'Birds of the Northeast Andes'

What makes this trip special?

High paramo birding

High paramo birding

Antisana & Papallacta

Visit the highest road in Ecuador for species such as Andean Snipe, Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Bar-winged Cinclodes and Tawny Antpittas.

Subtropical & temperate montane forest

Subtropical & temperate montane forest

San Isidro

Travel to the eastern flanks of the Andes for species such as Dusky Piha, White-capped Tanager, Red-hooded Tanager, Inca Jay, Sickle-winged Guan, Masked Trogon and Tyrannine Woodcreeper.

Cloud forest species, foothill specialities & Amazonian birds

Cloud forest species, foothill specialities & Amazonian birds


Wildsumaco lodge has a tremendous mix of different habitats and species (over 456 have been recorded there) including several rare and difficult to see birds.

Itinerary map for Ecuador & Galapagos 'Birds of the Northeast Andes' holiday


  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Antisana
  • 2 Papallacta
  • 3 San Isidro
  • 4 Wildsumaco
  • 5 Wildsumaco
  • 6 Wildsumaco
  • 7 Quito
  • 7 San Isidro
  • 7 Papallacta
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Birds of the Northeast Andes'


Antisana / La Mica Lagoon to Papallacta

You are driven from Quito for very productive and scenic birding in and around the Antisana Reserve, below Antisana’s snow-capped peak. At Laguna Micacocha look for Silvery Grebe, Yellow-billed Pintail, Andean Coot, Gull, and Lapwing, and Lesser Yellowlegs, as well as Carunculated Caracara and Black-faced Ibis. Today and tomorrow there are good chances to see Andean Condor patrolling the skies. Stay 2 nights at ‘Termas de Papallacta’ (p13) at 3300m. Trails behind the hotel are good for hummingbirds.


Papallacta Pass and Sucus Lake

Bird the Papallacta pass and Sucus Lake in an area of polylepis woodlands, paramo grasslands and marsh. In polylepis groves there’s a good chance of Giant Conebill. Among others for today are Andean Snipe, Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Stout-billed and Bar-winged Cinclodes, Tawny Antpitta, Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant, Red-crested Cotinga, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, and Black-backed Bush-Tanager.


Guango and San Isidro

Onwards over the Papallacta pass to Guango Lodge at 2700m on the eastern slopes of the Andes in humid temperate forest. Later continue down to the Quijos Valley, one of the westernmost sources of the Amazon, to stay for 2 nights at San Isidro Lodge at 2050m. The lodge’s trails explore habitats from temperate zones around 2400m down into the subtropical zone at 1850m. Amongst many great birds, you have good chances of finding Sword-billed Hummingbird and Powerful Woodpecker. On the way you may see Torrent Duck in a rushing stream by the road, Torrent Tyrannulet, Black Phoebee and White-capped Dipper.


Guacamayos, Wildsumaco, Loreto Road

After birding the Cordillera de Guacamayos (see above), continue down to Wildsumaco, a specialist birding lodge set on a ridge in the foothills with panoramic views across the Rio Pucuno Valley. Trails are from 1200 to 1500m and yield a tremendous mix of cloudforest species, foothill specialities and Amazonian birds.


Full day birding around Wildsumaco where an amazing 456 species have been recorded, including several very difficult to see rare and local birds. Targets include Blue-rumped Manakin, Musician Wren, Golden-eyed Flowerpiercer, Yellow-throated Spadebill, Ecuadorian Piedtail, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Napo Sabrewing, Black-throated Brilliant, Gray-tailed Piha, Chestnut-crowned Gnateater, Paradise Tanager and Red-billed Tyrannulet.


Second full day for birding locally at Wildsumaco where regional specialities include, Striolated Puffbird, Chestnut-tipped Toucanet, Equatorial Graytail, Black-billed Treehunter, Lined Antshrike, Blackish Antbird, Short-tailed Antthrush, Scarlet-breasted and Fiery-throated Fruiteater, Amazonian Umbrellabird.



Early morning birding at Wildsumaco before travelling back to Quito where this module ends. Either fly back to Europe or overnight in Quito ready for onward travel elsewhere within Ecuador or the Galapagos.

Guide prices for 'Birds of the Northeast Andes'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
4 night option (with regular driver) 2 people sharing £call
4 night option (with bird guide) 2 people sharing £call
6 night option (with regular driver) 2 people sharing £call
6 night option (with bird guide) 2 people sharing £call
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Ecuador
  • all accommodation
  • meals as indicated B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally

Customer reviews for 'Birds of the Northeast Andes'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.

Average customer rating 100%


Seasonal information for 'Birds of the Northeast Andes'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Antisana 23°C rainfall 42mm
2 Papallacta 12°C rainfall 84mm
3 San Isidro 22°C rainfall 110mm
4 Wildsumaco 25°C rainfall 219mm
5 Wildsumaco 25°C rainfall 219mm
6 Wildsumaco 25°C rainfall 219mm
7 Quito 15°C rainfall 117mm
7 San Isidro 22°C rainfall 110mm
7 Papallacta 12°C rainfall 84mm

Typical weather for January


Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Birds of the Northeast Andes'

Days 1 - 2

Termas de Papallacta


Average rating 4.4 (39 ratings)

Situated high on the paramos (moors) 40  minutes drive east from Quito this is a delightful lodge with outdoor thermal pools and spa. It has a total of 32 rooms dotted about in its garden, including 13 cabins which also have living rooms and fireplaces. Accommodation is about 300m from the main block which houses the restaurant and spa. Guests have thermal pools, never more than a few footsteps from their room. Here on a clear night it is lovely to slip into the warm water after dinner and admire the moonlit snowcapped summit of distant Antisana volcano. All rooms have private bathrooms and there are self-guided hiking trails on the paramos behind the hotel where there are opportunites to see hummingbirds. There are also much larger thermal pools which are open to the public which are very popular at weekends when day-trippers visit from Quito. Room prices are higher at weekends when the lodge is busiest so aim to stay mid-week.

Termas de Papallacta
Thermal pools
Days 3 - 4

San Isidro Lodge

20 mins south of Baeza

Average rating 4.6 (14 ratings)

Birders and walkers lodge in the eastern foothills of the Andes at 2,000m above sea level in a zone still mostly blanketed by exensive humid forest. It has 10 wooden cabins all with private bathroom and small private porch with a private hummingbird feeder, coffee maker, sitting area. Thre is WIFI in the communal dining room, a pool table, white light for insect observation and a book exchange. It’s a great place for butterflies, birds (310 species) and other wildlife including large mammals. 30 species of hummingbird come to the feeders including Long-tailed Sylph and Gorgeted Woodstar. There is an Orchid garden with over 100 species around the cabins, Antpitta feeding station. The lodge's trails pass through habitats from 2,400m all the way down to 1,850m i.e. from the lower reaches of the temperate zone down into the subtropical zone.

San Isidro Lodge