Best Trips ~ Best Value!    888.875.9453

Ecuador with Eagle Optics and Swarovski – $250 Price Cut!

Sorry, this tour has come and gone. However, please ask for information on the next Eagle Optics/Swarovski Tour in 2017!

Crimson-mantled Woodpecker

Crimson-mantled Woodpecker

Enjoy beautiful high mountain vistas, snow-capped volcanos and cloud forests rich with birds, flowers and other wonderful surprises! Over 1600 species of birds, 130 species of them hummingbirds, have been recorded in Ecuador, and we will seek as many as possible.

Our itinerary will include high quality lodges and hotels across the northern section of the Ecuadorian Andes. Our birding locations will be in cloud forest from 4500 ft up to above tree line in the Paramo at 12,000 ft. We will spend one day at a lower elevation reserve, too. We could see 50+ species of hummingbirds alone!

Most lodges offer stationary feeder sites as well as wildflower and garden locations in order to find the most species and even get some good photo opportunities with cameras and digiscoping.
Clay Taylor is an expert digiscoper and will share his knowledge with anyone interested!

This trip is designed for any level of birding knowledge from beginner to expert. We will seek not only birds, but all forms of wildlife including butterflies, dragonflies, mammals, reptiles and amphibians… but especially birds.

Rufous-bellied Seed-snipe

Rufous-bellied Seed-snipe

  • Tour Cost
  • 9 Day/8 Nights 


    2015 Cost

    $2950 from Quito, Ecuador (reduced to $2700 if booked by July 15, 2015)

    Prices per person, double occupancy.



    A deposit of $500 is required to hold your space. You may register with credit card on-line using the form to the right, or download the registration form and mail it with a check or call toll free 888.875.9453 with your credit card.


    Final Payment

    Final payment by check required 120 days prior to departure date.


    Single Room

    If a single room is preferred, or a roommate is not available, a single supplement fee of $500 will be assessed for the trip.


    Included in the Tour Cost

    All ground transportation from Quito, Ecuador. All accommodations. All meals from breakfast on first full day through breakfast on departure day. All entrance fees and guide fees. Tips for meal service.


    Not Included in the Tour Cost

    International air travel, passport fees, luggage fees, trip insurance, alcoholic beverages, departure taxes, phone calls, laundry, or other items of a personal nature.

  • Itinerary


    Day 1 - Hotel Quito
    We will meet you at the airport and transfer to your hotel.


    Day 2 - Sachatamia Lodge
    After breakfast we will drive to Yanacocha Reserve At 11,483 feet. Yanacocha is famous for its high-elevation specialties, and we will spend the morning birding the Trocha Inca Trail. Here we will see at least ten species of hummingbirds, and the mixed feeding flocks we will encounter will add many more tantalizing birds to the list! We’ll seek Barred Fruiteater, Great Sapphirewing, Golden-breasted Pufflegs and much more. We will enjoy a picnic lunch while taking in the grandiose montane vista, after which we will begin the drive to Mindo via the Old Nono Mindo Road, photographing along the way. This road offers spectacular views of the forest and excellent birds. We will then arrive at the Sachatamia Lodge in Mindo, where we will spend the next four nights.


    Day 3 - Sachatamia Lodge
    After an early breakfast we will drive to the Tandayapa Valley, where the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve is located. Our target colorful birds will include Plate-billed Mountain Toucan and Toucan Barbet. After lunch, we will relax by the feeders and enjoy up to 20 species of hummingbirds, including Brown and Collared Incas, Violet-tailed Sylph, and Booted Rackettail.


    Day 4 - Sachatamia Lodge
    Early this morning we will drive to Paz de las Antpittas Reserve to observe the incredibly bright Andean Cock of the Rocks at their lek, where males assemble during the mating season and engage in competitive displays to attract females… a great time to try some video! Afterward we will join Angel (the owner of the reserve) as he draws his “charges” for breakfast. Maria the Giant Antpitta, Willi the Yellow-breasted Antpitta, and Susan the Moustached Antpitta should be seen along with some great surprises. We will enjoy breakfast before heading back to the lodge.

    After lunch we will have time to “chill out” before visiting the Milpe Sanctuary in the afternoon to search for birds and butterflies.


    Day 5 - Sachatamia Lodge
    After an early breakfast, we will drive downslope to the Silanche Reserve. At 1000 feet, this is the lowest elevation we will visit, and we will spend a few hours at the Canopy Tower looking for Choco endemics such as Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Blue-whiskered Tanagers and Scarlet-browed Tanager plus many butterflies.


    Day 6 - Hotel Quito
    Today we will visit a fairly new reserve—the best place to see the Moss backed Tanager, Indigo Flowerpiercer, Black solitaire and more. After a good morning, we will travel an hour’s drive to the Oilbird Cave in hopes of seeing this enigmatic bird! In the afternoon we will drive to Quito.


    Day 7 - Guango Lodge
    After breakfast, we will head for Antizana National Park where we will search for Andean Condor and other paramo specialties. On our way to Papallacta Pass we will target the Giant Hummingbird, which feeds on the strange Puya Puya plant, we will enjoy our picnic lunch in the field and then cross the Andes at about 14,000 feet to get to Guango Lodge, with many wonderful vistas along the way.


    Day 8 - Hotel Quito
    The feeders at Guango allow “in-your-face” views of many highly sought-after hummingbirds, star among which is the amazing Sword-billed Hummingbird! Other special hummers include Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Mountain Velvetbreast, Tourlamine Sunangel, and Mountain Avocetbill. We will walk the nearby trails looking for mixed flocks and also check the Papallacta River for Torrent Duck and White-capped Dipper.

    From the Lodge we will drive back through the pass and look for Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe and the Ecuadorian Hillstar. Afterwards we will explore the unique Polylepis Forest (the only tree hardy enough to grow at an altitudes over 9500 feet) and look for mixed flocks which will hopefully will include such sought-after Giant Conebill.


    Day 9 Return Home

  • Accommodations
  • Sachatamia Lodge

    Sachatamia is a marvelous, private, ecological reserve exceeding 120 hectares of cloud-rain forest. Other areas include recuperated forest, as well as, forest undergoing processes of reforestation.


    Sachatamia has the privilege of being located next to the Procted Forest of Mindo-Nambillo. The zone is renowed as one of the foremost in terms of the wealth of biodiversity that is rich in flora and fauna. it has attained first place in the annual count of bird species on a global level.


    Serenity. Peace. Spiritual Balance. The natural paradaise of Sachatamia offers an undisturbed world where guests can escape from noise, pollution and stress imposed by larger cities.


    Whether your visit is short or long, it will be sure to rejuvenate your senses.


    Sachatamia Lodge room

    Shachatamia pool

    Sachatamia lobby


    Guango Lodge

    Guango Lodge is located on private property surrounded by temperate forest teeming with flocks of birds. "Guango" in the Quichua language means "a place of great mountains that crisscross, whose waters concur to form mighty rivers in deep valleys covered by the cloud forest of the Andean slopes, under an ever-changing climate and a typical drizzle".


    This combination of geographic and climatic factors makes Guango a true gateway to the rainforests to the east or west. Guango has always been a necessary stop along the traditional route from Quito to the Napo River and remains one to this day. As part of the Papallacta region, Guango is the central point between the cold forest and Andean highlands and also between the Amazonian ethnic groups and Quito.


    Guango front

    guango-lodge room