Mindo - Bellavista & Tinalandia Birdwatching Tour - 09 Days
Day 01.-Arrival in Quito - City Tour
Arrive in Quito. Assistance and transfer from the airport to the hotel Patio Andaluz. The four star Hotel Patio Andaluz is a national treasure that holds history within its walls. Situated in the heart of the historic Old City of Quito, which was declared the first cultural heritage of the world by UNESCO in 1978, the hotel is surrounded by churches, museums, and national monuments. It is a marvelous colonial building dating back to the foundation of Quito, and has been beautifully and meticulously restored. Enjoy the enchantment of this elegant, 31-room boutique hotel, with wide corridors, expansive stairways, large arches, balconies, and towering atrium-style patios, which lend to the feeling of a long-ago Quito. Welcome cocktail, briefing and accommodations at the hotel. -/-/-
Day 02.- Quito - Yanacocha - Mindo
After an early breakfast we depart from the Hotel in Quito at 6 am towards the ecologic nature resort of Yanacocha northwest of the 3600 m volcano Guagua Pichincha. This area is worldwide known for its great diversity of tangaras and hummingbirds. Especially in this area we will have the chance to observe several species, which we won't be able to see on any other day of the tour. Some of these species include: Back-Breasted Puffleg, Rainbow-Bearded Thornbill, Sword-Billed Hummingbird, Buff-Winged Starfrontlet, Shining Sunbean, Golden-Crowned Tanager, Black-Chested Montain-Tanager, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Buff-Breasted Mountain-Tanager, Scarlet-Bellied Mountain Tanager, Giant Conebill and many others. The diversity of bird species in this region is a good reason to try and observe as many birds as possible before we keep on traveling along the famous route of Nano, passing Tandayapa and finally reaching the Mindo Gardens Lodge, where we'll spend the night. Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner
Day 03.- Birdwatching in Mindo Cloud Forest
Breakfast will be at 5 am and the departure for our bird observation trip at 5.45 a.m to a 1200m high valley in Mindo. In this area we will meet many mixed swarms of birds including tangaras, trepatroncos, flycatchers and several types of toucans. Due to the fauna diversity it will even be possible to see hummingbirds. Lunch will be served at 1 pm before we move on to observing parrots. In the evening we return to the Lodge for dinner, final conversation and registration of the birds seen during the day. B/L/D
Day 04.- Mindo - Tandayapa - Bellavista Lodge
Early breakfast at 5.30 a.m followed by a tour in the area of Bellavista and Tandayapa located on 2200m. In this area the enormous diversity of species is very appearant. Tangaras and hummingbirds can be seen in the area. In this one day is it possible to see at least 20 different types of hummingbird and at least 12 of tangaras. We will also observe: Plate-Billed Mountain-Toucan, Ocellated Tapaculo, Green-And-Black Fruiteater, Golden-Winged Manaquin, Blue-Winged Mountain-Tanager, Grass-Green Tanager, Tanager Finch and others. In the afternoon we return to the Bellavista Lodge for dinner and registration. B/L/D
Day 05.- Bellavista - Tandayapa - Mindo
Today we will leave our accommodation very early at about 5:45 in the morning to observe the birds in the area around the Early breakfast at 5.30 a.m followed by a tour in the area of Bellavista and Tandayapa located on 2200m. In this area the enormous diversity of species is very appearant. Tangaras and hummingbirds can be seen in the area. In this one day is it possible to see at least 20 different types of hummingbird and at least 12 of tangaras. We will also observe: Plate-Billed Mountain-Toucan, Ocellated Tapaculo, Green-And-Black Fruiteater, Golden-Winged Manaquin, Blue-Winged Mountain-Tanager, Grass-Green Tanager, Tanager Finch and others. In the afternoon we return to the Mindo Gardens Lodge for dinner and registration. B/L/D
Day 06.- Mindo - Hosteria San Jorge
On the last day our main target is observing the “Gallo de la peña”, the famous “Andean Cock of the rock” at the scene of their morning dance ritual (Leck). This could be finished at around 7.30 a.m and afterwards we continue our tour in the other direction to watch-out for toucans, quetzales, hummingbirds, tangaras and many others. After lunch at around 1 p.m we head back to Quito. On the route we will have several stops to get a last chance to observe different species of the Calacali and Pululahua region. Evening arrival at the Hosteria San Jorge. B/L/D
Day 07.- San Jorge - Chiriboga Road - Tinalandia
We depart Quito this morning for the western slope of the Andes. Throughout the day, we'll bird along the Chiriboga Road as we make our way toward the town of Santo Domingo de los Colorados.The little-used Chiriboga Road descends through upper tropical elevations and a variety of forest types, including montane cloud forest, lower montane cloud forest and premontane cloud forest. Consequently, a broad spectrum of birds is present in forest tracts along the road. Many species, including the endemic plate-billed mountain toucan, are among the most spectacular found on Andean slopes. Other birds seen along this route by last season's tour participants, include: sickle-winged guan, turquoise jay, masked trogon, crimson-rumped toucanet, Swallow Tailed Nightjar, Torrent Duck Buff-Breasted Mountain Tanager, Paramo Seedeater, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, russet-crowned warbler, golden-naped tanager, hooded mountain tanager and plush-capped finch. The end of the day will find us arriving at the Tinalandia Birding Lodge. B/L/D
Day 08.- Birdwatching in Tinalandia - Quito
We'll have a full day at one of Ecuador's finest birding locations: Tinalandia. Located at around 2,000 feet in elevation (and only 10 minutes from our hotel), Tinalandia and its surrounding tracts of pre-montane wet forest have been deservedly praised by the international birding community. The Tinalandia bird list numbers over 300 species. Feeders on the grounds attract a wonderful variety of hummingbirds, tanagers and other species. Trails through both forest and open terrain are easy to walk. Birders here have an excellent opportunity to view species not only in the canopy, but also along the forest edge and on the forest floor.
Birds seen at Tinalandia on last season's tour include: gray-capped cuckoo, purple-crowned fairy, green-crowned brilliant, rufous-tailed motmot, rufous jacamar, pale-mandibled aracari, scarlet-backed woodpecker, pale-legged hornero, banded-backed wren, purple honeycreeper and golden tanager. In the afternoon return to Quito and transfer to the hotel Patio Andaluz. B/L/-
Day 09.- Transfer Out.
After the last day in Ecuador we will bring you to the airport and say good-bye hoping to welcome you another time here in the Middle of the World. B/-/-
B= Breakfast L= Lunch D=Dinner
What to bring with you: Comfortable trekking boots, warm clothes, water proof clothes, passport copies (2), binoculars, (if you request we can provide rain poncho and rubber boots), sun cream, sun glasses, hat, cotton clothes (longs sleeves but no jeans) insect repellent, camera, high speed film (400 ASA), binoculars, and travel alarm clock, flashlight with batteries, zip-lock bags to keep clothing and equipment dry, shorts, sport shoes, swimsuit, towel and personal toilet kit.
Very Important: This program can change due to weather conditions. Any changes are made in the traveler's best interest and safety. Our Jungle Camps are serving also as a base camp for researchers and scientists. Groups of more than four can compose their own tour and can choose their own starting date of the tour. The difficulty of access to the area demands relatively long boat trips.