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Rates and Tours

Rates and Tours (13)

Category for Rates and Tours.

Tours

28 Nov,2013

Many folks arriving on their own to Cabañas San Isidro can find it helpful to hire a generalist or specialized birding guide for a more enriching and complete experience. BIRDECUADOR has many years of experience and works with the most experienced guides and drivers in Ecuador. Setting up and running high quality birding and general interest tours to Cabañas San Isidro and Guango Lodge, as well as many other popular and off-the-beaten-track destinations in Ecuador, is Birdecuador forte. If you have the Galapagos Islands in your sights, contact us for reasonable rates on a variety of well-run and comfortable vessels.

 

Birdecuador can help you to create any combination of destinations throughout Ecuador for your personalized trip. Birdecuador has designed and suggests the itineraries below for a well-rounded visit to some of the favorite spots chock-full of birds and other natural wonders within easy reach of the capital city, Quito. Please contact us directly for more information about these and other trips.

 

  • Cabañas San Isidro & Guango Lodge: Birds of the High Paramo and Lush Cloud Forests of Ecuador 's East Slope.


    A week long emersion in to the heart of the richest and most accessible highland Andean cloud forest habitats on Ecuador 's NE slope, which form the upper headwaters of the Napo River.
    For those with less time on their hands, this itinerary is the perfect way to dive right into a fabulous and diverse avifauna while based at two comfortable lodges in the subtropical (San Isidro) and temperate (Guango) zones.
    Cabañas San Isidro and Guango Lodge also offer the best access to nearby birding in the higher paramo and lower foot hill zones, and can easily be worked as day and half-daytrips.


    Day 1 - Quito to Guango Lodge.
    Day 2 - Guango Lodge and vicinity.
    Day 3 - To Cabañas San Isidro.
    Days 4, 5 & 6 - Cabañas San Isidro .
    Day 7 – Return to Quito.

  • Cabañas San Isidro, Guango Lodge & Tandayapa Lodge: Birding in the Andes (at its best) along a transect of the fabled 'Highway of the Volcanoes'


    The ideal cross-section of habitats for birds seeking a fine and vast selection of birds occurring on both the west and east slopes. No ten day trip has such potential for mind-boggling numbers and quality views of hummingbirds, tanagers and other Andean highlights.


    Day 1 – To Tandayapa Lodge.
    Day 2 - Full day birding the Tandayapa area.
    Day 3 - Full day exploring the slopes of the west slope based out of Tandayapa Lodge.
    Day 4 – Return to Quito.
    Day 5 - To Guango Lodge.
    Day 6 - To Cabañas San Isidro.
    Day 7, 8 & 9 - Three full days to bird the Cabañas San Isidro and nearby areas.
    Day 10 – Return to Quito.

  • Cabañas San Isidro , Guango Lodge & Amazonian Lowlands: Mountain Peaked Highlands, Cloud Forest-Blanketed Hills and Vast Amazonian Lowlands


    From seed snipes to tanagers, sensational birding awaits on Ecuador's NE slope & down into the Amazonian Low lands while following in the footsteps of Spanish conquistador, Francisco Orellana.
    This impressive trek follows the same route that Orellana took 400 years ago, when he made his way to Ecuador's Amazon from Quito. Althought he spectacular birds and their pristine habitat are still there, Orellana's arduous route through the jungle has been eased significantly by paved roads that stretch all the way to Coca. From here a motorized canoe ride whisks visitors up the impressive Napo River and into the dense forest lowlands of the Amazon. If only Orellana's journey had been this comfortable!


    Day 1 - Quito to Guango Lodge.
    Day 2 - To Cabañas San Isidro .
    Days 3, 4 & 5 - Three full days to bird the Cabañas San Isidro and nearby areas.
    Day 6 - To Coca.
    Days 7, 8 & 9 - Three full days at the Amazon Lodge of your preference.
    Day 10 – Return to Quito.

  • Itinerary 7 Nights / 8 Days

    2 NIGHTS GUANGO LODGE, 3 NIGHTS AT BIGAL AND 2 NIGHTS SAN ISIDRO

    Day 1:
    Time to escape from Quito! Today we will want to rise early and get on our way since we have a variety of habitats that we will want to explore. Our drive to Guango Lodge will initially lead us through the drier central valley where we will pass through a mix of agricultural zones and native chaparral forests before rising up steeply to the high and (often) windswept paramo.
    Among the many bird possibilities, we will be particularly on the lookout for Andean Condor (sometimes hard), Carunculated Caracara, Andean Gull, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Scrub & Blue-and-yellow Tanagers and Southern Yellow-Grosbeak. If there were a day to have your camera ready, this would be it – on clear days the scenery is spectacular, with superb views of the snow-capped Volcán Antisana, and seemingly endless high Andean mountain-scapes harboring a backdrop of textures that make for an unforgettable birding setting. This area, known as the Papallacta Pass by birders, is rich in paramo birdlife, and with the proper weather, you can expect to see some of the following: Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Tawny Antpitta, Many-striped Canastero, White-chinned Thistletail, Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, some interesting seedeaters, and even Giant Conebill (with a bit of luck, up in the Polylepis woodlands).
    The Papallacta Pass is right on the continental divide, and once we finish up with our paramo birding, we will work our way down the east-slope – Amazonian drainage now – towards Guango Lodge. On the way we will pass through some beautiful high-elevation temperate forests where we will have a chance to stop and soak in this birdy zone; some of the possibilities include Blackchested Buzzard-Eagle, Viridian Metaltail, Black-backed Bush-Tanager, just to name a very few. We should arrive to Guango Lodge in the late afternoon/early evening for a first crack at the hummingbird feeders that will be
    dripping with species such as Tourmaline Sunangel, Sword-billed Hummingbird and White-bellied Woodstar. Our box lunch in the field will allow us to remain flexible with respect to how we plan our birding for the day. At dinner we will be officially welcomed by the lit fireplace and have our first taste of Ecuador’s best known hot toddy, a delicious drink - called “Canelazo” - made from water boiled with real cinnamon, fruit juice and a dash of cane alcohol, that is sure to help warm us up. Night at Guango Lodge.

    Day 2:
    Depending on the weather - which can change unpredictably - we will drive back – about 20 minutes - up to the lower entrance to Cayambe-Coca National Park (just uphill from the town of Papallacta) to bird the elfin woodlands there for the morning for a shot at a few special mountain-tanagers (Black-chested and Masked) and other flock birds. This makes for a comfortable morning excursion since we have two nights at Guango. If it turns out to be rainy, we may want to stick closer to Guango, so our plan will be weather contingent.
    At any rate, a hot lunch awaits us at Guango, once the morning activity has waned. The afternoon will be devoted to birding the trails and spectacular hummingbird feeders (which can be a bonanza for those interested in photography) at Guango Lodge. On the grounds at Guango we frequently run into some of the best temperate forest flocks on any of our tours in Ecuador; in a matter of minutes it isn’t uncommon to see Bar-bellied Woodpecker, White-banded Tyrannulet, Bluebacked Conebill, Black-capped and Black-eared Hemispingus, Slaty and Palenaped Brush-Finch, Gray-hooded Bush-Tanager, several species of mountaintanager and even Plushcap. We will always have our eye out for other particularly local or aesthetic highlights, and Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan and Mountain Avocetbill are among them. Night Guango Lodge.

     

    Day 3:
    After a very early breakfast, we will start driving down from the higher eastern slopes of the Andes to the lowlands, until we reach the small Amazonian town of Loreto, located at 400 meters above sea level. Along the way, if time and weather allow, we will take the time to search some interesting eastern foothill specialties such as the Cliff Flycatcher and the rare and local Orange-breasted Falcon, and maybe even a mixed flock or two, which often grace the roadsides.
    The drive from Loreto towards Bigal River Biological Reserve will offer some fine opportunities to spot such colorful birds as araçaris (Lettered Araçari, Chestnuteared Araçari, and Many-banded Araçari), toucans (Black-mandibled Toucan, White-throated Toucan, and Channel-billed Toucan), parrots (Blue-headed Parrot, Orange-cheecked Parrot, Mealy Amazon, Orange-Winged Amazon, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, etc), macaws (Chestnut-Fronted Macaw, Military Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Blue-and-Yellow Macaw, Red-and-Green Macaw), birds of prey (White Hawk, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Orange-breasted Falcon, Barred Hawk, Laughing Falcon, Swallow-tailed Kite, Black Hawk-Eagle, etc.) Woodpeckers (Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Red-stained Woodpecker, Lineated Woodpecker, Crimson Crested Woodpecker, Little Woodpecker, etc.), among many others.
    Once we have reached the end of the drivable path, all gear and supplies will be sent by mule; we'll just keep our binoculars, cameras, and rain-gear handy to enjoy about an hour-and-a-half of birding, as we hike our way to Bigal River Research Station. Once there, we will settle in, have dinner, and spend the night.
    As we get ready to fall asleep, alongside the chorus of countless tree frogs, we will get acquainted with the calls of birdlife coming from the jungle after dark (Nocturnal Curassow, Foothill Screech-Owl, Band-bellied Owl, Black-banded Owl, Crested Owl, Spectacled Owl, among them).

     

    Day 4:
    Bigal River Biological Reserve's old growth, foothill forests (situated between 450 and 1000 meters elevation above sea level) are home to a wide array of animal life which includes Andean higher elevation species, as well as many species usually found in the Amazonian lowlands. Birdlife is particularly diverse and flamboyant, with more than 460 species recorded so far.
    Today we will get up very early to start birding the Reserve's main track (Bigal Trail), on the lookout for some species difficult to find in other parts of the country (White-chinned Woodcreeper, Pink-throated Brilliant, Collared Puffbird, Speckled Spinetail, Olive Tanager, Cinnamon-rumped Foliage-gleaner, Plain-winged Antwren, Blackish Pewee, and more). Back at the buildings around 11:30 am, we will rest for a bit before devouring a substantial lunch. At 4 pm, we will undertake some understory birding; this is a more challenging habitat with respect to spotting birds, due to vegetation density, but with some patience, there are always some good finds. Although we will probably hear more species than we will actually see - typical in the humid tropics - we do have realisitic opportunities to see some rare species, like Salvin's Currassow, Sapphire Quail-Dove, Graywinged Trumpeter, Blue-fronted Lancebill, Hairy-crested Antbird, Streamcreeper, etc. With any luck at all, we will likely come across some large canopy flocks that will greatly heighten or chances of spotting countless tanager species and many other families of interest, such as manakins and woodcreepers.
    Back to the Station around 6 pm. After dinner, there will be an option to go on a night walk in search of nocturnal birds, birds sleeping in the understory, amphibians, reptiles, and insects. Night at Bigal River Research Station.

    Day 5:
    This Morning, after breakfast, we will pack our lunch and follow one of the Reserve´s longest trails. The PNS trail will take us to the largely unexplored southern boundaries of Sumaco National Park giving us the opportunity to observe more species of interest (Nocturnal Curassow, Rufous-tailed Foliage-gleaner, Ocellated Woodcreeper, Foothill White-crowned Manakin, Tinamous, Wood-Quails and Trogons). We'll have lunch in the forest and will start hiking back to the camp around 1:30 pm, always on the prowl for more bird species, canopy flocks, and even a troop of monkeys or two. Arriving back at the camp at approximately 3 pm, we will relax until dinner. Those who wish to continue birding can feel free to do so around the Station with or without a guide. After a good hot meal, a night walk will also be an option. Night at Bigal River Research Station.

     

    Day 6:
    We’ll start the morning off birding on foot along the Bigal Trail and take full advantage of the morning activity to observe some new species, or maybe even explore a different trail, depending on what birds we have already seen to this point.
    After the morning activity has run its course, it will be time to zip up our bags, pack the mules, and get ready for the drive to Cabañas San Isidro.
    Driving straight through takes about 3 hours but, as birders, we’ll probably find ourselves making birding stops along the way. The plan is to take a packed lunch from Bigal and find a nice spot at which to eat along the way. We'll get to San Isidoro between 3 and 4 pm and will be able to spend the rest of the afternoon either birding one of the forest trails – maybe down to the Andean Cock-of-theRock lek – our try a stroll along the forested roadside. As dusk settles in, we should try and spotlight Rufous-bellied Nighthawk as they often come zooming in overhead around the lodge.
    After a wonderful dinner, and assuming the weather cooperates, we will probably want to try a short night walk - right between the cabins and the dining room - in search of the “mystery owl”. This is a gorgeous owl that may one day prove to be a new species to science. Night at Cabañas San Isidro.

    Day 7:
    We plan to start the morning off with some busy birding right around the lodge, where we often find it hard to pull ourselves away… the birds just sometimes keep coming. Some of the regulars include Powerful Woodpecker, Montane and Olive-backed Woodcreepers, Golden-crowned Flycatcher, Blackbilled Peppershrike, Inca Jay, Bluish Flowerpiercer and Subtropical Cacique! After about an hour of this, we will want to visit the Antpitta feeders, where you will likely see White-bellied Antpitta only feet away, and maybe even the very rare Peruvian (!). The rest of the morning will be spent birding the ample trail system and/or forested roadside at Cabañas San Isidro. After lunch at the lodge (and possibly an afternoon break), we can choose any of the trails that sprawl out from the lodge (or even the roadside) for a second crack at flocks and other activity… quetzals or maybe a fruiteater anybody? We may even want to try a spot near the lodge for Andean Potoo and Rufous-banded Owl pre-dinner. Night at Cabañas San Isidro.

    Day 8:
    Morning birding the beautiful Guacamayos ridge trail – only about 20 minutes from the lodge by vehicle - where some of the birds we hope to see include Green-and-black Fruiteater, Handsome Flycatcher, Rufous Wren, Turquoise Jay, Grass-green Tanager, a few species of skulking tapaculos (and maybe even an Ocellated) and Northern Mountain-Cacique. While not as common, but still regularly seen here, some of the other harder possibilities include Greater Scythebill, Dusky Piha and Black-billed Mountain-Toucan. Depending on the guide’s plan for the day, we may enjoy one last meal at Cabañas San Isidro, or choose to bring along a box lunch for our birding drive back to Quito to give us a chance at cleaning-up some of the missed species we had searched for on the first day.

     

    QUOTE PER PERSON:
    Based in 1 participant: 3,020 USD per person
    Based in 2 participants: 1,840 USD per person
    Based in 3 participants: 1,700 USD per person
    Based in 4 - 6 participants: 1,465 USD per person
    SERVICES INCLUDED: Lodging from day 1 to day 7 (please note that lodging in Bigal will be in a tent), meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 8, transportation when needed, bilingual naturalist guide, Spanish speaking bird guide, all activities, purified water and taxes.
    SERVICES NOT INCLUDED: Meals in Quito, extra expenses if a bag doesn't arrive on time, drinks (except purified water), and personal expenses.

  • EAST SLOPE BIRDING TOUR:

    Day 1: Quito
    Day 2 & 3: Antisana & Guango
    Day 4 to 7: San Isidro
    Day 8 & 9: Wildsumaco
    Day 10 to 13: Lowland lodge (Sacha, La Selva, Napo Wildlife Center, Sanior Tapir Lodge)
    Day 14: Quito

     

    SOUTH ECUADOR TOUR

    Day 1: Guayaquil
    Day 2, 3, 4: Buenaventura (Umbrella Bird Lodge)
    Day 5, 6: Jorupe (Urraca Lodge)
    Day 7: Loja
    Day 8, 9: Tapichalaca
    Day 10, 11: Copalinga
    Day 12: Cuenca
    Day 13: Guayaquil.

Day 1:

day 1

We will leave from Quito at 8:00 A.M. to the Amazon watershed, with scenic and biodiverse cloud forests on our minds. En route, however, we will stop for a look at the majestic, high elevation and windswept paramos above Papallacta - a very tundra-like habitat. On clear days here the views of the surroundings and various volcanoes are breath-taking; a stop right up at the continental divide is one of the best spots from which to photograph the snow-capped volcano, Antisana, as it towers over the mountains below.

 

Continuing our journey to San Isidro we will wind our way amongst steep valleys – through the towns of Cuyuja and Baeza - where will see some gorgeous forested slopes and impressive waterfalls, born in Antisana Reserve, as they spill off of high cliffs. Our plan is to get to San Isidro in time to get settled into our rooms, and even for a quick look around before lunch, so barring a quick restroom break on the way, we’ll make few stops in order to get there quickly, because after lunch, we will have plenty to do!

 

Lunch behind us it will be time to get busy for our next adventure. Our timing should be perfect for our first hike along the trails through the cloud forest reserve at San Isidro where we will head down to a mating lek of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock; several males of this loud and bright orange bird - something like South America’s answer to the Birds of Paradise! – can often be found in the late afternoons carrying-on in the tree canopies right overhead in hopes of attracting females. We will hike back up to the cabins and have some time to shower up and relax before dinner.

 

At dinner we will be officially welcomed and have our first taste of Ecuador’s best known hot toddy, a delicious drink - called “Canelazo” - made from water boiled with real cinnamon, fruit juice and a dash of cane alcohol, that is sure to help warm us up. There will be Guinea Pig tasting opportunity for the adventurous ones! After a magnificent dinner - our food is widely recognized for its originality and exquisite quality - a night hike awaits us, where we will be in search of owls, strange insects, nocturnal mammals or any other critter that might grace our presence.

 

tasting 4

OPTIONAL (TASTING MENU):


8 dish sampler menu featuring Amazonian & Andean flavors: $15 + 22% per menu, additional to full board rate. This needs to be pre-booked.

-Visit our Guinea Pig farm and organic garden; many of the veggies and herbs that land on your plate - free of pesticides and other chemicals - are grown right here at San Isidro in our own greenhouse.

-If you are interested in learning a new exotic Andean or Amazonian dish, a cooking class might be up your alley, so let us know and learn to make a “maito” or a “quinoa” soufflé.
Night at San Isidro.

 

Day 2:

day 2

Well fed – after a buffet breakfast - and ready for more, we will set out on one of San Isidro’s newest adventures: a “virtual safari”. While at any moment a rare mammal could pop into view during the walk, they are wary, so our safari is designed to run a trap-line of sorts, checking the motion-sensor cameras and the photos that they have taken over the last weeks, days, hours… and even minutes; it really is a thrill to see a photo - that no one else has seen - of a Puma, Oncilla, Tapir, or even an Anteater, taken right where you are standing! Checking the cameras all the while, our walk will lead us to the beautiful Pumayacu Falls, right in the heart of the reserve, and then down to the edges of the pristine waters of the Cosanga River where we will enjoy a catered lunch at a remote riverside beach where a Torrent Duck might even come drifting by. After a full morning of exploration, and a rest at the lodge, we’ll visit the Yanayacu Biology Station in the afternoon for a chat and more in-depth look at all of the important and fascinating research taking place in the reserve; researchers from Ecuador, and from all over the world, congregate here to do their best to unravel the life histories and secrets of the denizens of a cloud forest system still so very much in need of study. Many new species to science have resulted from these efforts.

 

Dinner is always something to look forward to at San Isidro, so we will take full advantage! After dinner, we’ll take a stroll around the lodge to check the lights, where we will surely encounter a myriad of beetle and colorful moth species that have descended onto the white walls; their designs and patterns seem limitless! For the more gung-ho spirits, a night hike to check some more camera traps might whet the appetite.

 

OPTIONAL: Try another cooking class to learn yet another local recipe!

 

 

Day 3:

For those interested, we’ll put our birding caps on this morning and get out for the early morning activity. While we slept the lights around the lodge will have collected a mob of moths and other insects, which means one thing: a buffet for insectivorous birds in search of breakfast! We will spend the early morning watching trogons, woodcreepers, flycatchers and tanagers glean all sorts of bugs in a seemingly frantic attempt to satisfy their morning hunger. Soon after we will venture down a nearby trail to watch the White-bellied Antpitta, an extremely retiring (and subtly beautiful) South American bird, as it comes to devour worms at the feeder… have your camera ready, but please turn off the flash so as not to startle it.

 

After this it is our turn to hit an 8:00 A.M. buffet with a roaring appetite (where we will meet up with any companions who opted for a lye-in and to recharge a bit more)! From here we will visit the archeological ruins on the San Isidro property for a look at what is left of a group, the “Curisetas” (translated as the “Goldsmiths”), that inhabited the region pre-colonially; most interesting is that they were never conquered by the Incas. Their history is a bit murky, but this small group of natives seemed to have faded away without much of a fuss or fight. The Curisetas were known for their prowess at mining and molding gold into jewelry, and for hauling large rocks from distant areas and placing them as directional monoliths; their pottery shards are still easily found in the rivers on the property. We will emerge out along the peaceful roadside for a stroll back to the lodge, where another imaginative lunch will be waiting for us.

 

Transfer to Quito (or continued travel, further down-slope into the lowlands of the Amazon).

 

SERVICES INCLUDED: Lodging in standard double room, meals from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day, guide and transfers according to the option chosen, all activities described, welcome coktail, coffee and tea station, purified water and taxes .

 

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED: Extra drinks (sodas, beers, wines, etc.), private guide or transportation services, extemporaneous reserve entrance fees (such as Antisana Reserve) and other personal expenses (telephone calls, laundry, etc.).

 

RATES 2016

Rates per person, based in double room occupancy


With transfers in & out and bilingual guide

Based in 1 participant: $1020

Based in 2 participants: $615

Based in 3-6 participants: $540

 

With transfers in & out and spanish speaking bird guide

Based in 1 participant: $835

Based in 2 participants: $520

Based in 3-6 participants: $460

Day 1:

day 1

Time to escape from Quito for what will be a busy day of birding! Today we will want to rise early and get on our way since we have a variety of habitats that we will want to explore. Our drive to Guango Lodge will initially lead us through the drier central valley where we will pass through a mix of agricultural zones and native chaparral forests before rising up steeply to the high and (often) windswept paramo. Among the many bird possibilities, we will be particularly on the lookout for Andean Condor (sometimes hard), Carunculated Caracara, Andean Gull, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Scrub & Blue-and-yellow Tanagers and Southern Yellow-Grosbeak. If there were a day to have your camera ready, this would be it – on clear days the scenery is spectacular, with superb views of the snow-capped Volcán Antisana, and seemingly endless high Andean mountain-scapes harboring a backdrop of textures that make for an unforgettable birding setting. This area, known as the Papallacta Pass by birders, is rich in paramo birdlife, and with the proper weather, you can expect to see some of the following: Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Tawny Antpitta, Many-striped Canastero, White-chinned Thistletail, Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, some interesting seedeaters, and even Giant Conebill (with a bit of luck, up in the Polylepis woodlands). The Papallacta Pass is right on the continental divide, and once we finish up with our paramobirding, we will work our way down the east-slope – Amazonian drainage now – towards Guango Lodge. On the way we will pass through some beautiful high-elevation temperate forests where we will have a chance to stop and soak in this birdy zone; some of the possibilities include Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Viridian Metaltail, Red-crested Cotinga, Black-backed Bush-Tanager, just to name a very few. We aim to arrive to Guango Lodge for a hot, sit-down lunch, where the hummingbird feeders that will be dripping with species such as Tourmaline Sunangel, Sword-billed Hummingbird and White-bellied Woodstar.

After lunch we’ll devote our afternoon birding to the trails and spectacular hummingbird feeders at Guango Lodge. On the grounds at Guango we frequently run into some of the best temperate forest flocks on any of our tours in Ecuador; in a matter of minutes it isn’t uncommon to see Bar-bellied Woodpecker, White-banded Tyrannulet, Blue-backed Conebill, Black-capped and Black-eared Hemispingus, Slaty and Pale-naped Brush-Finch, Gray-hooded Bush-Tanager, several species of mountain-tanager and even Plushcap. We will always have our eye out for other particularly local or aesthetic highlights, and Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan and Mountain Avocetbill are among them.

Before it gets too late it will be time to turn our sights down-slope for an 1 ½ hour drive to Cabañas San Isidro. We will shoot to arrive in time to get settled into our rooms and even try and spotlight a Rufous-bellied Nighthawk at dusk before what will certainly be a delicious dinner. Assuming the weather cooperates, we will want to try a short night walk after dinner - right between the cabins and the dining room - in search of the “mystery owl”. This is a gorgeous owl that may one day prove to be a new species to science. Night at Cabañas San Isidro.

 

Day 2:

day 2

We plan to start the morning off with some birding right around the lodge, where we often find it hard to pull ourselves away… the birds just sometimes keep coming. Some of the regulars include Montane and Olive-backed Woodcreepers, Golden-crowned Flycatcher, Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher, Black-billed Peppershrike, Inca Jay, Bluish Flowerpiercer and Subtropical Cacique! After about an hour of this, we will want to visit the Antpitta feeders, where you will likely see White-bellied Antpitta only feet away, and maybe even the very rare Peruvian (!). The rest of the morning will be spent birding the ample trail system and forested roadside at Cabañas San Isidro, where Long-tailed Antbirds, Plain-tailed Wrens and Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonias await.

After lunch at the lodge (and possibly an afternoon break), we can choose any of the trails that sprawl out from the lodge (or even the roadside) for a second crack at flocks and other activity… quetzals or maybe a fruiteater anybody? The true beauty of the day is that we have no need for vehicle commutes - any longer than a few minutes - so birding along slowly on foot (surrounded by rich habitat) is something that we will take full advantage of.  We may even want to try a spot near the lodge for Andean Potoo and Rufous-banded Owl. Night at Cabañas San Isidro.

Day 3:

We will get up early and head to the Loreto Road (or to Coca Falls) where we will spend the day birding this scenic zone. In the eastern foothills the birding possibilities really explode, with a new sets of tanagers, antbirds, and others. Considering that this is one of the most biologically diverse spots on the planet we will want to spend a full day exploring these rich forested slopes. Assuming weather cooperates, we will have a long list of potential species. Here are some dreamy names to whet your appetite: White-backed Fire-eye, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Golden-eared, Orange-eared and Paradise Tanagers, and Golden-collared Honeycreeper. We might even luck into a fruiteater or two! We will want to bring along a packed lunch in order to take full advantage of our day in the field. Night at Cabañas San Isidro.

 

day 2Day 4:

Morning birding the beautiful Guacamayos ridge trail – only about 20 minutes from the lodge by vehicle - where some of the birds we hope to see include Green-and-black Fruiteater, Handsome Flycatcher, Rufous Wren, Turquoise Jay, Grass-green Tanager, a few species of skulking tapaculos (and maybe even an Ocellated) and Northern Mountain-Cacique. While not as common, but still regularly seen here, some of the other harder possibilities include Greater Scythebill, Dusky Piha and Black-billed Mountain-Toucan. The forest here is simply enchanting and an even that no birder wants to miss when visiting the San Isidro area. Afternoon birding the trails at San Isidro.Night San Isidro.

Day 5:

Depending on the guide’s plan for the day, we may bird in the morning and enjoy one last meal at Cabañas San Isidro, or choose to bring along a box lunch for our birding drive back to Quito to give us a chance at cleaning-up some of the missed species we had searched for on the first day. Night in Quito.

The quote includes: Four nights full board at Cabañas San Isidro, extra box lunch on first day, entrance fees (Cayambe-Coca National Park and Guacamayos ridge trail), transportation and professional birding guide services according to option chosen (if you choose option 3 the itinerary will vary as you will not have a guide or transportation all days) and all taxes. The quote does not include: Extra drinks (sodas, beers, wines, etc.), insurance, Coca Falls entrance fee, extra expensesfor delayed baggage arrival, tips and other personal expenses (laundry, phone calls, etc.).

 

 


Day 1:

day 1

Time to escape from Quito for what will be a busy day of birding! Today we will want to rise early and get on our way since we have a variety of habitats that we will want to explore. Our drive to Guango Lodge will initially lead us through the drier central valley where we will pass through a mix of agricultural zones and native chaparral forests before rising up steeply to the high and (often) windswept paramo. Among the many bird possibilities, we will be particularly on the lookout for Andean Condor (sometimes hard), Carunculated Caracara, Andean Gull, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Scrub & Blue-and-yellow Tanagers and Southern Yellow-Grosbeak. If there were a day to have your camera ready, this would be it – on clear days the scenery is spectacular, with superb views of the snow-capped Volcán Antisana, and seemingly endless high Andean mountain-scapes harboring a backdrop of textures that make for an unforgettable birding setting. This area, known as the Papallacta Pass by birders, is rich in paramo birdlife, and with the proper weather, you can expect to see some of the following: Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Tawny Antpitta, Many-striped Canastero, White-chinned Thistletail, Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, some interesting seedeaters, and even Giant Conebill (with a bit of luck, up in the Polylepis woodlands). The Papallacta Pass is right on the continental divide, and once we finish up with our paramobirding, we will work our way down the east-slope – Amazonian drainage now – towards Guango Lodge. On the way we will pass through some beautiful high-elevation temperate forests where we will have a chance to stop and soak in this birdy zone; some of the possibilities include Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Viridian Metaltail, Red-crested Cotinga, Black-backed Bush-Tanager, just to name a very few. We aim to arrive to Guango Lodge for a hot, sit-down lunch, where the hummingbird feeders that will be dripping with species such as Tourmaline Sunangel, Sword-billed Hummingbird and White-bellied Woodstar.

 

After lunch we’ll devote our afternoon birding to the trails and spectacular hummingbird feeders at Guango Lodge. On the grounds at Guango we frequently run into some of the best temperate forest flocks on any of our tours in Ecuador; in a matter of minutes it isn’t uncommon to see Bar-bellied Woodpecker, White-banded Tyrannulet, Blue-backed Conebill, Black-capped and Black-eared Hemispingus, Slaty and Pale-naped Brush-Finch, Gray-hooded Bush-Tanager, several species of mountain-tanager and even Plushcap. We will always have our eye out for other particularly local or aesthetic highlights, and Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan and Mountain Avocetbill are among them.

 

Before it gets too late it will be time to turn our sights down-slope for an 1 ½ hour drive to Cabañas San Isidro. We will shoot to arrive in time to get settled into our rooms and even try and spotlight a Rufous-bellied Nighthawk at dusk before what will certainly be a delicious dinner. Assuming the weather cooperates, we will want to try a short night walk after dinner - right between the cabins and the dining room - in search of the “mystery owl”. This is a gorgeous owl that may one day prove to be a new species to science. Night at Cabañas San Isidro.

 

Day 2:

day 2

We plan to start the morning off with some birding right around the lodge, where we often find it hard to pull ourselves away… the birds just sometimes keep coming. Some of the regulars include Montane and Olive-backed Woodcreepers, Golden-crowned Flycatcher, Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher, Black-billed Peppershrike, Inca Jay, Bluish Flowerpiercer and Subtropical Cacique! After about an hour of this, we will want to visit the Antpitta feeders, where you will likely see White-bellied Antpitta only feet away, and maybe even the very rare Peruvian (!). The rest of the morning will be spent birding the ample trail system and forested roadside at Cabañas San Isidro, where Long-tailed Antbirds, Plain-tailed Wrens and Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonias await.

 

After lunch at the lodge (and possibly an afternoon break), we can choose any of the trails that sprawl out from the lodge (or even the roadside) for a second crack at flocks and other activity… quetzals or maybe a fruiteater anybody? The true beauty of the day is that we have no need for vehicle commutes - any longer than a few minutes - so birding along slowly on foot (surrounded by rich habitat) is something that we will take full advantage of.  We may even want to try a spot near the lodge for Andean Potoo and Rufous-banded Owl. Night at Cabañas San Isidro.

 

 

Day 3:

We will get up early and head to the Loreto Road (or to Coca Falls) where we will spend the day birding this scenic zone. In the eastern foothills the birding possibilities really explode, with a new sets of tanagers, antbirds, and others. Considering that this is one of the most biologically diverse spots on the planet we will want to spend a full day exploring these rich forested slopes. Assuming weather cooperates, we will have a long list of potential species. Here are some dreamy names to whet your appetite: White-backed Fire-eye, Coppery-chested Jacamar, Golden-eared, Orange-eared and Paradise Tanagers, and Golden-collared Honeycreeper. We might even luck into a fruiteater or two! We will want to bring along a packed lunch in order to take full advantage of our day in the field. Night at Cabañas San Isidro.

 

Day 4:

day 2Morning birding the beautiful Guacamayos ridge trail – only about 20 minutes from the lodge by vehicle - where some of the birds we hope to see include Green-and-black Fruiteater, Handsome Flycatcher, Rufous Wren, Turquoise Jay, Grass-green Tanager, a few species of skulking tapaculos (and maybe even an Ocellated) and Northern Mountain-Cacique. While not as common, but still regularly seen here, some of the other harder possibilities include Greater Scythebill, Dusky Piha and Black-billed Mountain-Toucan. The forest here is simply enchanting and an even that no birder wants to miss when visiting the San Isidro area. Depending on the guide’s plan for the day, we may enjoy one last meal at Cabañas San Isidro, or choose to bring along a box lunch for our birding drive back to Quito to give us a chance at cleaning-up some of the missed species we had searched for on the first day. Night in Quito.

 

The quote includes: Three nights full board at Cabañas San Isidro, extra box lunch on first day, entrance fees (Cayambe-Coca National Park and Guacamayos ridge trail), transportation and professional birding guide services according to option chosen (if you choose option 3 the itinerary will vary as you will not have a guide or transportation all days) and all taxes. The quote does not include: Extra drinks (sodas, beers, wines, etc.), insurance, Coca Falls entrance fee, extra expensesfor delayed baggage arrival, tips and other personal expenses (laundry, phone calls, etc.).

 

 


Day 1:

day 1

Time to escape from Quito for what will be a busy day of birding! Today we will want to rise early and get on our way since we have a variety of habitats that we will want to explore. Our drive to Guango Lodge will initially lead us through the drier central valley where we will pass through a mix of agricultural zones and native chaparral forests before rising up steeply to the high and (often) windswept paramo. Among the many bird possibilities, we will be particularly on the lookout for Andean Condor (sometimes hard), Carunculated Caracara, Andean Gull, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Scrub & Blue-and-yellow Tanagers and Southern Yellow-Grosbeak. If there were a day to have your camera ready, this would be it – on clear days the scenery is spectacular, with superb views of the snow-capped Volcán Antisana, and seemingly endless high Andean mountain-scapes harboring a backdrop of textures that make for an unforgettable birding setting. This area, known as the Papallacta Pass by birders, is rich in paramo birdlife, and with the proper weather, you can expect to see some of the following: Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Ecuadorian Hillstar, Tawny Antpitta, Many-striped Canastero, White-chinned Thistletail, Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, some interesting seedeaters, and even Giant Conebill (with a bit of luck, up in the Polylepis woodlands). The Papallacta Pass is right on the continental divide, and once we finish up with our paramobirding, we will work our way down the east-slope – Amazonian drainage now – towards Guango Lodge. On the way we will pass through some beautiful high-elevation temperate forests where we will have a chance to stop and soak in this birdy zone; some of the possibilities include Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Viridian Metaltail, Red-crested Cotinga, Black-backed Bush-Tanager, just to name a very few. We aim to arrive to Guango Lodge for a hot, sit-down lunch, where the hummingbird feeders that will be dripping with species such as Tourmaline Sunangel, Sword-billed Hummingbird and White-bellied Woodstar.

 

After lunch we’ll devote our afternoon birding to the trails and spectacular hummingbird feeders at Guango Lodge. On the grounds at Guango we frequently run into some of the best temperate forest flocks on any of our tours in Ecuador; in a matter of minutes it isn’t uncommon to see Bar-bellied Woodpecker, White-banded Tyrannulet, Blue-backed Conebill, Black-capped and Black-eared Hemispingus, Slaty and Pale-naped Brush-Finch, Gray-hooded Bush-Tanager, several species of mountain-tanager and even Plushcap. We will always have our eye out for other particularly local or aesthetic highlights, and Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan and Mountain Avocetbill are among them.

 

Before it gets too late it will be time to turn our sights down-slope for an 1 ½ hour drive to Cabañas San Isidro. We will shoot to arrive in time to get settled into our rooms and even try and spotlight a Rufous-bellied Nighthawk at dusk before what will certainly be a delicious dinner. Assuming the weather cooperates, we will want to try a short night walk after dinner - right between the cabins and the dining room - in search of the “mystery owl”. This is a gorgeous owl that may one day prove to be a new species to science. Night at Cabañas San Isidro.

 

Day 2:

day 2

We plan to start the morning off with some birding right around the lodge, where we often find it hard to pull ourselves away… the birds just sometimes keep coming. Some of the regulars include Montane and Olive-backed Woodcreepers, Golden-crowned Flycatcher, Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher, Black-billed Peppershrike, Inca Jay, Bluish Flowerpiercer and Subtropical Cacique! After about an hour of this, we will want to visit the Antpitta feeders, where you will likely see White-bellied Antpitta only feet away, and maybe even the very rare Peruvian (!). The rest of the morning will be spent birding the ample trail system and forested roadside at Cabañas San Isidro, where Long-tailed Antbirds, Plain-tailed Wrens and Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonias await.

After lunch at the lodge (and possibly an afternoon break), we can choose any of the trails that sprawl out from the lodge (or even the roadside) for a second crack at flocks and other activity… quetzals or maybe a fruiteater anybody? The true beauty of the day is that we have no need for vehicle commutes - any longer than a few minutes - so birding along slowly on foot (surrounded by rich habitat) is something that we will take full advantage of.  We may even want to try a spot near the lodge for Andean Potoo and Rufous-banded Owl. Night at Cabañas San Isidro.

 

Day 3:

 

Morning birding the beautiful Guacamayos ridge trail – only about 20 minutes from the lodge by vehicle - where some of the birds we hope to see include Green-and-black Fruiteater, Handsome Flycatcher, Rufous Wren, Turquoise Jay, Grass-green Tanager, a few species of skulking tapaculos (and maybe even an Ocellated) and Northern Mountain-Cacique. While not as common, but still regularly seen here, some of the other harder possibilities include Greater Scythebill, Dusky Piha and Black-billed Mountain-Toucan.

 

day 3 The forest here is simply enchanting and an even that no birder wants to miss when visiting the San Isidro area. Depending on the guide’s plan for the day, we may enjoy one last meal at Cabañas San Isidro, or choose to bring along a box lunch for our birding drive back to Quito to give us a chance at cleaning-up some of the missed species we had searched for on the first day. Night in Quito.

 

The quote includes: Two nights full board at Cabañas San Isidro, extra box lunch on first day, entrance fees (Cayambe-Coca National Park and Guacamayos ridge trail), transportation and professional birding guide services according to option chosen (if you choose option 3 the itinerary will vary as you will not have a guide or transportation all days) and all taxes. The quote does not include: Extra drinks (sodas, beers, wines, etc.), insurance, extra expensesfor delayed baggage arrival, tips and other personal expenses (laundry, phone calls, etc.).

 


Day 1:

day 1

We will leave from Quito at 8:00 A.M. to the Amazon watershed, with scenic and biodiverse cloud forests on our minds. Our first stop en route, however, will be at a rose plantation where you will have the opportunity to ogle at many of the most popular and spectacular varieties that Ecuador produces. After this it will be time to move up in elevation to the majestic, windswept paramos of Papallacta - a very tundra-like habitat. On clear days here the views of the surroundings and various volcanoes are breath-taking; a stop right up at the continental divide is one of the best spots from which to photograph the snow-capped volcano, Antisana, as it towers over the mountains below.

 

After what will have probably been a chilly morning (at best!) we will get to Guango Lodge in time to enjoy a delicious and hot, sit-down lunch, traditional Ecuadorian style, right next to the active hummingbird feeders. In the afternoon we will embark on a hike along the trails that fan out around the lodge to get a taste of the beautiful Andean temperate forests and the birds that often adorn their branches; colorful mountain-toucans and tanagers would be a hit!

 

Not letting it get too late, we will make our way down-slope – about a 1 ½ hour drive - to Cabañas San Isidro, where we will shoot to get in with daylight and settle into our rooms before dinner.

 

At dinner we will be officially welcomed and have our first taste of Ecuador’s best known hot toddy, a delicious drink - called “Canelazo” - made from water boiled with real cinnamon, fruit juice and a dash of cane alcohol, that is sure to help warm us up. There will be Guinea Pig tasting opportunity for the adventurous ones! After a magnificent dinner - our food is widely recognized for its originality and exquisite quality - a night hike awaits us, where we will be in search of owls, strange insects, nocturnal mammals or any other critter that might grace our presence. Night at San Isidro.

 

Day 2:

day 2We’ll put our birding caps on this morning and get out for the early morning activity. While we slept the lights around the lodge will have collected a mob of moths and other insects, which means one thing: a buffet for insectivorous birds in search of breakfast! We will spend the early morning watching trogons, woodcreepers, flycatchers and tanagers glean all sorts of bugs in a seemingly frantic attempt to satisfy their morning hunger. And if this has not awakened our appetites, the smell emanating from the dining room should. You guessed it: time for a controlled stampede in for a buffet breakfast!

 

Well fed and ready for more, we will set out on one of San Isidro’s newest adventures: a “virtual safari”. While at any moment a rare mammal could pop into view during the walk, they are wary, so our safari is designed to run a trap-line of sorts, checking the motion-sensor cameras and the photos that they have taken over the last weeks, days, hours… and even minutes; it really is a thrill to see a photo - that no one else has seen - of a Puma, Oncilla, Tapir, or even an Anteater, taken right where you are standing! Checking the cameras all the while, our walk will lead us to the beautiful Pumayacu Falls, right in the heart of the reserve, and then down to the edges of the pristine waters of the Cosanga River where we will enjoy a catered lunch at a remote riverside beach where a Torrent Duck might even come drifting by.

 

After a full morning of exploration, we’ll visit the Yanayacu Biology Station – up the road from the lodge - in the afternoon for a chat and more in-depth look at all of the important and fascinating research taking place in the reserve; researchers from all over the world and Ecuador congregate here to do their best to unravel the life histories and secrets of the denizens of a cloud forest system still so very much in need of study. Many new species to science have resulted from these efforts.

 

Dinner is always something to look forward to at San Isidro, so we will take full advantage! After dinner, for those interested, we can take another short stroll around the lodge to check the lights, where we will surely encounter the usual myriad of beetle and colorful moth species that have descended onto the white walls; their designs and patterns seem limitless! For the more gung-ho spirits, a night hike to check some more camera traps might whet the appetite.

 

 

tasting 4

OPTIONAL (TASTING MENU):


8 dish sampler menu featuring Amazonian & Andean flavors: $15 + 22% per menu, additional to full board rate. This needs to be pre-booked.

-Visit our Guinea Pig farm and organic garden; many of the veggies and herbs that land on your plate - free of pesticides and other chemicals - are grown right here at San Isidro in our own greenhouse.

-If you are interested in learning a new exotic Andean or Amazonian dish, a cooking class might be up your alley, so let us know and learn to make a “maito” or a “quinoa” soufflé.
Night at San Isidro.

 

Day 3:

day 3

This morning we will venture down a nearby trail or two to watch the antpittas, an extremely retiring (and subtly beautiful) group of South American birds, as they come to devour worms at the feeders… a photographer’s delight.

 

After a hearty breakfast we will venture out to the archeological ruins on the property for a look at what is left of a group, the “Curisetas” (translated as the “Goldsmiths”), that inhabited the region pre-colonially; most interesting is that they were never conquered by the Incas. Their history is a bit murky, but this small group of natives seemed to have faded away without much of a fuss or fight. The Curisetas were best known for their prowess at mining and then molding gold jewelry, and for hauling large rocks from distant areas and placing them as directional monoliths; their pottery shards are still easily found in the rivers on the property. We’ll make our way back to the lodge for a well deserved lunch!

 

We will take time for a post-lunch “siesta” before hitting the trail again. This afternoon we’ll head down to a mating lek of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock; several males of this loud and bright orange bird  - something like South America’s answer to the Birds of Paradise! – can often be found in the late afternoons carrying-on in the tree canopies right overhead in hopes of attracting females. We might even want to check any motion sensor cameras along the way to see if any critters passed by over the last 24 hours! As always, another inventive dinner awaits.

OPTIONAL: Try another cooking class to learn yet another local recipe!

 

Day 4:

day 2

OPTION 1:

This morning we will plan to rise a little earlier, zip up our bags and bid San Isidro farewell (after breakfast, of course!) for a visit to the spectacular Cascadas San Rafael or, in English, “Coca Falls”. It will take the better part of two hours to get there along the road to LagoAgrio, but highway conditions are generally good and the scenery breath-taking. Set in the foothills (between the cool forests of the subtropical zone and Amazonian lowlands), you will notice the change: warmer temperatures and taller trees. The kilometer hike through the lush tropical forests to the falls can be a great place to spot an Umbrellabird, or even a troop of Capuchin or Spider Monkeys. Upon approaching Ecuador’s mightiest of all waterfalls, you will feel its rumble well before you see it… sort of an eerie feeling, really! We will have packed lunches along and a picnic lunch eye level with the falls would be the ideal setting.

 

From here it will be time to make our way back to Quito (or down into the Amazonian lowlands to connect with the next leg of the trip).

 

OPTION 2:

This morning we will visit the Cordillera de Guacamayos (only a 20 minute drive from San Isidro), on the eastern edge of the Antisana Reserve where, on a clear day from this relatively low mountain pass, you can see jagged, high paramo peaks to the west. Looking the other way, the eastern lowlands of the Amazon sprawl out below us, where Harpy Eagles and Jaguars still prowl. Right at the pass a very historical trail begins, and plummets down through various life zones, through some of the most pristine subtropical forest any visitor to Ecuador could hope to find. Think back half a century when there were no roads into the region, only horse trails; this is exactly where pre-Colombian tribes, conquistadors and old-time explorers trudged through on their journeys across the spine of the Andes to the lowlands. We have it quite a bit better off though, with a rocked and machete-cleaned trail, but the essence is still there. Depending on our energy levels, we may hike down a few kilometers, and even have a decent shot at seeing a wild group of Common Wooly Monkeys that often sound off, betraying their presence. All the while we’ll be enjoying the staggeringly beautiful cloud forest that envelops us, so soak it in!

 

After a lunch back at San Isidro, it will be time to zip up our bags for the trip back to Quito (or down into the Amazonian lowlands to connect with the next leg of the trip).

 

SERVICES INCLUDED: Lodging in standard double room, meals from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day, guide and transfers according to the option chosen, all activities described, welcome coktail, coffee and tea station, purified water and taxes.

 

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED: Extra drinks (sodas, beers, wines, etc.), private guide or transportation services, extemporaneous reserve entrance fees (such as Antisana Reserve) and other personal expenses (telephone calls, laundry, etc.).

 

RATES 2016

Rates per person, based in double room occupancy


With transfers in & out and bilingual guide

Based in 1 participant: $1330

Based in 2 participants: $820

Based in 3-6 participants: $730

 

With transfers in & out and spanish speaking bird guide

Based in 1 participant: $1080

Based in 2 participants: $695

Based in 3-6 participants: $620

Day 1:

day 1

We will leave from Quito at 8:00 A.M. to the Amazon watershed, with scenic and biodiverse cloud forests on our minds. En route, however, we will stop for a look at the majestic, high elevation and windswept paramos above Papallacta - a very tundra-like habitat. On clear days here the views of the surroundings and various volcanoes are breath-taking; a stop right up at the continental divide is one of the best spots from which to photograph the snow-capped volcano, Antisana, as it towers over the mountains below. Continuing our journey to San Isidro we will wind our way amongst steep valleys – through the towns of Cuyuja and Baeza - where will see some gorgeous forested slopes and impressive waterfalls, born in Antisana Reserve, as they spill off of high cliffs. Our plan is to get to San Isidro in time to get settled into our rooms, and even for a quick look around before lunch, so barring a quick restroom stop on the way, we’ll make few stops in order to get there quickly, because after lunch, we will have plenty to do!

 

This afternoon we will undertake what we call a “virtual safari” along the primary forest trails below the cabins. While at any moment a rare mammal could pop into view during the walk – they are wary - our safari is designed to run a trap-line of sorts, checking the motion-sensor cameras and the photos that they have taken over the last weeks, days, hours… and even minutes; it really is a thrill to see a photo – that no one else has seen - of a Puma, Tapir, or even an Anteater, taken right where you are standing! We’ll plan to get back to the cabins for some relaxation time before dinner.

 

At dinner we will be officially welcomed to San Isidro with a taste of Ecuador’s most well-known hot toddy, a delicious drink - called “Guayusa” - made from water boiled with guayusa leaves, fruit juice and a dash of cane alcohol, that is sure to help warm us up. The adventurous ones will be able to taste Guinea Pig! After a magnificent dinner - our food is widely recognized for its originality and exquisite quality - a night hike awaits us, where we will be in search of owls, strange insects, nocturnal mammals or any other critter that might grace our presence.

 

OPTIONAL (TASTING MENU):

tasting 1

8 dish sampler menu featuring Amazonian & Andean flavors: $15 + 22% per menu, additional to full board rate. This needs to be pre-booked.

-Visit our Guinea Pig farm and organic garden; many of the veggies and herbs that land on your plate - free of pesticides and other chemicals - are grown right here at San Isidro in our own greenhouse.

-If you are interested in learning a new exotic Andean or Amazonian dish, a cooking class might be up your alley, so let us know and learn to make a “maito” or a “quinoa” soufflé.

 

Day 2:

For those interested, we’ll put our birding caps on this morning and get out for the early morning activity. While we slept the lights around the lodge will have collected a mob of moths and other insects, which means one thing: a buffet for insectivorous birds in search of breakfast! We will spend the early morning watching trogons, woodcreepers, flycatchers and tanagers glean all sorts of bugs in a seemingly frantic attempt to satisfy their morning hunger. Soon after we will venture down a nearby trail to watch the White-bellied Antpitta, an extremely retiring (and subtly beautiful) South American bird, as it comes to devour worms at the feeder… have your camera ready, but please turn off the flash so as to not startle it.

 

day 2

After this it is our turn to hit an 8:00 A.M. buffet with a roaring appetite (where we will meet up with any companions who opted for a lye-in to recharge a bit more). From here we will embark on a hike through San Isidro’s forest reserve out to the archeological ruins on the property for a look at what is left of a group, the “Curisetas” (translated as the “Goldsmiths”), that inhabited the region pre-colonially; most interesting is that they were never conquered by the Incas. Their history is a bit murky, but this small group of natives seemed to have faded away without much of a fuss or fight. The Curisetas were known for their prowess at mining and molding gold into jewelry, and for hauling large, flat rocks from distant areas and placing them as directional monoliths; their pottery shards are also still easily found in the rivers on the property. We will emerge out along the peaceful roadside for a stroll back to the lodge, and if time permits, stop in for a visit to the biology station to learn a bit more about the research being done in the reserve, and its importance to the conservation of the area.

 

Before our transfer to Quito (or continued travel, further down-slope into the lowlands of the Amazon), another delectable lunch awaits.

 

SERVICES INCLUDED: Lodging in standard double room, meals from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day, guide and transfers according to the option chosen, all activities described, welcome coktail, coffee and tea station, purified water and taxes.

 

SERVICES NOT INCLUDED: Extra drinks (sodas, beers, wines, etc.), private guide or transportation services, extemporaneous reserve entrance fees (such as Antisana Reserve) and other personal expenses (telephone calls, laundry, etc.).

 

RATES 2016

Rates per person, based in double room occupancy


With transfers in & out and bilingual guide

Based in 1 participant: $705

Based in 2 participants: $410

Based in 3-6 participants: $355

 

With transfers in & out and spanish speaking bird guide

Based in 1 participant: $590

Based in 2 participants: $350

Based in 3-6 participants: $300

Gastronomy Tours

22 Jul,2013

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Nature Tours

22 Jul,2013

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