Mindo is considered to be one of the top-ranking destinations for bird-watchers. The neighboring valley of Tandayapa is also globally renowned for its rich diversity of birds. For a novice bird-watcher, simply walking from Nono to Tandayapa is in itself a pleasant and satisfying experience because the scant traffic allows you to drive slowly and stop anywhere you detect activity, especially from 2,000m upwards, where it is possible to find trees typical of subtropical climates that often attract flocks of birds, the best example being “guarumos” or Trumpet tree (Cecropia sp.).
Difficult: Moderate Group: Any Family: Yes Duration: 9 hours
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The Tandayapa valley has achieved well-deserved international fame as an excellent destination for bird-watchers, to see hummingbirds in particular. The velvet-purple coronet is one of the most colorful and valued birds for expert observers and is among the twenty birds that are most regularly found in this area. There are also some rare species like the tanager finch (Oreothraupis arremonops) and catching sight of this bird is the main magnet that attracts thousands of bird-watching tourists to this subtropical valley so close to Quito.
- Tandayapa is a crossroad settlement at 5,248 feet (1,600 meters) on the western slope of the Andes in Pichincha where the old road from Quito to Nono bifurcates, one proceeding to Mindo and beyond and the other to Nanegal. Take the old Nono-Mindo road, a well-known birding road that descends the west slope of the Andes from Quito that leads to the rich Montane and Cloud Forests. These are the habitat of the Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Dark-backedWood-Quail, Purplebibbed Whitetip, Gorgeted Sunangel, Giant Antpitta,Tanager Finch,Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Toucan Barbet, and the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan. Lunch at Bellavista, surrounded by a surprising amount of hummingbirds around the feeders.
Bellavista is deep in the heart of the cloud forest, where clouds and trees blend in a tapestry of mystery and magic. It's a place for adventure, relaxation and deep contact with nature, home to hundreds of species of plants, birds and other animals. Return to Quito in the afternoon.
- Bilingual guide English/Spanish (we also offer German and French speaking guides)
- Visit to Bellavista private reserve
- Lunch & snacks
- Amongst the common and easily spotted species on the trail are the turquoise jay (Cyanolyca turcosa), an elegant type of crow whose presence is divulged by its noisy song; and several species of tanager such as the golden tanager (Tangara arthus), the flame-faced tanager (Tangara parzudakii), the beryl-spangled tanager (Tangara nigrovidiridus) and the blue-winged mountain tanager (Anisognathus somptuosus).
A species that is particularly common is the slate-throated whitestart (Myioborus miniatus), a small, slender species with yellow feathers on its underside and grey above, whose white tail stands out and looks like a fan when spread out as the bird takes flight. A great deal of the trail runs parallel to River Alambi, a clear and fast-moving mountain stream. Here it is worth paying attention to spectacular, easily spotted aquatic species such as the white-capped dipper (Cinclus leucocephalus), a plump bird with contrasting black and white feathers, which likes to plunge into the tumultuous current to look for food.
Exploring under bridges is a good idea on this route as there you can find the nests of the chestnut-collared swift (Cypseloides rutilus). A bird that is essentially a flier and often confused with the swallow, it seeks nesting places that are permanently wet. You can also spot the black phoebe (Sayornis nigricans, Illustration 13), a member of the flycatcher family and even the Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupícola peruviana) a spectacular and emblematic subtropical species that actually nests below the Tandayapa bridge.
PRICES ARE PER PERSON IN USD
Number of Passengers 1 2 3 4-9 10-15 Nono Tandayapa Tour $200 $115 $91 $80 $56
Tours Unlimited is a leading company offering personalized service to international tourists. For 15 years, it has contributed to the development and promotion of all Ecuador’s four regions. We invite you to come and enjoy Antisana, one of the best places to go and contemplate the majestic Andean Condor; 8 out of 10 of our clients and visitors has given an “excellent” rating to our tours dedicated to discover Antisana and its surroundings.
We will offer a punctual, courteous and professional service adjusted to your individual needs with the objective of showing the magic of Ecuador in a safe, fun and responsible way. All of our guides are bilingual fully prepared to give you the most complete information about the local culture, history and geography; 9 out of 10 of our clients and visitors has given an “excellent” rating to our guides. If you don’t believe us, check out some of our clients’ testimonials: