Day 1: Napo Province
Papallacta Pass and Guango Lodge: Our first stop after leaving Quito will be our highest elevation. When the weather cooperates, the views from the top are breathtaking. There will be all sorts of unique vegetation great for macro photography. Our main objective in Papallacta Pass will be the Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, and how long we spend up here will probably depend on the weather. Hopefully, we can find the large shorebird quickly, even if the weather is bad. With luck, there can be mammals like Andean Fox, (Andean) White-tailed Deer, Andean Rabbit, and maybe even Spectacled Bear! Dress warm for this site. Afterwards, we will soon be in Guango Lodge’s cloud forest where a hot beverage will warm one right up. There are lots of hummingbirds in Guango, including the Sword-billed Hummingbird, so this is a great place for photography. Also a short trail down to the river can be really good for Torrent Duck, mixed flocks full with large pretty birds, and with luck, Mountain Tapirs or brocket deer are sometimes spotted! After spending adequate time in Guango, we will continue to our hotel for the night. At night, we want to patrol the parking lot to look for the San Isidro Owl, mammals like night monkeys and Kinkajou, frogs, and insects that make for nice photos.
Day 2: Napo Province
Cabañas San Isidro, Narupa Yacu & Wild Sumaco: Lots of birds come into the area around the cabins in the morning, attracted by swaths of insects that come to the parking lot lights during the night. We can find trogons, flycatchers, fruiteaters, quetzals, warblers, woodpeckers, ovenbirds, wrens, and more without leaving the parking lot (every day is different but there is almost always something impressive worth photographing). Mountain Tapirs sometimes can be observed from the dining hall eating from a salt lick the lodge maintains. Eventually it will be time to head down a short path to photograph White-bellied Antpittas being fed. After this we will have breakfast and focus on the hummingbirds for a bit before leaving San Isidro to drop in elevation to the Amazon foothills. Our first stop will be primarily for hummingbirds, particularly the crowd-pleasing Spangled Coquette. Walking a short trail lined with Verbena bushes to a waterfall and back is usually extremely productive! Afterwards, we will continue a bit further east until we reach Sumaco Graleras National Park where we will spend the night and next day. Wild Sumaco lodge is also great for hummingbirds, but just hanging out on the back deck by the hummingbird feeders can produce tanager flocks (lots of paradise tanagers), guans, monkeys, macaws and more. Volcano Sumaco makes for a nice photo on a clear day from the road. At night, we shall go for another night walk, looking for owls, insects, frogs, lizards, snakes, large spiders, etc.
Activities and Services
Specialized Photography Birding Guide
Day 3: End of Itinerary
Wild Sumaco: In the morning, we will have a routine similar to San Isidro. Lots of birds and tamarin monkeys come around the lodge in the morning and hopefully lots of macaws will fly overhead. With luck, we will see the highlyendangered Military Macaws. We will also go down a trail into the forest a bit and try to photograph two different types of antpitta at two different feeding stations along the trail. We will come back and properly focus on the hummingbirds or relax a bit before lunch. On the way back to Quito, we will stop a few times as time allows. Our first stop will give us a chance to photograph a beautiful waterfall and one last shot at some new hummingbirds. From here we will head back towards Quito, looking once again for the spectacled bear in the paramo, and stopping to check out a Polylepis forest. The Polylepis trees are specially adapted to live above the treeline and stepping inside is quite an experience. From here, we will be close to Quito and it will be time to end our adventure. * Return to hotel or airpor in Quito an end of service
Specialized Photography Birding Guide