Northern & Southern Ecuador Trip to Jocotoco Reserves

This trip will take you to the most famous birding area in the world. This well-thought itinerary includes some of our favorite lodges in a mix of regions on both sides of the Andes, so you can experience Ecuador’s incredible wildlife, spectacular scenery, and birds. You are likely to find over 400 species of birds during this journey!



Duration of tour: 14 DAYS AND 13 NIGHTS

Tour departure time: 5:30 AM

Tour operating dates: UNDER REQUEST

Piano di viaggio

Giorno 01
Arrivo a Quito

Arrival to International airport in Quito where we will receive you and take you to Hotel in Quito. At the hotel, you will take the dinner and lodging.

Giorno 02
Yanacocha reserve

We take our breakfast at 6:00 AM, and then we will go to Yanacocha reserve which is the site of the rare Ecuadorian endemic hummingbird, the Black-breasted Puffleg. Yanacocha is an hour away from Quito on the back of Pichincha volcano.

We will spend part of the morning in the Elfin Forest, Polylepis and paramo where we hope to find some species, including Hooded Mountain tanager, Blue and black Tanager, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Golden-breasted Puffleg, Andean Guan, Andean Pygmy-Owl, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Pearled Treerunner, Rufous Antpitta, Tawny Antpitta, Ocellated Tapaculo, Red-crested Cotinga, Barred Fruiteater, Rufous Wren, Blue-backed Conebill, etc.

We will have a packed lunch to serve in the reserve. We also have the opportunity to be part of the “Tree planting ceremony” that take place in this reserve to celebrate the huge efforts of reforestation that Jocotoco Foundation had made. In the afternoon, we will come back to Quito. Hotel in Quito.

Giorno 03
Antisana reserve

Very early in the morning, we will serve our breakfast and start our visit to Antisana reserve. On clear days, the views of the snow-cape volcano of Antisana are staggering. Today we bird dry paramo looking for the amazing Andean Condor, Black-faced Ibis, and Ecuadorian Hillstar. A nearby lake holds a variety of waterfowl, including Silvery Grebe. Later we drive to Quito for the night. Dinner and lodging at Hotel in Quito.

Giorno 04
Quito to Vilcambamba - Tapichalaca

Leave from Quito very early in the morning. Arrive to Loja – Catamayo airport. We will be met at the airport by the driver and start the tour. This morning we will have our way to Tapichalaca reserve. On the way we will have some stops. We will try for Drab Seedeater, Tumbes Sparrow, and Band-tailed Sierra-Finch, Red-hooded Tanager, Bearded Guan, and Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan. We will leave for the Tapichalaca reserve. Depending on the weather, we will keep birding in the surroundings of the Lodge after arrival. Our first impression will be the presence of many Hummingbirds by the feeders: Among these Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Collared Inca, Little Sunangel, Long–tailed Sylph. Overnight Casa Simpson – Tapichalaca.

Day 05 & 06
Tapichalaca Reserve

We will visit Tapichalaca Reserve of the Jocotoco Foundation for two full days, which was established in 1998 to protect the habitat of the Jocotoco Antpitta, a species whose total known population has remained at about twelve pairs since they were discovered at Cerro Tapichalaca by Dr. Robert Ridgely in 1997. We will spend a full day birding the trails of Tapichalaca reserve, starting with the Jocotoco Antpitta worm feeder. Apart from the Jocotoco we have the chance to see other interesting birds such as Chestnut-naped Antpitta, Orange-banded Flycatcher, White-throated Quail-dove, White-capped Tanager. Overnight Casa Simpson – Tapichalaca.

Giorno 07
Tapichalaca – Jorupe Reserve

Today we will have a long drive to Macará, birding along the way through the road to see some interesting birds of this Tumbesian area like the Elegant Crescentchest, Loja Hummingbird. Parrot-billed Seedeater, Drab Seedeater, Tumbes Sparrow. In route, we will want to bird the amazing forest at our Utuana reserve. Among the giant Ceiba trees we may see White-headed Brush-Finch, Tumbes Hummingbird and Baird’s Flycatcher. We will serve our box lunches on road Overnight at Urraca Lodge in Jorupe reserve.

Day 08 & 09

During our stay, we will walk around Jorupe reserve spending all day birding around the deciduous forest in the Tumbesian region of southwest Ecuador where we hope to find Tumbesian endemics such as Blackish-headed Spinetail, Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner, Slaty Becard, Loja Tyranulet, Watkins Antpitta and Western Peruvian Screech Owl. We also have the chance to visit our Utuana reserve. Overnight at Urraca Lodge.

Day 10
Jorupe - Buenaventura

Very early in the morning, we can walk around the garden and the entrance route to some more birds in Jorupe reserve. After breakfast, we drive North to the Umbrellabird Lodge in the Buenaventura reserve of the Jocotoco Foundation. We will take a packed lunch and bird along the way. In route, we will want to bird the amazing deciduous forest near El Empalme. Among the giant Ceiba trees we may see White-headed Brush-Finch, Tumbes Hummingbird and Baird’s Flycatcher. Overnight at Umbrellabird Lodge.

Day 11 & 12

The reserve’s flagship species are El Oro Parakeet and El Oro Tapaculo. It is also home to species from both the Choco and Tumbesian regions, including Rufous-headed Chachalaca, Ochre-bellied Dove, Grey-backed Hawk, Pacific Royal Flycatcher and Ochraceous Attila.  Close to the research station is a lek of the threatened Long-wattled Umbrellabird.  Different types of feeders are placed near the lodge for birds and mammals where a diversity of Hummingbirds, Tanagers and Toucans can be seen alongside Coaties. Overnight at Umbrellabird Lodge.

Day 13
Buenaventura – Manglares Churute, Guayaquil

Very early in the morning we will serve our breakfast and leave to Manglares Churute reserve. This area offers an interesting mix of lagoons, mangroves, and semihumid forest, unlike anything else we see on the tour. It’s the best place in Ecuador to find the threatened “Pacific” Royal-Flycatcher along with other species including Jet Antbird, Orange-crowned Euphonia, and Common (Mangrove) Black-Hawk, Superciliated Wren, Ecuadorian Trogon, and with luck should find some Horned Screamers. Later we continue to Guayaquil city to have dinner and accommodation.

Day 14
Come back home

Depending on your flight schedule, you have your transfer to the airport of Guayaquil. End of services.

  • Lodging in comfortable hotel/lodges
  • All meals as indicated
  • All land transportation 
  • Airport transfer
  • Biglietti d'ingresso
  • Expert bilingual birding guide
  • International airfare
  • Airport departure tax (if required)
  • Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, extra drinks, alcohol beverages and snacks, souvenirs, etc.
  • Tips

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