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Wildlife holidays in Ecuador with Naturetrek
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Wildlife holidays in Ecuador

Tell me about Ecuador …

Once part of the Inca Empire, Ecuador came under Spanish rule in 1563 until independence in 1822.

Its capital city, Quito, is a World Heritage Site on account of its historic and well preserved Latin American centre.

Ecuador has welcoming people, relatively short travel distances and good accommodation. It’s an ideal destination for a wildlife holiday, for both first-time and repeat visitors to South America.

Our Ecuador specialist recommends...

"For our keen birdwatchers I would recommend our ‘Ecuador – Cock-of-the-rock’ tour on which you will visit a Cock-of-the-rock lek. If you are more interested in mammals the ‘Ecuador – Amazonian Mammals’ tour might be more to you liking, based at the Napo Wildlife Centre."

Andy Tucker
Operations Manager

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Featured Tours


Panorama (Peter English)Giant River OtterNaturetrek guests exploring by boat (Peter English)Masked TrogonTawny-crested Tanager, EsmeraldasPale-mandible AracariGreen Honeycreeper (Byron Palacios)Andean Cock-of-the Rock (Byron Palacios)Antisana Volcano (Ann Chase)Cordillera de los Guacamayos (Byron Palacios)Yellow Grosbeak (Byron Palacios)Marine Iguanas (John Willsher)Blue-footed Boobies (Jane Hodgson)Returning to the Cachalote (John Willsher)Blue-footed Boobies (Jennifer Nisbet)Brown-backed Chat-tyrantStreak-throated Bush-Tyrant (Byron Palacios)

What’s special about the wildlife?

Ecuador straddles the equator and is home to a great many species, including numerous endemics. The fact that it has three very different geographical regions: Pacific coastal, Andean and Amazon habitats and climatic zones, all within a relatively small area, provides the basis for Ecuador’s astonishing diversity of wildlife.

The Galapagos Islands, made so famous by Darwin, are part of Ecuador and lie 1,000 kilometres off the mainland.

This small country is home to an astonishing diversity of bird life (the greatest for its size in South America and 15% of the world’s known bird species) and bird watching here is a delight. 1,600 bird species have been recorded on the mainland, and a further 38 more which are endemic to the Galapagos Islands.

There are over 16,000 plant species.

Naturetrek tours to Ecuador

Naturetrek offers a range of wildlife holidays and natural history tours in Ecuador.

Our selection of tours includes:

  • Bird watching tours of the western cloudforests
  • The spectacular paramo & the Amazon Basin
  • Wild flower holidays in search of orchids & other special plant life
  • Bargain bird watching holidays to the Amazon, Choco, south-east, south-west & Tumbesian regions
  • Tours which focus on particular Ecuadorian birds such as Cock-of-the-rock & antpittas
  • Bargain mammal watching tour to Amazonian Ecuador
  • Unique 2-week cruise of the Galapagos Islands


Ecuador - Cock-of-the-rock

Our guide Sandra was extremely knowledgeable about the birds and their calls, which is amazing as there are so many different kinds. She is also very personable and had a good sense of humour and looked after us very well. If I ever go to Ecuador again I would certainly want her as my guide. Her English is excellent. Our driver Edwin was also excellent. He knew the areas we visited very well which was helpful. He likes to drive but also has an interest in the birds which was good. They both helped us with our luggage and did what they could for us to make our holiday so successful.
The trip leader, Andrea Molina, was superb. Her detailed knowledge and skills enabled us to see very many species of birds, including some rarities. She also had excellent knowledge of cultural aspects of Ecuador. We very much enjoyed the intense programme, with early starts to birdwatch at dawn, and the night trips by canoe in the Amazon - there were many unforgettable scenes, such as the Lyre-tailed Nightjar dancing in the evening sky, the calling Potoo, the displaying manakins, and the Condors circling. Another very enjoyable aspect was the diversity of habitats. The quality of food was excellent, especially at Sachatamia, Guango and Sacha Lodges. The hot springs at Papallacta were great.
The diversity of locations worked well on this holiday. Lelis was wonderful and did a great job of leading 13 people, even on forested walks where it is difficult. Sacha completely lived up to our expectations and from the representative at Quito airport to the laundry, everything ran like clockwork - an amazing place.