Ecuador: Eastern Slope of the Andes: Jan 29—Feb 08, 2018

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Please contact us if you would like more information on upcoming departures for this tour.

Departs: Quito
Tour Limit: 8
Operations Manager: Margaret Anderson
Download Itinerary: PDF (112.9 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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Crested Quetzal

                   Crested Quetzal— Photo: David Wolf


Fabulous transect from the upper tropical foothills up through the subtropical cloud forests to the Andean páramo, with new birds in each zone, including many of the most spectacular in the Andes.

“Ecuador: Eastern Slope of the Andes” is the second of a two-part tour (preceded by “Ecuador: The Best of Amazonia”) designed to sample the magnificent avifauna of this country at two choice locations, representing very different regions. Between them they offer a full range of birding possibilities.

Without a doubt, the Andes offer the world’s most spectacular mountain birding. There are few places where birders have access to a complete cross section of these slopes, and Northeastern Ecuador is perhaps foremost among them. Working from “the bottom up to the top,” this tour makes an incredible transect, from the lush upper tropical forest in the foothills through the subtropical and temperate cloud forests to stunted alpine scrub and bunch-grass paramo. Each lodge where we stay is in a different life zone, with a different avifauna, and by the end of the trip we will have seen an amazing diversity of Andean birds. Plus, all the while we will be amidst spectacular scenery and some of the most beautiful botanical formations on earth. 

The Andes are just as complex as the lowlands, and these slopes harbor the richest montane avifauna found anywhere. Many of the birds are restricted to narrow elevational bands, not occurring above or below, so we’ll bird a variety of habitats, both from the roadsides and from trails into the lush forest interior. The hummingbirds and tanagers, two of the most colorful and entertaining groups of birds in the Neotropics, are outstanding in their diversity, and we will thrill to a wide assortment of both. The beautiful alpine paramos offer an entirely different set of species, those more typical of far southern South America, while the forested slopes are home to a plethora of little-known species. Among the long list of possibilities are such fabulous birds as Torrent Duck, Andean Condor, Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Carunculated Caracara, Sword-billed and many other hummingbirds, Crested and Golden-headed quetzals, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, antpittas, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Andean Cock-of-the-rock, and mountain-tanagers.

Accommodations range from very nice to simple-but-adequate and are all located within prime birding habitat; excellent food; midday breaks some days; birding from roads and some trails; moderate terrain; parts of two days at high elevations (to 13,000 feet).