From the Andes to the Clouds
We will leave from Quito at 8:00am to the Amazon watershed, with scenic and biodiverse paramos and cloud forests in our sights. Our first stop en route, however, will be at a rose plantation where you will have the opportunity to ogle at many of the most popular and spectacular varieties that Ecuador produces. After this it will be time to move up in elevation to the majestic, windswept paramos of Papallacta - a very tundra-like habitat. On clear days here the views of the surroundings and various volcanoes are breath-taking; a stop right up at the continental divide is one of the best spots from which to photograph the snow-capped volcano, Antisana, as it towers over the mountains below.
We will get to Guango Lodge in time to enjoy the incredible hummingbird feeders and later on taste a delicious and hot, sit-down lunch, traditional Ecuadorian style. In the afternoon we will embark on a hike along the trails that fan out around the lodge to get a taste of the beautiful Andean temperate forests and the birds that often adorn their branches; colorful mountain-toucans and tanagers would be a hit! In the afternoon, we will be officially welcomed by the lit fireplaces and have our first taste of Ecuador’s best known hot toddy, a delicious drink - called “Canelazo” - made from water boiled with real cinnamon, fruit juice and a dash of cane alcohol. Get yourself lost in the cloud forest, before returning to Quito or the airport.
If you are a birder, you may want to start earlier since this tour will put you right in the middle of some of the biodiverse habitats that the Andes has to offer. With a bit of luck at the paramo area you can expect to see some of the following birds: Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Tawny Antpitta, Many-striped Canastero, White-chinned Thistletail, Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, Andean Condor (sometimes hard), Carunculated Caracara, Andean Gull, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Scrub & Blue-and-yellow Tanagers and Southern Yellow-Grosbeak.
The temperate forest offers some possibilities that include Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Viridian Metaltail, Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, just to name a very few.
The highlights of our feeders: Tourmaline Sunangel, Sword-billed Hummingbird and White-bellied Woodstar!!!! If you are curious of more species come and visit us!!