• 03-13 FEBRUARY 2023

Beyond Average Birding in Ecuador

Curated for a keen birder and their not-so-keen birding partner

Quito | Amazon | Quito | Galápagos Islands

Brought to you in partnership with






Daryl Dell

Growing up on a horse, cattle and sheep farm in South Africa’s Great Karoo, Daryl was always fated to become a naturalist. From a young age, he would spend entire days walking in the bush, fascinated by animal tracks, skulls, feathers and dung, he was destined to become a ranger.

With a guiding career at &BEYOND Phinda Private Game Reserve for almost 20 years, including the title of Head Ranger and now Private Guide…

Your journey at a glance

1 night at Hotel Mama Cuchara in Quito 

4 nights at Napo Wildlife Center in the Amazon

1 night Hotel Mama Cuchara in Quito

4 nights on the Calipso Yacht in the Galápagos Islands

See the unseen
Trial your favourite SWAROVSKI OPTIK product

What better way to enjoy a prized birding expedition than with the opportunity to use one of the world’s most sought-after pairs of binoculars? Enjoy the use of a pair of SWAROVSKI OPTIK binoculars, which will allow you to view the most intricate of details.

You will have the opportunity to choose your favourite SWAROVSKI OPTIK product, which will be sent to your home prior to departure, so that you can familiarise yourself with the equipment beforehand, trial it for the duration of your journey and have the option to purchase it on your return if you would like to keep it.


Groundbreaking optical performance – packed into the smallest possible package: the NL Pure 32 accompanies you wherever you may go for unprecedented viewing experiences.

NL 8×32

Keep the overview. The 8x magnification in combination with the enormous field of view lets you completely immerse yourself in nature – even during the late hours of the night.

CL 8×30

You’ll never miss out with the new CL Companion. These elegant binoculars with impressive optics fit perfectly in your hand. They are always with you to ensure you make the most of every sighting.

Your journey at a glance

An extraordinary flight of fancy that highlights a diversity of wildlife in contrasting landscapes of the Amazon and the Galápagos Islands

Ruffle your feathers on this captivating 11-day &BEYOND 30 year Limited Edition itinerary led by specialist &BEYOND Birding Guide Daryl Dell and a local guide, with other eagle-eyed birders. There is no need to leave your partners that aren’t as feather minded as you behind, as we have factored in unforgettable options for those that aren’t too keen on tweeting, preening and wagging tails.

This extraordinary journey explores the kaleidoscopic world above and showcases unique bird diversity and habitats at the Napo Wildlife Center in the heart of one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, the Amazon, and Charles Darwin’s living laboratory in the Galápagos Islands. Both destinations boast a treasure-trove of winged varieties over rich natural landscapes.

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Your birding adventure begins in Quito, renowned as one of South America’s most scenic cities. Ecuador’s bustling capital, offers a wonderful mix of old and new. Here, its iconic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features an astounding array of monuments and colonial architecture; all built on the ruins of an Incan city.

Head to the Napo Wildlife Center a unique eco-community surrounded by a rainforest biosphere reserve. Here you will be totally awed by over 600 species, a plethora of mystical creatures and rich vegetation. With the highest density of biodiversity in the world, there are infinite chances for you to see an immense variety of plants, flowers, and wildlife. Typical jungle explorations yield birds such as hoatzins, macaws, toucans, parakeets, and parrots; turtles, anacondas, and other reptiles; many insects and amphibians; mammals such as monkeys, tapirs, ocelots, and so much more. From up high  in a canopy observation tower, watch flocks of colourful birds flying, monkeys tussling and an unobstructed view of miraculous Amazonia. Explore the black waters of the Añangu Lake and creeks on board a paddle-canoe or kayak. See vibrantly coloured parrots visit clay licks and learn about the Kichwa Anangu community traditions and culture.

A veritable paradise for birdwatchers, your tour culminates in the pristine chain of volcanic islands that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Galápagos. A living laboratory and mecca for birding, nature and wildlife enthusiasts, the islands’ moonlike landscapes, interspersed with rugged verdure is home to a flourishing population of marine iguanas, sea lions, giant tortoises and an exceptional array of birds such as the blue-footed boobie, frigatebird and flightless cormorant. Witness spectacular natural wonders and a breathtaking profusion of wildlife as you explore San Cristobal Island, Bartolomé Island, Sombrero Chino, Fernandina Island, Isabela Island and North Seymour Island. A place like nowhere else on earth.

Keep your eyes peeled, cameras charged, and binoculars at the ready. Let’s go birding!

1 night Quito | 4 nights Amazon | 1 night Quito | 4 nights Galápagos Islands

*There is the option to extend this itinerary with three nights in the Cloud Forest at Mashpi lodge

Are you ready?


This unforgettable journey is hosted and departs on a set date. Should you wish to travel on different dates with your own party, please contact one of our dedicated Travel Specialists to plan your adventure.

A taste of what to expect

03 February 2023
  • Upon arrival in Quito, you will be warmly welcomed by an &BEYOND representative who will meet you and drive you to Hotel Mama Cuchara
  • Situated in a circle of Andean peaks, Quito is the world’s second highest capital, and the charming old town, one of the largest and best preserved in Latin America is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Stroll along its narrow streets and enjoy the buskers, vendors and locals going about their everyday business
  • Visit the monasteries of San Francisco and Santa Domingo, the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañia, the Cathedral of Quito or the hill of El Panecillo where you can view the statue of the Virgin Mary
  • In the evening, get to know the rest of your group during a short briefing with your host Daryl Dell
04 February 2023
  • A rewarding 30 minute flight to Coca over the eastern Andes mountain range is the start of this spectacular experience. After landing, take a short 5-minute drive to the port where you will embark on a comfortable covered motor-boat. Ride along the Napo River for approximately 2-hours while enjoying a box lunch and coffee. Start your birding adventure and along the way spot herons and kingfishers
  • After arriving at the welcome area in the Orellana Province, switch watercraft and take a magical 2-hour dugout-canoe ride along a narrow creek towards the lodge – no motorised transportation is allowed here. There will be chances to see some species of monkeys en-route
  • Arrive at the Napo Wildlife Center in the late afternoon and enjoy your first night in the Amazon – an ideal base for jungle adventures and discovering the unique cultures of the indigenous people
For the Birders
  • Along the way, we’ll see our first hoatzins and get a taste of the diversity of the region with other notable bird species to look out for including rufescent tiger-heron, sungrebe, red-bellied macaw, green-and-rufous kingfisher, colourful toucans and parrots

An Amazon wildlife spectacle

The Napo Wildlife Center is situated in one of the world’s most bio-diverse regions

05 February 2023
  • After a delicious breakfast, enjoy a visit to the Canopy Observation Tower where you have a spectacular view of life in the jungle atop the trees and over 600 species of birds. Rooted deep in the forest, as you ascend the 12-floor tower, you pass through different levels of the forest and emerge at the top of a huge ceiba tree
  • Be captivated as flocks of colourful tanagers and blue and yellow macaws fly through the canopy of the tree as spider monkeys search for fruit
  • Return to the lodge for a typical Ecuadorian lunch
For the Birders
  • This is an extraordinary opportunity to view bird species that you would never see from the forest floor, yet from above a fluttering world comes alive
  • Flocks of oropendolas, aracaris, tanagers, and euphonias roam the canopy in search of fruit. Spangled and plum-throated cotingas sing from the treetops while raptors perch on vantage points to dry off in the morning sun. White-browed purpletufts and crowned slaty flycatchers compete for insects, numerous parrots and macaws fly by or drop in if there is a fruiting tree nearby, and many other species soar through the towering tree
  • Hike through the Terra Firme Forest to discover the ecology and the role of plants in the complex world of the tropical rainforest. Vines, ancient trees, bromeliads, and orchids stand out in this impressive natural garden. Look out for woodcreepers, antbirds, and tinamous. You can also come across the vocally striking screaming piha and the visually striking black-necked red cotinga. After the hike, explore the surrounding lake and creeks for the chance to run into a giant otter family
For the Non-birders
  • Enjoy a short walk to the Napo riverbank to enjoy a beautiful sunset on the beaches and natural islands of the Napo riverbank. Then return to the lodge to have a delicious traditional dinner at the restaurant. You are welcome to see how the meals are cooked by the chef
  • In the afternoon choose your own activity: strap on your walking shoes as good forest trails offer access to another component of the avifauna, relax in your hammock, read a book or simply gaze at the 360° views of the shimmering Añangu Lake
06 February 2023
  • Wake up for an early breakfast and then a paddle downstream on the Añangu Creek reaching the Kichwa Añangu community and the fascinating parrot clay licks where hundreds of magnificently colourful birds gather to lick the minerals contained in the soil that help them to digest the fruits and seeds that make up their diet. Watch out for amazon-mealy, blue-headed, and orange –cheeked parrots, as well as macaws
  • Visit the local community that built and expertly runs the lodge. Learn about the traditions of the ancestral Kichwa community of Añangu through song, dance, and conversation. Look out for turquoise and magpie tanagers, rufous-headed woodpeckers, and swallow-winged puffbirds
  • Take a short hike to the parakeets’ clay lick. Here hundreds of cobalt-winged parakeets wait their turn to land on the clay lick in a flurry of colour and sound
07 February 2023
  • There are plenty options on offer for the last full day
For the Birders
  • This morning hike along the Tiputini trail and enjoy the mixture of Terra-Firma and swamp forests while searching for more wildlife such as golden-mantled tamarins, white-faced capuchin monkeys, two and three-toed sloths, pigmy squirrels, and maybe even a carnivore’s tracks on the forest floor
For the Non-Birders
  • Get up early at 04h30 before the sun rises, to participate in one of the most ancient customs of the Kichwa Añangu community. The Wayusa tea ceremony will energise the body and then follow the ritual of listening to Kichwa songs and meditating about life and significant issues peacefully. Dream interpretation by the elders is possible. (Please note this is optional)
  • In the afternoon, paddle canoes will take you deeper into areas of the surrounding creeks with more possibilities of seeing unique wildlife like the hoatzin
  • After a delicious dinner, watch a video about the Kichwa Añangu community and the Napo Wildlife Center. Enjoy the opportunity to share your experience of your journey here
08 February 2023
  • Following an early breakfast, enjoy a last canoe excursion back along the Añangu Stream and up the Napo River. The creek may reveal new sights of giant otters, monk saki monkeys, black-capped donacobius and other birds
  • You will then embark on a 2-hour motorised boat ride in order to return to Coca, in time to check in for your flight back to Quito
  • Sip cocktails at the rooftop terrace bar while enjoying 360° view of ancient Quito as you anticipate your onward travels to the Galapagos
Arrival in the Galápagos
09 February 2023
  • Fly to San Cristobal airport where you will be met by a Calipso staff member and transferred to the the luxury Calipso Yacht boasting a spacious lounge, dining area, sundeck with a Jacuzzi, and comfortable cabins
  • Explore Witch Hill, an eroded hill presenting one of the most picturesque coral beaches in the Galápagos with its white powdery sand and the abundance of animals. Wildlife includes sea turtles, rays, and various types of booby birds. The clear water provides an excellent opportunity for enjoying swimming and snorkelling
For the Birders
  • Look out for different shore birds and the endemic San Cristóbal/Chatham mockingbird
For Birders and Non-Birders
  • Among the creatures you are likely to see here include Galápagos sea lions, marine iguanas, pelicans, and blue-footed boobies


Mark Wheeler, &BEYOND Regional M.D for Asia, South America & Business Development, shares insider tips about visiting the Galapagos Islands. The islands are truly different from any other place on earth in terms of geography, geology, biological diversity, endemic species, and scientific history.

Galápagos Islands
10 February 2023
  • Explore Bartolomé Island where the famous Pinnacle Rock is found. It consists of an extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, black and even green volcanic formations. Climb the stairs where an iconic photographic opportunity and view awaits
  • Visit a small beautiful beach which is perfect for snorkelling. You may even swim with Galápagos penguins, white-tipped reef sharks, rays and an abundance of colour fish
  • In the afternoon, discover Sombrero Chino shaped like a traditional Chinese hat. Follow a walking trail to the western part of the island which features volcanic rubble, sharp outcroppings, and lava formations view many geological formations such as lava tunnels and lava flows. Keep a look out for Galápagos penguins, sea lions, sally lightfoot crabs, and marine iguanas wallowing in tidal pools
Galápagos Islands
11 February 2023
  • Sail to the most westerly of the Galápagos Islands, Fernandina (Narborough) where you arrive at Espinoza Point. After walking past a colony of marine iguanas and a group of sea lions, you will reach the island’s highlight: the flightless cormorant nesting site. This area also provides a great opportunity to see the Galapagos hawk
  • This island has never been invaded by a non-native species and the landscape was created by lava fields of the volcano La Cumbre. It is one of the best places to see the unique Lava Cactus
  • In the afternoon, head across to Isabela Island where you will visit Tagus Cove. Close up views of dramatic rock formations with blue-footed boobies and brown pelicans can be seen from the panga
  • After a dry landing, a long winding trail up to a ridge will display wonderful views of Darwin Volcano and Lake. This is a great spot to find several species of Darwin’s finches
Galápagos Islands
12 February 2023
  • Urbina Bay is located at the base of Alcedo Volcano on the west coast between Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay. This area experienced a major uplift in 1954 causing the land to rise over 16 feet. The coast expanded half a mile out leaving marine life stranded on the new shore. Highlight include the biggest land iguanas in the Galápagos and giant tortoises. This area is also a great place for snorkeling
  • In the afternoon, we head to Moreno Point, located southwest of Elizabeth Bay. Lava has left craters in its wake which formed crystal tide pools. By looking into the pools, you can peer into another world as the marine life drifts by such as white-tip reef sharks and sea turtles. In the brackish pools of this area, you may see pink flamingos, white-cheeked pintails, and common gallinules
13 February 2023
  • North Seymour was formed by a series of submarine lava flows containing layers of sediment that were uplifted by tectonic activity. The island is characterized by its arid vegetation zone. Magnificent frigate birds which are abundant on this island
  • Guests are typically treated to the sight of sea lions riding waves all the way into shore, marine iguanas basking in the sun, and flocks of pelicans and swallow tailed gulls feeding just off the coast
  • You will be collected for your departure from Baltra Island Airport, for your flight back to Quito
  • Flutter a last farewell as your sensational birding adventure comes to an end
  • 14 February – Hotel Mama Cuchara, Quito (1 night)
  • 15 – 17 February – Mashpi Lodge, Cloud Forest (3 nights)
  • 18 February – Hotel Mama Cuchara, Quito (1 night)
  • From USD 2, 581 per person sharing

03 - 13 FEBRUARY 2023 | 10 Nights

Max 12 guests

USD 9,485 per person

Single supplement

USD 1,514 per person

Extension: 14-18 Feb

USD 2,581 per person

What's included
  • All nights of accommodation mentioned in the program
  • Hosted throughout by Specialist &Beyond Birding Guide, Daryl Dell
  • Private transportation in Quito
  • Private English speaking guide in Quito
  • Naturalist bilingual private guide in Galapagos and Amazon Rainforest for each excursion
  • Daily private excursions in Galápagos and Amazon Rainforest according to the itinerary
  • Shared transportation in Galapagos from San Cristobal Airport to the Port in San Cristobal Island and from Baltra Harbour to Baltra Airport (Airline´s bus)
  • Meals as indicated in the program
  • Entrance fees to Galapagos National Park
  • Migratory Cards to enter in Galapagos
  • Domestic Flight Quito - Coca - Quito / Economy Class
  • Domestic Flight Quito - Galápagos - Quito / Economy Class
What's not included
  • International air tickets and taxes
  • Early check in or late check-out charges
  • Extra expenses at each property like laundry, phone calls, etc.
  • Any video/still camera fee during the trip
  • Gratuities for staff, guides and drivers
  • Excess baggage
  • Medical and travel assistance insurance
  • Set departure: 03-13 February 2023
  • Should you wish to travel on different dates with your own party, please contact one of our dedicated Travel Specialists to plan your adventure

Beyond Average Birding

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