Southern Ecuador Birding 15 days

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Southern Ecuador Birding

From the high altitude mystical paramo of El Cajas to the Tumbesian endemic region, southern Ecuador is a birdwatching paradise awaiting your arrival. The Tumbesian region contains one of the highest concentrations of restricted bird range species in South America. 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: Guayaquil

  • Birding in the Manglares Churute Reserve
  • Visit to the Siete Cascadas (Seven Waterfalls) area

Possible spots of the day include: Horned Screamer, Pacific Parrotlet, Harri´s Hawk, Savanna Hawk, Snail Kite, Laughing Falcon, Thick-Billed Euphonia, Streaked Saltator, Ecuadorian Trogon, Short Tailed Hummingbird, Rufous Tailed Hummingbird, Roseate Spoonbill, Osprey, Neotropic Cormorant, Little Blue Heron, Cocoi Heron, Brown Pelican, Ringed Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher, Lineated Woodpecker, Spotted Sandpiper, Baron´s Hermit, Pale Mandibled Aracari, Jet Antbird, Superciliated Wren, Orange-Crowned Euphonia, Peruvian Meadowlark

Overnight: Piñas area

  • Birding in the Buenaventura Reserve
  • Visit to Jardin de los Colibries

Possible spots of the day include: Long-wattled Umbrellabird. El Oro Parakeet, Grey-backed Hawk, Grey breasted Flycatcher, Rufous-throated Tanager,   Baron’s Hermit, White-necked Jacobin, Brown Violetear, Green Thorntail, Emerald-bellied Woodnymph, Violet-bellied Hummingbird, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Andean Emerald, White-vented Plumeleteer, Green-crowned Brilliant, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Long-billed Starthroat, Purple-throated and Little Woodstar, Green Honeycreeper, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Pacific Tuftedcheek , Golden-winged Manakin, Grey-and-gold Warbler, Rufous-throated Tanager, Golden-naped Tanager, Bay-headed Tanager, Ashy-throated Bush-Tanager.

Overnight: Piñas area

  • Birding in the Jorupe Jocotoco Reserve
  • Birding in the Utuana Jocotoco Reserve

Possible spots of the day include: Speckled Hummingbird, Rainbow Starfrontlet, Purple-throated Sunangel, Green-tailed Trainbearer, Chapman´s Antshrike, Black-crested Tit-Tyrant, Jelski´s Chat-Tyrant, Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant, Silver-backed Tanager, Black-cowled Saltator, Ecuadorian Trogon, Ecuadorian Piculet, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Blackish-headed Spinetail, Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner, Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner, Red-billed Scythebill, Collared Antshrike , Tumbesian Tyrannulet, Pacific Elaenia, Tumbes Pewee, Grey-breasted Flycatcher, Sooty-crowned Flycatcher, Slaty Becard, White-tailed Jay.

Overnight: Macara area

  • Birding in the Catamayo Valley
  • Free afternoon to enjoy the tranquil valley of Vilcabamba

Possible spots of the day include: Croaking Ground-Dove ,Pacific Hornero,  Southern Beardless-Tyrannulet, Long-tailed Mockingbird, White-crested Elaenia, White-throated Tyrannulet, Vermilion Flycatcher, Fasciated Wren, Thick-billed Euphonia, Groove–billed Ani, Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Black-crested Warbler, Bananaquit, Blue-grey Tanager.

Overnight: Vilcabamba

  • Free day to rest or take advantage of local attractions such as; horse riding, cycling, hiking, massage therapy.

Overnight: Vilcabamba

  • Birding on Tapichalaca trails
  • Visit to Cerro Toledo

Possible spots of the day include: Jocotoco Antpitta, Golden-plumed Parakeets, Bearded Guan, Flame-throated Sunangel, Chestnut Breasted Coronet, Amethyst throated Sunangel, Long-tailed Sylph, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, White-bellied Woodstar, Masked Trogon, Mouse-colored Thistletail, Páramo Tapaculo, Chusquea Tapaculo, White-banded Tyrannulet, Rufous Wren, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Flame-faced Tanager, Metallic-green Tanager, Silver-backed Tanager, Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Pale-naped Brush-Finch, Spectacled Whitestart, Black-crested Warbler, Northern Mountain-Cacique.  

Overnight: Casa Simpson or Vilcabamba

  • Birding in Cajanuma
  • Walk and spot on the trails of Copalinga

Possible spots of the day include: Band-tailed Pigeon, Speckled Hummingbird, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Tyrian Metaltail, Azara’s Spinetail, Pearled Treerunner, Chusquea Tapaculo, Sierran Elaenia, White-throated Tyrannulet, Brown-capped Vireo, Brown-bellied Swallow, Blue-and-white Swallow, Rufous Wren, Grey-breasted Wood-Wren, Spectacled Whitestart, Black-crested Warbler, Masked Flowerpiercer, Blue-and-black Tanager, Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Common Bush-Tanager, Orange-bellied Euphonia.

Overnight: Copalinga or Zamora

  • Birding on the trails of Copalinga
  • Birding in the Bombuscaro area

Possible spots of the day include: Grey Tinamou, Spangled Coquette, Speckled Chachalaca, Green Hermit, Grey-chinned Hermit, Violet-fronted Brilliant, Glittering-throated Emerald, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Lineated Woodpecker, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Ecuadorian Tyrannulet, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Golden-faced Tyrannulet , Olive-striped Flycatcher, Blue-necked Tanager, Green-and-gold Tanager, Turquoise Tanager, Golden Tanager, Bay-headed Tanager, Guira Tanager, Palm Tanager, Silver-beaked Tanager, White-lined Tanager, Yellow-throated Bush-tanager, Buff-throated Saltator, Chestnut-bellied Seedeater, Yellow-browed Sparrow, Orange-billed Sparrow, Subtropical Cacique, Crested Oropendola, Russet-backed Oropendola, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Thick-billed Euphonia.

Overnight: Copalinga or Zamora area

  • Birding on the Old Zamora Road
  • Visit the Acacana area

Possible spots of the day include: Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Ecuadorian Tyrannulet, Lined Antshrike, Olivaceous Greenlet, Blue-browed Tanager, Chestnut-tipped Toucanet, Mountain Caracara.

Overnight: Saraguro – simple accommodation

  • Birding in the Huashapamba area
  • Visit the “El Chorro” waterfall in Giron

Possible spots of the day include: Crescent-faced Antpitta, Black-headed Hemispingus, Flammulated Treehunter, Glowing Puffleg, Agile Tit-Tyrant, Chestnut-bellied Cotinga, Masked Mountain-Tanager, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Peruvian Pygmy Owl, Russet-crowned Warbler.

Overnight: Hosteria in the Yunguilla valley

  • Birding in the Yunguilla Jocotoco Reserve
  • Free afternoon to enjoy the colonial city of Cuenca or thermal baths

Possible spots of the day include: Pale-headed Brush-Finch, Grey-browed Brush-Finch, Little Woodstar, Blue Seedeater, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta. Slate-throated Whitestar, Eared Dove, Amazilia Hummingbird, Azara’s   Spinetail, Southern   Beardless-Tyrannulet, Blue-and-white Swallow, Stripe-headed  Brush-Finch, Hooded Siskin.

Overnight: Cuenca

  • Birding in the Llaviuco valley
  • Birding at the Toreadora and Illincocha lakes

Possible spots of the day include: Violet-throated Metaltail, Ecuadorian Rail, Andean Ruddy-Duck, Andean Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Mouse-colored Thistletail, Tawny Antpitta, Andean Tit-Spinetail, Many-striped Canastero, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Tit-like Dacnises, Giant Conebill, Shining Sunbeam, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Plain-colored Seedeater, Superciliaried Hemispungus, Andean-tit Spinetail, Pearled Treerunner, Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan.

Overnight: Guayaquil

  • Transfer to Guayaquil airport for connections home or Galapagos extension tour (please ask for details)

Activity length: Approx 1 hr

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 $3825 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.