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Travel Ecuador

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Birding trip 19 days

12 nights in Andes /
3 nights in Amazon /
3 nights in the Coast


Otavalo: two nights + birds of Intag
Mindo: three nights + three birding excursions
Quito: Four Nights + Excursion Cayambe National Park and Antisana National Park
Amazon: three nights in all-in Amazon accommodation
Cuenca: three nights + two birdwatching excursions
Coast: three nights + Isla de la Plata and Los Frailes
Flights to Amazon h/t
Flight to Cuenca
All transfers with private car!

• all excursions with English speaking private guide
• all transfers with private cars!
• For info and support, you can always contact our English-speaking co-worker in Ecuador.


3 600 USD / person

based on 2 persons



4 538 USD / person

based on 2 persons


6 085 USD / person

based on 2 persons


* All hotel stays with breakfast, transfers, domestic flights and excursions as mentioned in the program.
* Lunch and dinner in accordance with the program if stated.


* Drinks, tips and expenses of a personal nature.
* International flights to and from Ecuador.
* Travel or cancellation insurance.

This is an example trip. You can adapt the order of the trip and the choice of hotels and excursions to your wishes. For example, you can combine this trip with another example trip or a subsequent cruise to the Galapagos Islands. The extensive range of hotels, excursions and cruises can be found elsewhere on this website.


Arrival in Quito
Transfer from Quito to Otavalo in Private Car
You will be picked up at the hotel (or airport) by a Spanish-speaking driver and taken to the hotel in Otavalo in a private vehicle. This drive through the Andes Mountains takes about 2 hours.

Sample Tours Birding Trip
Sample Tours Birding Trip


Acclimatization – we suggest two activities that one can perform on one’s own:
Otavalo – visit to the native market (under your own power)
This market in the Plaza de Ponchos is without a doubt the most famous indigenous market in Ecuador. You will find a huge range of artesanate there. The best day to visit this market is on Saturday. There are then 4 markets going on at the same time in different places in the city. But the artesanate market now also takes place on the other days of the week – it is much quieter then. That also has its advantages.

Hike to Peguche Waterfall (under your own power)
The 18 meter high waterfall of Peguche is located near the hotel. The local population of Otavalo celebrates the sun festival of Inti Raymi on June 21. Purification rituals are then held here for several days. The falls are located in a small nature reserve.



The birds of Intag
For this excursion, the guide will pick you up at the hotel at 04:00 in the morning and then drive to Intag together. There the driver will drop you off in the Azabi community and you will start a five hour hike through the cloud forest where you will have the chance to see different species of hummingbirds, tanagers, manakins, toukans etc. After the walk you will have a nice lunch and then you will return to the car with the guide and then drive back to Otavalo together. Difficulty: easy,
mediocre. Duration: about 6 hours. Included: English speaking guide specialized in birds, transport and lunch. What to bring: sun and rain protection, sporty footwear, water, camera and binoculars.

Transfer from Otavalo to Mindo in private vehicle
During this 3-hour drive through the Andes Mountains, you will cross the valley of Guayllabamba and pass the equatorial monument of Mitad del Mundo.


Sample Tours Birding Trip


Silanche Tower – Milpe Birding Tour
We leave at 5:00 AM by car to Silanche, from where we follow a trail through the forest and bird watch along the road to the Silanche Tower. From this lookout tower we have a beautiful view of the forest – here you can see trogons, motmots, woodpeckers, antbirds and much more. We then follow the road to Milpe where we have the opportunity to see the moss backed tanager, a very rare species. Duration: whole day. Includes: transport, lunch box, entrance fees to the reserves, English speaking bird guide who brings a telescope and binoculars (up to 2 extra pairs).


Mindo Lindo – Guacharo Birding Tour
Mindo Lindo – Guacharo Birding Tour
We depart Mindo at 6:00 AM and head towards Mindo Lindo Reserve, a great place to observe hummingbirds, tanagers, fruit eaters, and more interesting birds. Then we follow the Chontal route, which leads us to the Caves of Tayos. In the caves we can see oilbirds, a rare species that was once hunted for its oil. After leaving the caves, we follow a trail that leads through an area home to jacamars, cuckoos and manikins. Depending on the weather, we will return to Mindo between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Includes: transport, lunch box, entrance fees to the reserves, English speaking bird guide who brings a telescope and binoculars (up to 2 extra pairs).

Sample Tours Birding Trip
Sample Tours Birding Trip


Bellavista-Sachatamia Birding Tour
You leave Mindo at 05:00 in the morning. First we visit Bellavista, where we have the opportunity to see the tanager finch, the plate-billed mountain toucan, magpies, crested quetzals, tanagers and many other colorful and beautiful bird species. We then continue along the forest trails of Sachatamia, a dream place for bird watchers, where we spend the afternoon. We will be back in Mindo around 4:00 PM. Includes: transport, lunch box, entrance fees to the reserves, English speaking bird guide who brings a telescope and binoculars (up to 2 extra pairs).

Transfer from Mindo to Quito in Private Car
This private car ride takes about 2 hours.



Transfer from hotel to Quito airport in private car
You will be picked up at the hotel and taken to the airport.

Flight from Quito to Amazonia
After a 30 minute flight over the peaks of the Andes, we land in the Amazon forest, where a guide from the lodge is waiting for us?

Day 1 Amazon
The program depends on the lodge you choose – see the attached PDF at the top of this page and our page Lodges in Amazonewoud.

Sample Tours Birding Trip
Sample Tours Birding Trip


Day 2 Amazon
You follow the program of the lodge where you stay.


Day 3 Amazon
You follow the program of the lodge where you are staying.

Sample Tours Birding Trip
Sample Tours Birding Trip

DAY 10

Day 4 Amazon
You follow the program of the lodge where you are staying.

Flight from Amazon to Quito
The canoe and the plane will take you back to Quito from the lodge in a few hours.

Transfer from Quito to hotel in private car


DAY 11

Bird Watching in El Guango
The area of the Guango lodge is half an hour’s drive from Papallacta, in the direction of the Amazon forest. Here you can spot a large amount of hummingbirds. We visit the area with a local guide. This is an interesting trip for photography enthusiasts. Duration: half day. Included: Transfer from Quito H/T, local guide and entrance.

Sample Tours Birding Trip
Sample Tours Birding Trip

DAY 12

Spotting condors. Day Trip in Antisana National Park
Condors can be spotted at the foot of the Antisana Mountain in the National Park of the same name. There are also many deer, curiquingues, hummingbirds, etc. We leave the hotel at 5 in the morning and drive to the National Park from where we make several shorter trips with the guide in search of animals. Included: transport in 4WD pickup, guide, entrance to the national park, lunch box. Bring: water, rain suit, sun cream, binoculars.

DAY 13

Transfer from hotel to Quito airport in private car
Flight from Quito to Cuenca
A short flight (30 minutes) will take you to Cuenca airport without a stopover.

Sample Tours Birding Trip
Sample Tours Birding Trip

DAY 14

Cajas National Park: birdwatching
150 bird species live in the park. During this tour you can view about 45 of them. We leave at 6 am and drive to the lower part of the park, where we view about 30 species, including the Mask Trogon, the gray-breasted Mountain Toucan, etc. Then we move to the higher part ( Illincocha) where we view about 15 species, including the endemic hummingbird Tit-like Dacnis. Duration: 8 hours Includes: transport, bilingual bird guide, packed lunch

DAY 15

The valley of Yunguilla: birdwatching
We leave the hotel at 6 am and drive first to the Parque Paraiso. Then it goes southeast to the valley of Yunguilla where we view birds from the higher areas as well as from the subtropical part, including the Golden-Olive woodpecker, the Loja Hummingbird, etc. Duration: 8 hours Includes: transport, bilingual bird guide, packed lunch

Sample Tours Birding Trip
Sample Tours Birding Trip

DAY 16

Transfer from Cuenca to Puerto Lopez in private car
This scenic drive takes you from Cuenca with a local driver through the highest peaks of the Andes to sea level. You pass all climate and vegetation types along the way. You will leave in the morning from the paramo vegetation and the eucalyptus trees (around 4000 meters above sea level) to reach the beach in the afternoon among the banana plantations, kapok trees and sugar cane plantations. Not included: lunch en route. Duration: 7 hours

DAY 17

Isla de la Plata
During this trip – which lasts 6 to 7 hours – you will visit this beautiful island, also called small Galapagos. It is located 25 km (about 1.5 hours by boat) off the coast of Puerto Lopez. In addition to frigate and tropic birds, you will also find blue-footed, masked and red-footed boobies and even some Galapagosal batros. The island can only be visited with a guide from the park and you are not allowed to deviate from the official paths – just like on the real Galapagos. You make a walking tour of 2 hours and half with the naturalist guide. Then you return to the boat where you can see beautiful turtles and afterwards you can snorkel for an hour at the bay where you can swim among the same turtles and see other types of fish and starfish. On the way to the island you can spot humpback whales from June to September, which use the area in large numbers as a nursery. Difficulty: easy. Duration: 7 hours approximately. Included: English speaking guide, transport, lunch box and snorkeling equipment. Exclusive: National Park entrance of 1 USD pp. Bring: windbreaker for the boat, sports shoes, water bottle, sun protection, swimming gear and camera.

Sample Tours Birding Trip
Sample Tours Birding Trip

DAY 18

Birdwatching on the Ayampe River
About 20 minutes’ drive from Puerto Lopez is the Ayampe River, which is a green tropical oasis and therefore ideal for spotting various bird species. This small green region is home to about 328 different bird species, some of which are endemic. You can spot the Chaetocercus berlepschii (only from December to March), the collared arassari, the Ecuadortrogon, Amazilia hummingbirds, the tropical peewee and so on. You leave early in the morning to drive to the Ayampe River together with the guide. Together with the guide you will look for the different bird species and then have breakfast together around eight. Afterwards you search a little further and around ten o’clock you drive back to Puerto Lopez. Difficulty: easy. Included: English speaking guide, transport h/t, light breakfast, list of bird species, entrance to the park. What to bring: Sun and rain protection, mosquito spray, athletic footwear, binoculars and camera, water and clothing with legs and arms covered.

DAY 19

Transfer from Puerto Lopez to Guayaquil Airport in Private Car (SP-Language Driver)
You will be transferred from the hotel in Puerto Lopez to the airport in Guayaquil (drive of +/- 4 hours).

Sample Tours Birding Trip

* All transfers are done with a private car and Spanish-speaking driver unless otherwise stated
* Mentioned trips and excursions are examples from a wider range. Check out our website for more choice.
* This travel proposal is based on 2-person standard rooms, unless stated otherwise. Supplements for single rooms or luxury rooms are available on request.
* This travel proposal is non-binding, depending on the travel period and subject to availability.
* Certain fixed days of activities, such as local markets, departure dates of cruises and flights, etc., must be taken into account in the final travel program. We do everything possible to optimally insert mentioned activities into the program.

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Tom, guide in EcuadorI’m Tom from Belgium and I’ll make sure your trip to Ecuador or cruise in Galapagos goes as smoothly and pleasantly as possible. I have been living in Ecuador for a decade and have been working in tourism for 8 years now. Before that, I obtained my guides diploma in Ecuador. Traveling and discovering new places is my passion.
Together with the local travel agency Descubre-Ecuador, we offer tailor-made tours in Galapagos and on the Ecuadorian mainland. Over the years, Descubre-Ecuador has built a reliable partnership with the best hotels and the best nature guides in Ecuador. Our small-scale way of working ensures easy accessibility and a lot of flexibility when traveling.
Customer satisfaction is the essence for us. And even in those rare moments of unforeseen difficult circumstances, we make sure that we are there to make sure your trip runs smoothly.
Explore Ecuador and Galapagos!


Indian woman from SalasacasIn South America, Ecuador is one of the smaller countries, but the country is hugely diverse in terms of geography, climate and population. You can visit the Andes, the Amazon rainforest as well as the tropical coast without taking extremely long domestic flights or transfers. And then you have the Galapagos Islands, a once in a lifetime experience. The diversity of flora and fauna per square mile is enormous. Ecuador is South America in a nutshell. Moreover, the country is relatively safe and little visited. The national currency is the USD and you have a wide choice of direct flights to Quito and Guayaquil from Europe and the United States.


Tom - guide in EcuadorIk ben Tom uit België en zorg ervoor dat jullie reis naar Ecuador of cruise in Galapagos zo vlot en aangenaam mogelijk kan verlopen. Ik woon al een tiental jaren in Ecuador en werk nu 8 jaren in toerisme. Daarvoor heb ik in Ecuador mijn gidsen-diploma behaald. Reizen en nieuwe plaatsen ontdekken is mijn passie. Samen met het lokale reiskantoor Descubre-Ecuador, bieden we reizen op maat in Galapagos en op het Ecuadoriaanse vasteland aan. Descubre-Ecuador heeft door de jaren heen een betrouwbare samenwerking opgebouwd met de beste hotels en de beste natuurgidsen van Ecuador. Onze kleinschalige manier van werken zorgt voor een vlotte bereikbaarheid en veel flexibiliteit bij het reizen. De tevredenheid van de klant is voor ons de essentie. En ook op die zeldzame momenten van onvoorziene moeilijke omstandigheden zorgen we dat we er zijn om jullie reis toch perfect te laten verlopen. Ontdek Ecuador en Galapagos!