South America is the richest continent in terms of biodiversity, and this is true also of birds. Country-wise, Colombia comes in first position, closely trailed by Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. However, when scaled against the size of the country, Ecuador with its 1600 species on a territory half the size of France is head and shoulders above the fold.
The political and social stability, relatively fast development, good road system and numerous quality hotels coupled with the fabulous biodiversity all contribute to make of Ecuador a prime destination for birdwatching tourism.
We concocted five tours to make the most of this great country by visiting all its major bioregions.
You will discover the avifauna of such exciting regions as the Andes, the Amazon, the coastal plains, the Chocó, the tumbesian region, the coastal wetlands or the Galapagos archipelago.
Best of the Andes (13 days). This itinerary across the northern part of the country will bring you to all the classic birding sites in the Andes, west and east of Quito. More than 400 bird species can be observed, including more than 75 hummingbirds and some of the most mythical and sought-after species in the Neotropics following this itinerary. See details.
The Amazon (13 days). This tour invites you to explore the "hotspot" of biodiversity of our planet. We will live a true ornithological orgy, first at the confluence of Andean and Amazonian influences on the Sumaco volcano's slopes and then during two stays in the lush forests of the Amazon. See details.
The remote Chocó (13 days). The Chocó bioregion covers the northwestern corner of Ecuador and southwest Colombia. While the foothill Chocó forests are somewhat resisting the rampant tree-logging and exploitation, the same sadly cannot be said of the lowlands Chocó forests which are dwindling at an alarming rate. We offer a thorough exploration of the last protected remnants of pristine lowland Chocó forests in order to uncover some of the most localized and threatened species in Ecuador. See details.
The southern endemics (19 days). Long neglected by naturalists and birders, southern Ecuador is now recognized as a major ornithological destination, where no less than 40 endemics or near-endemics shared with nearby Peru can be found. We invite you to discover these fascinating species with us. An extension of 5 days is also proposed. It will allow you to discover the xerophytic ecosystems of the coast of the Pacific Ocean north of Guayaquil. See details.
Galápagos - On Darwin's steps (10 to 16 days). The Galapagos archipelago sure lives up to its name of 'Enchanted archipelago' for the naturalist. This custom tour should allow you during several short travel options to observe the 29 endemic birds of the islands along with such iconic species as Giant tortoises, Marine iguanas and others... See details.