ECUADOR BIRDING AND PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS
This is the country for amazing birding and photography opportunities:
over 1600 species of birds from the Galapagos Islands to the Andes to the Amazon!!
Mindo Bird Tours is a legally-constituted Ecuadorian birding tour company founded in 1999. We are a full service tourism company, and while the Mindo area and northwest Ecuador remain our special area of expertise, our business has grown to include birding tours throughout Ecuador and elsewhere in South America. We currently arrange 70+ custom and set departure tours every year just in Ecuador!
We provide guides, vehicles and tour itineraries for a day, a week, a month or more, for one person or a large group. We offer both set departure and custom tours on the mainland as well as in the GalapagosIslands. We also serve as the ground agents for a variety of agencies in North America, Europe, Asia and South Africa. We have the experience and expertise, at the local, national and international level, to be your in-country agent and to provide the professional assistance you may need in any situation.
Our set departure tours visit the bird-filled Chocó Biogeographic Area of northwest Ecuador, as well as the entire eastern slope of the Andes, and all of southern Ecuador. We are also happy to add extensions to highland sites, coastal sites, the Galapagos, the Amazon and more remote areas throughout the country. If you prefer a private tour, we will be happy to design a custom itinerary for you. Please check this website under "Private Tours" for more details.
Contact us for the trip of a lifetime! Add a cruise of the Galapagos Islands and a trip to the Amazon jungle and you will see why Ecuador ranks as one of the world´s top nature tourism destinations.
Tour M01-W: “Cloud Forest Birds of Northwest Ecuador" (2018-19)
Our most popular tour is based just two hours from Quito amidst the lush, bird-rich cloud forests of the northwestern Andes. We visit all the key birding sites, including Yanacocha, Mindo, Reserva Las Gralarias, Bellavista, Paz de las Aves, Tandayapa, Milpe, Silanche and Mashpi-Chontal.
We begin the tour leaving early from your hotel in Quito to travel by private vehicle to Yanacocha Reserve which is the site of the rare Ecuadorian endemic hummingbird, the Black-breasted Puffleg. The morning at Yanacocha shows us the beautiful forest that forms the beginning of the watershed of the Rio Mindo and also allows us good looks at many hummingbird species, including the amazing Sword-billed Hummingbird, the unforgettable Shining Sunbeam and the elegant Great Sapphirewing, as well as other high elevation species such as Andean Guan, Andean Pygmy-Owl, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Pearled Treerunner, Rufous Antpitta, Tawny Antpitta, Ocellated Tapaculo, Red-crested Cotinga, Barred Fruiteater, Rufous Wren, Blue-backed Conebill, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager and Hooded Mountain-Tanager.
After lunch we continue down the old Nono-Mindo Road, birding en route along the Alambi River, searching especially for river-side specialties such as Torrent Duck and White-capped Dipper. We arrive at our lodge late in the day just in time to watch the late afternoon bird activity and the end-of-the-day gathering of hummingbirds at the feeders. We spend the rest of the tour birding among private nature reserves and bird sanctuaries, exploring the entire area, from 7000ft (2400m) elevation down to 1500ft (500m) elevation. Our trip lists usually result in some 300 species of birds seen, many of them rare and endemic species found only in the Chocó biogeographic region. In fact, it was on one of our northwest Ecuador private tours that we found the first Chocó Vireo in Pichincha province - one of only a handful of records in the country! And with luck we may even see some of the mammals in the area such as the endemic Dwarf Red Brocket Deer, Tayra, Mountain Coati, and Two-toed Sloth.
For those who want even more birds, we can arrange a stay for you at an Amazon jungle lodge, in the vast highland páramo zone and/or a Galapagos cruise, or any type of extension either before or after the regular tour. Just let us know what you would like to do!
Scheduled group departures from Quito:
19-15 July 2018 (7d)
15-21 October 2018 (7d)
17-24 November 2018 (8d)
14-20 January 2019 (7d)
7-16 July 2019 (10d)
21-27 October (7d)
18-25 November 2019 (8d)
For a detailed itineraries, availability, prices and conditions, contact us at email@example.com.
Enjoy some of our past trip reports from this amazingly birdy area!
Photos by Luke Seitz
Photos by Dusan Brinkhuizen
Photos by Dusan Brinkhuizen
Tour S01-G: "Birds of Southern Ecuador" (2018-2019)
Rapidly becoming one of our most popular tours, our two-week “Birds of Southern Ecuador” includes all the southern birding sites of Jorupe Reserve, Utuana Reserve, Bombuscaro and Podocarpus National Park, Tapichalaca Reserve, Valladolid, Buenaventura Reserve, Yunguilla Reserve, El Cajas National Park, Nangaritza River and the Shaime Road. Among the many highlights of this very birdy tour are the endemic El Oro Parakeet and El Oro Tapaculo, the extremely rare and endemic Pale-headed Brush-Finch, the endemic Violet-throated Metaltail, the amazing Long-wattled Umbrellabird, the stunning Jocotoco Antpitta, and the beautiful Orange-throated Tanager. These very fun and birdy tours usually record 500+ species. And on two of our tours to southern Ecuador we have discovered new bird species for Ecuador!
Next group departures: 26 November – 9 December 2018
25 November – 8 December 2019
Great birds and al fresco dining at Umbrellabird Lodge
Bird Photos by Dusan Brinkhuizen
The Tumbesian Zone of Southern Ecuador
The Nangaritza River and Shaime Road
Photos by Jane A. Lyons
Tour Q02MPT “Birding the Remote Chocó: Searching for the Rarest"
The Chocó Biogeographic Zone contains the highest number of restricted-range bird species in the Americas. The lowland Ecuadorian Chocó, located in the far northwestern part of the country, hosts a dazzling assemblage of species, including many rare and endemic species. This tour is a birder´s dream come true: Canandé Reserve, Playa de Oro, San Lorenzo and Lita areas!!
This tour focusses on searching for the especially important and uncommon lowland endemics and specialties such as: Plumbeous Hawk, Plumbeous Forest-Falcon, Rufous-fronted Wood-Quail, Tawny-faced Quail, Brown Wood-Rail, Olive-backed Quail-Dove, Rose-faced Parrot, Red-lored Amazon, Bronzy Hermit, White-tipped Sicklebill, Tooth-billed Hummingbird, Purple-chested Hummingbird, Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer, Orange-fronted Barbet, Five-colored Barbet, Stripe-billed Araçari, Lita Woodpecker, CinnamonWoodpecker, Star-chested Treerunner, Western Woodhaunter, Griscom’s Antwren, Ocellated Antbird, Rufous-crowned Antpitta, Streak-chested Antpitta, Pacific Flatbill, Pacific Royal-Flycatcher, Gray-breasted Flycatcher, Ochraceous Attila, Speckled Mourner, Rufous Piha, Black-tipped Cotinga, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Red-capped Manakin, Green Manakin, Gray-mantled Wren, Golden-chested Tanager, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Scarlet-and-white Tanager, Gray-and-gold Tanager, Emerald Tanager, Silver-throated Tanager, Blue-whiskered Tanager, Rufous-winged Tanager, Golden-chested Tanager, Lemon-spectacled Tanager, Tawny-crested Tanager, Scarlet-browed Tanager, Yellow-green Bush-Tanager, and much much more, always with the possibility of rarities such as GREAT GREEN MACAW, BANDED GROUND-CUCKOO AND CHOCÓ VIREO.
This very birdy tour runs along the gradient of the eastern slope of the northern Andes and includes 2 days at high elevation páramo, 6 days amidst the eastern slope mid-elevation woodlands and foothill forests, and 3 days in Amazonian lowland forest. The tour begins and ends in Quito.
Tour Q01-E: "East Slope of the Andes from Páramo to Jungle"
We will pick you up at your hotel in Quito and head east to the vast, wind-swept paramo at Antisana Reserve where we will look for Andean Condor, Carunculated Caracara, Black-faced Ibis, Silvery Grebe, Blue-mantled Thornbill and other open-country species. We will also search for the beautiful and amazingly cryptic Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe as well as additional paramo specialties such as Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Tawny Antpitta, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Giant Conebill, Stout-billed and Bar-winged Cinclodes, Andean Tit-Spinetail, Streak-backed and Many-striped Canastero, Paramo Pipit, and Band-tailed, Plain-colored and Paramo Seedeater. We then spend the remaining days birding at key sites down the eastern slope of the Andes and into the Amazonian rain forest, including nights in Papallacta, Guango, San Isidro, WildSumaco and Gareno. Gareno is located within Huaorani Indian Territory where we can find Harpy Eagle, Rufous Potoo, Pavonine Quetzal, Napo Sabrewing, Lemon-throated Barbet, Warbling Antbird, Thrushlike Antpitta, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Spotted Tanager and much more.
Private tours from Quito (11 days/10 nights)
For a detailed itinerary, availability, prices and conditions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by Dusan Brinkhuizen
Tour MEP0I: Northern Ecuador Bird Photography Tour (2019)
This is a tour for folks who never get enough of photographing birds! Join us for 12 full days of photographing some of the world´s most beautiful and range-restricted species in some of the finest bird photography sites in the world. The tour includes 4 days among the lush cloud forests of northwest Ecuador, 4 days at key birding sites of the upper east Andean slope and 4 days in rich lowland Amazonian forest based at a comfortable jungle lodge. Your guide is a professional bird photographer who will find the birds, seek the best lighting and especially for close-up birds and in feeding areas in order for you to get stunning photos of numerous species.
For those who want even more photo opps, we are happy to offer a cruise of the Galapagos Islands.
2019 Scheduled Group Departure from Quito:
18-27 September 2019
(Min: 3 ; Max: 8)
Photo by Dusan Brinkhuizen Photo by Bob Martinka
Photo by Tim Krynak Photo by Dusan Brinkhuizen Photo by Winnie Poon
Photo by Dusan Brinkhuizen Photo by Bill Fiero
Happy Bird Photographers!