Ecuador (mainland and Galapagos) Birding Tours
Due to its relatively small size and the diversity of its natural habitats and unique ecosystems in the Neotropics, such as the high Andean mountains, páramos, volcanos including Cotopaxi and Chimborazo, the Pacific rainforest (Chocó), the Amazon Rainforest, and the legendary Galapagos Islands, Ecuador is one of the most megadiverse countries in the world.
With a list of 1705 bird species, 13 of them endemic to the mainland and 31 to the Galapagos Islands, and several regional endemics together with the high diversity of wildlife and flora, it has meant Ecuador has been a top location for birders and eco-travelers for at least the last 40 years. Therefore it is not surprising that the country has developed a good birding and eco-tourism infrastructure and that its facilities are pioneering in South America by offering visitors a good selection of private birding reserves, top-quality lodges, and an amazing set of hummingbird feeders all over the country. Ecuador still possesses the record for the most hummingbird species on a birding trip; an amazing 75 species have been recorded during a three-week birding tour!
Today one can reach Mariscal Sucre International Airport, serving Quito, with direct flights from several airports in the world, and after just a two-hour drive reach the world-famous Tandayapa Valley, considered one of the top 100 birding sites of the world. With species like Toucan Barbet, Andean Cock-of-the-rock, White-faced Nunbird, Choco Toucan, Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Moss-backed Tanager, Glistening-green Tanager, Club-winged Manakin, Sunbittern, Ocellated Tapaculo, Masked Trogon, Golden-headed Quetzal, plenty of striking species of hummingbirds such as Empress Brilliant, Violet-tailed Sylph, Velvet-purple Coronet, and Gorgeted Sunangel, Powerful Woodpecker, Olivaceous Piha, Dusky Pigeon, and Black-and-white Owl, to name just a few, this valley located in northern Ecuador is a true birding paradise, where you can spend a week getting lifers, taking photos, or falling in love with Neotropical birds.