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Ecuador – Mammals and Birds



Mammal watching:
mammals, birds and photography.


Ecuador: Quito - Andean mountains - Amazonian lowlands - Quito


Spectacled Bear, Giant River Otter, Mountain Tapir, Olinguito, other mammals plus 300+ species of birds.


Cool to hot


Road travel by minibus, some river travel on local boats, comfortable hotels & lodges, all rooms with private facilities.

We first visited Ecuador in 2011 and recorded 24 species of mammal including several Spectacled Bears. We are now planning a return trip at a slightly different time of year where we hope that bears will be even more visible and when we hope that tapirs will be easier to find.


Our second tour will also visit Bellavista in the highlands to look for the recently described Olinguito. In the lowlands we will be replacing Napo Wildlife Center and Wild Sumaco with Sani Lodge and Gareno Lodge which we believe will give us more flexibility when looking for mammals and birds.


As before we also expect to see some of South America’s most spectacular birds including Andean Cock-of-the-Rock and Sword-billed Hummingbird. The tour will be led by Richard Webb and an Ecuadorian bird guide and we will be accompanied by additional local guides when looking for bears and tapirs.


We will visit a number of different sites for bears and will have some flexibility in the itinerary to maximise our chances of success. 

  • We will first visit Bellavista where the recently-described Olinguito is normally relatively easy to see at night. We will spend two nights here. Andean White-eared Opossum and Kinkajou are also likely here and there are outside chances of Mountain Coati, Northern Oncilla and Spectacled Bear.
  • At Maquipucuna the presence of bears is largely dependent on the aguacatillo being in fruit. We will spend one night in the reserve in the hope that they are in fruit and attracting bears. In some years up to 16 different bears were recorded during the fruiting period. Paca is also possible here.
  • In the Amazonian lowlands along the Rio Napo we will visit Sani Lodge which we believe will offer us better chances for seeing nocturnal mammals such as Bushy-tailed and Allen’s Olingo as well as up to 10 species of primate and Giant River Otters. Once back at Coca we will transfer to Gareno Lodge to look for further lowland mammals plus two enigmatic night birds Crested Owl and Rufous Potoo.
  • We will also visit Cabanas San Isidro for one night on route to Coca-Cayambe to help prepare for the higher altitudes of Coca-Cayambe. CSI also offers opportunities to see bears from the trails but we would be lucky to see them here.
  • At Coca-Cayambe we will be looking for bears in open paramo at altitudes up to 4,200 metres. Most of the searching will be done by scanning from the roads that run through the park and we will only undertake a few short gentle walks. For those with more energy there will be the opportunity to hike away from the roads for several hours with local guides to maximise our chances of bears and tapirs. Richard has seen bears and tapirs close to the road here. 

Day 1

Depart UK early morning via Madrid to Quito. Night Quito

Day 2

Transfer to Bellavista for two nights.

Day 3


Days 4

Transfer to Macquipicuna, overnight.

Day 5

Morning at Macquipicuna and then return to Quito for the night.

Day 6

Fly to Coca and then transfer to Sani Lodge for three nights.

Days 7-8

Sani Lodge

Day 9

Transfer to Gareno Lodge for one night

Days 10

Transfer to San Isidro for one night.

Day 11

Transfer to Papallacta for three nights.

Days 12-13

Coca Cayambe

Day 14

Morning Coca-Cayambe. Late afternoon return to Quito and overnight.

Day 15

Transfer to airport for return flight to UK

Day 16          

Arrive back UK in the afternoon.

Mammal Species seen during the 2010 recce & 2011 tour include.

Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth

Bradypus variegatus

Forest Rabbit (Tapiti)

Sylvilagus brasiliensis

Amazon Dwarf Squirrel

Microsciurus flaviventer

Red-tailed Squirrel

Sciurus granatensis

Northern Amazon Red Squirrel

Sciurus igniventris

Central American Agouti

Dasyprocta punctata

Black Agouti


Dasyprocta fuliginosa

Cuniculus paca


Potos flavus

Long-tailed Weasel

Spectacled Bear

Culpeo (Andean) Fox

Giant Otter

Mustela frenata

Tremarctos ornatus

Lycalopex culpaeus

Pteronura brasiliensis

Neotropical River Otter

Lutra longicaudis

Proboscis Bat

Rhynchonycteris naso

Greater Fishing Bat

Noctilio leporinus

Black Myotis

Myotis nigricans

Black-mantled Tamarin

Saguinus nigricollis


Golden-mantled Tamarin

Saguinus tripartitus

Pygmy Marmoset

Callithrix pygmaea

Common Squirrel Monkey

Saimiri sciureus

White-fronted Capuchin

Cebus albifrons

White-bellied Spider Monkey

Noisy Night Monkey

Ateles belzebuth

Aotus vociferans

Double-browed Titi

Callicebus discolor

Venezuelan Red Howler Monkey

Alouatta seniculus

Collared Peccary

Dicotyles tajacu

White-tailed Deer

Odocoileus virginianus

Mountain Tapir

Tapirus pinchaque

Please note: All itineraries are subject to weather, local conditions and final approval by the relevant authorities.

Dates: 18th November – 3rd December 2017

Leaders Richard Webb plus local guides.

Cost: £5075 per person sharing a twin room.

Single supplement: £519

Deposit: £750

Max. Group size: 6-8


Price includes: International and internal economy class flights including pre-paid taxes, all ground transportation, all accommodation and meals including water, park entry fees, services of WildWings leader and local bird and other guides. Bird and mammal checklist.


Price excludes: Travel insurance, laundry bills, all other drinks, other items of a personal nature and gratuities.

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