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MONTANE ECUADOR: Cloudforests of the Andes

Pichincha volcano seen from Yanacocha, by participant Jason Leifester
Superb Andean subtropical birding on both East and West slopes.

Here's the pitch. When it comes to avifauna, the subtropical zone of the Andes, suspended between about 4500-8000 feet, is simply one of the richest and most enjoyable areas to bird anywhere in the world. And Ecuador's subtropics offer perhaps the greatest montane birding that can be compressed into a short tour.

Here's the story. There are two cordilleras that transect most of Ecuador. These mountain barriers yield two humid subtropical slopes, one that falls away into Amazonia off the eastern cordillera and another falling toward the Pacific along the western cordillera. Eastern and western outer slopes combine to produce a staggering array of species in spectacular surroundings and ideal temperature.

Hummingbird fans!

See our
Hummer Slideshow
plus a listing of all our best itineraries for 30, 40, even 50 or more hummingbirds on a tour.

Here's the tour. We'll spend our first three days on the beautiful western slope, where Toucan Barbet, Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan, Gorgeted Sunangel, Violet-tailed Sylph, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, and other west-slope specialties are regular. Then we'll head to the eastern slope, to the fantastic San Isidro Lodge, located among Golden-headed Quetzals and White-bellied Antpittas at 6800 feet. Here we're ideally situated on a remarkable ridge that is just teeming with birds. Black-billed Mountain-Toucan (our third possible Andigena!), Slate-crowned Antpitta, colorful hummingbirds and tanagers, Greater Scythebill, and many more are all very real possibilities, and we will have three full days to enjoy this place, its gourmet meals, and courteous accommodation.

Would you like to extend your Ecuador visit with a day or more of additional birding or cultural options with a local guide? Check out the various possibilities on our Ecuador: Add to Your Tour! page.

Download an itinerary, triplist(s), request space, and see more about this tour...

Combo Tours
If you would like a longer birding holiday, some departures of this tour may be combined with:
GALAPAGOS: An Intimate Look at Darwin's Islands

Other Tours in ECUADOR

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2020 Departures
May 29 - Jun 7

2021 Departures
Jun 25 - Jul 4



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Guides for our tours
Mitch Lysinger

What to Expect
Fine to good (and rather basic) lodging, easy to moderate terrain, cool climate, moderate to high elevation.

Our staff travel agents can assist you with tour information, flight reservations and tour bookings. Contact us at (800) 728-4953
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