Ecuador’s Andean Highlands
October 12-22, 2013
$2,895 per person plus airfare
Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, but it has an extraordinary range of habitats within its boundaries. One of its most exciting regions is the Andes. Forming the country’s backbone, the Andes contain over thirty volcanoes, with almost a third that are active, paramo grassland, highland lakes, and mountain slopes with tracts of elfin, temperate, and sub-tropical forests. These areas are famous for superb birding, and this eleven day tour will visit the best of them.
Our first stop will be the sub-tropical forests around Mindo, considered to be one of the most productive habitats in the neo-tropics. The rich forest is known for Black-and-Chestnut Eagle, Red-billed Parrot, Buff-tailed Coronet, Booted Racket-tail, Turquoise and Beautiful Jay, Toucan Barbet, as well as feeding flocks of tanagers, such as Blue-winged and Grass-green Tanager, and Black-chinned Mountain Tanager. We will stay at the wonderful ecolodge, Septimo Paraiso Lodge.
Next we will ascend into the highlands and Papallacta Pass (which reaches an elevation of 13,000 feet), where we have a chance of seeing Andean Condor and such specialties as Sword-billed Hummingbird and Black-billed Mountain Toucan. We will visit Guango Lodge, whose grounds could produce such specialties as Tourmaline Sunangel and Mountain Avocetbill.
Next we will visit the sub-tropical cloud forests of the eastern slope of the Andes around 7,000 feet, with the wonderful San Isidro Lodge as our base. Here we will awaken to a dawn chorus of Guans, Quetzals and Antpittas; with Speckle-faced Parrot, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Golden-eared Tanager, and Andean Potoo as some of the possible sightings in this extremely rich area. You will be led through this adventure by one of this region’s best naturalist-birding guides, Rafael Campos.
Your leader on these special tours will be our Senior Guide, Rafael Campos. Former Assistant Curator for the University of Costa Rica and Field Assistant to Gary Stiles (author of A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica), Rafa is recognized as one of Costa Rica’s finest naturalists. A Caligo Ventures tour leader for more than two decades, his Central American experience includes studies on birds, bats, and primates as well as a number of botanical surveys.
- All prices are per person based on a minimum of 2 paying participants in double occupancy.
- Single supplement price available on request.
- They include all accommodations, taxes, most meals as described in detailed itinerary, air and ground transportation, and escorted tours with English-speaking naturalist guides as indicated in the itinerary. Airfare from the U.S. is not included.