Twelve glorious days to photograph birds in Ecuador's imposing Andean valleys, mystical could forests and deep-green tropical forests. Prepared yourself to delve into Ecuador's most biologically-diverse bird photo reserves and eco-lodges looking for endemic hummingbirds, vivid tanagers, splendid toucans, skulking antbirds, agile warblers, and, many more. 




Bird Photo Papallacta Pass & Cayambe Coca National Park:
Now that we have covered the most birdy areas of the Pacific Slope, we embark in a new journey to an essentially new world, the enchanted forests of the Upper Amazon Basin. Masked Mountain TanagerAfter breakfast we drive to the famous Papallacta Pass to seek some of the high-Andean jewels including the Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant, Bar-bellied Woodpecker, White-chinned Thistletail, Many-stripped Canastero, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Viridian Metaltail, Giant Conebill, Paramo Seedeater, Bar-winged Cinclodes, Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, and, the Plumbeous Sierra-Finch. Once we have covered the pass, we drive To Cayambe Coca National Park.

Rufous bellied Seedsnipe 2The much sought-after Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe cloaks with the vegetation at Papallacta Pass. © George Cruz

Cayambe Coca National park is a great place to do photography from the road, we will make several stops to look for incredible species like the Red-crested Cotinga, Lacrimose Mountain-Tanager,.Torrent Duck Hooded Mountain-Tanager. Black-backed Bush-Tanager, Pearled Treerunner, Blue-backed Conebill, Pale-naped Brush-Finch, and with some luck the Black-headed Hemispingus, and, the Masked Mountain-Tanager. After covering this area we descend down the beautiful valley of Guango/Baeza. On our way down we will look in Guango river for the Torrent Duck, Torrent Tyrannulet, Cinammon Flycatcher, White-capped Dipper, and with some luck the Red-Hooded Tanager, and the Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan.
Overnight: Baeza River Lodge

DAY 10

Bird Photo Baeza River Lodge
After breakfast we set-up our seventh hummingbird multi-flash station. Baeza River Lodge offers several new hummingbird species inclduing the scarce White-tailed Hillstar, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Tawny-bellied Hermit, Violet-fronted Brilliant, Bronzy Inca, and the Long-tailed Sylph. 

Inca Jay 2Our Cosanga-BAEZA RIVER LODGE is home to the noisy yet spectacular Inca Jay © Luis Alcivar

After lunch we continue shooting at our hummingbird multi-flash station or optionally we can explore the trails around the lodge which are home to incredible bird species like the Andean Motmot, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Orange-eared Tanager, Golden-eared Tanager, Crested Quetzal, Inca Jay, Turquoise Jay, and the Russet-crowned Oropendola.   
Overnight: Baeza River Lodge

DAY 11

Bird Photo Wild Sumaco
After breakfast we drive for 2 hours to Wild Sumaco. This rare transitional foothill forest will grant us a ludicrous amount of new species with. Mixed flocks at this elevation can contain fantastic species like Coppery chested Jacamar 2 the Yellow-bellied Tanager, Gray-mantled Wren, Blue-crowned Trogon, White-eyed Parakeet, Chesnut-fronted Macaw, Blue Dacnis, Olive Oropendola, Black-faced Dacnis, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Violaceous Jay, Opal-rumped Tanager, Black Caracara, Crested Oropendola, Masked Crimson-Tanager, Turquoise Tanager. Magpie Tanager, Fulvous Shrike-Tanager, Orange-eared Tanager, Flame-crested Tanager, Fulvous-crested Tanager, and, with a bit of luck, a Chestnut-capped Puffbird an even an Ornate Hawk-Eagle.

Wire crested Throntail 2The magnificent Wire-crested Thorntail thrives in the foothills of Sumaco volcano. © Luis Alcivar

Paradise TanagerWe will also have time to enjoy a couple of hummingbird feeders with brand new species including: Wire-crested Thorntail, Napo Sabrewing, Ecuadorian Piedtail, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Black-throated Brilliant, Georgeted Woodstar, Blue-fronted Lancebill, Rufous-vented Whitetip, Green Hermit, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Many-spotted Hummingbird, Gould's Jewelfront, and, Fork-tailed Woodnymph.
Overnight: Baeza River Lodge

DAY 12

Bird Photo Rio Guango:
After breakfast drive to River Guango Hummingbird Station. Here we will set-up our last hummingbird multi-flash station.Masked Trogon 4 We will photograph a handful of new hummingbird species before we return to Quito. We will go after the Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Collared Inca, Tourmaline Sunangel, Speckled Hummingibird, another chance at the Long-tailed Sylph, and, with a bit of luck the Glowing puffleg. There would be a couple of bird species in the trees around the lodge including the Masked Trogon, Spectacled Whitestart and Slaty Brush-Finch. After lunch transfer back to Quito.    
3PM: Transfer to Quito airport or to any hotel in Quito area.