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The Galapagos tours cover everything from the páramo glades and snow-bested zeniths of the high Andes directly down to the rainforests of the Amazon bowl. The biodiversity of this zone is ostensibly one of the most on the planet, with more than 1000 bird species.
The Galapagos Islands lie 1000 kilometers off of the shore of Ecuador in South America. The abundant wildlife here attracts every nature lover out there. However, to an ornithophile, the islands shall prove to be heavenly, for it is home to many endemic bird species. The guests get an opportunity to spot the Galapagos Penguin, Galapagos Shearwater, Waved Albatross, Galapagos Rail, Lava Gull, Espanola, and Galapagos Mockingbirds, Woodpecker Finch, and many more. There is no better place than this for a bird-watcher and a lover of nature to go together. Fundamentally, everybody cherishes the Galapagos, as it is an exceptional sort of experience that pleases all nature and wildlife enthusiasts.
This 15 days Galapagos Islands Trip begins and ends in Quito. The guests return from the islands with a lot more than just a bunch of photographs! Visit Galapagos Islands to rekindle the soul in the lap of mother nature.
Arrival in Quito
The flights mostly land in Quito during the evening hours. The guests can check-in to the hotel after reaching Quito and spend the night there. Reaching two days beforehand, however, will be beneficial to prepare for the high altitudes.
As the guests move towards the eastern Andes, they leave the city of Quito far underneath. On bright mornings the view of the snow-clad volcanoes of Antisana and Cotopaxi is vacillating. The guests today may sight, montane bird scrub and verdant páramo scanning for Black-stood up to (Andean) Ibis, Andean Condor, Carunculated Caracara, Ecuadorian Hillstar, and other Andean species. A close-by lake holds several species of the waterfowls, including Silvery Grebe.
The guests drive to Papallacta Pass and down to Guango Lodge for the night. This little lodge attracts the Tourmaline Sunangel, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Collared Inca, Long-tailed Sylph, and the amazing Sword-billed Hummingbird.
Look for Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe and White-chinned Thistletail
This day of the Galapagos Islands trip begins with looking for birds close to the Papallacta Pass. If the weather is favorable, the guests can head straight up to the top. The páramo here is wet and rich, and the guests can look for species that they didn't see yesterday, like the attractive Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe and the lurking White-chinned Thistletail. In case of unfavorable weather, the guests can start by looking for birds in the elfin forest area; there are chances of finding rare birds there. For instance, Masked Mountain-Tanager, Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, Black-supported Bush-Tanager, and Agile Tit-Tyrant. Following on, the guests explore the Polylepis woodland for Giant Conebill before birding their way down to San Isidro, while checking for Torrent Ducks as they go. In an old homestead neighboring expansive subtropical cloud forest is the Cabañas San Isidro, which will be the base for the guests for the accompanying two nights. The hummer feeders that the guests did not see in Guango, such as Bronzy Inca, are present here.
Explore the San Isidro Region
The guests spend the entire day birding the subtropical woodlands, which is extremely rich in wildlife to keep them engaged. Lights remain on during the night at the San Isidro, attracting a lot of insects; as a result, feeding frenzies come in the morning. The guests can see many other birds like Green Jay, Andean Motmot, Black-beat Tanager, Montane Woodcreeper, Black-charged Peppershrike, Subtropical Cacique, and Pale-edged Flycatcher even on their doorsteps. The guests may also spot the Chestnut-crowned and White-bellied Antpittas coming into worms at the lodge on this Galapagos tours. Birding the roadside near the lodge is a lot of fun. Tremendous mixed-species surges wander the wildlife and hold birds such as Saffron-crowned Tanager, Black-eared Hemispingus, and Rufous-breasted Flycatcher. Beguiling Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatchers and Long-tailed Antbirds hide in the bamboo yet can be found with a little effort. Around the nighttime, guests search for the mystery owl that lives near the cabins; this feathered animal may be an undescribed race of Black-banded Owl.
From Guacamayos to Sumaco
A 30 minutes drive away from San Isidro is the eminent Cordillera de Guacamayos, a remote edge of the Andes with expansive forest and distinctive species of rare and local birds. The way along the edge holds different immaculate winged creatures, some of them genuinely extraordinary, and the guests can easily find several of them on this Galapagos Islands trip. The possible birds that the guests can spot are Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Slate-crowned Antpitta, Dusky Piha, Barred Antthrush, Greater Scythebill, Ocellated Tapaculo, Chestnut-breasted Wren, and White-faced Nunbird, among various other species.
The guests then go to WildSumaco, making stops along the Loreto Road to look for Cliff Flycatcher, Blackish, and various hummingbirds at feeders. The guests will reach WildSumaco reserve arranged in the incredible cloud forests at the base of the Sumaco spring of spouting volcano by early evening. The guests will spend the following three nights of the Galapagos Islands trip at a lodge here.
|Days 6 - 7||
Bird Watching at WildSumaco
The forested areas at WildSumaco are heaped with east inclination foothill specialties, that the guests can hardly see anywhere else. The guests spend much of their time on the Galapagos tours here, birding the closeby roads and forest ways. Coppery-chested Jacamar, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Golden-collared Toucanet, Olivaceous Greenlets, Spotted and Paradise Tanagers, Yellow-breasted Antwren, Coraya Wrens, and Black-billed Treehunterare some of the birds that one can spot at WildSumaco. The target birds are Plain-backed Antpitta and Ochre-breasted Antpitta that the guests will spend their time looking for if they have come during the time of the guests' visit.
Around night time, Band-bellied Owl sings its frightful tune near the lodge; the guests can endeavor to tail it down. There are chances of seeing the Foothill and Rufescent Screech-Owls as well. The best time to spot the Hummingbirds is late afternoon. The star of the entire bird watching at WildSumaco is likely to be Napo Sabrewing, with a remarkable supporting cast that can join Brown and Sparkling Violetear, Green Hermit, Ecuadorian Piedtail, Golden-tailed Sapphire, and Many-spotted Hummingbird.
|Days 8 - 10||
Birding at Napo Wildlife Center
Napo Wildlife Center is right at the center of presumably the most biodiverse forests on earth. On the first day here, the guests with the help of the expert guides will search for leks of the shining Black-necked Red Cotinga, manakin species, Yellow-billed Jacamar, Collared Puffbird, and various sorts of antbird. Birding the forests along the side of the lake and river is an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon on the Galapagos Islands trip when the trails can be moderate. The guests will also spend a morning in the Yasuni National Park. There are two licks; the first near Napo, Mealy and Yellow-crowned Amazons, Dusky-headed Parakeet, and Blue-headed Parrot often gather in large numbers. The second lick is away from the river and may attract some rare species, like Orange-cheeked Parrot, Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet, and Scarlet Macaw.
From Napo Wildlife Center to Sani Lodge
The guests will spend the morning at one of the Napo Wildlife Center's haven towers around a rising kapok tree. From the height, the guests can look down on flocks of aracaris, countless oropendolas, awe-inspiring tanagers, and a lot of other treetop species. Later, the guests will move to Sani Lodge on a long oxbow lake. The guests can target Cocha Antshrike, a specialty of Sani Lodge, and endemic (almost) to Ecuador for the first night.
|Days 12 - 13||
Spend Time at Sani Lodge
The guests will spend time in the forest trails scanning for species, such as Wire-tailed Manakin, Golden-headed Manakins, Chestnut-crowned Gnateater, and Striated Antthrush. The feeders at the lodge sometimes even attract the White-lored Antpitta. Sani's canopy tower is extremely prominent; the wide metal stairway makes it easy to access. Various species that the guests can easily see consolidate Many-banded Aracari, Gilded Barbet, Great Jacamar, Paradise and Opal-crowned Tanagers, Yellow-billed and White-fronted Nunbird, White-throated and Channel-charged Toucans, woodcreepers, and flycatchers. The guests can also see monkeys here, like the Red Howler and White-fronted Spider Monkey.
For some effortless birding during the midday, the lake and forested channels at the lodging are incredible spots. One can spot the Black-capped Donacobius, White-winged Swallow, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Capped Heron, Lesser Kiskadee, and Greater Ani around the lake.
The birds that one can spot around the forest channels are American Pygmy, Green-and-rufous, Agami Heron, the endemic Cocha Antshrike, White-chinned Jacamar, perched hummingbirds, monkeys, and so on. The guests will also spend time on one of Napo's river islands, where they may see the Castlenau's Antshrike, Oriole Blackbird, Black-and-white Antbird, Parker's Spinetail, and Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant.
Coming Back to Quito
Before going back to Coca, the guests can relish early morning birding. The guests also take a short trip over the snow-covered volcanoes of the Andes for spellbinding scenic beauty before the Galapagos Islands tour ends. The guest under general circumstances will come back to Quito around the early evening or at 1 pm. The guests can do some afternoon birding around the airport before checking-in into the hotel for the night.
The itinerary comes to an end, and the guests can take the flights back to their home or next destination.
Visit Galapagos Islands and take back the memories and pictures of the marvelous birding experience.