point and transferred to your hotel in Quito. Dinner will not be provided on this first arrival night. We would recommend arriving at least 1 day prior to this tour departure to assist with acclimatisation.
HOTEL: Zaysant Ecolodge
DAY 2: QUITO – ANTISANA NATIONAL PARK: IN SEARCH OF CONDORS
An early breakfast will be provided and our English speaking birding and wildlife guide will meet you at your hotel between 6:30 am and 7:00 am. The group will drive directly towards Antisana National Park along the main route where views of volcano Cotopaxi are stunning. We will stop at strategic spots for photographs. We will then drive towards some lesser known spots where the Andean Condors can be seen soaring amongst the towering Andes. With some luck, we might see nesting areas. The Andean Condor is only one of the many species we will see in this dry paramo but will certainly be one of the main attractions.
We will have box lunch in the park and late in the afternoon, we will drive to Guango where we can enjoy Hummingbird feeders and an afternoon of birding the trails in this area. Bird photography will be the focus and as a result the pace will be slow to facilitate this.
HOTEL: Kopal Cabins/Equivalent
DAY 3: BIRDING PAPALLACTA
After breakfast, we will drive to Papallacta where we will bird the trails around this region of hot springs. The trails around Papallacta’s high paramo region can yeild species such as the Giant Conebill, Masked Mountain Tanager, Blue-mantled Thornbill, Red-rumped Bush Tyrant, and Black-backed Bush Tanager among many others. These birds are simply stunning and the photographic opportunities should be very good. This region is also a paradise for Hummingbirds. We are hoping we can locate the Sword-billed Hummingbird here in the Andes. We will spend the entire morning waiting for the right photo opportunities of many different species.
We will have lunch lunch and relax during the quiet hours of the day. Enjoy the hot springs if you desire or walk around the town. Alternatively you can head back to the cabin in Baeza to relax. In the early afternoon at 3:00 pm we will head out towards the trails around Papallacta once more in search of species of this area again and for more photographic opportunities. In the late afternoon we will return to Baeza for dinner at one of the local restaurants.
HOTEL: Kopal Cabins/Equivalent
DAY 4: BIRDING GUANGO
This morning we will have breakfast and drive towards the trails around Guango. This is high altitude and known for a variety of Hummingbird species, Torrent Ducks and Dippers. The photographic opportunities should be excellent as we may see species such as Sword-billed Hummingbird, Golden-breasted and Glowing Pufflegs, Avocetbill, Tourmaline Sunangel, Gray-breasted Mountain Toucan, Hooded Mountain Tanagers, Slaty Brush Finch, Turquoise Jay and much more.
We will have lunch and relax. After lunch we will make our way to the trails once more seeking out species we may have missed. We will return to our cabins in the late afternoon to have dinner and share photographs if desired.
HOTEL: Kopal Cabins/Equivalent
DAYS 5-6: BIRDING SAN ISIDRO
After an early breakfast each morning we will drive towards the trails of San Isidro. An alternative is to have pre-packed breakfast to take along with us. This area contains over 300 species and is also a paradise for Hummingbirds. Here we should be able to pick up species we missed at the other parks. This region is situated in the area where the overlap of the Andean Highlands and the lower tropical climate occurs. Here you will be able to see Andean species and bird your way down into the tropical and hot areas where the Amazon Basin begins. Some species you might see would include White-rimmed Brush Finch, Giant Antpittas, Highland Tinamou and with some luck you might see the rare White-faced Nunbird. Here we will have more opportunities to view various Hummingbird species.
During the quiet hours of the afternoon on both days, we will relax around the lodge and have lunch. We will also discuss the prime targets of the group until 3:00 pm when we will head out for a different trail once more in search of the target species.
We return to Baeza for dinner.
HOTEL: Kopal Cabins/Equivalent
DAY 7: BIRDING ARCHIDONA & AMAZON JUNGLE LODGE
We will have pre-packed breakfast and drive towards the small sub-tropical town of Archidona. We will enter the property of Hakuna Matata Lodge where we will seek out various species for viewing and photography. HEre we expect to see Lemon-throated Barbet, Masked Crimson Tanager, Paradise Tanager, Yellow-bellied Tanager, Glittering-throated Emerald and much more. We will also do some road side birding to pick up some additional species.
After a morning of birding and bird photography in this region, we will drive towards the town of Tena. We will have lunch in the Amazonas Restaurant where the food is fantastic. After lunch we will drive towards the town of San Pedro where we will board our canoe for the ride up the Napo river towards our lodge. We will settle into our lodge and head out on the trails around the lodge for an evening of birding. We will be at this Amazon lodge for the next 3 and a half days.
Dinner will be at the lodge where we can relax and enjoy great stories and conversations with our guide and tour participants.
HOTEL: Yacuma Amazon Eco Lodge
DAYS 8 – 11: BIRDING THE AMAZON JUNGLE
For the next three and a half days we will traverse the various trails around this bird-rich region. Each day we will have an early breakfast, approximately 6:00 am to 6:30 am and depart for the trails around the Napo river and into the deep jungle. Here we can see various species produce species such as Scarlet Macaws, Hoatzins, Kingfishers, various species of parrots, colourful Tanagers, Toucans, Aracari and more. You can view a full list of species here. here
Each day we will return to the lodge to have lunch and relax during the quiet birding hours of the day before returning to the trails once more. Bird photography will be key on the agenda as well as the various species of wildlife. This will be a nature photographer’s dream.
On day 11 we will traverse the trails around the lodge for some early morning birding before we head back with our canoe towards San Pedro. Here we will board our bus once more to return to Quito for your onward destination.
HOTEL: Yacuma Amazon Eco Lodge
IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER
PLEASE NOTE: All individuals are responsible for checking VISA requirements and obtaining the necessary travel documentation for entering Ecuador prior to arriving.
Most of the terrain would be considered moderate to easy. Some of the birding will be done by driving the tracks in a vehicle and stopping at strategic spots. However, where hiking is required even though it is considered easy to moderate, we strongly advise that moderate level of fitness be attained before embarking on this tour. Regular exercise prior to your trip is advisable. Remember you will be hiking for long periods in some cases and although the pace will be very slow you may be carrying camera equipment, meals and water where applicable. Parts of this tour will be at high altitude and prior acclimatization will be essential. To ensure your maximum enjoyment a moderate level of fitness is advisable.
If you are considering travelling with children and other family members, please note that this tour is open for individuals 15 yrs and older.
CLIMATE AND CONDITIONS ON THIS BIRD TOUR
Areas such as Antisana and Papallacta is above 10,000 ft and can be cold.. This is considered high altitude and acclimatization is necessary. When we descend to the lower regions of the Amazon Basin such as Wild Sumaco the conditions become hot and humid and we can expect rain anytime. Trails can be muddy and slippery at times and as a result, a good pair of hiking boots is recommended along with a rain jacket and protection for your camera.
WHAT TO BRING:
Hat, camera and equipment, binoculars, sun block, rain jacket, hiking boots, fleece/warm jacket and gloves for colder areas such as the Andes, small back pack for box lunch and water, bug spray, water proof camera cover/protection.
This tour involves the use of a minibus and the group size is restricted to a maximum of eight (8). This would indicate a lot of room. However, for flexibility during the tour, ease of travel and convenience for all participants on the tour, baggage is restricted to two (2) medium sized suitcases per person plus a handbag/carry-on. This tours takes us to various lodges and moving personal belongings every few days. The last segment of the tour also involves travel by motorized canoe.
The official currency in Ecuador is United States (US) dollars.