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Whales, birds and monkeys, 14 days


USD 3,080

/ person
  • 1
  • 14 Days

Xavier Amigo

Nature Experience Ecuador

We specialize in Naturalist travel and Scientific tourism. We want to share our passion

  • Local time:03:39

Whales, birds and monkeys, 14 days

Exploration the most impressive, rich and diverse ecosystems of Ecuador. A trip involving a mixture of nature discovery, photography and scientific interpretations. Introduction of Neotropical ornithology and herping Snorkeling in Pacific tropical waters. Naturalist bilingual guide during all the trip.


Transfer from the international airport to our hotel. Night in Guayaquil. (Hotel Nazu). B/L/-/.

Hotel Nazu


We will leave Guayaquil heading North to the mangroves of Posorja. As we drive through Santa Elena Peninsula´s xerophyte landscapes, we we´ll keep our eyes open for raptors such as Caracaras, Kites, Falcons and Hawks. When we reach the small village of Los Moros´ deck, we will board a little motor boat to navigate along the natural canals´ brackish waters and become familiar with three species of mangrove plants. We won´t miss to observe little groups of bottlenose dolphins, as well as a great number of shore birds. After lunch, we´ll go towards Salinas, located at the southern tip of the Peninsula, to visit La Chocolatera, the only South American sea lion s colony in continental Ecuador, which includes about 40 “retired” individuals as well as many shorebirds species as the rare Peruvian Booby. We will then visit the salt marshes located at the very tip of Santa Elena peninsula, looking for waders’ species and beautiful sights of the colorful marshes. We will end up our day driving along the « Ruta de Sol », going through various villages inhabited by families of fishermen who are still spending their lives between a harsh sea life and the comfort of a hammock. Free diner and night facing the beach in the small village of Ayampe. (Hotel Punta Ayampe). B/L/-/. Read more

Hotel Punta Ayampe


This morning we will reach the banks of Ayampe River where a patch of semi humid forest remains surrounded by an ecosystem dominated by costal dry forests. We will observe many endemic bird unique to this ecosystem (Humming birds –Berlepsch Humming Bird, Little Woodstar, Short-tailed Woodstar, Henna hooded Foliage gleaner, Royal Flycatcher, Black-capped Sparrow, Black-and-white Tanager), and also a few mammals species. After a local meal composed of fresh sea food, grilled fish or Ceviches (lemony marinade), we will wander along the Pacific shores in search of more shore birds and waders, and maybe marine turtles, before heading to our next destination : the small village of Puerto Lopez, a fishermen’s paradise. Free Diner and night in comfortable hotel facing the sea (Hosteria Mandala). B/L/-/ Read more

Hosteria Mandala


After breakfast, we will get onboard towards “Isla de La Plata”. It will take us an hour and a half to reach this outstanding Island where fauna can be very similar to what is found on the Galapagos archipelago: Blue-footed Boobies, Red-footed Boobies, Tropicbird, Long-tailed Mockingbird, Magnificent Frigate Birds, and if we are lucky, a couple of Waved Albatrosses. After a lunch on the Yacht, possibility to go snorkeling in those beautiful waters were corals, turtles and tropical fishes thrive. As we sail back to the continent we will start searching for Humpback Whales along the underwater marine plateau of Cantagallo. Those huge marine mammals show up here every year between June and September to mate along the costs of Ecuador and amaze the visitors with their acrobatic shows, sometimes accompanied by dolphins and Manta Rays. Free Diner and night in Puerto Lopez (Hôtel Mandala). B/L/-/. Read more

Hôtel Mandala


We will leave early to go to the community-owned preserve and archeological site of Aguas Blancas, one of the best examples of community development project on the Ecuadorian cost. By rescuing history and culture from those ancestral people, a good level of conservation of this unique semi dry costal ecosystem. Has beeb achieved. Those deciduous forests still possess stable populations of Terrestrial Iguanas, Boa Constrictors, Red- tailed Squirrels, as well as splendid bird species such as the Blue-crowned Motmot, the Vermilion Flycatcher and the Golden-olive Woodpecker. After sharing lunch with members of the Community, we will go to Los Frailes Beach, one of the most beautiful beach of Costal Ecuador, located within the boundaries of Machalilla National Park. Here we will enjoy water games and walks along the beach during the afternoon and maybe observe some dolphins swimming close to the shore. Free diner and night facing the ocean. (Hôtel Mandala). B/L/-/. Read more

Hôtel Mandala


After a fresh breakfast on the beach front, we will witness the fishermen´s return on Puerto Lopez´s beach. As soon as we feel we have taken the right shots, it will be time for us to drive north along the «Ruta del Sol» until we reach Pacoche Costal Reserve, one of the last remains of costal humid forests left in the country, a unique location, between the Choco bio-region and the Tumbesian region, in the middle of San Lorenzo Cape. Here it is possible to see or hear some of the last troops of Howler Monkeys from the cost. This preserve is also home to many endemic bird species and a great variety of reptiles, amphibians and mollusks. After crossing the costal line and its plains covered with tropical cultures like Papayas, Sugar canes, Teak trees, Bananas, etc, we will reach Rio Palenque Reserve at the end of the afternoon. Diner and night in a standard Lodge (Rio Palenque). B/L/-/ Note: This day includes a fairly long drive in order to reach Rio Palenque. Read more

Rio Palenque


This morning we will explore different trails around the Rio Palenque´s research station in the midst of this endangered ecosystem of western plains forests. Sure enough most of it was turned into agricultural land and only a few patches remain until today. The Reserve itself is located right between the Choco in the north and the Tumbesian region in the south. A great number of bird species are represented: Bat Falcon, Blue Ground Dove, Band-tailed Barbthroat, Stripe-throated Hermit, Gartered Trogon, Panama Trogon, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Orange-fronted Barbet, Pied Puffbird, Red-billed Woodcreeper,, Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, Dot-winged Antwren, Whiskered Wren, Long-billed Gnatwren, Black-faced Dacnis. Many reptiles and amphibians are also present in the area. Diner and night in Forest Lodge (Rio Palenque Lodge). B/L/D. Read more

Rio Palenque Lodge


Early start to Rio Silanche, a reserve connected to Mindo Cloud Forest, located on a plain at 600 meters elevation. We will devote the rest of the day looking for Choco´s endemic species like the Purple-Chested Hummingbird, the Choco Trogon, the Equatorial Greytail, the Pygmy Antwren, the Stub-tailed Antbird, the slate-throated gnatcatcher, the Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, the Scarlet-and-white Tanager, the Blue-whiskered Tanager, the Black-striped Woodcreeper, or the Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet. From the observation tower, up in the canopy, we will be on the lookout for birds of prey and colorful tanagers. Diner and night in charming Lodge (Finca De Goulene). B/L/D Read more

Finca De Goulene


After breakfast and an early photo session, we will continue our trip west in search of even lower elevation species. On our way we will stop to find some amphibian species associated with the area such as Hyloxalus toachi (Dendrobatidae) or the highly variable Oophaga sylvatica (photo). Lunch at our next protected area, Mangaloma Reserve (760m). The rest of the day and the evening will allow us to look for more species of reptiles such as Enyalioides heterolepis, Micrurus dumerilii, as well as several species of anoles and a few colubrids. Visit of the Research Station and of the investigation projects currently in place before driving oust to our new accommodation. After diner, we will explore the reserve to find some nocturnal species. Diner and Night in standard Lodge (Sachatamia Lodge). B/L/D Read more

Sachatamia Lodge


After breakfast we will leave early to head west for lower elevation observations. Along the road that will lead us to our new destination, we will look for diurnal lizards and frogs. The rest of the afternoon and early evening will be dedicated to tropical bird watching and photography in the heart of a rich private reserve. After diner, a special permit will allow us to walk through the reserve to spot amphibians, mammals and raptors. Night in charming Lodge (Sachatamia Lodge ). B/L/D Read more

Sachatamia Lodge


After a very early breakfast, we will drive to the reserve known as Paz de las Aves. From here we will walk to the Cock of the Rocks lek (Rupicola peruviana sanguinolenta), where we will have the opportunity to observe and take photos of the mating dances performed by this very noteworthy Cotinga species. On our way back, Angel Paz, the reserve owner, will show us the amount of patience it took him when he trained those antpittas (the Giant Antpitta, Yellow- breasted Antpitta and Moustached Antpitta). Those understory birds usually quite inconspicuous have been coming regularly to feed from Angel and his brother Rodrigo´s hands. A rare and incredible sight. After a very typical brunch we will drive up the Tandayapa Valley. Diner and night at Bellavista Lodge. B/L/D Read more

Bellavista Lodge


We will leave early to go towards Pacha Quindi, in order to enjoy the best morning lights. This place is the first humming bird garden in Ecuador and the owners, Tony and Barbara have been growing a great variety of plants to attracts many species of humming birds (of which the extremely rare Emerald Woodstar). After spending most of the morning here, and trying obtain the best shots of those flying jewels, we will head to de Bellavista Lodge where we will eat lunch. The higher parts of this Reserve is a composed of a very diverse 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. When the night falls we will set up a white sheet to attract a tremendous variety of very colorful lepidopteran species. Diner and night in the same Lodge (Bellavista Cloudforest Lodge). B/L/D Read more

Bellavista Lodge


Diner and night in the same Lodge (Bellavista Cloudforest Lodge). B/L/D

Bellavista Lodge


Very early in the morning, we will enter the active crater known as Pululahua and explore its 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 Ground-Tyrant. We´ll have the opportunity to complete our observations by visiting and inter Andean ecosystem, in the Bosque Protector Jerusalem. This semi dry vegetation under the climatic effect known as FOEN is home to specialist species like the rare and magnificent Buff-fronted Owl. Return to the Quito international airport late afternoon. Read more


Day in trip
Day 1
Location Guayaquil
Hotel Hotel Nazu
Day 2
Location Ayampe
Day 3
Location Puerto Lopez
Day 6
Location Santo Domingo
Hotel Rio Palenque Lodge
Day 8
Location Mindo
Hotel Finca De Goulene
Day 9
Location Mindo
Day 11
Location Nanegalito, Tandayapa


Package includes

  • Private transport (gasoline, road tolls, parking lots, vehicle and passengers´ insurance).
  • All transfers mentioned above.
  • English speaking bilingual guide for the continental part.
  • 24 hours Assistance.
  • Accommodation in double or triple rooms, private bathroom (except for one place in El choco), in hotels, haciendas de charme and standard lodge.
  • 3 meals a day, but NOT in Ayampe, Puerto Lopez and Milpe. picnics for some hikes.
  • (B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= diner)

Package excludes

  • International Flight.
  • Entrance for sites on the continental part of the trip (95.00 usd/pers).
  • Diners in Ayampe, Puerto Lopez and Milpe,(expect between 8 et 18.00usd/pers/meal)
  • Additional charge for a single room if desired.
  • Soft and alcoolic drinks.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Tips.
  • Personal Insurance.

More information

  • Important: Itineraries can be subject to last minute modifications in the case of natural causes or on account of changes related to local legislation. Visitors must take this reality into account and collaborate if ultimate changes should occur during the course of the journey. As a result, the Tour Operator will plan the rest of the trip accordingly and in order to ensure travellers´ security and integrity, in accordance the country´s current laws. Names of hotels are given as a reference only and may not be available at the time the tour begins. In case of a lack of availability in the hotel mentioned, accommodations in another hotel of similar or higher standards will be offered to our guests.


4 Reviews

David A. Wittrock, United States

Great birdwatching tour I had while I was in Ecuador with this company. It was a fantastic experience in all ways that I enjoyed tremendously. In particular I want to say how impressed I was with the guides, they were absolutely fantastic!

Lucinda Jennings, United States

Xavier Amigo knew exactly where the birds were and identified SO many that I could have never seen without his assistance. He was also extremely kind, patient, helpful and thoughtful. He answered our questions about "all things Ecuador" including the way Ecuador Experience organizes its trips within Ecuador (including Galapagos), Colombia, Venezuela and Peru. I definitely recommend this company, especially if Xavier is your guide. Read more

Myriam Papeians, France

Encore merci et bravo pour toutes les prestations qui ont rendu notre voyage super agréable et parfaitement réussi.


Our team is made up of multilingual professionals

Nature Experience Ecuador
4 Reviews


Merika Evertsen

We specialize in Naturalist travel and Scientific tourism. We want to share our passion

If you have any questions or you want to customize your trip we are here for you at any time.

  • Languages:English, Spanish, French
  • Local time:03:39


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