FAQs


We have tried to answer most of the obvious questions you might have.  However, if you still have questions or concerns that we have not addressed, don't hesitate to ask.  You can contact us through the contact page or at info@ecuadorbirdingjourneys.com or at 593-995464396. We look forward to hearing from you!



01  When should I arrive and which airport do I fly into? You will need to arrive the day before the start of the tour.   You should book your flight to Quito, whose airport code is UIO.  Many carriers have daily flights to Quito from numerous major cities in the US and Canada, including American Airlines, Delta, United. LAN, COPA, and JetBlue.  We provide pick up and transport to the hotel at no extra cost. Your hotel stay the night PRIOR to the tour start day is INCLUDED in the price of the tour.

 

02  What kind of travel documents will I need and how long can I stay in Ecuador? You will need a current passport valid for at least 6 months after your arrival in Ecuador.  A VISA is not required.  Your passport will be stamped with a tourist VISA as you pass through immigration which is good for 90 days.                                          

 

03  What will the weather be like?  We travel through a wide variety of climates as we transverse the Andes, with average temperatures  ranging from the low 50’s to the high 70’s on most days. Expect rain! Our one day in the Amazon will be warm and humid and our one day/night in Antisana will be chilly and windy.

 

04  What type of clothing will I need in Ecuador?  We recommend that you travel light and prepare to dress in layers.  It can be cool at night and quite hot at mid day  with afternoon showers being the norm for most of the year.  Dress comfortably and conservatively.   Shorts are not commonly worn in the areas we are visiting, so best to stick to long pants with short sleeves along with a few sweaters or light jackets. You will be happy to have a warmer jacket, hat and gloves on our Antisana day. Bring comfy tennis shoes or hiking boots as well as a raincoat and small umbrella as well. There will be at least one opportunity to wash clothes mid tour.

 

05  What kind of birding equipment should I bring?  Binoculars and camera! We will have bird guidebooks for reference, so it is up to you if you bring your own. Best to have lightweight equipment you can carry with you in a day pack. 


06  Do I have to be an advanced birder to participate?  This tour is for any level of birder or bird watcher…beginner to advanced. 


07  How many participants and how many guides?  What will travel be like?  We hope to have 8-10 people on the tour, though no worries….we will not cancel or make a change in the event we do not reach that number.  An absolute maximum will be 12.  We will have one expert bilingual birding guide with us at all times as well as a general tour guide/facilitator to take care of logistics, hotels, meals and non-birding activities.  In many of the locations and with larger groups, we will have a second local guide.  We will travel in a comfortable roomy tourism bus and not in a cramped van. 

 

08  Can I bring along a friend or family who are not birders?  The only requirement is to love nature and birds!!! Though this is a birding tour and much of our time will be spent birding, we will have other activities as well. In addition to birding, there will be opportunities to visit the Equator line museum, soak in the hot-springs, hike in beautiful scenery, visit Quito's historical center, shop and spend time in local communities.  If there are non birders in the group we will offer additional options whenever possible such as waterfall hikes, taking a chocolate tour, adventure sports or simply hanging out at the lodge rather than getting up at 5 am to bird!


09  How physically strenuous is the tour?  Do I have to be in great shape?  We are on the move every day and often getting up early, so you do need to have energy and stamina.  We have tried to find the best birding spots where we can see diverse species, without a lot of hiking or physical exertion.  Many are at feeders.  When we do hike it will be on easy well marked trails and not more than a mile or two each day.


10  What kind of hotels will we stay in?  In an attempt to keep costs accessible, support local business and give you a more authentic experience, we do not stay in international chains or in fancy hotels.  The places we stay are clean, comfortable, often family owned and with a local feel.   They range from rustic cabins to boutique hotels to birding lodges.  Private bathrooms, comfy beds, internet service  and hot water are guaranteed at all hotels.

 

11  How do I pay for the tour or services?  To confirm your spot on one of our tours, you will need to make a down payment of 50%, which can be via a bank transfer or via PayPal.  The remainder can be paid by or on the first day of the tour.  Another option is a Zelle or Mobile Check payment. If you need a different payment schedule or would like more information about Zelle or Mobile Check, please contact us.

12  What is the electrical current and will I need an adapter?  The electrical current is 110 (the same as US and Canada.)

 

13  Are there any shots I need to take in order to travel to Ecuador?  There are no immunizations required to visit Ecuador.  Some visitors choose to visit a travel clinic and receive immunizations and some do not….we leave it up to you and your doctor to decide.

 

14  Should I purchase short term travel insurance for my visit?  Yes, we strongly recommend that you have health insurance in the event of any accidents or illnesses during the trip.  As a convenience to you, we offer a very affordable health/accident traveler's insurance plan.

 

15  How much money should I bring for a tour and how do I access cash in Ecuador?  Since the tour includes your lodging, transport and most expenses, you do not need to bring a large amount of cash with you.  The tour price includes breakfast and lunch.  We like to offer flexibility in the evening meal, so dinner is on your own, for which you can expect to pay $5 to $10 on average.  Tips for the birding guide and driver are of course a personal decision, but an average tip would be $8- $10/day pp for our birding guide and $3-5/day for our driver.  ATM machines are easily available, but credit cards are only accepted in the larger cities.  Any cash you bring should be in small denominations…up to $20, as larger bills are rarely accepted.  Travelers Checks are generally not accepted in Ecuador and can be extremely hard to cash.  In order to use your debit, ATM or credit card in Ecuador , it is important to let your bank know before your trip.

 

16  Will I be able to use my cell phone in Ecuador and will I have internet service?  All the hotels where we stay do have wi-fi.  In Ecuador most people use WhatsApp for free messaging and phone calls while connected…so you and your family may want to download WhatsApp.  As far as data and calls when not connected to wi-fi, check with your cell phone provider as there are often extra charges.   If you are able to unblock the signal, you can buy a phone chip when you are here in Ecuador.

17  What is the policy in case I need to cancel or postpone my participation in the tour?  Please see our Cancellation Policy page HERE