Ecuador birding trip notes

Mar 14th, 2004, 11:19 AM
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Ecuador birding trip notes

I am posting this in response to Patty's question on the Airlines board.

The trip was four guys and their guide going (almost) non-stop from pre-dawn to after dark on a quest to see as many bird species as possible in 15 days. WE found all of our accomodations to be comfortable and the good was good. Nobody got sick from any lodge food.

The first two nights were at Hostal La Rabida in Quito. Day 1 was a visit to high elevation in the Antisana reserve. Great scenery, good road and some interesting birds. For the next five days we were at Tandaypa Bird Lodge, home of the best hummingbird feeders on the planet. This lodge is further down the hill from Bellavista Lodge and is therefore a bit warmer and drier. The road that both lodges are on is rather rough and would be difficult for those with bad backs. Tandayapa requires a bit of a hike up a paved trail from the parking area.

The next five days were at Sacha lodge in the Oriente. We flew from Quito to Coca on a 65 passenger jet. From there it was a 2.5 hour boat ride down the Rio Napo to the lodge. Sacha was the biggest lodge that we used. It caters to visitors with a variety of interests unlike the others that are primarily for birders. Conditions were quite dry for a rainforest meaning that rubber boots were not esential on all outings. On the other hand I picked up chiggers as punishment for chosing comfort on one outing. The parrot licks on the south side of the river are outstanding. Access to the lodge requires a shot trip in a dugout canoe. Getting in and out of these could be difficult for some people.

After retrurning to Quito we drove to Papallacta Pass and up to the radio towers at about 4300 metres above sea level. This was a nasty transition...lowland tropics to to windy, cold, oxygen deficient environment. It was beautiful though and we got the bird we were up there to see. After that we continued on Guango Lodge for one night. The road on the east side of the pass in unpaved and a real bone shaker. This road is being upgraded thoughout its length. It was an odd mix of freshly paved and smooth with horrid construction road. The construction means lengthy closures (up to 5 hours at a time) in spots. Finally, we spent three nights at Cabanas San Isidro.

Our record of having no food trouble was broken when three of the five of us (guide included) picked up something at a restaurant in Quito on the last night.
Gavin is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 07:30 AM
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Can you give the name of the problemetics restaurant in Quito? Thanks!
cheerful is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 10:48 AM
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Thanks for posting this!
Patty is offline  
Mar 15th, 2004, 03:29 PM
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Cheerful, unfortuately I don't know the restaurant's name. It was a Mexican restaurant that our guide picked for the grand sendoff. It is (was?) his favourite restaurant in Quito, where he lives when he is not guiding.
Gavin is offline  
Mar 16th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Thanks for the information!
cheerful is offline  
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