As one of the birdiest countries in the world, Ecuador has long been a hotspot for birding and nature tours. Now Ecuador’s mammals are becoming more visible as more eco-lodges spring up in the country’s biodiverse Amazon region. The recent discovery of a new racoon, the Olinguito, helped inspire this dedicated bird and mammal-watching tour, bringing together the best of the Amazon and Andes regions.

Get started at beautiful Sachatamia Lodge, where birding is impressive, and we search for the Olinguito in the subtropical forests of northwestern Ecuador before heading on a boat ride down the Napo River for four nights at the Napo Wildlife Center, encircled by pristine upper Amazon rainforest within Yasuní National Park. Here we look for Golden-mantled Tamarin, White-fronted Capuchin Monkey and White-bellied Spider Monkey, along with sloths, marmosets, Red Brocket Deer, and the elusive Monk Saki. Then we’re off to the eastern cordillera, traveling down the eastern Andean slope, we next lodge at Cabañas San Isidro in the picturesque Quijos Valley where we look for Spectacled Bear, Mountain Tapir, and other mammals in the high grasslands, followed by a relaxing end to the trip at Termas Papallacta where we explore native forest and bogs at the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve around Papallacta, again searching for Spectacled Bear and Mountain Tapir.

  • “A trip of a lifetime! Being able to see the diversity in birds, animals and plants of several different life zones made for exceptional experiences. The selection of lodges was amazing. They were all fantastic.”— Lois Ports, 2023 Traveler
  • “It was an epic adventure, exploring three of Ecuador's most precious habitats: the cloud forest, the high Andes, and the Amazon Basin.” — David Welch, 2023 Traveler
  • “All the Birds! OMG, how can you not love seeing 30 species of hummingbirds plus so many other amazing birds. I loved that this tour - the guides and guests - geek out over non feathered creatures. Monkeys, sea otters, tayras, kinkajou, and the olinguito were all fun to see.” — Susan Meriwether, 2023 Traveler

Tour Highlights

  • Seek Spectacled Bear, Mountain Tapir, Giant Anteater, and Tayra in the heart of the Ecuadorian Andes
  • Search for the recently discovered Olinguito in forests of north-west Ecuador
  • Arrive by motorized canoe at Napo Wildlife Center and enjoy a four-night stay
  • Watch for stunning Giant Otter and many monkeys plus sloths
  • Take on excursions to look for Giant Otters, Hoatzin and Agami Heron
  • Enjoy watching a wealth of birds attracted to gardens at Cabañas San Isidro
  • Look for iconic mammals in the Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve
  • Relax in our last lodge’s thermal pools

Trip Itinerary

Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary may occur to account for weather, road conditions, closures, etc. and to maximize your experience.

Sat., Nov. 2 : Arrivals in Quito

Many flights from the USA arrive in Quito in the evening. We enjoy our time in Quito, one of South America’s most attractive colonial capitals. Nestled at the foot of the volcano Pichincha, Quito enjoys bright sunshine during this time of the year and, on a clear day, stunning views of towering Andean peaks. Quito means ‘Eternal Spring’ in the ancient language of Quechua, and we enjoy the glorious climate. Quito is the second highest capital in the world at 9,000 feet above sea level. Settle in and relax; dinner tonight is at your leisure but you are welcome to get together with the rest of the group for a casual evening meal.
Accommodations at the San Jose de Puembo Hotel

Sun., Nov. 3 : Zuraloma Reserve | Sachatamia

Driving up out of Quito we pass over the western ridge of the Andes, dropping down onto the Pacific slope. This forested valley has earned its impressive reputation for the quality and number of birds seen along its length, including Toucan Barbet, Plate-billed Mountain-toucan, Masked Trogon, White-capped Dipper, Cinnamon Flycatcher, and many tanagers and hummingbird species.

We make our way northwest to the Zuraloma Reserve nestled on the Pichincha Volcano. The lush cloud forest here, punctuated by snow-capped peaks is an incredibly beautiful and complex ecosystem where myriad tanagers and hummingbirds include Tyrian Metaltail, Mountain Velvetbreast, impressive Sword-billed, and impossibly cute pufflegs. We hope to see the elusive Chestnut-naped Antpitta here, too.

We expect to arrive at our lodge in the late afternoon, in time to enjoy the hummingbird feeders before the sun sets. Our lodge offers great bird and butterfly watching, as well as wonderful meals, and a cozy fireplace to gather around in the evenings. It is nestled in the valley of the Rio Mindo, a remarkable locale, home to over 360 species of birds. The ridges, slopes, and steep ravines to the north, west, and east of the village are cloaked in pre-montane cloud forest with a dense understory that includes Guadua bamboo.

Settle in and watch for Violet-tailed Sylph, Empress Brilliant, Tawny-bellied Hermit, Green-fronted Lancebill, Purple-throated Woodstar, White-bellied Woodstar, Green-crowned Woodnymph, Brown and White-collared Inca, Western Emerald, and more at feeders surrounding the dining area.

A hint to be most comfortable here: Bring easy-to-slip-off shoes, as you go in and out of the lodge in search of birds. Ecuadorian custom is to remove shoes to protect their beautiful wooden floors!
Accommodations at Sachatamia (B,L,D)

Mon., Nov. 4 & Tues., Nov. 5 : Two Full Days Looking for Mammals

We spend the next two days looking for mammals (the birds sure are distracting though!). We spend time looking for coati, Mountain Agouti, and our key species of the area, the recently discovered Olinguito, a small, carnivorous red-furred mammal whose nocturnal wanderings in dense, cloudforest fog helped them evade detection by the scientific community until recently. Or rather, the Olinguito had been detected and even collected, but nearly two dozen preserved skins and skulls were misidentified as close relatives in US museum collections! There’s even evidence that one individual lived in several American zoos during the 1960s frustrating zookeepers by refusing to breed with the Olingos, which it was mistaken for. New species of insects and amphibians are discovered fairly regularly, but a new mammal species is rare, particularly with carnivorous mammals. The Colombian Weasel, found in 1978, is the most recent find in the Western Hemisphere. With the help of our expert local guides, who keep a watchful eye on its whereabouts, we have great chances to see it in spotlighting sessions after dark. An optional field trip to Angel Paz’s Refugio Paz de las Aves, offers great birds, among them many antpittas, including Yellow-breasted and Giant, and also spectacular Andean Cock-of-the- Accommodations at Sachatamia (B,L,D)

Wed., Nov. 6 : Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve | Quito

Today we visit Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve, a private 1,000-acre nature reserve that encompasses a mix of primary and secondary forest. The botanical wonder here is something to behold! One of the top birding locations in Ecuador, the reserve is known for its diverse hummingbird species (at feeders for close-ups), as well as a colorful array of toucans and tanagers. At 5,000 – 7,000 feet we encounter spectacular cloud forest on the steep slopes above us. Here we may find a number of bird species with limited range, including the Tanager Finch.

The forest and gardens are draped with orchids and bromeliads, and butterflies abound. Some of the most beautiful birds of the forest include the Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, Toucan Barbet, Golden Tanager, and Flame-faced Tanager. Lunch and the choice of hiking or birding fill our afternoon at Bellavista.
Accommodations in Quito (B,L,D)

Thurs., Nov. 7 : Napo Wildlife Center

We leave early today for a flight to Coca, headed down to the base of the Andes and eastwards across the vast Amazonian floodplain to Coca, a port town where it is warmer and more humid. We head to the Napo River, Ecuador’s main Amazon tributary, where a covered motorized canoe takes us on our 2½ hour, 50-mile voyage downstream to the Napo Wildlife Center.

Roughly a third of a mile wide, the river’s waters are sediment-rich and huge sandy beaches are exposed during the dry season. We search there for various herons, kingfishers, and raptors as we move downstream. We switch to smaller, dugout canoes at the NWC Reserve, relying on the paddling of our local guides in the black water creek to the lake and lodge. The prohibition against motors in the lake and creek benefits wildlife. We may see many things during our journey of one to three hours depending on how many times we stop. Giant Otter, potoos, kingfishers, Hoatzin, jacamars, hawks, and monkeys are all possibilities. We enjoy a picnic lunch in our canoes, arriving at the lodge by late afternoon.

Our backyard for the next four nights, Yasuní National Park, is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the largest, best conserved, and most diverse tract of Amazon rainforest in Ecuador. Built on the shore of tranquil Añagu Lake, Napo Wildlife Center is a comfortable rainforest lodge inside a 82 square-mile private nature reserve, an ancestral territory of the Añangu community, which co-owns the center. An abundance of wildlife viewing keeps us hopping near the lodge, including amazing parrot and mammal clay-licks, a resident family of Giant Otter, stunning endemic monkeys, and a huge list of over 565 bird species, among them many hummingbirds like stunning Sparkling Violetear. The lodge also boasts two solid towers that bring us into the rainforest canopy at dawn to witness flocks of colorful tanagers and other species, which are difficult to see from the rainforest floor.
Accommodations at Napo Wildlife Center (B,L,D)

Fri., Nov. 8 – Sun., Nov. 10 : Napo Wildlife Center

We wake up to the sounds of rainforest dawn chorus, with three full days in front of us to explore this fabulous habitat. We connect today with a native Añangu guide, also an official Yasuní Park Ranger, who shares information with us on the rainforest’s medicinal and otherwise useful plants. With an eye on the weather, we maximize field time at the highest peaks of activity, with early morning excursions. Breaking for lunch and a siesta, we head out again in the afternoon and evening. Exciting night-time excursions are optional but recommended, because that is when the forest really comes alive, with a concert of natural sounds flooding the air.

Early morning parrot clay-licks are among the highlights of a stay at NWC, which hosts two of Ecuador’s most accessible spots, featuring sturdy and comfortable hides. Expect great photo and video opportunities of many species, including: Mealy, Blue-headed, Yellow-crowned, Orange-winged and Orange-cheeked Parrots, Cobalt-winged, Dusky-headed, Maroon-tailed and White-eyed Parakeets, along with occasional rarities like Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet and Scarlet Macaw. In dry and sunny weather, some 800 individual birds of different species may be spotted, and even on rainy days, dozens of birds may still congregate.

There is a 60-foot high observation tower that sticks out from the surrounding foliage for great views of Mealy Amazon and Blue-headed Parrot, Cobalt-winged Parakeet (and also the lake and lodge). Active resident birds can be seen nesting and feeding from the tower, and a family group of beautiful and rare Golden-mantled Tamarin often forages close by.

The main 125-foot canopy tower is impressive. We walk about 35 minutes from the lodge to reach it, built adjacent to a giant Kapok tree, where an ample platform provides space for more than 15 guests and their cameras, scopes, and tripods. Ascending at dawn, we find the birding outstanding and mammal enthusiasts may see troops of Red Howler Monkey, White-fronted Capuchin, Monk Saki, or Black Spider Monkey in the surrounding forest. On a clear day, views stretch to the high Andes and Volcanoes Sumaco, Antisana, and Cayambe. Imagine standing in humid lowland forest and looking out to snowcapped Andean peaks! Active mixed flocks forage diligently in the vicinity of ‘our’ tree and with nearby fruiting trees to entice, we may see more than 100 species in a single morning. The possibilities are mind-boggling: toucans, macaws, colorful tanagers, raptors, flycatchers, and many more.

NWC has a large lake with two streams and a quiet guided paddle down one of them is an ideal way to locate troops of even more monkeys, including Squirrel Monkey, Saddle-backed Tamarin, and White-fronted Capuchin. Less likely but possible are Monk Saki, Spider, Woolly, and Golden-mantled Tamarin Monkeys. Napo is home to 11 species of monkey, and you can hope to see the majority of them during our time here. Ecuador’s four species of native caiman are all found at NWC as well. The largest, Black Caiman, lives in the main lake and groups of them are often seen during night-time canoe rides, when flashlights reflect in their eyes. The creeks are home to other species, including a resident family of Giant Otter, a magnificent Anaconda in an area of flooded forest, White-lipped Peccary (wild pig), and serene Three-toed Sloth.

Trails branching out from the lodge lead us through a variety of forest ecosystems. Look closely and you see bizarre and well camouflaged insects, along with monkeys, lizards, tortoises, frogs, army and leafcutter ants, in addition to a dazzling display of birds. Bird diversity is highest here in the forest, where many of the antbirds and ovenbirds are cryptically colored/patterned and reclusive. Our expert local guide recognizes them by their calls and helps us to find them. We are always happy to see an ant swarm, and its attendant specialist antbirds, a mind-boggling experience!

We would be very lucky to see Jaguar, Puma, Brazilian Tapir, Giant Anteater, and Giant Armadillo, though have all been recorded in this area. For the best chances for the most species, make sure to join the night walks!
Accommodations at Napo Wildlife Center (B,L,D)

Mon., Nov. 11 : Cabañas San Isidro

We bird our way back via boat and road transfers to the Quijos Valley, one of the westernmost headwaters of the Amazon basin at Cabañas San Isidro, at an elevation of 6,800 feet. It was founded more than 40 years ago by the Bustamante family of Quito, during a government campaign to convert unclaimed lands of eastern Ecuador into productive farms. Despite pressure to clear the land for farming, Simón Bustamante left most of his 1,300 hectare property untouched in part to help protect the unique flora and fauna, and the area has slowly matured into an area of ecolodges and nature-focused accommodations. It is happily surrounded by some of the largest and most accessible tracts of primary subtropical forest in Ecuador. Our host, Carmen, is Simón’s daughter, who has managed the lodge for the last 20 years. We settle into superb lodgings here for the next two nights.
Accommodations at Cabanas San Isidro (B,L,D)

Tues., Nov. 12 : Full Day at Cabañas San Isidro

We are surrounded by some of the largest and most accessible tracts of primary subtropical forest in Ecuador in San Isidro. Red-tailed Squirrel and Black Agouti are both easily observed here, while Spectacled Bear, Mountain Tapir, Giant Anteater, and Tayra are frequently photographed and occasionally seen, along with other mammals. A wealth of birds flocks to its gardens, and should mammal-watching prove quiet, are a pleasant diversion. From our cabin doorsteps, we may see White-capped Parrot, Powerful Woodpecker, Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher, Pale-edged Flycatcher, Smoky Bush-Tyrant, Green-and-black Fruiteater, Inca Jay, Black-billed Peppershrike, Andean Solitaire, and Saffron-crowned Tanager. Nearby forests, accessible by trail or road, offer mixed understory and canopy flocks that seemingly drip from the foliage. Fruit-eaters of all sizes raid trees and bushes and more furtive birds may be found in the shade of low vegetation. We hope to see Sickle-winged Guan, Crested and Golden-headed Quetzals, Masked Trogon, and Highland Motmot here. A dazzling array of hummingbirds have their own dedicated garden here, and are also spotted from the lodge’s front porch. Some 18 of the known 30 hummer species of the area are either resident or seasonal visitors to the feeders: Sparkling Violetear, Speckled Hummingbird, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Bronzy and Collared Incas, Buff-tailed (the rare eastern flavescens race) and Chestnut-breasted Coronets, Tyrian Metaltail, Long-tailed Sylph, and Gorgeted Woodstar are year-round residents. Species found more seasonally and in smaller numbers include Rufous-vented Whitetip, Violet-fronted Brilliant, White-tailed Hillstar, Mountain Velvetbreast, Wedge-billed Hummingbird and White-bellied Woodstar.

The hummingbird garden is a great place to relax after a hike or during a rainy spell. The majority of the forests here are idyllic: large hardwood trees draped with lush mosses supporting orchid and bromeliad species in impressive numbers. Indeed, our mid-elevation habitat here is a paradise for orchids and other flamboyant epiphytes and photographers will no doubt be pleased! Our action-packed day is rewarded with a comfortable and superbly located lodge to come home to.
Accommodations at Cabanas San Isidro (B,L,D)

Wed., Nov. 13 & Thurs., Nov. 14 : Papallacta | Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve for Spectacled Bear

San Isidro’s hummingbird feeders enliven the morning once again over breakfast. We bird our way northwest with stops to watch for any birds we may have missed over the past few days. We next head up the ridge of the eastern cordillera toward Papallacta. As we gain in altitude and near the Andean continental divide, we may see species such as Black-chested Buzzard-eagle, Viridian Metaltail, and Buff-breasted Mountain-tanager.
We check in this afternoon for pleasant nights at Termas de Papallacta hotel and watch hummingbird feeders for species such as Tourmaline Sunangel, Sword-billed Hummingbird, and White-bellied Woodstar.

Our hotel is nested into the mountains within view of Antisana’s snowcapped peak and the lodge grounds are lushly landscaped. Five thermal pools (and one polar pool for the bravest among us) beckon for some quiet downtime and relaxation. Go crazy and enjoy birding right from the pool.

We have a full day to explore Cayambe Coca Ecological Reserve, a windswept landscape of high grassland and bog known as paramo, with a few patches of native forest clinging to its slopes. The habitat around Papallacta could fairly be described as desolate, making us grateful for our cozy lodge! Spectacled Bear and Mountain Tapir shelter in these small forest patches, but may be seen at dawn and dusk venturing out to forage and feed. The area’s forest patches are the focal points for our patient scanning and, with expert local help, we have a good chance of seeing Spectacled Bear and a reasonable chance of Mountain Tapir. Warm and waterproof clothing is the key to enjoying this ‘hunt’, along with hardy patience! A hot soak in the thermal pools under the stars is a fine reward for our efforts, along with fresh cooked local trout and a chilled Chilean wine.

While scanning for bear or tapir is our priority here, birds are also present and fascinating. As we scan for these special mammals, we may see Andean Condor, Carunculated Caracara, Andean Gull, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Scrub and Blue-and-yellow Tanagers, and Southern Yellow-grosbeak. On clear days, the scenery is spectacular offering superb views of the snow-capped Volcán Antisana, a particular delight to the landscape photographers among us. Birders know this area as the Papallacta Pass and with decent weather, we may see Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Tawny Antpitta, Many-striped Canastero, White-chinned Thistletail, Red-rumped Bush-tyrant, Black-billed Shrike-tyrant and Brown-backed Chat-tyrant, among other paramo species. We travel to humid temperate forest a short distance down the valley, a habitat characterized by stunted trees, a different climate, and another set of birds and plants.
Accommodations at Termas de Papallacta (B,L,D)

Fri., Nov. 15 : Departures

Since most flights leave Quito for the US this evening, we enjoy a leisurely morning at our lodge, getting in a few more birds for the road, and then we pack up and head back to Quito for flights home. Please make flights out after 5:00 PM. (B,L)

  • Toucan Barbet, Birding Ecuador, Bird watching Ecuador, Ecuador, South American Birds, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Endemic Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Toucan Barbet

  • Blue-headed Parrots, Birding Ecuador, Bird watching Ecuador, Ecuador, South American Birds, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Endemic Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Blue-headed Parrots on clay lick

  • Squirrel Monkey, Birding Ecuador, Bird watching Ecuador, Ecuador, South American Birds, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Endemic Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Squirrel Monkey by Greg Smith

  • Green Kingfisher, Birding Ecuador, Bird watching Ecuador, Ecuador, South American Birds, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Endemic Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Green Kingfisher

  • Birding Ecuador, Bird watching Ecuador, Ecuador, South American Birds, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Endemic Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Plate-billed Mountain Toucan courtesy of Neblina Forest

  • Tit-like Dacnis, Birding Ecuador, Bird watching Ecuador, Ecuador, South American Birds, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Endemic Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Tit-like Dacnis

  • Purple bibbed white-tip & Brown Violet-ear, Birding Ecuador, Bird watching Ecuador, Ecuador, South American Birds, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Endemic Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Purple bibbed white-tip & Brown Violet-ear courtesy of Neblina Forest

  • Golden-breasted Grosbeak, Birding Ecuador, Bird watching Ecuador, Ecuador, South American Birds, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Endemic Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Golden-breasted Grosbeak by Ruth Guillemette

  • Birding Ecuador, Bird watching Ecuador, Ecuador, South American Birds, Naturalist Journeys, Wildlife Tour, Wildlife Photography, Ecotourism, Specialty Birds, Endemic Birds, Birding Hotspot

    Common Potoo

Cost of the Journey

Cost of the tour, from Quito, Ecuador, is per person based on occupancy: $6390 DBL / $7040 SGL. Tour price includes: 13 nights’ accommodations, airport transfers, and professional guide services. It includes land transportation within Ecuador, park and reserve entrance fees, pre-departure information and services, miscellaneous program expenses, accommodation and meals at all lodges, private transport, and private bilingual bird/naturalist guide. Tour price does NOT include your international flights to Quito or your internal flights in Ecuador (estimated at $120), though we do book the internal flights for you. The tour cost does not include items of a personal nature such as beverages from the bar, porterage, laundry, phone calls, or gift items. We also recommend a gratuity for maid service, and for our local drivers and guides, which is left to your discretion.

Travel Details

Please plan to make air travel plans only after the minimum group size has been met. We will send you a confirmation email as soon as the trip has been confirmed.

Arrival and Departure Airport: Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO), Quito Ecuador

Arrival Details: Plan to arrive November 2, at your leisure

Departure Details: Plan flights to depart November 15, after 8:00 PM 
We have a 45-minute flight back to Quito after a leisurely morning at the lodge. Most flights leave Quito around midnight so please check the flight dates carefully.

Travel Tip: If you would like to arrive early, you can book an early night at our first night tour hotel, the San Jose de Puembo Hotel. It’s a lovely hacienda-style hotel that has a restaurant, bar, and beautiful gardens throughout the property that make it excellent for birding. You can book this online and give us the confirmation number with the goal being you don’t have to switch rooms.

Entry Requirements: See "Essential Information" section under the "Know Before You Go" tab.

Browse below for trip reports and species lists from past versions of this and other tours from this destination.


  • Wes Larson

    Wes Larson is a wildlife biologist who specializes in some of the most beloved and threatened species around the world. His primary research has been on polar, black, grizzly and sloth bears, but he has been lucky enough to work on conservation projects with myriad other species, including Golden Eagle, African Wild Dog, Green Sea Turtle, Elephant Seal, Spotted Eagle Ray, Burrowing and Flammulated Owl, American Kestrel, Temminck’s Ground Pangolin, and American Alligator. Wes also has a passion for wildlife conservation education, and hosted the Mission Wild series for CNN’s Great Big Story, and regularly shares his travels and field work with his large social media following. He credits his love for wild things and bears to an upbringing in Montana, where the forests and mountains are a last refuge for his favorite species, the Grizzly Bear of the Rocky Mountains. Wes’s passion for all things wild is infectious and the only thing he loves more than seeing wildlife in its natural habitat is sharing those experiences with other people.

    Other trips with Wes Larson

Map for Birds & Mammals of Ecuador's Andes

Essential Information +

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have Read more

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have the best experience possible. If you only read one section, this one is key!

Ahead of Your Tour

  • Make sure your passport will be valid at least six months after the date of your scheduled return to the U.S. No Visas are required for U.S. citizens for stays less than 90 days in Ecuador. If you are from another country, please contact the Embassy of Ecuador’s website for guidelines.
  • Please check current CDC recommendations for travel to Ecuador and consult with your doctor about general travel vaccinations you should have as precaution for travel. See the “General Health and Inoculations” section below.
  • Travel insurance in case of serious medical emergency is strongly recommended. Full health coverage and repatriation is available through Allianz Travel Insurance.
  • Plan your international flight reservations to Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO). Send a copy of your itinerary to the Naturalist Journeys office please.
  • Soft sided luggage/duffel bags are easiest for packing the vans. Pack essential medications in your carry-on luggage, as well as one day of clothing and optics in case of luggage delay.

Arrival into Quito (UIO)

When you arrive at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO), look for the Holiday Inn Quito Airport Shuttle or call the hotel for the shuttle. We will have your arrival time and will reconfirm with your guide. If you are delayed in travel, please refer to your emergency contact list and contact your ground operator first, then our office. 

You will fill out a tourist entry card for Ecuador on your flight. Visas are not needed in advance of travel. When you arrive in Quito you will first pass through immigration. You will be given a customs form on the plane to fill out. Also have your emergency contact sheet handy going through Immigration to show your destinations. Look for the shuttle or call the hotel once you exit to the main terminal area.

There is an ATM at the airport if needed (see MONEY below).

Please check the Travel Details tab of this tour for additional information and updates.

Departures from Quito (UIO)

Your departing airport is in Quito at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO). There is an International Departure Tax, but this is normally now in your international ticket, and thus taken care of, just be aware that any time leaving a country, there could be notification of an increase or change. Plan your return flight in the evening. You need to be at the airport about three hours ahead of your scheduled flight on this return. Most flights leave near midnight, so please watch the days/dates carefully.

Please check the Travel Details tab of this tour for additional information and updates.

Passports, Visas & Documents

Guidelines and regulations can change. It is always advisable to double-check the country’s documentation requirements 60-90 days ahead of traveling. Information for U.S. citizens can be found at If you are from another country, please contact the tour destination’s embassy website for guidelines.

Passport: US citizens must have a passport that is in good condition and valid for at least six months AFTER the date of your scheduled return to the U.S. Please check that expiration date! You should have at least one blank page per entry stamp. The blank pages need to say “Visas” at the top. Pages marked “Amendments and Endorsements” will not be accepted. 

Visa: At the time of writing, a tourist visa is not required for US citizens for stays of this tour's duration. Your tourist card is part of your airline ticket and you will receive inbound forms to complete on your flight.  If you are issued a card at immigration, be sure to carry it with your passport at all times. You will need the card to exit the country.

The departure tax from Ecuador is now included in the cost of your flight, so you do not have to pay this separately at the International Airport before checking in for your flight.  

As a precaution for lost or misplaced documents you carry on your person during travel, we highly recommend you keep hard and digital backup copies on your phone (either photo or PDF scan), as well as a hard copy left with your emergency contact at home. The recommended important documents to copy include, but are not limited to; your passport ID page, travel visa, the front and back of your credit card(s), the airline barcode on your luggage. This will greatly expedite getting new ones if necessary – we hope everyone will always keep travel documents close so that losing them will not be an issue.

General Health & Inoculations Information - Be Prepared!

Health requirements for entry to any country can change. It is always advisable to double-check the country’s health requirements and recommendations 60-90 days ahead of traveling. A helpful website for planning is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for Ecuador or by phone (800) CDC-INFO or (800) 232-4636.

We will share your health information with your guide. This information will be kept confidential but is very important as we want to be best prepared in case of medical emergency. 

Vaccinations: Bring copies of your current vaccination records with you. At the time of writing there were no required vaccinations to enter Ecuador, however, the CDC recommends that all travelers be up to date with routine vaccinations and basic travel vaccines (such as Hepatitis A and Typhoid) before traveling to any destination. Please check with your doctor for recommendations at least 4-6 weeks before departing on your trip.  

Anti-malarial drugs are not required for any area that you visit. There are occasional reports of Dengue Fever in lower elevation areas, for which there is no vaccine. Dengue fever, Zika, and other diseases are contacted by mosquito bites so be sure to use mosquito repellant containing DEET or Picaridin, though at this time of year there should be little mosquito activity.  Travelers can reduce their risk of disease by protecting themselves from mosquito bites by using protective clothing.

Prescriptions: It is a good idea to pack any meds you take regularly in your carry-on luggage.  Bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses. Bring an adequate supply of any prescription medications you use, a copy of the prescription and a list of generic names of your medicines as “back-up” in case it is necessary to purchase drugs while abroad. You’ll want to keep medications in their original, labeled containers. 

Allergies: To be prepared for environmental triggers to allergies or breathing difficulties, please bring your allergy and/or asthma medication(s).  If you have severe allergies talk to your doctor about carrying an EPI pen and notify your guides. It is also recommended to carry with you an up-to-date record of known allergies, chronic medical problems and Medic Alerts so that, if necessary, emergency treatment can be carried out without endangering your health.

Common Ailments: We recommend that you bring a travel-sized first aid kit and a supply of standard over-the-counter medications for prevention or treatment of common ailments (such as diarrhea, constipation, stomach upset, cough, congestion, head or body aches, motion sickness, insect bites and sunburn); as well as ointments, moisturizer, sunscreen, oral rehydration salts, band-aids, moleskin for blisters, cotton swabs, nail clippers, and tweezers, etc.

Altitude sickness: If high altitude will be encountered on your trip, it can affect some and, if there is a concern, be prepared. The most general symptoms are headache and occasionally fatigue and dizziness. You’ll want to take it easy, particularly at first. The likelihood of these symptoms can be reduced by resting, drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and taking aspirin. If you have worries about the altitude, ask your physician about medications (such as Diamox) that may be right for you. For more information, see

Daily Itinerary

We generally follow the published itinerary but do network with other guides and may make changes if we hear of great bird sightings or a new opportunity. The joy of our travel is tremendous flexibility, and we make every effort to do the things you particularly want to do. Your guide will keep you apprised of the next day’s schedule at each evening meal, noting what to bring and what to prepare for. Questions and/or concerns are welcome.

The pace of the trip is moderate, with some early morning departures, extensive field time and some options for hikes. It is also easy to take it at a vacation pace! You can pace yourself within our typically active schedule.

Weather & Climate

In general, weather where we travel in Ecuador is quite variable.  We start in Quito at 9,350 feet of altitude. Average daytime temperatures for November are 51°F, with night temperatures at 40°F. In the lower elevations, temperatures will include daily highs up to around 84° and lows down around 73°F. Rain is likely.

Annoyances & Hazards

Mosquitoes can occur, especially along the Napo River; therefore, a supply of insect repellent containing DEET is essential. At grassland or farm locations you may encounter chiggers, if so, spray your shoes with repellent, and tuck your pants into your socks; this helps a lot.  When back, be sure to shower and air out your clothing. Chiggers are a part of lowland and mid-elevation habitats throughout Central and South America. Your guide should have a good read on if it has been wet enough that they are active. There can also be poisonous snakes and insects, though encountering them is rare.  Do listen carefully to any advice given by your local guide. And remember the sun is strong and be prepared with proper protection.

Food & Drinks

Menus at lodges and restaurants are varied, sustainably based on the wonderful local ingredients available, and delightfully prepared in a sanitary environment. As with any case when traveling we urge you to consider what your body is used to before you eat something. Trust your common sense when consuming food and beverages. This is the best way to avoid any unwanted problems. Ask for recommendations from your hotel or refer to a guidebook such as Frommers. Meals reflect the contributions of American, European, Spanish, and local cuisines.

Bottled water will be available for field trips and drinking water is provided for you to refill a bottle. One of the many ways we strive to do our part for the environment is by trying to reduce our consumption of plastics; if convenient, we appreciate if you can bring reusable water bottles. Your guide will let you know when bottled water is preferable.

Packing, Clothing & Laundry

Dress is very informal and laundry services are available for a fee at our lodges. While some people will change for dinner, it is usually just to a drier or cleaner version of what they wore during the day.

Please, pack light.  We are serious about this – we move around a lot; you just do not need many changes at these elevations! Please do not bring anything more than you must. Lay out your hopeful things to take and then do a serious paring down please!

Rain is likely, so do have good rain gear; shoes with good tread and support are essential. We recommend dressing in layers, with a good wind-breaking layer that can do double duty as raingear. Our weather will be determined by altitude, so dressing in layers works perfectly for these conditions. Please bring warm enough clothing for the higher altitude, morning, and evening temperatures.

TRAVEL TIP: Imagine NOT getting your suitcase. Please, please do not pack any essential medications, or your vital optics, in your checked luggage! Wear your most important shoes for the field and bring one day’s clothing change, including underwear in your carry-on. 

Spending Money

Ecuador has adopted the US Dollar as their monetary unit, so there is no exchange rate. We advise you carry a mix of different types of payments, such as cash, an ATM card, and a credit card. U.S. dollars in good condition (no rips or tears) are taken as payment.

When using the ATM to withdrawal cash, keep in mind it might only accept cards from local banks or not allow cash advances on credit cards. Many U.S. banks charge a fee of $1 - $5 each time you use a foreign ATM. Others may charge you a percentage of the amount you withdraw. Check with your bank before departure. You must become familiar with how to use your ATM card and PIN number ahead of the journey.

We suggest you have more than one card available, if possible. You may want to bring more than one brand of card (VISA and Mastercard are commonly accepted; American Express is less common). You can use credit cards at lodges to pay your bar and gift tabs. Not every shop will accept every card. Some smaller shops and restaurants or taxis require cash, so it is always a good idea to ask before making a purchase. Also, we recommend that you advise your bank or credit card company that you will be traveling abroad to avoid questions, card freezes, or charges. If you have a choice of cards, bring one with no foreign exchange fees.

Traveler’s checks are not widely accepted. They can be difficult to exchange. We do not advise you use them


Tipping is optional and completely at your discretion. If you would like to show your appreciation to your guides, lodge and hotel staff, or anyone associated with this tour, it is entirely appropriate. Know that they appreciate anything you care to give and of course you can do more if you wish! Lodges normally have a box for tips that the staff share, and at hotels you would just tip the maids as you do at home. We hope that you will be pleased with all professional services.

Here is a standard suggestion for tipping on birding trips:

  • Birding tour guide: US $10.00 - $15.00 per day per guest
    Note: If there is more than one guide, this can be split among them, so that is a total, per person, per day
  • Tour driver if different from guide: US $5.00 - $7.00 per person/day
  • Lodge staff: US $6.00 - $10.00 per day per guest
  • Transfer (airport shuttle) driver: US $2.00 - $3.00 per person
  • Hotel & international airport bellmen: US $1.00 per suitcase

You may wish to bring small gifts for local people that you meet and enjoy (this is totally optional!). T-shirts, school supplies like pens and small notebooks, inexpensive watches, and baseball caps are always popular.  Your guides can pass along school supplies to a local school if you bring them. They also love any nature books/coloring books.

Cell Phones & Internet Service

Your guide is well connected and can help if any urgent communication need arises. However, it is highly recommended that you travel with a cell phone, if only as a precaution for the unfortunate occurrence of a medical emergency during an outing and needing swift accessibility to critical personal or medical contacts. 

Please check with your wireless provider to see if your phone and service will work in your destination country. Options include activating international roaming, purchasing a local SIM card at the airport (newer phones may not accept SIM cards), or simply turning off cellular service and relying on Wi-Fi to make calls and access the internet. If your phone can connect to Wi-Fi, you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Another option if you have access to Wi-Fi is to use smartphone apps like Skype, WhatsApp, or Viber to send text messages, and make voice calls, or video calls. Many smartphones, tablets, or laptops come with one of these apps pre-installed or you can download for free.

Your hotels and most local restaurants provide Wi-Fi at least in their common areas. Although it is generally a reliable service, it can be affected by adverse weather conditions due to the remote location.

Make sure if you do NOT want to use your cell phone that you turn off your cellular data. You could incur huge charges if you are not on Wi-Fi. Putting your phone in airplane mode if you mainly use it for photos will save the battery as well. 

Please refrain from taking or making cell phone calls in the vehicles when traveling with other passengers, unless it appears to be an emergency. This disrupts other guests, plan on cell phone call use on your own time.


The standard in Ecuador is the same as in the United States: 110-120 volts AC (60 cycles). Plugs are set up in the same style. However, three-pronged outlets can be scarce, so it's helpful to bring along an adapter for a two-prong outlet. If your appliance plug has a different shape, you may need a plug adapter. More information can be found at .


Ecuador is on Ecuador Time, which is the same as U.S. Eastern Standard Time.  (Ecuador does not have Daylight Savings Time.) A great website for someone calling you to check the time is


Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at or telephone at our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey!


Pace & Protocols +

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of Read more

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect

You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of hotels (our eContact List) a few weeks before your departure. This will serve as an outline for each day and alert you to any recent changes made in the schedule or to our hotels, if needed.

Our journeys are set up to follow the rhythm of nature. Our focus is on birding and nature; we offer full, well-planned field days and often get up early for that magical time around dawn. We generally follow the published itinerary, but we stay flexible to the weather, wildlife opportunities and the interests of the group. Your guide will keep you apprised of the next day’s schedule at each evening meal, noting what to bring and what to prepare for. Questions and/or concerns are welcome.

The pace of our Naturalist Journeys tours is moderate; to fully participate you should be able to get in and out of vehicles several times a day, and walk 1-3 miles over uneven terrain. It is important to participate with a flexible attitude as adjustments may be made in our schedule to make the most of our time in the field or for other purposes at your guide's discretion. We are not a “listing” bird company that drills down on target species, but at times we do wait for those special species unique to the places we visit. During the day, we take time to stop for photos and for educational opportunities to learn about conservation projects, landscapes, and geology. We appreciate other taxa as well as birds, with mammals often the biggest draw but plants and butterflies are also very popular. Our clients often lend their own expertise to the mix.

We like to make meals a fun and memorable part of the experience, too. Breakfasts are often at hotels, and we carry snacks, fruit, and water in the vans each day. Lunches are a mix of picnics in the field (weather dependent) and a chance to dine with locals at small cafes and restaurants. For dinner, we pride ourselves in our homework to keep up with the best choices for dining, choosing restaurants with atmosphere that specialize in local foods. On occasion we keep dinner simple to go back out in the field for sunset wildlife viewing or night walks. In some remote locations, our choices are limited. If you are tired, room service for dinner may be an option you can choose.

Naturalist Journeys International Trips: Guide Role

Naturalist Journeys supports ecotourism and the development of excellent local guides. Once we know our international partners and guides well, we can send out small groups working directly with these trusted partners, adding a Naturalist Journeys guide to assist the local expert when we have a group of 6-7 or more. This helps us keep your costs down while retaining tour quality. The local guide is your main guide. You can expect your Naturalist Journeys guide to be well-researched and often they are experienced in the destination, but their role is not to be primary, it is to help to organize logistics, help you find birds, mammals, and interesting other species in the field, keep reports, help facilitate group interactions, and to keep the trip within Naturalist Journeys' style. Local guides live in the countries we travel to, know the destinations intimately, and are often the strongest force for conservation in their countries. They open many doors for us to have a rich experience.


Smoking is not permitted in any vehicle or in any situation where the group is participating in an activity together, such as a vehicle excursion or a guided walk. Please respect all designated smoking areas at hotels and restaurants.


As a courtesy to each other, we ask that all travelers please rotate seating. On international trips we may all be in one small bus, on some trips we are in vans, particularly the roomy Sprinter Vans when available. Some areas require us to be in smaller 4-wheel drive or safari vehicles. Rotation allows you to sit with different drivers and alternate front and back seating.

Photo Release & Sharing

We take many group photos and will share photos with the group. And after your tour, we will organize a chance to share photos via Dropbox or Google Photos. Please note that this is our policy and if you prefer to be excluded, we need to know ahead of your tour.

By registering for this tour, you agree to grant to Naturalist Journeys and its authorized representatives’ permission to record on photography film and/or video, pictures of my participation in the tour. You further agree that any or all of the material photographed may be used, in any form, as part of any future publications, brochure, or other printed materials used to promote Naturalist Journeys, and further that such use shall be without payment of fees, royalties, special credit or other compensation.

Travel Insurance

You are traveling in remote areas. Naturalist Journeys strongly recommends you have full medical and evacuation insurance from a company such as Allianz, for all international travel. If you do not have medical coverage or evacuation coverage on your existing travel insurance policy or for some reason elected not to take that out, we advise getting an evacuation plan with Global RescueWorld Nomads, Medjet, Allianz (they can do evacuation only) or a similar company. These plans are typically $300-$400 for a year for multiple destinations. This coverage may be a part of a larger Travel Insurance policy but can also be purchased on its own.


Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at or telephone our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey.


Packing List +

Please Pack Light! Please reconfirm your airline’s baggage weight and size restrictions about a week or Read more

Please Pack Light!

Please reconfirm your airline’s baggage weight and size restrictions about a week or so before departure.

Checked luggage: Soft luggage is much easier for us to pack than a more rigid hard sided piece, so if you have the choice, please use your soft luggage.  Be sure to have your name and address on the inside of the bag, as well as on the luggage tag on the handle.  It is our hope that you can pack in one checked suitcase that does not exceed 45 pounds.  If lighter, all the better!

Carry-On: Be sure to pack your personal medication, airline tickets, passport, binoculars, camera, and other essential items in your carry-on bag. You will want a day pack for field trips, so this is an ideal carry-on. 

Weather & General Guidelines

We start in Quito at 9,350 feet of altitude. Average daytime temperatures for November are 66°F, with night temperatures at 50°F. Papallacta Pass will be about ten degrees colder but may feel cold if windy or you have rain, so layers work well. The Napo River is lowland rainforest and temperatures will be more like 72-85° and lows down around 65°F. Rain is likely despite it being one of the drier months in Ecuador, so do have good rain gear; shoes/boots with good tread and support are essential. We recommend dressing in layers, with a good wind-breaking layer that can do double duty as raingear. Our weather will be determined by altitude, so dressing in layers works perfectly for these conditions.

Clothing & Gear

Dress is comfortable and informal throughout the trip. Dressing in layers is the best way to be comfortable. Lightweight long sleeve shirts and long pants make ideal field clothing as they are more protective from sun and vegetation.  But if you like to wear shorts, by all means bring some.  Also, choose clothing you don’t mind getting dirty or muddy and things that are easy to launder.  Loose clothing discourages insects and is very cool.

Note on clothing colors and insect repellent: We recommend muted colors of tan, brown, khaki, grey or green, as they are spotted less easily than white or bright colors; though camouflage clothing is not recommended. It is possible to purchase field clothing permeated with insect repellent such as the Craghoppers Insect Shield collection. Another approach is to purchase Permethrin spray (online or from REI) to treat your field clothing and socks before your departure.

Packing List:

  • Lightweight long pants, 2-3 pair
  • Lightweight long sleeve shirts, 2-3 (if open buttons, may be layered with short- sleeved or sleeveless t-shirt to keep cool in the lowlands). Loose fitting keeps you cool.
  • T-shirts, short-sleeved or equivalent (1-2)
  • Personal underclothing (consider what dries quickly if you plan to wash) and nightclothes
  • Socks – lightweight and easy to wash and dry, and long enough to tuck your pants to help protect from chiggers in the lowlands
  • Comfortable walking shoes (such as tennis shoes) and lightweight hiking boots – 2 pair. Please note that forest trails will be on uneven terrain and may be muddy – bring shoes with good support and firm grip tread.
  • Field vest (optional) a great source is Big Pockets
  • Good quality raincoat and pants (recommended) or poncho
  • Fleece jacket or sweater for highlands and Quito evenings
  • Comfortable clothes for evening (a cleaner version of your field clothes)
  • Comfortable sandals or light shoes for evenings, travel days
  • Hat with broad brim; warm hat for Papallacta Pass
  • Scarf, light gloves, light hat for cold evenings (you want to go owling!)
  • Bandana (optional, great for cooling off when hot and sweaty)
  • Bathing suit if you enjoy swimming

Equipment & Miscellaneous

  • Airline tickets or e-ticket verification
  • Passport, visa (if required), health and travel insurance info, current vaccinations, money & credit cards.
  • A secure pouch to carry the items above on your person (such as a secure, under-clothing money pouch)
  • As a backup: copies of all the above (phone and/or paper) packed in a separate location than on your person, plus a set given to your emergency contact at home as a backup. For passport, copy of the  ID and entry stamp pages.
  • Small daypack to carry gear while hiking and in vehicles
  • Binoculars (a hotel shower cap is great to cover these when it is raining…)
  • Spotting scope and tripod (optional – guide will have them)
  • Camera and extra batteries, digital chips etc., lens cleaning supplies and your instruction manual. Do a good check for all this before leaving, battery chargers may be hard to find! (optional)
  • Adapters for three prong electronic equipment
  • Tablet/laptop for personal use and/or transferring photos, USB stick, USB cord and charger (optional). If bringing a laptop or tablet, bring a good dustcover to protect it at all times.
  • Walking stick (optional but recommended if you have one)
  • Umbrella – compact and not brightly colored
  • Flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries (important – cabins may be up the hill from our dining areas). Make sure this is in good working order. Extra batteries.
  • Alarm clock (yes, you’ll hopefully be inspired to get up early!) If you use your phone for this learn how to turn off data roaming.
  • Sunscreen/lip balm
  • Sunglasses with neck strap
  • Insect repellent (something containing DEET, and sulphur powder or equivalent for chiggers)
  • Toiletry articles: shampoo and conditioner, dental supplies, razor, emery boards, hairbrush/comb, tweezers, hand lotion, feminine hygiene, deodorant, pain reliever
  • Sink stopper, soap for hand laundry (the new detergent sheets are super handy!)
  • Water bottle (can easily be bought in the airport and refilled daily). We love the Life Steam bottles that have an internal filter, making it possible to fill from the tap and be safe – VERY handy!
  • Notebook or journal and pen (optional)
  • Field guides (optional)
  • Small bottle of antibacterial hand soap/hand sanitizer
  • Small bottle or bag of laundry soap (or the new detergent sheets, super handy!) sink stopper
  • Washcloth (optional)
  • Earplugs (optional)
  • Rechargeable power bank (optional)
  • Steri-Pen or other UV water treatment device to help cut down on the use of plastic bottles (optional)


WE DO NOT RECOMMEND TRAVELING WITH PRECIOUS OR VALUABLE JEWELRY – don’t tempt anyone and don’t bring things you’d regret losing - your mind will be at ease!

Medical & First Aid Items

  • Current vaccination record
  • Health insurance card
  • Personal medication (and copy of vital prescriptions, including glasses)
  • Motion sickness preventatives if likely to be needed on bus, van, drives, etc.
  • Personal first aid kit including medications for general and stomach ailments (Imodium or Lomotil, antihistamine cream or tablets, eye drops, Band-aids etc.)
  • Foot powder, lotions, general “comfort” items
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts
  • Altitude sickness medication (optional)

Donations & Gifts

We enjoy interacting with local people. Why not bring a small photo album or load your tablet with some photos of your life to share? Or some small lightweight gifts – hair ties, costume jewelry, memory sticks or flash drives, etc.  Be creative here.  Also for kids, school supplies – marking pens, activity cards such as number cards, small notebooks, and pencils are a bit hit, we can surely find a home for these in the smaller rural villages. Children’s books are a treat, especially if they are in Spanish.

Guides at the lodges are often isolated. They always enjoy a current newspaper, nature magazine, and books. If you have an old USA field guide you are not using, these are great for them to see some of the migrants and birds from another area.


Suggested Reading List +

There are many titles of interest for Ecuador; the following are a few that we Read more

There are many titles of interest for Ecuador; the following are a few that we have enjoyed that can get you started.

Top Picks

Birds of Ecuador (Helm Field Guides)

Wildlife of Ecuador: A Photographic Field Guide to Birds, Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians

The New Neotropical Companion: An introduction to the animals, plants and ecosystems of the New World Tropics

Other Field Guides

The Birds of Ecuador

Travellers’ Wildlife Guides Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

General Reading: Nature

Ecuador: Andes & Amazon

Tropical Nature

General Reading: Culture

Insight Guide Ecuador and Galapagos

Portrait of a Nation: Culture and Progress in Ecuador

Culture Smart! Ecuador

The Panama Hat Trail

Latin American Spanish: Phrasebook & Dictionary

Ecuador and Galapagos Map

As an Amazon Associate, Naturalist Journeys earns from qualifying purchases, and may get commissions for purchases made through links on this page at no added cost to you.


Useful Links +

Learn more about your destination at these external websites, carefully researched for you. Read more


Ecuador – Encyclopedic Overview


Free, printable maps of Ecuador

Nature, Wildlife & Biology

Ecuador Birding Overview

Ecuador Bird Checklist

Dragonflies of Ecuador (photos)

Butterflies of Ecuador

Neotropical Butterflies (book & photos)

Giant River Otter

Mammals of Ecuador

Recently Discovered Olinguito

Frogs (Ranas) of Ecuador (Latin names)

Andean Condor

Spectacled Bear

Conservation, Parks & Reserves

The Nature Conservancy in Ecuador

Jocotoco Foundation

World Wildlife Fund Strategic Plan Ecuador

Climate Change

Andes Amazon Fund

Napo River Basin

Cayambe Coca National Park

Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve

Geology & Geography

National Geological Map

Geography of Ecuador

Pichincha (volcano)

History & Culture

History of Ecuador

Culture of Ecuador

Cuisine of Ecuador

Speaking Spanish in Ecuador

Helpful Travel Websites

Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO)

National Passport Information Center

U.S. Department of State International Travel Information - Ecuador

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

U.S. Embassy & Consulate in Ecuador

Homeland Security Real ID Act

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Ecuador

Canadian Travel Advice and Advisories - Ecuador

Travel Health Pro (UK) – Ecuador

Foreign Exchange Rates

ATM Locator

Electricity and Plugs - Ecuador

Date, Time, and Holidays - Ecuador

Photo credits: Banners: Quito Scenic (NJ Stock), Crimson-rumped Toucanet (NJ Stock), Spectacled Bear (NJ Stock), Hoatzin (NJ Stock), Blue-and-gray Tanager (NJ Stock), Culpeo (NJ Stock), Andean Cock-of-the-rock (NJ Stock) Thumbnails: White-faced Capuchin Monkey (NJ Stock), Buff-breasted Mountain Tanager (NJ Stock), Violet-tailed Sylph (NJ Stock), Masked Trogon (NJ Stock), Andean Cock-of-the-rock (NJ Stock), Sword-billed Hummingbird (NJ Stock), Giant Anteater (NJ Stock), Plate-billed Mountain Toucan (NJ Stock)


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