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Andes- Birdwatching - Mindo Hummingbird
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Birdwatching Tour in the Southern Ecuadorian Andes - 13 Nights itinerary

Recognized by leading ornithologists as one of the most highly diverse countries in terms of bird species, Ecuador has officially registered more than 1,600 endemic and exotic species – and the list keeps growing!

This means that an Ecuadorian birding experience can be anything from observing condors circling a high mountain pass, witnessing throngs of hummingbirds buzzing across steep Andean slopes, or sighting jays, foliage gleaners and finches on dry wastelands. But there's also the Amazon, where the name itself evokes images of pre-historic looking hoatzins, as well as antbirds, antthrushes, small flycatchers and ground-cuckoos feasting on swarms of ants. What's also great is the convenience, in that all of these images – as numerous as they are – can be found in this compact country that's not much larger than Britain or the US state of Colorado.

This is why our tours appeal to birdwatching aficionados and experts alike. These are people who journey to this marvelous country to see these species ...and who might even discover a new one!

Andes- Birdwatching - Mindo Hummingbird
Testimonials

“Everything about Surtrek was amazing. The hotels, the food, the tours. Everything exceeded our expectations. I cannot recommend Surtrek highly enough!”Serena Tyra

Highlights
Loja, Birdwatching in Jorupe Reserve, Utuana Reserve, Tapichalaca Reserve, Birdwatching Tapichalaca Reserve, Buenaventura Reserve, Podocarpus, Cajas National Park
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1: Arrival in Quito
Day 2: Flight from Quito to Loja – Jorupe Reserve
Day 3: Birdwatching in Jorupe Reserve – Urraca Lodge
Day 4: Utuana Reserve – Tapichalaca Reserve – Casa Simpson
Day 5: Tapichalaca Reserve – Casa Simpson
Day 6: Tapichalaca Reserve – Casa Simpson
Day 7: Buenaventura Reserve
Day 8: Buenaventura Reserve
Day 9: Buenaventura Reserve – Loja
Day 10: Podocarpus National Park – Cajanuma
Day 11: Loja – Copalinga Lodge
Day 12: Copalinga – Bombuscaro – Cuenca
Day 13: Cuenca – Cajas National Park – Quito
Day 14: Quito – Flight home
SOUTH AMERICA MAP
Detailed Itinerary
Day 1
Arrival in Quito

When you arrive in Quito, you will be met at the airport and taken to the hotel, located in a modern district of the capital city.

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Day 2
Flight from Quito to Loja – Jorupe Reserve

This morning you will be driven to the airport to catch your flight to the city of Loja. Once you land at the city's Catamayo Airport, you will be met and accompanied to the Urraca eco-lodge in the Jorupe Reserve near the town of Macará. On the 21/2 hour drive there will be opportunities to stop and spot the most common bird species of this region. Birds that are likely to be seen include Pacific horneros, Great antshrikes, Collared antshrikes, Watkins’s antpittas, Elegant crescent chests, Loja tyrannulets, Tumbes sparrows, Tawny-crowned pygmy tyrants, and Black-crested tit-tyrants. We will reach the lodge in time for dinner and later turn in for the night.  

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3
Birdwatching in Jorupe Reserve – Urraca Lodge

After an early at 5:30 a.m. breakfast, we will head out for an entire morning of birdwatching right around the lodge, returning there for lunch. In this incredible forest you can see many species of birds that can only be found in Ecuador. The species include the Savanna hawk, the Bat falcon, the Blue ground dove, the Gray-cheeked parakeet, Pacific pygmy owls, Pauraques, the Amazilia hummingbird, the Ecuadorian trogon, Blue-crowned motmots, Golden-olive woodpeckers, the Scarlet-backed woodpecker, Blackish-headed spinetails, Rufous-necked foliage-gleaners, Henna-hooded foliage-gleaners, Olivaceous woodcreepers, Streak-headed woodcreepers, Plain antvireos, Watkins's antpitta, Tumbesian tyrannulets, the Pacific elaenia, Slaty becards, One-colored becards, White-tailed jays, Rufous-browed peppershrikes, the Plumbeous-backed thrush and the Yellow-tailed oriole. Dinner and overnight back at the Urraca Lodge.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4
Utuana Reserve – Tapichalaca Reserve – Casa Simpson

Following breakfast at 5:00 a.m., we will pack and leave the lodge. Today we will go birdwatching in Utuana Reserve, about an hour away from the Urraca Lodge. Many rare and endemic species can be found in this reserve, and if you’re lucky you'll be able to spot species such as the Gray-headed antbird, Piura Hemispingus, the Black-crested tit-tyrant, Rainbow starfrontlet and Northern crested caracara. After watching birds in this reserve all morning, you'll have a box lunch and then we’ll head for Tapichalaca Reserve, which is owned by the Jocotoco Foundation. After about a four-hour journey, we will reach the foundation's Casa Simpson Lodge, where you will have dinner and spend the night.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5
Tapichalaca Reserve – Casa Simpson

After breakfast we will walk along paths in Tapichalaca Reserve searching for the Jocotoco antpitta, a very rare species that is endemic to the zone. Around midday we will start heading back to the hotel while observing various species such as the Andean potoo, the Bearded guan, Imperial snipes, Maroon-chested ground doves, White-breasted parakeets, the Golden-plumed parakeet, Barred antthrushs, White-capped tanagers, Rufous-capped thornbills, Black-billed mountain toucans, the Grey-breasted mountain toucan, and the White-faced nunbird. There are also 17 species of hummingbirds that come to the feeders around the lodge, where lunch and dinner will also be served.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6
Tapichalaca Reserve – Casa Simpson

Breakfast will be served very early, before we will set off along a number of different paths in the Tapichalaca Reserve. We will spend the entire day in the forest, where you will have a box lunch. The birds you are sure to see include the White-throated quail-dove, Black-capped hemispingus, Citrine warblers, Black-throated tody-tyrants, Amethyst-throated sun angels, White-bellied woodstars, Collared Incas, Chestnut-breasted coronets, Gray-hooded bush tanagers, Hooded mountain toucans, Streaked tufted-cheeks, Pearled tree-runners, Plain-tailed wren, Rufous wren, Slaty finch, Variegated bristle tyrants, White-banded tyrannulet, Marañón thrush and the Silver-backed tanagers. In the afternoon you will return to Casa Simpson for dinner and the night.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7
Buenaventura Reserve

After a very early breakfast, you will pack and leave Casa Simpson, setting off for the Buenaventura Reserve, located towards the lower forests on the coast. On the way, you should spot some very interesting mountain rainforest species. In the afternoon you will see birds from dry forests as well as birds from the cloud forest of southern Ecuador, including the Choco toucan, Blue-black grosbeak, Red-hooded tanager, Black-capped tanager and El Oro parakeets. In the late afternoon we will return to Buenaventura Reserve for dinner and the night.   

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 8
Buenaventura Reserve

We will leave the lodge at around 5:30 a.m. and walk for around 20 minutes to the claylick of the long-wattled umbrellabird. This species is extremely rare and in danger of extinction, with Buenaventura Reserve being the only place in southern Ecuador where they can be found. After what promises to be a great show, we will return to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast we will walk along different paths to observe some of the birds characteristic of this reserve, such as the Gray-backed hawk, the Rufous-headed chachalaca, Ochre-bellied doves, Emerald-bellied woodnymph, White-whiskered puffbirds, the Chestnut-mandibled toucan, Scaled antpitta, El Oro tapaculo, Golden tanagers, Flame-faced tanagers, and the Blue-winged mountain tanager. There are also more than 25 hummingbird species that come to the feeders around the lodge. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.  

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 9
Buenaventura Reserve – Loja

After breakfast at 5:00 a.m., we will pack up and leave the reserve to head for the city of Loja, stopping along the way to observe birds at the most important sites. You will have a box lunch en route, and in the afternoon we will reach Loja, where you will spend the night at the Casa Lojana Hotel. Today you should have a chance to see several native species, including the Loja tyrannulet, the Peruvian sheartail, Black-cowled saltators, Tumbes sparrows, and Tumbes hummingbirds. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.  

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 10
Podocarpus National Park – Cajanuma

Following breakfast at 5:30 a.m., and taking a box lunch with you, we will head for Podocarpus National Park, specifically the Cajanuma area, a drive of approximately one hour. In the park there are many species specific to this region, such as the Rufous antpitta, the Gray-breasted mountain toucan, the Bar-bellied woodpecker, the Chestnut-naped antpitta, the Grass-green tanager, the Streaked tufted-cheek, Scaly-naped Amazons, White-capped parrots, the White-throated quail-dove, the Rainbow starfrontlet, Chestnut-breasted coronet and the Masked trogon. In the afternoon you will return to the hotel in Loja for dinner and the night.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 11
Loja – Copalinga Lodge

After breakfast, we will head to the Copalinga Reserve, which is about a two-hour drive from Loja, stopping to observe birds along the way and having a box lunch. In the afternoon we will reach Copalinga Lodge, where you will later have dinner and spend the night. Throughout that day you should see more common species, such as the Magpie tanager, the Orange-eared tanager, the Black-faced dacnis, the Masked tanager, the Golden-eared tanager, the Blackish nightjar, the White-crowned manakin, the Dark-breasted spinetail, the Crested oropendola, the Yellow-cheeked becard, the Orange-billed sparrow, the Gray-fronted dove, the Speckled chachalaca, the Lined antshrike, the Andean cock-of-the-rock, the Olivaceous siskin, the Spangled coquette and the Wire-crested thornbill. Dinner and overnight at Copalinga.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 12
Copalinga – Bombuscaro – Cuenca

After breakfast at 5:30 a.m., we will start down the paths of the national park, in the Bombuscaro section, close to the lodge. Copalinga is a subtropical forest where species from the southern rainforest of Ecuador are found. These include the White-breasted parakeet, Blue-necked tanager, Lanceolated monklet, Violet-headed hummingbird, Glittering-throated emerald, Violet-fronted brilliant, Blue-tailed emerald, Green-and-gold tanager, Speckled chachalaca, Orange-crowned euphonia, Golden-eared tanager, Magpie tanager, White-breasted parakeet, Wire-crested thornbill, Spangled coquette, Andean cock-of-the rock, Blue dacnis, Spotted tanager, Swallow tanager and the Yellow-bellied tanager. In the afternoon we will leave this area and drive to the city of Cuenca. Dinner and overnight at Hotel Mansión Alcázar.  

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 13
Cuenca – Cajas National Park – Quito

After a very early breakfast, we will drive towards the coast, observing birds along the way. We will make a stop in Cajas National Park for even more bird watching. In the afternoon we will drive back to the Cuenca airport for the short flight to Quito, where you will be met and driven to the J.W. Marriott Hotel for the night.    

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Breakfast - Lunch
Day 14
Quito – Flight home

After breakfast, you will be driven to Quito's new international airport for your homebound flight. Our hope will be that you had a fascinating birdwatching adventure in Ecuador, and that you will return for more!  

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Breakfast
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Birdwatching Tour in the Southern Ecuadorian Andes

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Testimonials

“I was very happy in every way with your booking and Cuyabeno Lodge. It surpassed my expectations in every way. No hitches with flights and transportation. The lodge was beautiful. The staff was professional and friendly.”Tim Matheson

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