On the north-western facet of South America, straddling the equator, Ecuador contains a remarkably variable range of landscapes, altitudes, and climates. Despite their overall variations, the country’s highlands, rainforests, beaches and far-flung islands are all pleasing places to go to throughout the year.
There are many things to consider when thinking about the best time of the year for visiting Ecuador and doing the bird tour preparation; first is the weather, but if you want to avoid the crowds, you can also ask the famous travel guides about when to go.
At tropical photo tours, we can help you in a number of ways—
- This can of course have an impact on costs and availability.
- It is also worth thinking about where you are going as you will find differences in climates in each region.
- Activities you want to or can do.
Ecuador has four main geographical regions, each with its own unique climate: The Sierra, The Coast, Amazon and Galapagos Islands.
Let’s discuss those four regions in detail:
The Andean mountains are from the centre of the country, with the Amazon rainforest to the east and the Pacific coast to the west. It has the capital Quito at an altitude of 2,800 meters and many important tourist destinations, especially the colonial city of Cuenca, the trading city of Otavalo and the Inca ruins of Inga Pilka.
Sierra’s temperature is fairly stable throughout the year. Quito is widely represented in the region, and its temperature ranges from a maximum of 72 °F (22 °C) to a minimum of 46 °F (8 °C).
To the west of the Andes, the coastal region of Ecuador is significantly warmer and more humid than the Sierra. In addition to the weather, there are a few things to consider when planning your trip: On July 25th and 26th, the residents of Guayaquil will first celebrate the birthday of “El Libertador” Simon Bolivar and then the foundation of the city with colourful parties, processions and fireworks. This is an excellent time to be in the city.
To the east of the Sierra, which makes up about 40 per cent of the country, lies the Amazon, commonly known as the Oriente. The region bordering Colombia and Peru is hot, humid, and humid year-round, with average temperatures around 77 °F (25 °C). To avoid the worst of the rain, visit the region between August through September or December – February (though you still need to bring your wet weather gear).
The Galapagos Islands
This archipelago is located 970 km west of mainland Ecuador and has two main stations.
The average maximum temperature is 79 °F (26 °C), with a minimum of 20 °C (68 °C). During this time, the sea temperature drops to an average of 72 °F (22 °C), with August and September particularly cold, so you’ll need a wetsuit if you want to swim, snorkel, or dive. The seas are also rougher at the moment, which is something to keep in mind when planning a cruise, especially in a smaller container.
In addition to the weather, you should also consider the country’s holidays, i.e. their carnival, fests and days of celebration, when planning your trip to Ecuador as such in one way.
If you are looking to explore a bird-watching wonderland, then Ecuador is the place to visit. The South American country has some amazing species of birds that it calls home permanently or temporarily. There are more than 1,600 species in Ecuador, and some can only be found within the country. This means the rarest of the bird species! Wow, stunning!
The different regions within Ecuador include the Amazon basin, the Andes, the Pacific coast, and the Galapagos Islands. According to Ecuadorian naturalists, there are 600 birds in the Amazon basin alone and an astonishing 1,635 species in all of Ecuador.
However, finding the best spots for bird watching can be a problem. Tropical Photo Tours is going to highlight the best birdwatching spots in Ecuador! Here we go.
What are the best bird watching locations in Ecuador?
Podocarpus National Park
More than 600 species of birds have been registered in the Podocarpus National Park. The park is remote compared to other bird watching destinations in Ecuador, making it a great place to get away from fellow bird watchers and travellers. Compared to the northern bird watching areas, the Podocarpus National Park and visitors to Ecuador overlook the surrounding areas.
Podocarpus National Park contains 40% of the birds registered in all of Ecuador. Hiring an agency or bird watching with a park guide is recommended (here, Tropical Photo Tours) as some species in Podocarpus National Park are difficult to pinpoint. Podocarpus National Park includes the White-throated Hawk, Unicolored Tapaculo, and the Masked Flowerpiercer.
The park is the natural meeting point of the ecosystems of the northern Andes, the southern Andes, the Amazon and the Pacific, making it an incredible region for endemic species. Bird watchers in the area can make a stop in Loja, as the city has little international tourism offer. If you want to get off the beaten path bird watching, then this should be your goal.
Yasuni National Park
Yasuni National Park is a subtropical jungle with a wide variety of bird species to watch. However, bird watching in the park can be a difficult task and requires a lot of patience. Yasuni National Park’s bird species are not accustomed to human interaction and can be set off when they discover people in the area. Despite the difficulty of spotting birds, you can be rewarded by seeing species not found anywhere else on the planet.
The park has a 36-meter-high observation tower from which you can see a large part of the park. According to the Yasuni National Park, more than 565 species of birds have been registered. Some birds you will find here are toucans, honeycreepers, tanagers, and flycatchers.
Birds are not the only animals found in Yasuni National Park. The Amazon Rainforest is home to hiking trails with an abundance of wildlife and insects. The park’s biodiversity is immense and really exciting for any nature lover.
Mindo is a city in the north of the Andes, also known as the Mindo Valley, home to more than 500 species. Bird watching is a morning activity in the area as most species are active when the sun rises.
The area is home to several reserves where the best bird-watching takes place. Many of the reserves in the Mindo Valley are privately owned and cost money to enter, but it’s still worth making the time and money to see the area’s unique bird species of the Mindo region.
In addition to the reserves, Mindo is home to many bird guides who can lead you to the best spots. One of the most popular species of birds in Mindo is the Andean Cock-of-the-rock. These birds may not be as difficult to spot as they are ready to strut their stuff anytime during the day. Other bird species to consider in the Mindo Valley are the Toucan, Bronzed-wing Parrot, and the Long-tailed Sylph. Overall, Mindo is an exceptional bird-watching destination thanks to the various bird reserves to explore.
Things to experience in Mindo:
Getting a glimpse of any bird in its natural habitat is much more complicated and requires a very special tree, rather than just getting a guide along.
Cock-of-the-rock, that strange-looking bird with a redhead that looks like a bubble, is quite a celebrity, with his picture on the walls and tons of posters all over town. Mindo is actually one of the most important bird-watching areas in South America, so cramping is one of her passions. You can find a variety of specialized bird-watching tours around the city.
Follow The Trail At The Casa Amarilla
If you don’t have enough budget for a specialized bird photo tours, or you’re not someone who would like to associate the incredibly early wake-up call with you, your next best option is to hike one of the accessible Amarilla (also known as ‘Casa Amarilla’ or Hacienda San Vicente).
This lodge is primarily an accommodation, but the owners have created various hiking trails that run through their 200 acres of the private cloud forest. Casa Amarilla is located in trails that allow ample opportunity to spot Mindo’s impressive bird population.
Ride The Tarabita Cable Car
The Tarabita cable car is 7 km from Mindo, the bright yellow car that will take you over the Rio Nambillo and the misty cloud forest below.
Always a bit scary, in large part because you are not locked in like most cable cars, but somehow pull your upper body out of the top. It certainly offers views that would otherwise be difficult to find. There is no public transport from Mindo to the cable car, so you can walk or take a taxi. Since the walk literally follows the road for about an hour, it’s only worth it if your budget is very tight or you want the exercise.
Go Chasing Waterfalls
Now that you have committed to taking the Tarabita rope through the forest, we strongly recommend that you hike the waterfall route in the Nambolo Ecological Reserve for a couple of hours.
This easy hike takes you to not one, not two, but SEVEN different waterfalls, and while not all of them are super impressive, the cloud forest hike is definitely one of the best things to do.
Visit Butterfly Sanctuary
While birds enjoy a lot of fame, they’re not the only animal to look out for in Mindo. Animal lovers should definitely check out one of the city’s butterfly sanctuaries, Mindo.
By far the most popular is Hosteria Mariposas de Mindo, a kilometre outside the city, where you can learn all about the butterfly’s life cycle before strolling through the gardens, the air of which is alive from the fluttering wings of more than a thousand butterflies.
Visiting Ecuador during all these 12 months
- January to March: The beginning of the year is a good time to avoid the worst of the rain in the Amazon, when large carnival celebrations are held.
- April to June: During these three months, the Galápagos Islands are warm, if humid, ideal for swimming, snorkeling and diving with sharks, turtles and sea lions.
- July to September: This is the high season for tourism in Ecuador and a good time for whale and dolphin watching. Puerto Lopez is the best place to go whale watching.
- October to December: During these months some of the most spectacular festivals in the country take place, notably the Mama Negra Festival in Latacunga.
Ecuador is great all year round, so that you won’t be disappointed with any visit. Because of Ecuador’s transportation system and the country’s small size, it is easy to get from region to region on a bird watching vacation. Whether you are looking for rare species of birds or just some common Ecuadorian winged creatures, you are sure to find success when travelling to the nation of South America with Tropical Photo Tours.
Ecuador is a beautiful country with diverse ecosystems to discover. Thanks to these ecosystems, hundreds of birds are waiting to be discovered on a trip to South American paradise.
What We Conclude?
Across the whole country, the number of tourists is highest from July to September, and December also receives a significant number of visitors. Flights and accommodation are usually more expensive during these periods and on public holidays.
One final thing to remember is that the El Nino and La Nina weather patterns, which occur every few years, have a huge impact on the climate across Ecuador, with the former resulting in dramatically more intense rainfall. For detailed information on the mesmerizing Ecuador bird photo tours, visit our website, Tropical Photo Tours!