Based at San Isidro Lodge, an old Ecuadorian hacienda situated in the cloudforest at about 6500 feet, we'll bird Ecuador's rich eastern Andes while enjoying the delicious homecooked meals and hospitality for which the lodge is known. To the west, temperate forest leads undisturbed to distant jagged paramo cliffs, while to the south and east are the forest-cloaked knife-edge ridges of the Cordillera de Guacamayos. And the birdlist features such glamorous species as Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Black-chested Fruiteater, Bicolored Antvireo, and White-capped Tanager.

A late-afternoon hike down one of the trails leads to an Andean Cock-of-the-rock lek, and the hummingbird feeders attract a menagerie colorful enough to dazzle anyone: Bronzy and Collared incas, Long-tailed Sylph, and Fawn-breasted Brilliant. A couple of tough-to-see antpittas--the Chestnut-crowned and White-bellied--are the lodge's latest attraction; within shouting distance of the lodge dining room, the birds emerge from their dark environs to feed on worms laid out for them on the trail.

To survey the temperate-zone species in a more complete fashion, we will stop for a night at Guango Lodge, right in the heart of beautiful temperate forest. Classic Andean species here include (the rare and local) Mountain Avocetbill, Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Tyrannine Woodcreeper, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, and Slaty Brush-Finch. There is much to see and do, and our San Isidro getaway promises a delightfully exciting and diverting holiday break.

Select the KEY INFO tab or click here for our itinerary plus space requests, status, fees, limits, and guides for any departure.