Northern Ecuador 2016: East and West Slopes of The Andes; & Sacha Lodge

November 06 - 21, 2016
Tour Length: 16 days Est. Spaces Left: 8

We visit the most interesting and popular birding destinations  in Ecuador including Mindo, Sacha Lodge in the Amazon Basin, Papallacta, Wild Sumaco. Our guide is one of the most experienced and accomplished experts in Ecuador.


No Tour Extensions Listed.
Future Departures:
November 04, 2016
Tour Leaders:
Max # Birders:
Birds; Photography;
Easy to Moderate ; a couple of fairly strenuous hikes.
Double Accommodation:
$ 5400
[per person]
Single Supplement:
+ $ 650
$500.00 [per person]

A  birder in Ecuador can find more than 600 species of birds out of the 1700 recorded in this small country.  Many of these are amongst the most colorful in the world. Ecuador’s Amazon basin alone boasts more than 600 species. Nowhere else can provide such species diversity in such a small land area, for Ecuador is a tiny country, roughly equal in size to the U.S. state of Colorado. It also has a fairly well-developed road system offering easy access to the best birding areas. Last, but not least, recent years have seen a steady increase in the availability of good-quality eco-lodges.

We expect to see many of the range-restricted species of Ecuador, since we visit both slopes of the Andes and the Amazon Basin. The Sacha canopy walk offers views that are truly spectacular and the stay at Sacha includes a boat trip up the Napo River to the famous parrot lick.

We have a superb local guide in Juan Carlos Calvachi. He was a protégé of Paul Greenfield, co-author of Birds of Ecuador, and led many trips with him. He now has his own guiding business and is one of the most accomplished guides in Ecuador, speaking fluent English. All in all, this promises to be the trip of a lifetime for many of our customers, as it has been for their predecessors in recent years.

“Northern Ecuador: We loved all of it…except that part when we had to leave. From the moment we were greeted by Juan Carlos at the airport with “You two look like birders to me” it was amazing. The food and wine were fantastic, rooms were very comfortable. Each day we felt as if we were waking up in some mythical, magical place where fantastic creatures were just waiting to be seen. With a final trip list of around 627 birds the highlights would take pages to list. Striolated Puffbird, Ocellated Tapaculo, Collared Plover on a Napo River Island, Rose-face Parrot, Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, all the beautiful hummingbirds and Tanagers…the list goes on and on. Giant, Ochre-breasted, Moustached and Yellow-bellied Antpitta, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Orange-breasted Fruiteaters all in one morning combined with a fantastic home cooked hot breakfast at Refugio paz de aves was one of my personal favorite days. This was our sixth trip with High Lonesome…we can hardly wait for the 2013 Southern Ecuador trip!” — P & P, La Veta, Colorado


  • Meeting Location



    Comfortable lodges.



    Tips to guides (optional), personal expenses,
    departure tax from Ecuador (about US$44, but some
    airlines absorb this. Departure tax has to be paid at the
    airport). Air to Quito from US, alcoholic beverages.

  • Top Birds

    Andean Condor, Zigzag & Agami Heron, Hoatzin, Black-faced Ibis, Andean Teal, Ecuadorian Rail, Dark-backed Wood Quail, Andean Coot, Silvery Grebe, Sungrebe, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Andean Guan, Plumbeous Forest Falcon, Rose-faced Parrot, Chocó Toucan, Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, Ivory-billed & Many-banded Aracari, Toucan & Orange-fronted Barbet, Crested & Golden-headed Quetzal, Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Spangled & Black-tipped Cotinga, Black-capped Becard, White-faced Nunbird, Brown Nunlet, Cloud Forest Pygmy Owl, Black-winged Ground Dove, Dusky Pigeon, Chocó & Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Black-striped Woodcreeper, Giant, Yellow-breasted & Moustached Antipitta, Esmeraldas, Immaculate, Stub-tailed, Banded & Black-and-white Antbird, Castlenau’s Antshrike, Checker-throated & Rufous-rumped Antwren, Club-winged, Golden-winged, Orange-crested, Wire-tailed, Blue-crowned & Blue-backed Manakin, Black-spotted & Reddish-winged Bare-eye, Purplish & Yellow-billed Jacamar, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Chestnut-belted Gnateater, Nariño Tapaculo, Crested & Russet-backed Oropendola, Double-banded Greytail, Lanceolated Monklet, Slate-throated Gnatcatcher, Scarlet-breasted & Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Scarlet-and-white, Golden-hooded, Scarlet-browed, Emerald, Rufous-winged, Rufous-throated, Moss-backed & Blue-whiskered Tanager, Yellow-collared Cholorophonia, Chocó Warbler, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Purple-chested Hummingbird, Many-striped & Streak-backed Canastero, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Plumbeous Sierra Finch, Slender-footed Tyrannulet, Black-tailed Tityra, Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher, Dusky-capped Greenlet

    Top Mammals

    Spectacled Bear (rare)

    Habitats Covered

    Amazon rainforest, Andean Paramo, Andean temperate forest, Cloud forest.

    Expected Climate

    Warm to hot and humid.

  • Other Attractions

    Mindo Valley, Antisana Volcano, canopy walk at Sacha Lodge, Napo River. Excellent photographic opportunities.

    Suggested Clothing & Gear
    • Valid, current passport (w/ 4 blank pages)
    • Credit cards / cash
    • Binoculars
    • Scope and tripod (optional)
    • Sunglasses and sunscreen
    • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
    • Water bottle
    • Small umbrella
    • Small day pack / fanny pack
    • Small flashlight
    • Mosquito/insect repellant (DEET 25% or greater)
    • Itch relief cream
    • Lip screen/balm
    • Prescription drugs - carry in original packaging to avoid customs problems
    • OTC medicines (antibiotics, cold/sinus, cough drops, eye drops, analgesic (Motrin, aspirin), anti-diarrheal)
    • Toiletries
    • Hair Dryer
    • Small alarm clock
    • Cleaning fluids/cloths/drying cloths
    • Field guides
    • Note pads/pens (we provide trip checklists)
    • Hiking Boots/Shoes
    • Lightweight shoes/sneakers/sandals
    • Light-weight long pants
    • Light-weight long-sleeved shirts
    • Hat with brim/visor
    • Safari (e.g., Tilly) hat
    • Rain jacket/wind breaker
    • Shorts
    • T-shirts
    • Swimsuit
    • Medium-weight jacket
    • Rain hat
    • PJs or shorts for lounging/sleeping
    • Moleskin for blisters
    • Foot powder for drying
    • Handkerchiefs or tissues
    Recommended Reading
    • A Neotropical Companion (second edition)

      John Kricher (1997)
      Princeton University Press
    • The Birds of Ecuador

      Ridgely & Greenfield



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