Northern Ecuador Birding 9 days

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Northern Ecuador Birding

With cloud forests, paramo and Andean valleys, to mention just a few, Northern Ecuador has a fantastic diversity of eco-systems, flora, and fauna…most within easy reach of Quito. The region also lies within part of the Choco hotspot corridor of endemism. In this tour we select the highlights of this incredible birding area to provide you with an unforgettable birding experience!

Transfer to hotel and introduction to tour

Overnight: Quito

  • Morning birding on the Trocha Inca Trail at Yanacocha Reserve
  • Afternoon birding along the Old Nono Mindo Road

Possible spots of the day include: Barred Fruiteater, Great Sapphirewing, Golden breasted and Sapphire vented Pufflegs, Sword billed Hummingbirds, Torrent Duck and White-capped Dipper.

Overnight: Mindo area

  •  Cock of the Rock observation at Paz de las Aves Reserve
  •      Time to spot the beautiful Antpittas
  •      Visit to Milpe Bird Sanctuary in search of Choco endemics

Possible spots of the day include:  Andean Cock of the rock, Black-chinned Mountain Tanager, Hoary Puffleg. Moss-backed, Rufous-throated, and Glistening-green Tanagers, Club-winged Manakin, Giant Antpitta, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Moustached Antpitta.

Overnight: Quito area

  •  Birding around Antisana volcano
  •       Visit to Lake Mica

Possible spots of the day include:  Andean Condor, Black Faced Ibis, Carunculated Caracara, Many-striped Canastero, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Chestnut-winged Cinclodes, Many-striped Canastero, Plumbeous Sierra Finch, Andean Gull, Andean Lapwing, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Paramo Ground Tyrant, Paramo Pipit, Andean Coot, Andean Teals, Shining Sunbeam, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Rufous-Bellied Seedsnipe.

Overnight: Papallacta area

  •       Visit to the Elfin Forest in search of rare and endangered species
  •       Time to explore trails around Guango Lodge and along the Papallacta River

Possible spots of the day include: Masked Mountain-Tanager, Paramo Tapaculo, Agile Tit-Tyrant, Torrent Duck, White-capped Dipper, Chestnut- breasted Coronet, Mountain Velvetbreast, Tourmaline Sunangel, Mountain Avocetbill.

Overnight: Guango Lodge (or similar)

  • Birding in the temporate forest around Guango Lodge, at approx. 2800masl
  •       Try to spot the mysterious “San Isidro Owl”

Possible spots of the day include: Grey-hooded Bush Tanager, Hooded Mountain Tanager, Blue-and-black Tanager, White-banded Tyrannulet, Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant, Slaty Brush Finch, Turquoise Jay, Northern Mountain Cacique, Torrent Duck, White-capped Dipper, Torrent Tyrannulet, Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan, Andean Guan, Mountain Avocetbill, Dusky Piha, Red-hooded Tanager, mysterisous “San Isidro Owl”.

Guango is famous for hummingbirds, with the spectacular Sword-billed Hummingbird, Collared Inca, Long-tailed Sylph, Tourmaline Sunangel, Chestnut-breasted and Buff-tailed Coronets, Speckled Hummingbird, Tyrian Metaltail, White-bellied Woodstar and the scarce Glowing Puffleg all visiting the copious feeders placed around the lodge.

Overnight: Cabañas San Isidro (or similar)

  • Antpitta feeders
  • Walk and spot on the lodge trail system

Possible spots of the day include: Montane and Olive-backed Woodcreepers, Golden-crowned Flycatcher, Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher, Black-billed Peppershrike, Inca Jay, Bluish Flowerpiercer, Subtropical Cacique, White-bellied Antpitta, Peruvian Antpitta, Long-tailed Antbirds, Plain-tailed Wrens, Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonias, Quetzals, Fruiteaters, Andean Potoo, Rufous-banded Owl

Overnight: Cabañas San Isidro (or similar)

  •        Birding along the Guacamayos Ridge trail

Possible spots of the day include: Green-and-black Fruiteater, Handsome Flycatcher, Rufous Wren, Turquoise Jay, Grass-green Tanager, Northern Mountain-Cacique, Greater Scythebill, Dusky Piha, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan.

Overnight: Puembo Birding Garden (or similar)

  •      Time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of this special place (depending on flight departure time)
  •       Transfer to Quito International airport for connections home or extension tour options, including; Galapagos, the Amazon or destinations in the South.

Activity length: Approx 2 hrs (only the transfer)

We keep our itinerary pages short and sweet, please contact us for the full detailed version or with any questions you may have.

*Tailor-made itineraries are also available*

Price: from $2295 p/p
Min: 2 people/Max: 8 people


  • Private transportation
  • Bilingual guide
  • Accommodation based on double occupancy
  • Visits and excursions detailed in the itinerary
  • Breakfast is included in all packages
  • Other meals may be included, depending on your choice of package


  • International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Soft & Alcoholic drinks
  • Additional activities
  • Meals (other than breakfast), depending on your choice of package
  • Tips

Polylepis Tours

Polylepis Tours is a Tour Operator dedicated to delivering the best of Ecuador’s four regions to our clients. Bringing together the finest of our local providers, to showcase the amazing diversity that this wonderful country has to offer.