Equateur Voyages Passion

Tour Operador in Ecuador, Quito

Shared tour on fixed departures:
Base 2 People : 3033$
Base 3 People : 2486$
Base 4 People : 2461$
Base 5 People : 2226$
Base 6 People : 2100$
Base 7 People : 2028$
Base 8 People : 1947$

El Choco


Organized Trips | 10 days | Level : Intermediate | Nature / Birdwatching | Feasible all the year

E l  C h o c o

- Intermediate

Registration / Form

El Choco

Rich topography and a great variety of climates characteristic to this region of the world ended up creating the incredible diversity of ecosystems and habitats that we see today in Ecuador.

The Chocó region is without a doubt one of the most important biodiversity hot spot, especially when it comes to birding, as more than 70 species are endemic and share-endemics in this area.

This journey can suit individuals who are only interested in spotting birds, as well as professional or leisure photographers.

Activities :
Birdwatching -

Contact :
Our office is open Monday to Friday, from 8.30 am to 5 pm

Registration / Form

Meals: Meals included are referred to on the program as:
B= Breakfast

L= Lunch

D= Diner



Day 01: QUITO

Our vehicle will pick you up Quito´s International Airport and take you straight to your hotel.  Briefing on the coming destinations. Diner at your expense and night in Quito.


Early departure to Yanacocha, a private Reserve located on Pichincha´s volcano´s north western flanks.
We will explore the area and come across large extensions of Paramos (from 3600 meters above sea level) dominated by  chusquea et poaceae plant species. We will then follow the Reserve´s main trail, trekking along the volcano´s edges and across native higher elevation Andean forest (Polylepis, Fuchsias, Melastomacae, Orchids, Bromeliads and many other types of epiphytes).

In the afternoon, we will head towards the higher Tandayapa Valley, until we reach our next Lodge. After diner a night walk will be offered. Night in comfortable Lodge. B/L/D.

Potential species to be spotted:  

White-capped Parrot (rare), Shinnning Sunbeam (common), Great Sapphirewing (common), Sword-billed Hummingbird (assez common), Buff-winged Starfrontlet (common), Black-breasted Puffleg (very rare from May to December)  Sapphire-vented Puffleg (common), Golden-breasted Puffleg (common), Mountin Velvetbreast (quite common), Powerfull Woodcreeper (uncommon), White-browned Spinetail (quite common), Pearled Treerunner (common), Ocellated Tapaculo (rare), Crowned Chat-Tyrant (common), Barred Fruiteater (quite common), Stripe-headed Brush-Finch (rare).


Today our destination will be Bellavista Lodge. The higher part of this Reserve is composed of a highly biodiverse cloud forest inhabited by huge tree ferns, reptiles, sloths, countless epiphyte plants, Heliconias, Toucans and  amphibians (mostly diverse at this elevation), a true festival of natural wonders.  Diner and night in Lodge (Bellavista). B/L/D

Potential species to be spotted:  

White-throated Wood-Quail (common), White-capped Parrot (common), Botted Racket-tail (common), Violet-tailed Sylph (common), Collared Inca (common), Turquoise Jay (common), Toucan Barbet (quite common), Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan (quite common), Streaked Tuftedcheek (common), Chestnut-crowned Antpitta  (quite common), Green-and-black Fruiteater  (quite common), Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager (common), Hooded Mountain-Tanager (quite common), Tanager Finch (rare).


After breakfast, we will drive back down towards the lower Tandayapa Valley, where the Ñambi and Tandayapa rivers meet. Here we will make a stop to observe several species of Humming birds.

We will arrive in Mindo Loma Reserve early afternoon to explore the area´s trails where other humming bird species are to be found, such as the shy and elusive Hoary Puffleg, which along with some other unavoidable forest species, will be our main target. Diner and night at Mindo Loma. B/L/D.

Key species :

Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager (quite common), Tohi leucoptère (rare), White-winged Brush-Finch (common), Grass-green Tanager (quite commun), Plushcap (rare), Rufous Wren (common), Cinnamon Flycatcher (common), Uniform Antshrike (quite common). Andean Solitaire,  Broad-billed Motmot, Wattled Guan,Purple Honneycreeper , Morron-tailed Parakeet, Golden Winged Manakin.


After a very early breakfast we will go back on the road and drive to a protected area called “Paz de las Aves” where we will visit a Cock of the Rock´s lek. If we are quiet enough we will be able to witness the incredible nuptial dance of this colorful and unique bird in the Cotingidae family. On our way back, Angel Paz, the reserve´s owner, will demonstrate how a tremendous amount of patience enabled him to gain the daily privilege of feeding four species of Antpittas. Traditional lunch. We will drive eastward to our next objective. Diner and night at Milpe. B/L/D.

Key species :

Andean Coq-of-the-rock (common), Giant Antpitta (rare), Yellow-breasted Antpitta (rare), Moustaches Antpitta (rare), Ochre-breasted Antpitta (rare), Dark-backed Wood-Quail (rare), Orange-breasted Fruiteater (quite common), Rufous-breasted Antthrush (rare), Crimson-rumped Toucanet (common).Occelated Tapaculo (rare) Golden Headed quetzal (common), Olivaceaous Piha (uncommon), .

Day 06: MILPE

After breakfast and as the sun rises, we will visit two reserves from the Milpe region, in the midst of dense subtropical foothill forests at 1100 meters. We will be birding all day on the trails that climb across this endangered forest habitat. Diner and night in the same lodge. B/L/D.

Key species:

Pluumbeous Kite (quite common), Bronze Winged Parrot (common), Green Thorntail (common), Rufous Motmot (common), Red-headed Barbet (common), Choco Toucan (common), Pale-mandible Araçari  (common), Chestnut-backed Antbird (quite common), Immaculated Antbird (quite common), Ornate flycatcher (common), Club-winged Manakin (common), Golden-winged Manakin (common), Choco Warbler (common).


This Reserve is located next to the Milpe area and is of unique interest: the Andean slopes subtropical forests are home to slightly different population of birds. We will therefore spend the whole day exploring those woods in search of the singularities they hide. Diner and night at Los Bancos. Hôtel Rio blanco. B/L/D.

Key species:

Ornate Eagle (rare and restricted to some areas), Barred Cuckoo (very rare), Tooth Hummingbird (common), Choco Trogon (common), White-wiskered Puffbird (common), Choco Woodpecker (rare), Norther-Barred Woodcreeper (quite common), Spot-crowned Antvireo (rare), Esmeraldas Antbird(rare), White-throated Spadebill  (quite common), Tawny-faced Gnatwren (quite common), Scarlet-and-white Tanager (rare).


Departure at 5 AM to discover one of the most sought after lek by all neo-tropical species enthusiasts. Here lives the legendary Long-wattled Umbrelabird!!!
Mid-morning, after a good brunch, we will leave to the lower Choco region, in the Province of Esmeraldas. It will be a long drive with our 4x4 to our next lodge… Diner and night in confortable Lodge. (Rio Canande). B/L/D.

Key species :

Long-wattled Umbrelabird (common), Chestnt-mandible Toucan (common), Golden-headed Quetzal (common), Black Solitaire (rare), Andean Solitaire (common), Crested Guan (quite  common), Orange-breasted Fruiteater (rare).

Days 09 and 10: RIO CANANDE

We will devote the next days visiting the Rio Canande Reserve, a protected area run by the Jocotoco Foundation which harbors some of the most beautiful forests of the Ecuadorian Chocó plains.

This ecosystem is probably one of the most humid spot on the planet with rainfalls often reaching levels of more than 14000 mm per year. Sure enough the whole region has been destroyed by long years of agricultural practices, and today only a few intact areas of forests still exist in the most remote areas. It is the case of this 10000 hectares reserve mostly located at an elevation of 500 meters. Diners and nights at Rio Canande lodge. B/L/D.

Key species :

Great Green Macaws (rare), Tawny-faced Quail (uncommon), Lita Woodpecker (uncommon), Black-striped Woodcreeper (common), Pacific Antwren (common), Rose-faced Parrot (uncommon), Lanceolated Monklet (rare),Green Manakin (common),  Dagua Thrush (uncommon), Ochre-breasted Tanager (rare),  Scarlet-browed Tanager (rare), Tawny-crested Tanager (uncommon), Emerald Tanager (common), Scarlet-thighed Dacnis (rare), Scarlet-breasted Dacnis.


Last morning around the lodge to go birdwatching and enrich our checklist before we drive up the Andes again. Along the road, we won ´t fail to stop for some important spots for bird observation. After lunch, we will head west, to the village of Gualea and the Hacienda Mirvalle and its famous canyons « Cuevas de los Tayos »: a nesting sites for more than 30 troglodyte  Oilbirds. We will take advantage of these unique neo tropical surroundings to observe species such as the Buse à queue courte or Swainson´s Toucan. Diner and night at Las Tolas. B/L/D.

Key species :

Band-tailed Barbthroat (fairly common), Purple-chested Hummingbird, Purple-crowned Fairy (common) White-tipped Sicklebill (rare), Tooth-billed Hummingbird (rare), Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer (uncommon), Lemon-spectacled Tanager (rare), Oilbird (rare), Short-tailed Hawk (common), Swaison´s Toucan.


Between the bio-tropical region of Chocó and the tropical Andean forests, next to the Las Tolas Valley there is a small reserve called « Un poco del Choco ». The different conservation projects and studies run in the area were rewarded a short time ago by the discovery of a small population of a rare and enigmatic bird, the Banded Ground-Cockoo. Some individuals can be photographed around the Lodge where endless columns of army ants are found. As we walk along the reserve´s trails, we will of course be on the lookout for some of the 230 species of birds that have been registered for the area.  

Early afternoon, we will drive north back to Quito, interrupted by a visit of the Pululahua area to explore bamboo forests (Chusquea sp.) to try and spot the elusive Rusty-breasted Antpitta from the only population known in the whole country. Before noon we´ll jump back in our vehicle to reach the inter Andean valley where we won´t miss stopping among the xerophyte vegetation to look for the rare White-tailed Shrike-tyrant In Quito late afternoon, diner will be at your expense. Night in comfortable hotel in Quito. (Fuente 1). B/L/-/.

Key species :

Banded Ground-Cuckoo (very rare), Little Tinamu (rare), Bat Falcon (uncommon), Lyre tailed Nightjar (quite rare), Moss-backked Tanager (uncommon), Spotted Nightingale Thrush  (uncommon), White-tailed Shrike Tyrant (very rare), Rusty-breasted Antpitta (very rare),



Departures all days

Registration / Form

Departure on 01/01/2013to 31/12/2040From QuitoDays : all
Base 2 People3033 $
Base 3 People2486 $
Base 4 People2461 $
Base 5 People2226 $
Base 6 People2100 $
Base 7 People2028 $
Base 8 People1947 $


The price includes ...

Private transport (gasoline, road tolls, parking lots, vehicle and passengers´ insurance).
All transfers as mentioned above.
English speaking bilingual guide.
24 hours Assistance.
Accommodation in double or triple rooms, private bathroom (3 stars Hotels, hacienda and standard lodges).
The mentioned meals and picnics for some hikes.
Rubber boots
Checklist of the countries birdlife.
Use of a telescope.

The price doesn't include ...

International Flight.
Entrance for national parks and some private sites.
Diners in Quito.
Personal expenses.

Registration / Form

Acommodation - Hotel and Lodge / Cruise


Most hotels are of high standards, but some nights will be spent in regular hotels. Sometimes the remoteness of visited sites doesn´t offer much choice regarding hotel´s selection.

In some cases, we gave priority to shorter drive times length rather than more luxurious hotels.

Practical advices

Possible number of observed species: between 200 and 400

Difficulty: From moderate to challenging.

Recommended season : From May to February.

Group: a maximum of 8 participants.


We will cross a wide range of ecosystems and climates. Most of those sites are indeed humid but have good weather overall. Nevertheless, areas at are higher in elevation (between 3700 and 4300 meters) are much colder, humid and windy. Bring adequate clothing.

Other trips

El Choco

El Choco
From 1947$

Organized Trips
Nature / Birdwatching

10 days