Wild Ecuador Off the Beaten Track

14 Days from £6185 per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you
14 Days
Tailor-Made Tour
Birding
Off The Beaten Track

This extraordinary itinerary, ideal for keen birders and general wildlife lovers alike, takes you on a journey of discovery through some of the wildest and most beautiful temperate, cloud and rain forests in South America. By combining both the western and eastern slopes of the magnificent Andes range, you are exposed to the full diversity of specialist birds inhabiting a range of altitudes, as well as rare mammals such as the recently discovered olinguito, a relative of the nocturnal kinkajou. Those regions combined with a fine selection of well-run wilderness lodges amount to a mainland wildlife tour of profound depth and diversity, which we commend to you wholeheartedly.

Itinerary

Price from £6185 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms

Day 1 - Depart UK

Morning departure from London and fly to Quito. Late afternoon arrival and transfer to lodge.

Staying at Guango Lodge. Includes Dinner.

Day 2 - Guango Lodge

Morning of guided activities in the temperate forest that surrounds the lodge. The lodge is at an altitude of 2,700 metres on the eastern slopes of the Andes. There are some excellent birdwatching opportunities here: a highlight is the hummingbird feeders that attract up to 15 species of those wonderful birds. Later in the day transfer to Cabañas San Isidro lodge.

Staying at Cabañas San Isidro Reserve. Includes All Meals.

Day 3 - San Isidro Reserve

Full day of guided excursions in the Cabañas San Isidro Reserve. The Reserve has a network of well-maintained trails and at an altitude of 2,050m, is a natural eco tone between the Amazonian and cloud forest ecosystems. The reserve has some very exciting resident wildlife including occasional sightings of rare mammals such as mountain tapir, night monkeys and margays and offers excellent bird watching.

Staying at Cabañas San Isidro. Includes All Meals.

Day 4 - Wildsumaco Wildlife Sanctuary

Transfer to Wildsumaco Lodge, at an altitude of 1480m through spectacular cloud forest scenery. The lodge is near to the Sumaco National Park and the humid forest here remains in a pristine state and offers some of the finest bird watching on the Eastern slopes of the Andes.

Staying at Wildsumaco Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 5 - Wildsumaco Wildlife Sanctuary

A full day of guided excursions in the Wildsumaco Wildlife Sanctuary and Sumaco National Park. The bird life includes cloud forest and Andean foothill specialities as well as Amazonian species: over 500 species have been recorded in the area. There are some exciting mammals such as margay, puma, greater grison and spectacled bear, all of which have been recorded on camera traps. More commonly seen mammals are the Napo tamarins and kinkajous.

Staying at Wildsumaco Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 6 - Napo Wildlife Center

Transfer to Coca, and board boat down the Napo river looking for wildlife including troops of squirrel and capuchin monkeys, herons, kingfishers, macaws and toucans to the excellent Napo Wildlife Center lodge.

Staying at Napo Wildlife Center. Includes All Meals.

Day 7 - Napo Wildlife Center

Full day of small group guided activities around the Napo Wildlife Center. Activities could include a visit to a large parrot clay lick, a walk through the forest to visit the Kichwa community of Añangu and maybe join in with their daily activities. Climb to the top of the 36-metre high canopy tower to observe the different structures of the forest as you ascend and the wildlife which inhabits the treetops. Afternoon guided trail walking will give a chance to find primates such as the endemic golden-mantled tamarin in the forest and giant otters on the nearby lake.

Staying at Napo Wildlife Center. Includes All Meals.

Day 8 - Napo Wildlife Center

Another day of guided activities at the Napo Wildlife Center.

Staying at Napo Wildlife Center. Includes All Meals.

Day 9 - Maquipucuna

Transfer to Coca and catch flight to Quito. Met on arrival and transfer to Maquipucuna on the western slope of the Andes.

Staying at Maquipucuna Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 10 - Maquipucuna

Full day of guided activities in the reserve. There are many trails to explore here and a wealth of cloud forest biodiversity to see, including orchids, specialist birds and spectacled bears. During the fruiting season of the aguacatillo tree, several of the rare but charismatic bears can be watched feeding on the succulent fruits in the trees above the trails.

Staying at Maquipucuna Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 11 - Bellavista Reserve

After a last early morning walk in the reserve, transfer to Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. The lodge is nestled high up in an area of beautiful cloud forest on the edge of the Choco/Andean biodiversity hotspot and is home to many exciting species. A nocturnal attraction is the visit from two species of frugivorous carnivore, the kinkajou and its newly described relative the olinguito, which visit banana feeders in the gardens each night. The olinguito was only described as a new species in August 2013 and as yet very little is known about it in the wild.

Staying at Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 12 - Bellavista Reserve

Full day of guided activities within the Bellavista area including an early morning visit to Refugio Angel Paz to see the lek (mating ground) of the brightly coloured Andean cock-of-the-rock. Many other beautiful cloud forest birds can be seen here including normally very shy antpittas (giant, yellow-breasted and moustached) which often feed from the track in front of visitors. There are also many other trails through the main reserve to explore. After dinner, enjoy another evening of watching the olinguito and kinkajou at night.

Staying at Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 13 - Return to the UK

Transfer to Quito airport and catch early evening flight back to the UK

Includes Breakfast.

Day 14 - Arrive UK

Includes In-flight Meals.

Travel Info

Are Flights Included?
Yes

Flight Info:
Fly from London to Quito on Iberia Airlines via Madrid or KLM via Amsterdam.

Area Specialist

John Melton
specialist_john-melton

Finish or start with a cruise to the unique Galapagos Islands to see the endemic wildlife and volcanic landscapes of this famous archipelago.

For the very best chances to see spectacled bears at Maquipucuna visit in late November or early December.

If you have any queries about this tour please feel free to call me directly on +44 (0)1803 866965 or...

Having never been on a tailor-made holiday we were extremely impressed with how smoothly our holiday went and it made our honeymoon much more enjoyable not to have to worry about the transfers. However, what impressed us most about your company was the helpfulness before we booked. Jonathan Morris was extremely helpful and suggested what we could afford on our budget and sent us a sample itinerary. . .This contrasted with a few other companies we contacted who told us that we could not afford a tailor-made Galapagos trip and would not even discuss it further. We had many emails and telephone conversations with Jonathan and were extremely impressed with the information and assistance he gave us.

Dr R M — Berkshire

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Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge: -0.016140, -78.681130
Napo Wildlife Centre: -0.523806, -76.439912
Wildsumaco Lodge: -0.642056, -77.544926
Maquipucuna Lodge: 0.123952, -78.630032
Cabanas San Isidro Lodge: -0.591131, -77.880882
Guango Lodge: -0.378000, -78.075021