Ecuador: The Southern Andes: Aug 12—23, 2006

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Price: $3,395
Departs: Quito
Tour Limit: 7
Download Itinerary: PDF (181 KB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Paul Greenfield

Paul Greenfield grew up near New York City and became interested in birds as a child. He rec...

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Register for this Tour

Register for this tour by phone (800/328-VENT or 512/328-5221), or by downloading a tour registration form. Signed and completed forms can be faxed, mailed, or scanned and emailed to the VENT office.

Jocotoco Antpitta

Jocotoco Antpitta— Photo: Fundación Jocotoco

Some of the best birding in the entire Andean chain with tanagers and hummingbirds in abundance, very localized endemics, and a remarkable number of tough-to-find mountain birds, all in a scenic and traditional region of the country.

It is reasonable to ask "Why just Southern Ecuador for a birding trip, when there are so many other areas in Ecuador?" The simple answer is that there are almost unlimited opportunities for seeking the birds of the Andes Mountains in this region, in spectacular surroundings. The full answer to that question is quite complex, just as the region itself is, but some of the reasons include:

(1) Endemism, meaning that there are birds here that are not found anywhere else in the world. The extreme example, of course, is the Jocotoco Antpitta, not discovered to science until 1997 and still known from only one small area! Other examples include the Bearded Guan, White-necked Parakeet, and Violet-throated and Neblina metaltails;

(2) There are a surprising number of "range-restricted" species that are best found in this region and whose fate may ultimately be decided by the preservation of the forests here, including Coppery-chested Jacamar, Ecuadorian Piedtail, Equatorial Graytail, and Orange-banded Flycatcher;

(3) Many rarely-seen birds seem to be more "findable" here than elsewhere, including Black-and-Chestnut Eagle, Lanceolated Monklet, Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Barred Fruiteater, Red-hooded Tanager, Giant Conebill, Tit-like Dacnis, and Plush-capped Finch, to pick a few examples;

(4) Tanagers and hummingbirds, two of the most beautiful and appealing families of tropical birds, are especially prominent and diverse here. That in itself makes this region alluring to many of us!

Modest accommodations in cabins in the country, nice hotels in the cities; most birding on foot on little-traveled mountain roads and trails; full days afield, moderately strenuous; elevations mostly 3,000-9,000 feet with one day to 13,000 feet; climate pleasant, cool at some locales.