Our classic Choco Cloud Forest tour covers all the important birding sites found north-west of the capital city of Quito. This area is part of the Chocó bioregion that hosts a great number of endemics and specialities that are only shared with neighbouring areas of Colombia to the north. We will be based in the Tandayapa and Mindo valleys from where we will set out to bird the various renowned private reserves, affording us an outstanding opportunity to support local conservation projects for long-term habitat protection. A wide array of habitats will be birded, starting with the mystical elfin forest of the temperate zone, followed by bird-rich subtropical cloud forests. We will also venture deeper into tropical foothill forests to reach the mega-diverse lowlands. Iconic species that we will be searching for include Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Giant Antpitta, Plate-billed Mountain and Chocó Toucans, Toucan Barbet, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Club-winged Manakin, Glistening-green Tanager, Orange-breasted and Scaled Fruiteaters and Velvet-purple Coronet, to mention but a few. In case rarities such as Banded Ground Cuckoo or Rufous-crowned Antpitta show up in the area, we will do our very best to fit in a twitch. A great network of birding reserves together with excellent infrastructure, unsurpassable scenery and friendly people make the Northwest of Ecuador one of the planet’s most delightful birding destinations.

Top Birds

Dark-backed Wood Quail; Indigo-crowned Quail-Dove; Pacific Parrotlet; Rose-faced Parrot; Cloud-forest Pygmy Owl; Sword-billed & Purple-chested Hummingbird; Golden-breasted Puffleg; Purple-bibbed Whitetip; Empress Brilliant; Brown Inca; Velvet-purple Coronet; White-booted Racket-tail; Violet-tailed Sylph; Golden-headed Quetzal; Chocó Trogon; Barred Puffbird; White-whiskered Puffbird; White-faced Nunbird; Orange-fronted & Toucan Barbets; Pale-mandibled Aracari; Plate-billed Mountain & Chocó Toucans; Olivaceous Piculet; Cinnamon & Guayaquil Woodpeckers; Pacific Tuftedcheek; Black-crowned Antshrike; Checker-throated & Pacific Antwrens; Chestnut-backed Antbird; Black-headed & Rufous-breasted Antthrushes; Giant, Moustached, Yellow-breasted & Ochre-breasted Antpittas; Nariño & Ocellated Tapaculos; Chocó Tyrannulet; Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant; Andean Cock-of-the-rock; Orange-breasted & Scaled Fruiteaters; Golden-winged, White-bearded & Club-winged Manakins; Beautiful Jay; Black Solitaire; White-capped Dipper; Chocó Warbler; Yellow-tufted, Scarlet-thighed & Scarlet-breasted Dacnises; Indigo Flowerpiercer; Yellow-collared Chlorophonia; Glistening-green, Moss-backed, Grey-and-gold, Rufous-throated, Blue-whiskered, Black-chinned Mountain, Scarlet-browed & Ochre-breasted Tanagers.

Top Mammals

Olingito; Tayra; White-fronted Capuchin; Spectacled Bear (rare)

Habitats Covered

temperate tree line forest, subtropical cloud-forest, tropical foothill forest and tropical lowland forest all in the Chocó bioregion

Expected Climate

chilly to hot and humid (very pleasant temperatures on most days)

Max Group Size

8 with 1 Rockjumper leader & local birding leader

Tour Pace & Walking

easy/moderate pace

Accommodation

comfortable lodges

Ease of Birding

easy birding with some tricky skulkers

Number of Species Expected

300 - 350

Photographic Opportunities

excellent at sites with feeders

What our clients say about us

Dušan Brinkhuizen
RL - Ecuador 2019

This was the second time I have traveled with Dusan Brinkhuizen (the first time was in Papua New Guinea in 2018). I would go with him anywhere. His expert knowledge of the birds and places, his skill at making sure that everyone gets on the birds, his patience and kindness, and his warm and engaging personality make him a perfect guide. I really hope I have a chance to tour with him again.

Tuomas Seimola
LV, Ecuador 2022

Overall the three consecutive tours were very very good. Tuomas was a superb, highly experienced/knowledgeable leader. It is amazing all the songs and calls he has mastered. He was most congenial, patient and always helpful to everyone. Highly recommend him as a leader. Local leaders and staff were all very good and most kind. Accommodations were comfortable and food was very tasty and well prepared.

Dušan Brinkhuizen
DS, Ecuador 2018

It was a well-oiled machine. Dušan Brinkhuizen is an excellent guide. It goes without saying he knows his birds and he kept the whole adventure moving smoothly. I would hope Dušan would be the guide on my next Rockjumper tour.

Tuomas Seimola
RE, Ecuador 2022

Before our trip Daniel Danckwerts, with Rockjumper, was so attentive with our question and concerns. This was a wonderful experience. My favorite was the week at Sani Lodge - fascinating and fun. The Galapagos was such a learning experience and Darwin (the Galapagos guide) was so knowledgeable and willing to answer any questions. Tuomas (our Rockjumper guide) was Very knowledgeable of birds and bird vocalizations. Very impressive and so helpful.

Dušan Brinkhuizen
MN - Ecuador 2021

"This tour was great and Dusan was fabulous, an incredible birder, guide and person. I don't need to say more because I'm sure you've heard many accolades about him. It was a great tour though harder than I expected but I'm old and age makes a difference. I definitely would go again with Dusan. There was a disparity of physical abilities among the clients and Dusan handled the situation very well, taking care of the one person who could do the least physically and I think keeping her happy under the circumstances. This really speaks to his people skills. The three of us who were the weakest physically were the oldest. I was elated because I saw the oil birds and Sapayoa(s!!) and why I signed up not even considering the difficulty of canopy birding and what hilly jungle trails entailed. I'm so glad I went and would have hated being dissuaded. So thank you..."

Ecuador - Northern: Choco Cloud Forest II 2024

30 Oct 2024 - 06 Nov 2024 (8 days)

USD3,195 - 4 Spaces Available

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Tour Leader: Robert Wilcox

Tour price (Per person): USD3,195 * GBP2,502 * EUR2,942 * AUD4,798

Single Supplement: USD340 * GBP266 * EUR313 * AUD511

Can be linked with: Ecuador - Northern: Eastern Andes: Paramo & Cloud Forest II 2024

Ecuador - Northern: Choco Cloud Forest I 2025

09 Feb 2025 - 16 Feb 2025 (8 days)

USD3,295 - Spaces Available

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Tour Leader: James Wade Lee

Tour price (Per person): USD3,295 * GBP2,580 * EUR3,034 * AUD4,949

Single Supplement: USD390 * GBP305 * EUR359 * AUD586

Can be linked with: Ecuador - Northern: Eastern Andes: Paramo & Cloud Forest I 2025

Ecuador - Northern: Choco Cloud Forest II 2025

29 Oct 2025 - 05 Nov 2025 (8 days)

USD3,295 - Spaces Available

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Tour Leader: Adam Walleyn

Tour price (Per person): USD3,295 * GBP2,580 * EUR3,034 * AUD4,949

Single Supplement: USD390 * GBP305 * EUR359 * AUD586

Can be linked with:

Ecuador - Northern: Choco Cloud Forest I 2026

08 Feb 2026 - 15 Feb 2026 (8 days)

USD3,400 - Spaces Available

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Tour Leader: Robert Wilcox

Pricing notes : *Prices are estimated and dates may change*

Tour price (Per person): USD3,400 * GBP2,662 * EUR3,131 * AUD5,106

Can be linked with:

Ecuador - Northern: Choco Cloud Forest II 2026

28 Oct 2026 - 04 Nov 2026 (8 days)

USD3,400 - Spaces Available

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Tour Leader: Stephan Lorenz

Pricing notes : *Prices are estimated and dates may change*

Tour price (Per person): USD3,400 * GBP2,662 * EUR3,131 * AUD5,106

Can be linked with: Ecuador - Northern: Eastern Andes: Paramo & Cloud Forest II 2026

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