Birding in Ecuador's Cloud Forest


Even if you have no intention of keeping a “life list,” it’s impossible not to feel excited by the incredible variety of gorgeously colorful birds in the reserve around Mashpi Lodge.

I arose early one morning to join my guide and other guests on the hotel’s terrace, overlooking a forested valley. There, we spotted tanagers in both lemon-rumped and blue-gray varieties, tropical kingbirds, a tricolored brush finch and a cinnamon becard.

After breakfast, I lost track of time watching hummingbirds at a designated feeding area (20 minutes from the lodge by car). We observed green thorntails, empress brilliants, with feathers resembling shiny reptilian scales, and violet-tailed sylphs, with showy tail feathers of cobalt and bright purple. A striking crimson-rumped toucanet (mostly acid green and periwinkle blue, in fact) also paid us a visit.

I can think of only a few other places in the world where I’ve seen so many spectacular birds at such close range.

Velvet-purple coronet and green-crowned brilliant hummingbird near Mashpi Lodge - Photo by Hideaway Report editor
Tropical kingbird near Mashpi Lodge - Photo by Hideaway Report editor
Crimson-rumped toucanet near Mashpi Lodge - Photo by Hideaway Report editor

Read more about our editor’s trip to Ecuador

By Hideaway Report Editor Hideaway Report editors travel the world anonymously to give you the unvarnished truth about luxury hotels. Hotels have no idea who the editors are, so they are treated exactly as you might be.

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