Skip to: Home | Main content | Site Information | Navigation

Andes to Amazon (15 days from £2,849)

30th September - 14th October 2014

Overview

This 15-day journey will take you to the Cloud forests of the Western Slopes of Ecuador, filled with Hummingbirds and other beautiful and rare birds like the Cock-of-the Rock, Tanagers and Toucans. We will also spend time at the grassy highlands (known as Páramo) home to the impressive Andean Condor. We will descend the Eastern Slopes to experience their own unique mix of wildlife and Cloud forests which have some similarities to the Western Slopes but are still quite distinct. You will finish up at the superlative Napo Wildlife Centre in the Amazonian Lowlands where Parrots and Monkeys will be the main attractions. Led by Edwin Perez, one of our top birding guides – this is the ultimate Ecuador birding holiday...

  • Average number of birds expected to be seen & heard: 500 - 550 species.
  • Climatic zones visited: 5 out of six
  • Altitude Range: 220 to 4000 meters (880 to 12,000 feet)
  • Vegetation types: 6 Amazon lowland rainforest, Lower and upper montane rainforest (cloud forest), North Ecuadorian Grassland & quebrada vegetation, Grass Paramos, shrub and cushion paramos

Details

  • 15-day trip begins and ends in Quito
  • 2 nights Quito, 1 night Bellavista, 2 nights Sachatamia, 2 nights Guango, 2 nights San Isidro, 2 nights Wildsumaco, 3 nights Napo Wildlife Centre
  • Tour Cost from £2,849 per person, based on two people sharing a double room, excluding international flights. Includes all accommodation, guide services, meals except in Quito, transport, internal flight Coca-Quito. Minimum of 4 people needed to run this trip.
  • Flights from the UK to Quito start at around £950. We can help guests to co-ordinate their international flights which are available from local UK airports.

Outline Itinerary
Day 1 – Arrive in Quito
Day 2 – Yanacocha – Old Nono-Mindo road - Bellavista
Day 3 – Bellavista –Sachatamia
Day 4 – Sachatamia – Angel Paz
Day 5 – Sachatamia – Papallacta - Guango
Day 6 – Guango full day
Day 7 – Guango – San Isidro
Day 8 – San Isidro full day
Day 9 – San Isidro – Wildsumaco
Day 10 – Wildsumaco full day
Day 11-13 – Napo Wildlife Centre
Day 14 – Napo Wildlife Centre – Quito
Day 15 – Transfer to airport for flight home

NOTE:
Land cost includes:
  • All accommodation, guide services, transport
  • All meals, except lunch on day 14 and all day 1 in Quito.
  • The price is based on 2 people sharing a double room.
  • Entrances to any reserves or national parks.
Land Cost Does Not Include:
  • International airfare
  • Departure Tax from Ecuador ($43 per person)
  • Alcoholic beverages or bottled drinks.
  • Gratuities
Single Supplement:

If you a single traveller, but are happy to share with a fellow traveller of the same sex, we will try and organise for you to pair up. However if this isn’t possible, or you would prefer your own room, there is a single supplement cost of £587 per person.

Extend this trip with a visit to the Tumbesian region in Ecuador’s Southern Andes. In recognition of sheer number of bird species found here and the high proportion of endemics, this area has been designated by Birdlife as the ‘Tumbesian Endemic Bird Area´. The Area, which stretches into north-western Peru, is one of the most diverse areas on earth…find out more

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or emailemail us today.

< Back to previous menu

Itinerary

Day 1 – Quito Arrive in Quito. You will be met at the airport by a member of our team and taken to your hotel, where you will receive a briefing for the following days. Overnight Quito.

Day 2 – Yanacocha – Nono-Mindo road - BellavistaEarly breakfast at 6 a.m. and departure to the Yanacocha Reserve, owned by the Jocotoco Foundation where the critically endangered Hummingbird, the Black-breasted Puffleg lives. This 1200 hectare Reserve is located at 3,000m, on the western slopes of the Pichincha volcano. You will ascend a narrow and scenic road for about 15 kilometres, looking out for raptors and the rare Curve-billed Tinamou along the way.

Half day birding along a flat trail looking for high altitude birds, and at least 12 species of hummingbirds including, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Golden-breasted, Sapphire- vented and Black-breasted Pufflegs (the last one seasonal and with luck). There are several areas with multiple hummingbird feeders along the way, and these give you a great opportunity for taking photos. This trail extends for more than two kilometres through the high-elevation forest, with mixed species flocks regularly encountered, dominated by various tanagers including spectacular mountain tanagers (Hooded, Scarlet-bellied, Black-chested, and Buff-breasted), Barred Fruiteater, Pearled Treerunner and many others.  Family groups of Rufous Wrens are also regular. 

If time permits we can follow trails into the forest to get a better chance to see shy species such as the Undulated and Chestnut-naped Antpittas and Ocellated Tapaculo and if extremely lucky a rare sighting of a Puma or Spectacled Bear. A recent addition is a worm feeder for the Tawny Antpitta right behind the reserve entrance building; in addition Rufous Antpittas are now increasingly often seen hopping on the trail itself.

Box lunch in the field and drive along the old Nono-mindo Road, this is one of the most famous routes for birding, where we will do several stops to look for the most charismatic Chocó endemics, like Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, Toucan Barbet and with luck, Beautiful Jay. Arriving at Bellavista late afternoon.

Day 3 – Bellavista - Sachatamia Early morning birding around Bellavista before heading to Sachatamia At an elevation of 1,650 to 2,350 meters, with plunging valleys and tall trees festooned with orchids and bromeliads, the forest around Bellavista is a perfect place to find restricted range birds such as the rare Tanager-Finch and White-faced Nunbird as well as a host of many different Hummingbirds. Around the lodge there is an excellent network of more than 10 km of trails through the lodges 700 hectare reserve. After lunch you will continue to bird along the Old Nono-Mindo road and will arrive at Sachatamia by late afternoon.

Day 4 – Sachatamia – Angel PazEarly morning visit to Angel Paz, this small private reserve has become the latest birding sensation in the northwest and is sometimes affectionately referred to as "the antpitta farm". Here Angel Paz, a local farmer has gained the trust of some normally rare and shy forest species by offering them juicy worms. Yellow-breasted, Moustached, and Giant Antpittas are now regularly seen here (Yellow-breasted being the most reliable), and Dark-backed Wood-Quail is seen on perhaps one out of three visits. Other forest birds regularly encountered are Golden-headed Quetzal, Toucan Barbet, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, and Scaled Fruiteater. Crested Quetzal can occasionally be found at fruiting trees.

The afternoon can be spent visiting the Milpe Reserve, 100 hectares of protected forest owned by an Ecuadorian Foundation (Mindo Cloudforest Foundation), at a much lower elevation of 1000 – 1150 metres. This gives you the chance to observe some of the lower elevation Chocó endemic species like Club-winged Manakin, Choco Trogon and Yellow-collared Chlorophonia, to mention just a few.

Day 5 – Sachatmia – Papallacta Pass - Guango Early birding around Sachatamia, before departing for Ecuador’s eastern slopes and Guango. You will go through the Cayambe Coca Reserve above the Papallacta Pass where you will go to look for Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Giant Conebill and Blue Mantled Thornbill. You will descend lower to Guango which lies at around 2,700 meters surrounded by temperate forest and many mixed flocks! This area is characterised by its thicker canopy, and is only a short drive from tree-line forests and treeless paramo zones. Known for the stunning variety of Hummingbirds that visit the feeders which include Mountain Velvetbreast, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Tourmaline Sunangel, Golden-breasted and Glowing Pufflegs, along with other birds which are seen regularly including Andean Guan and Turquoise Jay.

Day 6 – Guango In the morning we can explore the trails at Guango and search for Gray-breasted Mountain Toucan, Dusky Piha, Turquoise Jay, and along the river, it is arguably the best place in Ecuador to see Torrent Ducks.

The afternoon will be spent going towards Cayambe Coca Reserve and visit one of the very unique forests in the area, known as Elfin/Dwarf Forest, which holds some very attractive species like Black-backed Bush Tanager, Masked & Black-chested Mountain Tanagers.

Day 7 – Guango – San Isidro After early morning birding around the lodge, you head east to San Isidro lodge whose immediate surroundings now boast a bird list of about 310 species, many of which are more easily found here than anywhere else in the country. Nestled in the picturesque Quijos Valley, one of the westernmost headwaters of the Amazon basin, San Isidro lies at an elevation of about 2,000m (6,800 ft.) above sea level in a zone still mostly blanketed by extensive humid forest. The 1100 hectare private reserve surrounding the lodge is part of a corridor initiative between two major Ecological Reserves (Antisana and Sumaco) and has built a reputation for being the premier spot for serious birders, interested in birds of this lush subtropical zone.

Day 8 – San Isidro Full day birding around San Isidro. We will have time to explore the extensive trail system around the San Isidro Lodge, starting at the car park and the gardens which are home to many sought after species. We will aim to see Black-eared Hemispingus, Subtropical Cacique, Long-tailed Antbird, many Inca Jays, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher and the tiny little Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher. A highlight found near the lodge is the White-bellied Antpitta. At night, if energy levels are good, we shall spend time searching for the mysterious San Isidro Owl, as well as the Rufous-banded Owl and the Andean Potoo.

Day 9 – San Isidro – Wildsumaco After early morning birding, you will travel even further east to Wildsumaco, a new lodge with an elevation of 1400m and a private forest reserve ranging from 1200 to 1500m. A wonderful mix of cloudforest species, foothill specilties, and typically Amazonian birds inhabit Wildsumaco's lush subtropical rainforest. Many of the birds here are rare, endangered, or very difficult to see elsewhere. The very rare Yellow-throated Spadebill has a territory along the lodge’s Piha Trail, and at any time the endangered Military Macaw or rare Spot-winged Parrotlet might fly by, or Black Hawk-Eagle soar overhead.

Day 10 – Wildsumaco full day You will get up early one morning to visit the Antpitta trail where one of the guides feeds the Plain-backed and Ochre-breasted Antpittas. This trail is also very good for other birds like White-crowned and Blue-rumped Manakins. Birding along the road can produce many surprises as well.

Day 11-13 – Napo Wildlife Centre Travel further east to Coca, where you and your guide will be met by the Napo Wildlife Centre team, and your Amazon journey will begin.

The multi-award winning Napo Wildlife Center, is a wonderful lodge in Amazonian Ecuador. It is 100% owned and operated by the local indigenous community, enjoys a stunning location by the side of a secluded lake, with an incredible bird list of over 560 species, spectacular parrot lick's and a network of trails. Some obvious highlights include the world's largest and most reliable population of Zigzag Herons, frequent sightings of Agami Herons, virtually guaranteed sightings of all five Kingfishers found in the Amazon, and a better population of mixed-species understory flocks and ant-swarm specialists than you will find at any other lodge in the Napo region. And, of course, 51 species of antbirds.

The Canopy has produced some amazing sightings including Black-faced Hawk, Crested Eagle, and Harpy Eagle in addition to the Cotingas and canopy tanager flocks that pass right through the tree. The Parrot Clay Licks are an experience that one would not want to miss, and the clay licks at the Napo Wildlife Center are the most accessible in Ecuador.

Day 14 – Return to Quito Today you will take the canoe upriver to return to Coca where you will take your flight back to Quito. You will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel for the night. Overnight Quito.

Day 15 – Quito Transfer to the airport for flight home, or extension.

Please note: Itineraries are unlikely to change significantly but are subject to change. Weather, specific abilities and interests of passengers as well as operational matters may cause your guide to change the times or nature of your visits. Your guide will always endeavour to have the best itinerary for you within these constraints.

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or emailemail us today.

Accommodation

Bellavista Bellavista

In the heart of the Cloud Forest Canopy. The accomodation itself is simple, but comfortable. The forest around the lodge is literally buzzing with hummingbirds...

SachatamiaSachatamia

A comfortable and cozy wooden lodge set in lush tropical cloud forest just next to the Mindo-Nambillo reserve. Built from wood, the lodge is comprised of several cabins...

Guango Lodge Guango

Opened in 2000, Guango Lodge is a new, small tourist facility surrounded by temperate forest and very birdy flocks. Owned by the same family as San Isidro...

San Isidro San Isidro

Nestled in the picturesque Quijos Valley, one of the westernmost headwaters of the Amazon basin, San Isidro (of Napo..

Wildsumaco Wildsumaco

From the Guacamayors Ridge on the road that winds through the Andes' beautiful eastern foothills, a volcano can sometimes be seen rising to 3730 meters (12,250 feet)...

Napo Wildlife Centre   Napo Wildlife Centre

The award winning Napo Wildlife Centre, is situated inside the Yasuni National Park, in Amazonian Ecuador. The lodge, which is 100% owned and operated by the local...

 

If you would like any more information or to chat over the details of the trip we would be delighted to help. Telephone Telephone01964 552292 for more information or emailemail us today.

Think Galapagos

Rachel DexCall Rachel,
Ecuador Specialist
on 01964 552292
Contcat us online

Andes to Amazon

Andes to Amazon

Andes to Amazon

Andes to Amazon

Andes to Amazon

100% Tailor Made

  • Create your perfect trip with
    our experts.
  • Make the most of your
    time and budget.
  • Hand-picked hotels and tours.

Top Local Guides

  • Difference between a good and outstanding holiday.
  • Handpicked by us as the very best local birding guides.
  • Know all the hidden birding spots!

Fully Protected

  • All flight inclusive trips are ATOL protected.
  • 24/7 emergency UK contact number whilst abroad.
  • Established for 9 years.