Walking on easy trail conditions at a leisurely pace to acclimate to high elevation in Quito and the Andes. Some city walking and intermittent standing.
Early morning (6:00 a.m.) at the hotel, enjoy a buffet with juice, coffee, tea, water.
After breakfast, we'll board a bus and drive to Parque de Guápulo for birding activities. Parque de Guápulo is quickly becoming a favored location for birding due to its high volume and diversity of bird species. In fact, the park has recorded--within an area measuring 215 square feet-- 30 species out of approximately 200 birds. Some of the species seen here include the Eared Dove, Great Thrush, Sparkling Violetear, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Blue and White Swallow, Tufted Tit-Tyrant and Black-tailed Trainbearer. During this field trip we will also have the opportunity to enjoy great views of Quito’s surrounding valleys. Next, we will ride to the center of the city for a walking orientation to Ecuador’s capital. The architecture found in Quito’s historical center is a great example of the Baroque style which is a fusion of Spanish, Moorish, Flemish and Indigenous art. Our explorations with our Group Leader will begin at La Basilica church and continue to the Independence Square, site of the Presidential House, the Bishop’s Palace, and the Cathedral. We will pay a visit to the beautiful La Compañía church to view its lavish, gold covered interior and also stop at the San Francisco church and convent—one of Quito’s oldest churches built on the site of a pre-Hispanic trading center.
At a local restaurant; water and coffee included, other beverages available for purchase.
We'll drive to the Cumbaya Valley, to the home of Ecuador's prominent ornithologist and bird illustrator, Juan Manuel Carrion. After Mr. Carron's presentation on the birds of Ecuador, he will let us explore his gardens and visit his atelier. Later in the afternoon, we will drive back to the hotel. Then, before dinner, we'll join our Group Leader in a program Orientation. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Our Group Leader is a trained birding expert who will lead field trips and give educational presentations. The air conditioned Road Scholar bus doesn't have a bathroom on board. However, the program includes pit stops that help to break up longer travel times. Periods in the schedule labeled “Free Time” and “At Leisure” offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Meals on our program feature local cuisine. In many cases, they will be plated and served set meals; in others, we will have buffets with multiple options. Beverages include coffee, tea, water; other beverages are usually available for purchase. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
At the hotel restaurant; water and coffee included, other beverages available for purchase.
At leisure. Prepare for check-out and tomorrow's early morning activities.