This itinerary with Willy Perez explores an area close to his heart, places where Willy grew up and worked. He can show you around these lush habitats of northwestern Ecuador, home to a fantastic array of birds and wildlife including a variety of antpittas, up to 30 stunning hummingbirds, and there is even a small chance of seeing a Spectacled Bear. These incredible forests boast not just one but two types of leks, with opportunities to see the extraordinary Long-wattled Umbrellabird and the magnificent Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, both very exciting species to see in full display.

Our first base for birding will be Maquipucuna Lodge, an ecotourism lodge situated in pristine cloud forest only 80 kms west from Quito. This is where Willy started his guiding career many years ago, and so he has an intimate knowledge of the surroundings, the birds, and the wildlife here. We'll spend two days searching for such unusual species as Scaled Fruiteater, Esmeraldas Antbird, Crested Guan, and Lanceolated Monklet, and during this season we can also keep an eye out for the Spectacled Bear (listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species), a mammal that Willy helped reintroduce to the wild.

We'll then head to Sachatamia Lodge, our base for four full days. We'll no doubt be mesmerized by the lodge's active tanager and hummingbird feeders that make birding very easy here. This lodge is perfectly located, serving as a gateway to explore some of the top birding sites nearby for a variety of unique birds: Moss-backed, Glistening-green Tanagers, Indigo Flowerpiercer, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, and many other birds endemic to the Choco region of northwestern Ecuador. We'll also have beautiful views over the Mindo Valley from here.

Add to your Ecuador tour
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.

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

Client comment
"This was a very good tour, and I am well pleased. Guide Willy Perez is excellent. Lively, enthusiastic, patient, informative, and generally an outgoing person, making the whole experience most enjoyable." K.B., CLOUDFORESTS OF ECUADOR 2019

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