Thirst for knowledge: El Chocó Biologic Station (3)

Tour/Activity in Quito, Ecuador

About this activity

Study with us the incredible amount of endemic species of this unique microclimate

Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO

Day 1

Across the old road via Nono to the Biological Station

Departure from Quito in the morning. We take the old road via Nono and make a detour to the Yanacocha Hummingbird Resort.

Arrival at the biological station of El Chocó at 14 o'clock. The private nature conservation initiative "Un poco del Chocó" was founded in 2009 by the German biologist Nicole Büttner and her Ecuadorian husband Wilo Vaca in northwestern Ecuador. The 15-hectare nature reserve and the associated Biological Station´s aim is to contribute to the preservation and exploration of the eponymous ecoregion of Chocó.

After lunch, you will receive a brief introduction to the research projects of the Biological Station. Afterward, you will take a guided tour with expert guidance by Nicole Büttner on the more than five kilometers long paths through the Chocó with explanations of the ecological features of the mountain rainforest.

Overnight at the station. Full board.

Day 2

Bird banding and night hike

This morning, explore the station's work, which varies daily: bird watching and counting, bird nets and ringings, flower and pollination ecology, hummingbird bloom network ecology, identification work, mammal surveillance with camera traps, insect ecology, and Lepidopteran projects.

The afternoon is available for individual exploration of the station. Optionally, visitors can visit the Anek Fish Rooster Lek to observe it during its daily courtship ritual.

After dinner, take part in a night hike where, with a bit of luck, you will see weasel bears, olingos, scorpion spiders, tarantulas, Saturnidae caterpillars and lance vipers.

Overnight at the station. Full board.

Day 3


After breakfast, we say goodbye to the scientists and drive a panoramic route over Santo Domingo de los Colorados back to Quito.

Santo Domingo is the fourth largest and fastest growing city in Ecuador, hard to beat for ugliness. But: The drive leads through lush coastal vegetation. Santo Domingo itself is a melting pot and transportation hub. From here, a 130-kilometer-long road climbs 2,200 meters to the south of Quito. The name component "de los Colorados" derives from its indigenous community of Tsáchilas (meaning "true/real people"). At present, there are about 200 families who live in a more or less traditional way on about 8,000-10,000 hectares of rainforest. Distinguishing feature are the red dyed hair of the men with the seed of the Achiote. We stop in the city center, dive into the everyday life of the Ecuadorians and taste the main export products of the region: bananas, sugar cane, pineapple, passion fruit, and papaya.

At around 1 pm we start the ascent to the Andean highlands. The main artery meanders up the mountains - traversing four climates in just three hours. The vegetation changes rapidly from tropical to paramo. In the early evening, we arrive to Quito.

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