• birding tours

Birding & Photography - 14 Day ECUADOR

With an impressive 1600+ bird species Ecuador is internationally known as one of the ultimate birding destinations. The country straddles the equator on South America’s west coast. Its diverse landscape encompasses Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the wildlife-rich Galápagos Islands. In the Andean foothills at an elevation of 2,850m lies Quito, the capital, from where our trip will both commence and end.

Our Specialist Birding Photography focused trip in Ecuador includes:
- a highly recommended, experienced and knowledgeable local
photographer and bird guide to guide you through photography
challenges like backlit forest canopies and the low light forest floor
- four unique photographic insect & fruit photography hides/blinds
- hummingbird remote flash photography training
- macro photography training
- close-up photographic encounters
- incredible landscape photographic opportunities

Multiple visits to Ecuador is needed to explore all of it's diverse habitats. On this trip we will focus on central Ecuador and you will be introduced to some of the enigmatic and well sought-after species at close quarters.

Itinerary below



Day 1 Arrival and Puembo

Arrival 14:00 and transfer in to Puembo Birding Garden. This is an unique hotel near Quito with bird feeders that attract a variety of special species.

*Some flights to Quito arrive late night. If you need help with arranging additional accommodation for the night before commencing of the tour please let us know.

Target birds:Blue and yellow Tanager, Scrub Tanager, Saffron Finch, Sparkling Violetear, Vermilion Flycatcher, Blue gray Tanager, Black-tailed Trainbearer hummingbird

Day 2 Sachatamia - Yanacocha Reserve

Our adventure starts early in the morning towards the northwest of Pichincha where we will visit a cloud forest reserve. Our focus will be on hummingbirds and mountain tanagers.

Target birds: Sword-billed hummingbird, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Black-cheeked Mountain-Tanager, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Shining Sunbeam, Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Andean Guan, Tyrian Metal-tail.

Day 3 Sachatamia

We will have a full day of photography in our lodge at Sachatamia. We will visit a photographic hide with a moth feeder and focus on remote multi-flash hummingbird photography.

Target birds: Rufous-breasted Ant-thrush, Masked Trogon, Golden-crowned Flycatcher, Beryl-spangled Tanager, Booted Racket-tail, Violet-tailed Sylph, Velvet-purple Coronet, Collared Inca, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Ornate Flycatcher

Day 4 San Tadeo

Today we will visit San Tadeo and photograph using two hides. One hide with a banana feeder and another with a moth feeder. We will also photograph at a station with hummingbird feeders.

Target birds: Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Masked Flowerpiercer, Flame-faced Tanager, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Hoary Puffleg, White-necked Jacobin.

Day 5 Mashpi

This must be one of the best places to photograph some of the rare and very colourful species.

Target birds: Toucan Barbet, Glistening-green Tanager, Moss-backed Tanager, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Orange-breasted Fruiteater.

Day 6 Angel Paz and Alambi

Angel Paz is famous for feeding of rare birds such as the Antpittas. Here we will also visit a Cock of the Rock Lek. In the afternoon we are going to visit Alambi, one of the best places for hummingbird sightings In Ecuador.

Target birds: Cock-of-the-rock, Rufous-fronted Wood-Quail, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Moustached Antpitta, Ochre-breasted Antpitta, Green-crowned woodnymph, Tawny-bellied Hermit, White-whiskered Hermit.

Day 7 Antisana

The Antisana Reserve is probably one of the best places for wildlife photography in the Ecuadorian Andes. We will also have opportunities to photograph landscapes and birds of prey.

Target birds: Andean condor, Black-faced Ibis, Variable Hawk, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Giant Hummingbird, Carunculated Caracara, Curve-billed Tinamou, Andean Lapwing

Day 8 Antisana to La Mana

Today we will drive to La Maná. En route we will visit the Quilotoa lagoon considered one of the 10 most beautiful sites in the world. In the afternoon we will arrive at La Maná which is very special not only for birds but also for amphibians and reptiles with ample opportunities for macro-photography.

Day 9 and 10 La Mana

We will have plenty of opportunities to photograph wildlife today. We will also visit an excellent hide which keep the record that more than 60 species of birds have been sighted here.

Target birds: White-tailed Trogon, Rufous Motmot, Green Honeycreeper, Red-headed Barbet, White-throated Crake, Collared Aracari, Blue-necked Tanager, Tropical Parula, Silver-throated Tanager.

Day 11 La Maná to Baños

More birding in La Mana before we depart for our drive to Baños

Day 12 Baños

We will visit a Lek of the Cock of the Rock that will give us even better photographic opportunities than before with this attractive species. One can get a mere 6 - 8 meters away from some individuals. The place also has a banana feeder that attracts a variety of fruit eaters.

Target birds: Cock of the Rock, Inca Jay, Subtropical Cacique, Russet-backed Oropendola, Thick-billed Euphonia, Black-billed Thrush, Bay-headed Tanager.

Day 13 Baños – Cotopaxi - Puembo

Cotopaxi National Park is one of the most beautiful reserves of the Ecuadorian Andes, here we will enjoy beautiful landscapes and see some of Ecuador's enigmatic birds

Target birds: Ecuadorian Hillstar, Andean Tit-spinetail, Andean Duck, Brown-backed Chat-tyrant, Andean Teal.

Day 14 Puembo and departure

A leisure morning of birding on the grounds and after breakfast your transfer to the airport.

*Some flights from Quito depart late night. If you need help with arranging additional accommodation near the airport for the night after completion of the tour please let us know.