Ecuador: Tinalandia Pre-trip: Nov 07—12, 2017

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Departs: Quito
Tour Limit: 7
Operations Manager: Margaret Anderson
Download Itinerary: PDF (137.5 KB)

Route Map

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Tour Leaders

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Paul Greenfield

Paul Greenfield grew up near New York City and became interested in birds as a child. He rec...


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Pale-mandibled Aracari

Pale-mandibled Aracari— Photo: Paul J. Greenfield

Tinalandia Nature Reserve is Ecuador's classic birding site and continues to offer the finest and easiest conditions to see and study Neotropical avifauna in this spectacularly rich country. This pre-trip takes off from the southwest of Quito and travels along the renowned Chiriboga Road, to finally arrive at our main destination where we will spend three nights at Tinalandia, situated in the Andean foothills. We will bird the reserve's diverse grounds, exploring gardens, edge vegetation, and forest trails, and make a day-trip to the very rich Río Palenque Scientific Station where we will enjoy birding coastal lowland habitats.

Ecuador's western Andean slopes offer the world's most incredible biodiversity, and this Tinalandia trip has been designed to complement our Northwestern Andean Slopes tour in a comfortable and leisurely setting. The birding will be fairly relaxed, the cuisine will be excellent, and the scenery will be quite spectacular.

Set in an idyllic location overlooking the Río Toachi, Tinalandia Nature Reserve was created by the late Tina de Garzon, a White-Russian immigrant, and Alfredo Garzón. When their successful cattle ranching/coffee plantation business was eventually affected by the falling international price of coffee, the plantation was converted into a golf course! Tina would invite friends and a variety of dignitaries to enjoy her wonderful tropical environment and, as time passed, word began to spread of the natural treasures harbored there. By the early 1970s, Tinalandia was already well-known for its rich birdlife, butterflies, reptiles, and amphibians; several new species to science were discovered on the grounds as well.

Our trip begins as we head out from Quito and travel most of our first day along the "old" Chiriboga Road, meandering down the southwestern Andean slopes of Volcán Pichincha through diverse temperate and subtropical habitats. Then, using the comfortable Tinalandia Hotel as our base of operations, we spend the next two-and-a-half days exploring a variety of forest and edge habitats, sitting around the gardens, and watching over the very productive fruit and nectar feeders right outside the dining terrace, searching for the more than 300 species recorded here. We will also visit the species-rich Río Palenque Scientific Station, another famous birding hot spot, where we will enjoy lowland habitat with many additional avian species.

Good accommodations; excellent food; box lunches in the field on three days; easy to moderate walking on varied terrain; edge, roadside, and forest birding; warm to cool climate conditions; mostly humid.