Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO
Cajanuma – Tapichalaca
Your driver welcomes you on arrival at Loja at Catamayo airport, and your bird expedition begins right away.
The first destination is Cajanuma in the Podocarpus National Park, with a primary focus will be on the different species of antpittas. With some luck you could even catch undulated-, redheaded- or monochrome antpittas in front of the camera lens.
In the Tapichalaca Reserve you will have a chance to settle in to your room at the Casa Simpson Lodge, before you begin to explore the surrounding area. What you'll notice immediately is the multitude of hummingbirds that stay at the lodge's feeding stations. Frequently seen hummingbird species are: Long-tailed sylphe, collared Inca, flame-throated sunangel, and the chestnut-breasted coronet hummingbirds.
Stay the night at Casa Simpson Lodge.
The Tapichalaca reserve of the Jocotoco Foundation was established in 1998 to protect the habitat of the Jocotoco antpitta, a species whose total known population has remained at about twelve pairs since they were discovered at Cerro Tapichalaca by Dr. Robert Ridgely in 1997.
You will spend a full day birding in the trails of Tapichalaca reserve, starting with the Jocotoco Antpitta worm feeder. Apart from the Jocotoco antpittas, you have the chance to see other interesting birds such as bearded guan, the white-capped tanager, the orange-billed tanager, and the white-throated quail-dove.
Return to Casa Simpson Lodge.
Tapichalaca – Jorupe Reserve
Your long drive starts today in the direction of Macará. During the tour you will stop again and again to catch a glimpse of the most diverse birds. In the Tumbes region, you could spot the following species: Elegant Crescentchest, Loja Hummingbird, parrot-billed seedeater, drab seedeater and the tumbes sparrow. You'll stop here for a packed lunch before continuing on to the Utuana region. Here you might see white-headed brush-finch, tumbes hummingbird and Baird's flycatcher.
Stay the night at the Urraca Lodge in the Jorupe Reserve.
Today you will spend the whole day at the Jorupe reserve. This reserve is located in the south-west of Ecuador and is part of the Tumbes region. The deciduous forest is home to some rare and endemic species, such as black-headed spinetail, henna-hooded foliage-gleaner, slaty becard, Loja tyrannulet, Watkins antpitta and western Peruvian screech owl.
Return to Urraca Lodge.
Jorupe – Buenaventura
Early risers have the opportunity to use the early hours for birding in the garden and on the access roads of the Jorupe reserve. After breakfast, head north to the Umbrellabird Lodge in the Buenaventura Reserve, which is also part of the Jocotoco Foundation. During this drive, you get your packed lunch on the road and enjoy the numerous stops provided for bird watching.
Stay the night at Umbrellabird Lodge.
The most famous bird species in this reserve are the endemic El Oro parakeet and the El Oro tapaculo. It is also home to species from both the Choco and Tumbesian regions, including rufous-headed chachalaca, ochre-bellied dove, grey-backed hawk, Pacific royal flycatcher and ochraceous attila.
Very close to the research station is also a clay lick where the endangered long-wattled umbrellabird often stays. Different types of feeders are placed near the lodge for birds and mammals where a diversity of hummingbirds, tanagers and toucans can be seen alongside coatis.
Return to Umbrellabird Lodge.
Buenaventura – Yanacocha reserve
Breakfast is served very early in the morning, before you leave the Buenaventura reserve for the airport. After reaching Quito, drive directly to the Yanacocha reserve on the back of the Pichincha volcano, which is about one hour from Quito. Our goal is the Elfin forest, a cloudy, tropical mountain rainforest, where many polylepsis and páramo plants are found. Here you might find species such as the hooded mountain tanager, blue and black Tanager, sword-billed hummingbird, golden-breasted puffleg.
Enjoy a packed lunch in the reserve.
Stay the night at your hotel in Quito.
In the morning take breakfast together one last time as a group before the tour officially concludes. Continue with your own planned Ecuador travel or return to the airport in time for your return flight home.