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Bird Tours at a Glance

Peru Manu

Ecuador: Jocotoco


Download full Southern Ecuador tour information (PDF)


Download Cumulative Bird List for Past 8 Trips(PDF)


Ecuador Jocotoco 2012 Photo Gallery


Tour Gallery


Andean Cock-of-the-Rock is one of the specialties we can see near Copalinga Lodge


We often encounter Barred Puffbird at Buenaventura.


Umbrellabird Lodge is famous for.... you guessed it, Long-wattled Umbrellabird. A real highlight of any birding tour to Ecuador!

Club-winged Manakin is fairly common at Buenaventura Reserve.


The El Oro Parakeet was discovered near Buenaventura and the reserve is the species' stronghold in the world.


The lovely Barred Becard can be found at several of our tour stops, including Tapichalaca.


The Chapman's Antshrike is one of many Tumbesian endemics we will see on our Southern Ecuador birding tour.


Ecuatorial Graytail is a rare canopy furnariid found near Copalinga Lodge.


Ochraceous Attila is another Tumbesian endemic found at Buenaventura.


Pale-mandibled Aracari sometimes comes in to the feeders at Buenaventura.


Words can't describe the crown of a Rainbow Starfrontlet! An amazing addition to any bird tour in Ecuador.


The Chestnut-naped Antpitta often comes in and feeds on worms along with the Jocotoco Antpitta!



Thursday 2 November to Sunday 19 November

Guided by Gary Rosenberg

Price:  $5400


Two week birding tour designed to visit several Jocotoco Foundation reserves in Southern Ecuador, including Buenaventura, Tapichalaca (home of the Jocotoco Antpitta), Utuana, and Jorupe. Most lodging is right within the reserves. We’ll also visit Copalinga Lodge on the Rio Bombuscaro, as well as  Podacarpus National Park near Loja, and the Santa Elaena Peninsula. Wonderful Andean birding. Large variety of Tumbesian endemics. Fancy species such as Jocotoco Antpitta and Long-wattled Umbrellabird. Fabulous hummingbird watching and photography with more than 40 species. Lots of fancy tanagers - including a two night visit to Yankuam to try for the rare Orange-throated Tanager! The trip will finish with a new visit to Yungilla for the rare Pale-headed Brush-Finch, and El Cajas National Park near Cuenca.


Southern Ecuador is a very diverse region within this small country, especially in terms of habitats. The variety of incredible habitats, from Amazonian lowland rainforest, to lush cloudforest on both the eastern and western slopes of the Andes, to high Andean Paramo to the dry Tumbesian desert in the Southwest,  all translates to an unbelievable richness of bird species for such a small country. A birding tour through Southern Ecuador allows the birdwatcher to sample most of these habitats, the result of which is the possibility for a huge bird list. The Jocotoco Foundation (an Ecuadorian based conservation organization originally started to protect the habitat of the Jocotoco Antpitta) has bought several parcels of land throughout southern Ecuador and created reserves to protect both endangered habitats, and threatened bird species. What’s even better is that they developed the reserves with birdwatchers in mind, by building comfortable accommodations, maintaining trails, and putting up hummingbird feeders everywhere!  It is wonderful to wake up right within the reserves, which makes the birding not only fantastic, but very convenient. Our tour of the Jocotoco reserves begins in Guayaquil, with a day trip out to the Santa Elaena Peninsula. We then make a large circuit up the west slope to Buenaventura (home of the Long-wattled Umbrellabird), to Jorupe on the Peruvian border (for Tumbesian endemics, to Loja at the foot of Podacarpus National Park, to Tapichalaca (home of the Jocotoco Antpitta), to lovely Copalinga Lodge on the Rio Bombuscaro in the eastern foothills, to Yankuam for Orange-throated Tanager, to Saraguro for Crescent-faced Antpitta, to Yungilla for Pale-headed Brush-Finch, to El Cajas National Park for Tit-like Dacnis and Violet-throated Metaltail, and finally back to Guayaquil.

Each location has its incredible attributes. Buenaventura not only has a Long-wattled Umbrellabird lek within the reserve, Umbrellabird Lodge has the most amazing hummingbird feeders we have seen anywhere! You simply won’t believe the number of hummingbirds coming in! The forest there is lovely, and a number of other specialties are possible, including the rare endemic El Oro Parakeet. Podacarpus National Park has stunning vistas of high-elevation  cloud-forest, and amazing birds such as Bearded Guan, Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, and a variety of fancy tanagers including Hooded Mountain-Tanager and Red-hooded Tanager. Copalinga Lodge was built by a lovely Belgian couple (birders) right at the entrance to the Rio Bombuscaro sector of Podacarpus National Park. The trails in the park allow us access to a stunningly beautiful forest, with incredible birds such as Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Coppery-chested Jacamar, and Ecuadorian Piedtail – just to mention a few. From Copalinga we will visit the newly opened Yankuam for two nights, an exciting area in the Cordillera del Condor, and we'll look for the rare Orange-throated Tanager.

Tapichalaca is the reserve that started it all and is where we have an excellent chance of seeing Jocotoco Antpitta, not to mention a wide variety of high Andean hummingbirds and tanagers. Jorupe is one of their newest reserves, located right on the Peruvian border, and home to a rich assortment of Tumbesian endemics, such as stunning birds like White-tailed Jay and White-edged Oriole. We’ll finish by visiting a new reserve near Cuenca called Yungilla, where the Pale-headed Brush-Finch occurs, as well as El Cajas National Park near Cuenca for a number of high-elevation species, including Tit-like Dacnis and Violet-throated Metaltail. From Cuenca we drive back to Guayaquil where the tour will conclude.

The trip list should be more than500 species, but perhaps more importantly, will see an amazing number of scarce species and regional endemics.

It should be noted that in order to stay at the Jocotoco reserves, this tour is limited to nine participants, and at a couple of the lodges (Buenaventura and Tapichalaca), singles may not be accommodated. Waking up right at the reserves makes the shared accommodations well worth it!