The Birds, Bugs & Wildlife of Ecuador’s Amazon & Cloud Forests – With George McGavin.

# Group Tour

The Birds, Bugs & Wildlife of Ecuador’s Amazon & Cloud Forests – With George McGavin.

14 Days from £5118 per adult.
14 Days
Group Tour
Birding
Off The Beaten Track

Known mainly as an ardent entomologist, George McGavin also has a deep interest in general zoology and ecology.  After 25 years as an academic at Oxford University, George became a television presenter, chiefly for the BBC taking him all around the world.

George’s boundless enthusiasm, energy and charm are clearly evident from his TV appearances and he will certainly bring those qualities to bear when helping the group members to observe the abundant wildlife to be found in Ecuador.

As well as invertebrates, you should see three-toed sloths, up to eight species of monkeys, various snakes, lizards and caiman, and a great many of Ecuador’s 1,600 bird species.

Join George, a local natural history guide, and a small number of like-minded natural history enthusiasts on this uniquely enjoyable journey to the New World and come home with far more knowledge of the hidden (and more visible) wildlife of the tropics than you ever thought possible.

Click to download 2020 group details (PDF)

Itinerary

Price from £5118 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms

Day 1 - Quito

Met on arrival at QUITO airport and transfer to hotel.

Staying at Hacienda Jimenita. Includes Dinner.

Day 2 - Napo

Transfer to Quito and fly to Francisco de Orellana (aka Coca).

Met on arrival and drive to the river port. Transfer by motorised canoe along the Napo River and cruise for around two hours downstream to the lodge dock. Walk (approx. 30 mins) along boardwalks through the rainforest, accompanied by George, Roberto and local guides who will stop to spot wildlife, to Pilchicocha Lagoon. Take a short canoe trip across to Sacha Lodge, your jungle home for the next four nights.

Staying at Sacha Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 3 - Napo

Enjoy a full programme of inclusive activities accompanied by George, Roberto and the local guides from the lodge. Ecuador has one of the richest insect faunas anywhere in the world. Species to look out for include stalk-eyed flies, giant silk moths, owl butterflies, moss-mimicking stick insects, green-gold scarab beetles, assassin bugs, stingless bees - the list is endless.

Activities here will include trail hikes, excursions on the lake, and visits to the canopy walkway and observation tower. Night walks with an ultraviolet torch may reveal scorpions in a new light when you see their exoskeletons fluoresce bright blue.

Staying at Sacha Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4 - Napo

Another day of guided wildlife excursions accompanied by George, Roberto and the local guides.

Staying at Sacha Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 5 - Napo

Enjoy a final day of guided rainforest excursions accompanied by George, Roberto and the local guides.

Staying at Sacha Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 6 - Sumaco

After breakfast, paddle across the lake and walk back to the Napo River to meet your motorised canoe transportation back to Coca. Here you will board a minibus and begin your journey by road (2 hrs) into the Andean foothills.

Time permitting, begin exploring the area accompanied by George and Roberto in the late afternoon. Treehoppers are one of George’s favourite insect families and you will discover many of these marvellous masters of disguise, whose bizarre shapes can take your breath away. Roberto meanwhile will be searching for some of his avian favourites to show you.

Staying at WildSumaco Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 7 - Sumaco

Spend today exploring the area accompanied by George and Roberto looking for birds and insects. Just birding around the lodge’s deck is excellent and the street light on the driveway attracts a further variety of bird life. Hummingbird species attracted by the feeders include Napo sabrewing, Gould's jewelfront, black-throated and violet-fronted brilliant, many-spotted hummingbird, and golden-tailed sapphire. In the evening look for band-bellied and mottled owl, great potoo, and scorpions.

Staying at WildSumaco Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 8 - Sumaco

Enjoy another day exploring the area accompanied by George and Roberto.

Staying at WildSumaco Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 9 - Sumaco

A final day to explore the area accompanied by George and Roberto.

Staying at WildSumaco Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 10 - Cosanga

Say farewell to San Wildsumaco and, with packed lunch in hand, ascend the eastern side of the Cordillera Guacamayos towards the Andes with George and Roberto.

On a clear day there are wonderful views of the forested valleys stretching towards the Amazonian lowlands. En route to your next lodge perhaps explore the pristine cloud forest of the Guacamayos Ridge Trail.

The lodge is located in the heart of the wet subtropical zone at an altitude of about 2,050 metres.

Staying at Cabanas San Isidro. Includes All Meals.

Day 11 - Cosanga

Spend the day exploring the area accompanied by George and Roberto. George will be on the lookout for the harlequin beetle (Acrocinus longimanus), a huge longhorn beetle. Early naturalists thought that the ridiculously long legs of the males allowed them to swing from branch to branch but the reality is far more interesting. Other showy beetles include Euchroma gigantea, a brightly coloured jewel beetle.

San Isidro is considered to be one of the best places to go birdwatching in the rich subtropical zone which has mixed feeding flocks, a diversity of hummingbirds and many other special possibilities including masked trogon, Andean cock of the rock and powerful woodpecker. Night walks can also be arranged to search for nocturnal mammals, as well as San Isidro owl and scorpions.

Staying at Cabanas San Isidro. Includes All Meals.

Day 12 - Cosanga

Enjoy a final day exploring the area accompanied by George and Roberto

Staying at Cabanas San Isidro. Includes All Meals.

Day 13 - Quito

Continue ascending by road with George and Roberto to Guango Lodge. Here you can enjoy the stunning variety of hummingbirds that come to the lodge’s feeders. Normally 10-15 species can be seen including the incredible sword-billed hummingbird and tourmaline sunangel. Look out also for the white-capped dipper and torrent duck, often found on the river next to the lodge.

After lunch continue climbing towards the Papallacta Pass which is at an elevation of over 4,000 metres. Then continue driving over the pass and descend to your accommodation in Quito’s Los Chillos Valley. In the evening relive your wildlife adventures over a delicious farewell dinner

Staying at Hacienda Jimenita. Includes All Meals.

Day 14 - Quito

This morning is at leisure to pack, relax and explore the hotel’s 18 acres on your own. For those interested in exploring Quito’s colonial centre a guided tour can be arranged (additional cost). In the afternoon transfer to Quito Airport in time for the international flight.

Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Travel Info

Are International Flights Included?
No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Best Visited:
January to January

Area Specialist

John Melton

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

Download PDF

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George McGavin is a MUST. Hugely informative, entertaining and engaging. Also his evening presentations were well pitched and unique in my experience. He’s much more than his TV personality.

Mr M W - Maidenhead

Route Map

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Sacha Lodge: -0.471286, -76.459098
Wildsumaco Lodge: -0.642056, -77.544926
Cabanas San Isidro Lodge: -0.591131, -77.880882
Hacienda Jimenita: -0.235066, -78.349476