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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Northern Ecuador 2-Weeks in February, 2022 (1 Viewer)

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
Hi Everyone,

I am currently in contact with a local guide in Quito for a 2 week itinerary on Northern Ecuador that includes birding on both slopes of the Andes, the trip is meant to be more budget friendly so many of the places we stay at are not famous lodges, except for 2 locations that have no alternative.

Here is a rough draft and I'm currently looking for people to join me on this great trip that can easily bag around 450 species and it covers many habitats like Choco lowlands, cloud forest, Andean paramo, Amazon foothills, and owling is done at least 5 nights to make sure we don't miss out on nocturnal species:
  • Day 0: Arrival day on Quito
  • Day 1: Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve and Tandayapa Valley
  • Day 2: Refugio Paz de las Aves and Oilbird Cave
  • Day 3: Amagusa Reserve and Guayabillas Road
  • Day 4: Via a La 23 de Junio and Rio Silanche Bird Sanctuary
  • Day 5: San Lorenzo
  • Day 6: Playa de Oro and Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve
  • Day 7: Playa de Oro and Alto Tambo
  • Day 8: Chical Road to Quito
  • Day 9: Antisana Ecological Reserve to Papallacta
  • Day 10: Papallacta and Guango to Cabañas San Isidro
  • Day 11: Cabañas San Isidro
  • Day 12: Guacamayos Ridge to Wildsumaco Lodge
  • Day 13: Wildsumaco Lodge
  • Day 14: Wildsumaco Lodge to Quito

Hopefully this wets the appetite for the Neotropics to some of you that have been waiting for a chance to leave your homes due to Covid and if you're a new birder to South America, I'd say that Ecuador is the best place to start. Hope you'll choose to reach out to me and join me on this adventure!
 
Last edited:

mjh73

Well-known member
Australia
Following!
Definitely interested, but whether I will have a covid jab by then, will be allowed out of the country by my government, or will be allowed out of the country by my wife (after the fiasco of nearly getting stuck in Colombia this time last year!) will impact likelihood of me being able to jump on or not.
Sounds like a great trip though....
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
Following!
Definitely interested, but whether I will have a covid jab by then, will be allowed out of the country by my government, or will be allowed out of the country by my wife (after the fiasco of nearly getting stuck in Colombia this time last year!) will impact likelihood of me being able to jump on or not.
Sounds like a great trip though....
Hopefully we can make it, I know that unless things take a turn for the worse (which I want to believe things will be better from here), this trip is set. But I honestly would love to have people join me since with 4 people we can get roughly the same itinerary Birdquest does for Northern Ecuador for only a third of the price! Best part of it is to be able to see all of those iconic birds and locations that made Ecuador an icon of the birding world.
 

lmans66

Out Birding....
Supporter
United States
Wonderful adventure... I have done that several times and you will find that you can see that many birds. Duplicates as well on both sides of the Andes. In Feb, you could get some rain. But you can't plan on that or 'not plan on that'...! jim
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
Wonderful adventure... I have done that several times and you will find that you can see that many birds. Duplicates as well on both sides of the Andes. In Feb, you could get some rain. But you can't plan on that or 'not plan on that'...! jim
I think rain is guaranteed anywhere in the Choco area no matter the time of the year, plus what birder ever said, I will skip out on dozens of great birds because of a little rain.
 

birdboybowley

Well-known member.....apparently so ;)
Supporter
England
It ain't little rain at Playa de Oro!! 😂😂
For that place just get the boat across from Tigrillos Lodge to the trailhead there and go to the viewpoint. We did the boat trip further up and walked back to the viewpoint from there....and saw nothing so don't waste time as you've not got alot there.
Poorwill and Screech-Owl easy behind lodge itself so work in time to do the trails that side of the river for Sapayoa as it seems to be more regular there
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
It ain't little rain at Playa de Oro!! 😂😂
For that place just get the boat across from Tigrillos Lodge to the trailhead there and go to the viewpoint. We did the boat trip further up and walked back to the viewpoint from there....and saw nothing so don't waste time as you've not got alot there.
Poorwill and Screech-Owl easy behind lodge itself so work in time to do the trails that side of the river for Sapayoa as it seems to be more regular there
Based on the guide, the main spot we will go for is Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve, so fingers crossed the rain lets up enough to see the endemics of the region (though I would be lying if I said that Sapayoa wasn't my main, albeit widespread, target)
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
Following. I am interested but can't commit at this time. Depends on covid and other things. What will be the price?
The exact price per person if we have 4 people it would be $2407 this includes guiding, transportation, housing, meals, entrances fees to the reserves and transfers to the airport. The itinerary would normally go for over $6000, if we go by the prices of Birdquest and Rockjumper Birding, so I think it's a good deal and the guide has a solid record from other birders too.

If you want the detailed itinerary let me know, I can email it to you.
 

BruceBerman

Well-known member
Hi Everyone,

I am currently in contact with a local guide in Quito for a 2 week itinerary on Northern Ecuador that includes birding on both slopes of the Andes, the trip is meant to be more budget friendly so many of the places we stay at are not famous lodges, except for 2 locations that have no alternative.

Here is a rough draft and I'm currently looking for people to join me on this great trip that can easily bag around 450 species and it covers many habitats like Choco lowlands, cloud forest, Andean paramo, Amazon foothills, and owling is done at least 5 nights to make sure we don't miss out on nocturnal species:
  • Day 0: Arrival day on Quito
  • Day 1: Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve and Tandayapa Valley
  • Day 2: Refugio Paz de las Aves and Oilbird Cave
  • Day 3: Amagusa Reserve and Guayabillas Road
  • Day 4: Via a La 23 de Junio and Rio Silanche Bird Sanctuary
  • Day 5: San Lorenzo
  • Day 6: Playa de Oro and Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve
  • Day 7: Playa de Oro and Alto Tambo
  • Day 8: Chical Road to Quito
  • Day 9: Antisana Ecological Reserve to Papallacta
  • Day 10: Papallacta and Guango to Cabañas San Isidro
  • Day 11: Cabañas San Isidro
  • Day 12: Guacamayos Ridge to Wildsumaco Lodge
  • Day 13: Wildsumaco Lodge
  • Day 14: Wildsumaco Lodge to Quito

Hopefully this wets the appetite for the Neotropics to some of you that have been waiting for a chance to leave your homes due to Covid and if you're a new birder to South America, I'd say that Ecuador is the best place to start. Hope you'll choose to reach out to me and join me on this adventure!
Definitely interested. Can you send me your itinerary? I'll ask my gf if she's ready to commit. [email protected]
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
To anyone following this trip, I've chosen to put it on hold for now due to an opportunity to take a very budget friendly trip to Guyana with a confirmed Harpy Eagle nest. I already have 2 (possibly 3) people confirmed for this trip, if anyone is interested, I can ask the local guide for an estimate of more people and how many he can do the trip with.

The trip covers all of the country except the region for Sun Parakeet and Red Siskin, but most of the Guianan Shield specialties, plus many South Anlmerican megas will targeted on the trip.
 

dandsblair

David and Sarah
Supporter
To anyone following this trip, I've chosen to put it on hold for now due to an opportunity to take a very budget friendly trip to Guyana with a confirmed Harpy Eagle nest. I already have 2 (possibly 3) people confirmed for this trip, if anyone is interested, I can ask the local guide for an estimate of more people and how many he can do the trip with.

The trip covers all of the country except the region for Sun Parakeet and Red Siskin, but most of the Guianan Shield specialties, plus many South Anlmerican megas will targeted on the trip.
Just to manage expectations we went to an active Harpy Eagle nest near Corkwood on the road to Surama but the nest which had an egg and Eagles the week before was abandoned in the week between our visit and a previous birders trip so nothing is guaranteed. I attach copy of our trip report which might help tune your itinerary. Fortunately not a lifer for us but still a huge disappointment.
 

Attachments

  • guyana trip report.pdf
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AveryBartels

Well-known member
To anyone following this trip, I've chosen to put it on hold for now due to an opportunity to take a very budget friendly trip to Guyana with a confirmed Harpy Eagle nest. I already have 2 (possibly 3) people confirmed for this trip, if anyone is interested, I can ask the local guide for an estimate of more people and how many he can do the trip with.

The trip covers all of the country except the region for Sun Parakeet and Red Siskin, but most of the Guianan Shield specialties, plus many South Anlmerican megas will targeted on the trip.
What are the proposed dates for the Guyana trip? I may be interested.
 

YuShan

hikingbirdman.com
United Kingdom
Not sure if it helps or inspires you in any way, but in 2016 I have done a solo birding trip to Ecuador without guides on a seriously low budget. It involved some camping too, but €1480 (including the €653 return flight from London) for almost two months in Ecuador isn't bad I think :) I found and identified by myself 393 species, of which 306 were lifers. Sure I have been roughing it out a bit so this style of birding wouldn't suit everybody, but I love adventure!

 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
Just to manage expectations we went to an active Harpy Eagle nest near Corkwood on the road to Surama but the nest which had an egg and Eagles the week before was abandoned in the week between our visit and a previous birders trip so nothing is guaranteed. I attach copy of our trip report which might help tune your itinerary. Fortunately not a lifer for us but still a huge disappointment.
Knowing my luck, it could possibly happen, but here's hoping it doesn't. By the way, your trip report was among the few I found online before that weren't from an international tour company, and it helped spark my interest into putting this country high on my travel list.
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
Not sure if it helps or inspires you in any way, but in 2016 I have done a solo birding trip to Ecuador without guides on a seriously low budget. It involved some camping too, but €1480 (including the €653 return flight from London) for almost two months in Ecuador isn't bad I think :) I found and identified by myself 393 species, of which 306 were lifers. Sure I have been roughing it out a bit so this style of birding wouldn't suit everybody, but I love adventure!

This report definitely inspires me to keep Ecuador high on my travel list for South America, your traveling style is great, though sadly limiting for me since I can't travel more than 1 or 2 weeks in the year due to work.

Still, it's impressive how many birds you got in Ecuador considering how hard it is to bird most places in the Neotropics without some help from a local source.
 

Cormac

Well-known member
The exact price per person if we have 4 people it would be $2407 this includes guiding, transportation, housing, meals, entrances fees to the reserves and transfers to the airport. The itinerary would normally go for over $6000, if we go by the prices of Birdquest and Rockjumper Birding, so I think it's a good deal and the guide has a solid record from other birders too.

If you want the detailed itinerary let me know, I can email it to you.
Please send me a copy of the itinerary. [email protected]
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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