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Ecuador is one of the most exciting countries in the world to watch birds, due to the range of species and habitats which you can see in a short trip. More than 1,500 species have been counted here including several which are endemic. A list can be found here. http://www.birdlist.org/ecuador.htm)

There are some great lodges and guides who are very experienced in catering for dedicated birders who should definitely come armed with a copy of the Birds of Ecuador, by Robert Ridgely and Paul Greenfield. However even novices could enjoy a visit to one of the lodges near Santo Domingo or Mindo and you will certainly see and hear many different types of birds if you venture into the wilderness during your visit.

Where to Go (Regions and Lodges)

During a two or three week trip it’s possible to take in the Galápagos, tropical forest in the coastal lowlands, cloud forest in the Andean foothills, the páramo and valleys of the highlands, and the Amazon rainforest. It’s not an exaggeration to say that you can find an interesting variety of species in every part of Ecuador. However some areas are particularly spectacular and it is there that you find lodges which cater specifically for birders.

Western Andean Cloudforests
- near villages of Nanegalito or Mindo

Much of the remaining cloudforest in this area is protected by private reserves. Many have attached lodges, especially around Nanegalito. Mindo is part of the Chocó Endemic Bird Area and the forest is protected by the Bosque Protector Mindo-Nambillo, which you can’t visit, and surrounding private reserves, which you can. Some especially good ones can be found on the eco-route along the old Nono – Mindo road. There are also lodges located a little further south near the road which connects Quito and Santo Domingo.

Popular Reserves and Lodges

MCF Bird Sanctuaries (Mindo Cloud Forest + Rio Silanche)

El Monte

Tandayapa Bird Lodge

Alambi Cloud Forest Reserve

Yanacocha (Jocotoco Foundation)

San Jorge Eco Lodges
San Jorge de Tandayapa Eco-lodge:
San Jorge de Milpe Orchid and Bird Eco-Lodge
San Jorge Eco-lodge Quito

Reserva las Gralarias

Maquipucuna Lodge



El Séptimo Paraiso

Birdwatcher's House

Western Andean Cloudforests (near Quito – Santo Domingo road)



Eastern Andean Slopes (North) - reserves surrounding Baeza

Baeza is located at 1850m on the road from Quito to the Oriente. To the north is the Cayambe – Coca reserve, to the west is Antisana and to the east Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park. Many species of birds can be viewed in and adjacent to the forests and páramo of these reserves.

Popular Reserves and Lodges

San Jorge de Cosanga -Yanayacu Reserve

Guango Lodge

Wild Sumaco Lodge

Cabañas San Isidro

Narupa Reserve (Jocotoco Foundation)

Termas de Papallacta


The Amazon

More than 500 species have been recorded in protected areas close to several of the jungle lodges, which can provide links and specialist guides. The lodges below are particularly recommended but other species may be seen from any of the lodges in the Oriente.

Popular Reserves and Lodges

Napo Wildlife Center

Sani Lodge

Sacha Lodge

La Selva Lodge

Cabañas Yankuam

Eastern Andean Slopes (South) - Podocarpus National Park and environs

This park ranges from 900m - 3600m and so trips to the lower reaches (from Zamora) or higher altitudes (from Loja or Vilcabamba) provide opportunities to see completely different environments and species. Contact Loja Tours, Biotours or Aratirya Aventuras.

Popular Reserves and Lodges

Tapichalaca Reserve (Jocotoco Foundation)

Copalinga Cabañas Ecologicas

Cabañas Río Yambala & Las Palmas Cloud Forest Reserve.

Hosteria Izhcayluma


Galápagos Islands
On any trip to the Galápagos you will see a wide range of land and sea birds, either on a cruise or by spending a few days staying on an island and visiting specific sites nearby.


In addition there are other protected areas (and a few unprotected ones) which are home to different species.

Jocotoco Reserves (http://www.fjocotoco.org/reservas.htm)
Río Canandé (Chocó – NW Ecuador)
Buenaventura (near Zaruma - S Ecuador)
Jurupe and Utana (both near Macará, S Ecuador)

Yungilla (near Santa Isabel, S Ecuador)

Playa del Oro (near San Lorenzo, Esmeraldas)

Tundaloma Lodge

Santa Lucia Cloud Forest Reserve

Pululahua Hostal

Luna Runtun

Hacienda Manteles


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