The bird-rich country of Ecuador has always had a lot to offer the travelling birder and our tour to Southern Ecuador will fill in many gaps in your lifelist with numerous rare, exciting and seldom-seen species. Our tour is designed to find some of the very special birds of this region including the Tumbesian endemics, with many localised species not seen on other regular birding routes in Ecuador. With the skills of our knowledgable local guide, Juan Carlos Calvachi, we will be looking for incredible birds such as El Oro Parakeet, Jocotoco Antpitta, Fiery-throated Fruiteater, Chestnut-bellied Cotinga, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Orange-throated and Black-and-white Tanagers and so many others amongst a host of other highly localised and sought-after species. We will begin in Guayaquil and make our way across hidden Andean valleys, Amazonian lowlands, moss-encrusted and epiphyte-laden cloud forests and even explore the arid regions in the south of this amazing country. Starting at the Santa Elena Peninsula will give us a great insight into birds of the coastal regions, before visiting the awesome Buenaventura Reserve for species such as the rare El Oro Parakeet and Long-wattled Umbrellabird. An exciting morning from here will see us head up to over 3000m to see Blue-throated Hillstar - only recently discovered in 2017. Jorupe Reserve is next with Ecuadorian Piculet, Watkin's Antpitta, Tumbes Pewee, and the incredible Rainbow Starfrontlet amongst many others. Utuana and Taipichalaca Reserves are next and we should encounter the incomparable Jocotoco Antpitta here. Continuing to Loja and Yankuam Lodge we will search for Orange-throated Tanager before visiting Copalinga Lodge & Podocarpus National Park where Chestnut-bellied Cotinga is a big target for us amongst a huge list of incredibly rare and localised species. We will also make a diversion for the endemic Pale-headed Brush-Finch before ending this superb tour amidst the paramo of El Cajas National Park where species such as Ecuadorian Rail, Violet-throated Metaltail and Ecuadorian Hillstar reside. By staying in many of the Jocotoco Foundations lodges we will help support vital conservation projects in the region and do our small part in encouraging these local initiatives.

Tues 3rd - Weds 18th December 2024   


Here are just a few of the key species we will be targetting on this tour:

  • Pale-browed Tinamou
  • Grey Tinamou
  • Rufous-headed Chachalaca
  • Rufous-necked Wood-Rail
  • White-throated Screech-Owl
  • Pacific Pygmy Owl
  • West Peruvian Pygmy Owl
  • Buff-fronted Owl
  • El Oro Parakeet
  • White-breasted Parakeet
  • Ecuadorian Piculet
  • Guayaquil Woodpecker
  • Baron’s Hermit
  • Neblina Metaltail
  • Violet-throated Metaltail
  • Tumbes Hummingbird
  • Ecuadorian Hillstar
  • Blue-throated Hillstar
  • Esmereldas Antbird
  • Scaled Antpitta      
  • Jocotoco Antpitta
  • Crescent-faced Antpitta
  • Chestnut-naped Antpitta
  • Chapman’s Antshrike
  • Barred Antthrush
  • Long-wattled Umbrellabird
  • Chestnut-bellied Cotinga
  • Necklaced Spinetail
  • Foothill Elaenia
  • Pacific Royal Flycatcher
  • Orange-banded Flycatcher
  • Loja Tyrannulet
  • White-tailed Jay
  • Elegant Crescentchest
  • El Oro Tapaculo
  • Chusquea Tapaculo
  • White-edged Oriole
  • Plumbeous-backed Thrush
  • Marañon Thrush
  • Black-crested Tit-Tyrant
  • Tit-like Dacnis
  • Plushcap
  • Pale-headed Brushfinch
  • Black-and-white Tanager
  • White-capped Tanager
  • Blue-browed Tanager
  • Black-capped Sparrow
  • Tumbes Sparrow
  • Sulphur-throated Finch
Blue-throated Hillstar
Blue-throated Hillstar

Leaders:  Nick Bray and Juan Carlos Calvachi.

Ground Price:  £4850.00  - Guayaquil/Guayaquil

Airfare: £900.00 - £1200.00  (Approx) - UK/UK

Single supplement: £450.00

Deposit: £500.00

Group size:  Minimum of 4 and maximum 8.

Included in cost:  Accommodation in twin/single rooms en-suite throughout, all meals from dinner on Day 1 to lunch on Day 16, bottled water, all ground transport, all reserve entrance fees, and services of English-speaking guides.

Not included:  International airfare, insurance, drinks, tips and items of a personal nature. 

Accommodation:  We will stay at a variety of lodges, purposely picked to give us easy access to the birding sites. All of them are comfortable with en-suite facilities.

Tour Code:   This is a reasonably relaxed birding tour for all levels of ability and fitness. Leisurely walking, very occasionally over moderately rough terrain, is the only physical requirement on most days. Most of our birding is along well marked trails or roads, but we will need to walk between 3 – 6 kilometres on a couple of occasions to get to the correct sites to see some of the harder specialities and other local specialities or to explore some of the sites. The weather at this time of the year is generally warm in the lower areas, but some showers could occur in the cloud forest. At the higher areas, it will be cold..

rufous-headed pygmy-tyrant
Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant