Andes mountains cloaked in cloud forest is in our opinion, a must see and a must experience of Ecuador. Just for the scenery, these precious areas are spectacular, providing perhaps the most rich and impressive of Ecuador's Andean vistas.
Birdlife and flora at these altitudes is abundant and often easier to see in detail than in the lowland Amazon. For birdwatching, the abundant hummingbirds will occupy much of your initial attention. These can fly very close, but taking a good photograph - well, take plenty, because they can dart out of frame well before you have managed to focus and shoot.
Another bird we like to focus on in this area is the Andean Cock of the Rock. This is South America's answer to Birds of Paradise on the island of New Guinea. Like a Bird of Paradise, a male Cock of the Rock is very eye-catching, with its bright orange-red head, shoulders and chest. Early in the morning and late afternoon, Cocks of the Rock will take to their favourite boughs to show off with fluttering of wings and calls. The day we go in search, we will get you into position very early, in the hope of seeing this unique spectacle.
Of other birds, Masked Trogons, Plate-billed Mountain Toucans, Blue-wing Mountain Tanagers and Toucan Barbets are some of the many attractive species your experienced birding guide on location will try to help you see. Your guide will also be able to introduce to you a botanical display second to none on our Planet. The Tropical Andes is simply the most diverse place on Earth, with different species existing at all altitudes on the mountainsides over which you cast your eyes. Wild orchids, bromeliads, mosses, tree ferns and lianas, all hang from a canopy of tall tropical trees. In contrast to lowland rainforest, the steep nature of terrain up here provides views from above, below and within the forest canopy.
Mammals are in fewer supply than in the lowlands, but species you might see include Kinkajous, Andean White-eared Opossums, Red-tailed Squirrels and an animal called an Olinguito (Bassaricyon neblina). Described for the first time in 2013, this was the first new carnivore to be identified in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years and it is sometimes seen in these very forests.
These tailor-made 3 day journeys can be shorted to 1 or 2 days, or extended in order to see more of the fantastic life and scenery of the Choco-Andes. Whilst as standard we transport you to and from the area from Quito, we can also do so privately from Quito airport and any other location within the country, or provide a guide on how to reach the start point of your experience by self-drive.
(3 days Quito to Quito)
Single person: add US$95
(2 days Quito - Quito)
Single: add US$125
Transportation starting and ending hotel in Quito
Superior room accommodation with en-suite facilities
3 meals per day
Transfers from Quito airport or other locations (please enquire)