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Three weeks in August... Itinerary?

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Old Wednesday 6th February 2019, 12:48   #1
Glimmer
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Three weeks in August... Itinerary?

Hi guys!

I'm planning to go to Ecuador for three weeks in August by my own. Everybody talks great about this country. I have been at Bolivia, Brasil, Costa Rica before, ans I loved these countries and their wildlife.

Which areas should I visit in three weeks renting a car in Quito by my own? I travel alone... and I should have to avoid very expensive lodges.

As I read, Mindo should be mandatory...

Is it worth going to Galapagos? (for sure yes ) Will I have chances for albatross in August? How many days should I stay there?

I'm also very interested in herps!

I have no idea of the country, so a "basic itinerary" would be very appreciated. Then I will get more info by my own!

Many thanks!
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Old Friday 8th February 2019, 16:38   #2
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Originally Posted by Glimmer View Post
As I read, Mindo should be mandatory...

Is it worth going to Galapagos? (for sure yes ) Will I have chances for albatross in August? How many days should I stay there?
My friends and I spent just over three weeks in Ecuador in 2015, concentrating mainly on the east (Arajuno Lodge not far from Mishualli, Hakuna Matata, Wildsumaco, San Isidro), with our last five full days of birding in Mindo. Last month one of those friends and his wife just joined me & my wife for a shorter trip focusing mainly on Mindo.

If I had three weeks, I'd probably still do first night in & last night out at Puembo Birding Garden. Then head into the high country for a couple of Antisana days, using Tambo Condor (rustic) as "base camp" (I strongly recommend Vladimir skilled guiding).

Then Wildsumaco (eastern foothills) for no fewer than four nights, with the services of a staff guide (they're all great) for the first full day. Cabanas San Isidro (higher in the eastern subtropics) for perhaps four more (Marcello Quipo was an excellent guide in 2015). That puts you nine (or better yet ten) days into three weeks. At that point I'd head northwest, stopping over at Hostal Pululahua (drive slow on the 13 km road into the caldera) for two nights, and birding with Renato Espinosa (the hotel's proprietor) for at least a half-day.

With ten full days potentially allocated for birding (having written off the last night before and the day of departure), I'd concentrate on Mindo, staying at either Sachatamia Lodge or (in the interest of economy) Yellow House. Allow time for birding around Sachatamia and along the river road near Mindo. Day trips to Rio Silanche and Milpe Bird Sanctuaries. Maybe Paz de las Aves if you can avoid the circus of busloads on certain days. Recinto 23 de Junio or Oil Bird cave for another. Julia Patino is a fantastic guide who operates out of Mindo.

I've never treated Galapagos as a must (heresy, I know). I don't have the impression that it fits in neatly with any tour of the mainland.

Others with more knowledge of the country will offer great advice, but I suggest that (other than Tambo Condor) you devote no less than four nights at any one lodging destination. The inclusion of meals at Wildsumaco & San Isidro makes for a more expensive stay, but they're located deep with reserves, from which shuttles into "town" for meals is neither practical nor efficient.

I hope you'll patronize local guides.

Gary H
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Old Friday 8th February 2019, 17:43   #3
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I have described my one trip to Ecuador (which included Galapagos on an organized trip) in several other threads in here, so will leave it at that. No matter if you put the majority of time east or west, sampling several elevations will be important.

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Old Monday 11th February 2019, 14:45   #4
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I have no idea of the country, so a "basic itinerary" would be very appreciated. Then I will get more info by my own!
Requesting advice in this forum is a hit-or-miss proposition. Steven Herrmann has published a couple of relatively recent bird-finding guides (one covering the northeast, the other the northwest, and both including information about Quito and sites nearby). The region around Mindo (for example) is well-covered in the northwest guide. I'd recommend perusing both. You might also reach out to Renato (at Pululahua), whose guiding knowledge extends well beyond the caldera. Julia Patino (from the Mindo area) is also familiar with (I know) at least the area from San Isidro westward.
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Old Friday 22nd February 2019, 12:56   #5
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Thanks a lot! Much appreciated.

Onr last question, any reliable place for harpy?

Best regards

Enviado desde mi Redmi Note 6 Pro mediante Tapatalk
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Old Saturday 23rd February 2019, 22:26   #6
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Hello,

Three weeks in Ecuador you have to stay one week in Galapagos Islands visiting islands.

Another week in Choco Andino Biosphere Reserve where Mindo is located in a privileged location. Here are some locations that you can visit, easy to find information online or if any question, just let us know.

Available reserves from Mindo Cloud forest: Milpe Reserve, Silanche Reserve, Paz de las Aves Reserve, Alambi Hummingbirds garden, Bellavista road, Tandayapa Valley, Amagusa Reserve, Mashpi Road, Umbrella Bird Reserve, Oild Bird (El Chontal), San Tadeo Birding Feeder, Santa Rosa Birding Feeder, Antisana Reserve, Yanacocha Reserve

And one week in the East Slope and Amazon Forest. We recommend to start going from Mindo to Guango Lodge and make a full day tour in Antisana Reserve, lunch at Tambo Condor which is a good option near Antisana and continue in the afternoon birding in Papallacta higher area and finish in Guango to sleep. After Guango, continue to San Isidro for another 2 nights and Wildsumaco another 2-3 nights. You can always continue to lower Amazon where there are several lodges you can visit in Yasuní or Cuyabeno National Parks.

Harpy in Gareno you can see it. I don´t know if the "baby" is still in the nest, but I can ask about that.

Regarding Julia, she is one of the best guides I know. You can contact her and ask about what accommodation she recommends in Mindo area :-)

Best regards

David
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Old Wednesday 27th February 2019, 19:36   #7
Glimmer
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Originally Posted by davidbrito View Post
Hello,

Three weeks in Ecuador you have to stay one week in Galapagos Islands visiting islands.

Another week in Choco Andino Biosphere Reserve where Mindo is located in a privileged location. Here are some locations that you can visit, easy to find information online or if any question, just let us know.

Available reserves from Mindo Cloud forest: Milpe Reserve, Silanche Reserve, Paz de las Aves Reserve, Alambi Hummingbirds garden, Bellavista road, Tandayapa Valley, Amagusa Reserve, Mashpi Road, Umbrella Bird Reserve, Oild Bird (El Chontal), San Tadeo Birding Feeder, Santa Rosa Birding Feeder, Antisana Reserve, Yanacocha Reserve

And one week in the East Slope and Amazon Forest. We recommend to start going from Mindo to Guango Lodge and make a full day tour in Antisana Reserve, lunch at Tambo Condor which is a good option near Antisana and continue in the afternoon birding in Papallacta higher area and finish in Guango to sleep. After Guango, continue to San Isidro for another 2 nights and Wildsumaco another 2-3 nights. You can always continue to lower Amazon where there are several lodges you can visit in Yasuní or Cuyabeno National Parks.

Harpy in Gareno you can see it. I don´t know if the "baby" is still in the nest, but I can ask about that.

Regarding Julia, she is one of the best guides I know. You can contact her and ask about what accommodation she recommends in Mindo area :-)

Best regards

David
Muchas gracias David!
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