A birdwatching trip to Ecuador in October 2001 - Andes to Amazon! The humming bird here is the Andean Emerald. On the left is a view of  Volcanes Illiniza (5,266m) and on the right is Gorzacocha, an oxbow lake off the Rio Napo, in the Amazon basin. All photos (C) Ruth Traynor.

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Where we went - and when
The heart of this website - details of what we saw, and in which habitats
The statistics - lists of birds, and where we saw them
Treat with caution! But you can learn from our experience, limited though it is.
Where you can learn more, buy books on Ecuador birding online, get more trip lists from online resources - and links to other useful websites.

Itinerary:
Where and when we went, how we traveled and where we stayed

2001
Friday, 5th October Taxi from York to Leeds-Bradford Airport. Had over a 3-hour wait because of extra security (practically no different from normal!) Mid-afternoon flight to Amsterdam, then a midnight flight to Quito
Tandayapa

Saturday, 6th October

Tandayapa Bird Lodge. Photo: Ruth Traynor

One-hour stop-over at Curacao, then flight to Guayaquil, with views of Cotapaxi and Chimborazo. Further 1-hour stop-over then back past the volcanoes to Quito, arriving shortly before 9 am. Met by driver from ground agents, Angermeyers', for drive to Tandayapa, passing the Mitad del Mundo equatorial monument. Afternoon coffee on 'The Deck', watching the humming birds, then a short stroll along the Potoo Trail to the water tank. Brief visit to the lower Canopy Platform.
Sunday, 7th October
Tandayapa ridges. Photo: Ruth Traynor
Pre-breakfast on The Deck and the lower Canopy Platform. Morning walk along the whole of the Potoo Trail, and another walk along part of it in the afternoon.
Monday, 8th October
Upper Tandayapa track (Mindo Road). Photo: Ruth Traynor
Morning: drive up to Upper Tandayapa Valley. Afternoon: Potto Trail and Antpitta Trail. A long day - was getting dark when we returned.
Tuesday, 9th October
Tandayapa 'Town'. Photo: Ruth Traynor
Early breakfast so we could be at the bridge in the village by dawn (for the White-capped Dipper - no luck!). Rest of morning spent walking along old road towards Nono. Afternoon on the Potoo and Nunbird Trails.
Road to Nono, La Cienaga, Cotapaxi and Pasochoa Reserves
Wednesday, 10th October
Hosteria La Cienaga. Photo: Ruth Traynor
5 hour birding drive to near summit of old road to Nono, then a retreat to Tandayapa (road blocked by broken-down earth mover). Drove through Quito and then out to Hosteria La Cienaga (oldest hacienda in Ecuador). Stroll around the gardens as light was fading.

Thursday, 11th October

Laguna de Limpiopunga and Volcan Cotapaxi. Photo: Ruth TraynorPre-breakfast at Lasso Marsh. 9 am - 2 pm in Cotapaxi National Park, reaching Laguna de Limpiopunga and a bit further on the plateau (3,834 metres, 12,578 feet). Lunch back down at the San Mateo restaurant. More birding in the grounds of La Cienaga.

Friday, 12th October
Pasochoa Reserve - looking towards the summit. Photo: Ruth Traynor
Pre-breakfast again at Lasso Marsh. 9.30 am - 1.30 pm in the Pasochoa Reserve. Lunch at the newish La Matilde restaurant (good food, very friendly). Drive back to Quito to stay at Hostal La Rabida (small and very comfortable). Evening spent in Internet Cafe (!) and with Raphael, our Tandayapa guide, and his family.
La Selva Lodge, Rio Napo, Amazon Basin
Saturday, 13th October
Volcan Cotapaxi from the flight from Quito to Coca. Photo: Ruth Traynor
Picked up from Hostal La Rabida at 8.15 am for short drive to airport. Slight delay in takeoff, then half hour flight to Coca. Met at airport by Rodney, a La Selva nature guide, and driven through Coca to the Napo wharfe. Two hour motorised canoe ride (100 km) to La Selva, followed by boardwalk walk and paddle canoe ride to the Lodge. After refreshments in bar and unpacking, met José Hualinga, our guide, then a 2-hour canue ride, birdwatching round Garzacocha lake.
Sunday 14th October
Our 'cabanas' at La Selva. Photo: Ruth Traynor
6 am start, reaching the Rio Napo via Garzacocha and the boardwalk at 7 am. Short excursion downstream to view parrot lick area, but did not land. Returned upstream to land on south bank, spending up to 3 pm in Terra Firma habitat (tropical rainstorm lasting about an hour just after mid-day. Back to the Lodge at 4 pm for cool beer and some lazing around
Monday 15th October
Mandicocha Lake. Photo: Ruth Traynor
6 am start and walk to the Canopy Tower, staying there from 7.15 am to 9.15 am. Then a walk through várzea forest to Mandicocha Lake, where we spent an hour or so gliding across the lake and through back waters. Back at the Lodge for lunch and a long siesta, before another trip on Garzacocha (4 pm to 6.30 pm), returning in the dark.
Tuesday 16th October
Dusky-headed Parakeets on the parrot lick. Photo: Ruth Traynor
6 am start, and across Garzacocha again, and along the boardwalk. Walked across to one of the Rio Napo islands (not an island at this time of year, but retains its unique vegetation). The over to the South bank again, and downstream to the Parrot Lick, reaching the hide there at 9 am. The back upstream, to spend the rest of the day on Terra Firma, covering some of the same ground as two days ago.
Wed 17th October
The Presidential Palace, Quito. Photo: Ruth Traynor
The Virgin of Quito. Photo: Ruth TraynorEarly morning last trip across Garzacocha and the boardwalk to get the motorised canoe back upstream for two and a half hours to Coca. About an hour "sight"seeing(!) before getting an uneventful flight back to Quito and to the Hostal La Rabida. Arranged for an English-speaking taxi driver to give us a rapid two-hour tour around Quito's sights.
Thursday 18th October -
Friday 19th October
Hostal La Rabida, in Quito.
The long haul back to England! Late morning flight from Quito to Amsterdam, with a stop-over at Curacao. Then flight early Friday morning back to Leeds-Bradford airport

 

   

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