Best bird watching trails in Azuay, Ecuador

25 Reviews
Explore the most popular bird watching trails in Azuay with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of bird watching trails in Azuay, Ecuador
Top trails (8)
#1 - Caminantes Ruta 15: Barabón, Pallkarumi y Sayausí
Cuenca Canton, Azuay, Ecuador
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(3)
Length: 7.7 mi • Est. 5 h 51 m
This is one of the most demanding routes of the circuit. They will ascend more than 1000m in the Barabón hill crossing through different ecosystems that vary quickly according to the altitude. From the grazing areas at the beginning of the route, through the patches of native forest, to the extensive moors of the upper part, we will witness the advance of the agricultural frontier and the strong impact that the moors and water sources are suffering from Cuenca. The Pallkarumi (also called Boca de Pez) is a prominent figure on the western horizon of Cuenca, with its shape similar to the head of a fish emerging from the water. From this place you have one of the most spectacular panoramic views of the city.Show more
#2 - Caminantes Ruta 5: Cerro Guagualzhumi a Paccha
Cuenca Canton, Azuay, Ecuador
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(7)
Length: 2.7 mi • Est. 1 h 29 m
Hiking trails through the ancestral hills of Cuenca. This is a short route, just 5 km, but with a lot to offer the walker. The level of difficulty is medium, so it is not recommended for very young children. The North edge of the sacred hill of Guagualzhumi will be crossed first from where there are spectacular panoramic views of both the city and the surrounding valleys. The descent along the northern edge of the hill will also allow you to enter a beautiful patch of walnut trees, appreciate the beautiful orchid "Flor de Cristo" and spot countless endemic bird species. You will also pass by several sites with little studied archaeological remains, you can see the Quituiña lagoon. The route will end in the parish center of Paccha, a very interesting town in the south of Cuenca.Show more
#3 - Caminantes Ruta 9: Cerro Verde a Cerro Monjas
Cuenca Canton, Azuay, Ecuador
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(3)
Length: 5 mi • Est. 2 h 42 m
This route connects two very important and little known hills in the South of Cuenca: the Cerro Verde (whose top is known as “Boquerón”) with very important and little studied archaeological remains, and the Monjas hill in the Guzho sector where it is located a hillside terrace that dates from pre-Inca times, as well as spectacular panoramic views. The difficulty level of this route is medium and it is not recommended to do it with children because there are sections that must be walked along the road. If you want to avoid it, you can travel only the first half of the route.Show more
#4 - Caminantes Ruta 7: Ucubamba, Cerro Cabullín y Rayoloma
Cuenca Canton, Azuay, Ecuador
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(4)
Length: 4 mi • Est. 2 h 18 m
This route is particular because of the possibilities of environmental interpretation. During its tour of the southern end of the city, several environmental management processes can be observed, such as the Ucubamba wastewater treatment plant, a dump, and the Amaru animal and zoo rescue center. It has very interesting landscapes along its route, such as the Cabullín hill, of great importance for ancestral cultures. If the walker is interested, he can extend the route to the slopes of the Huanacauri hill. Caution should be exercised at the edges of the cliffs and be aware of street dogs in populated areas.Show more
#5 - Caminantes Ruta 13: Narancay, Cerro Uchuloma y Baños
Cuenca Canton, Azuay, Ecuador
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(2)
Length: 5.4 mi • Est. 3 h 18 m
This is the first of four routes in western Cuenca. It is a relatively long journey and represents a challenge, so it is recommended for walkers with experience and good physical condition. Likewise, it is recommended to carry GPS due to the convoluted route. The route will enter one of the best preserved native forest remnants in the area, and the walker will discover valleys and unknown trails despite its proximity to the city. The quantity and variety of birds on this route is exceptional. For a more enriching experience, it is recommended to contact the community of Uchuloma that offers guidance, food and camping services. The route ends in the center of Baños, offering an opportunity to relax in the hot springs after the intense walk. * Natural attractions *. This route consists of several types of ecosystems and plant cover, some of them very well preserved. The beginning of the route crosses pastures and live fences that allow us to observe plant species characteristic of these places such as linden (Sambucus nigra), bridal bouquet (Yucca guatemalensis), motemuro (Duranta triacantha), alder (Alnus acuminata) and chilca ( Baccharis latifolia). We can also see several species of hummingbirds (Colibri coruscans, Aglaeactis cupripennis, Lesbia nuna), chugos (Pheucticus chrysogaster) and blackbirds (Tusdus fuscater). In the next section we can admire the variable hawk (Buteo polyosoma) flying over the area of grassland and eucalyptus. The second part of the route crosses a very well preserved high montane humid forest area that houses endemic shrub species such as curaca (Brachyotum jamesonii) and native species such as drunk (Pernettya prostrata), sour cane (Oxalis phaeotricha), or tendrils (Fuchsia vulcanica). We can also find several copies of the native myrtle tree (Myrcianthes rhopaloides). Among the birds we will observe, the peculiar Andean pava (Penelope montagnii), and other species such as the crestirroja cotinga (Ampelion rubrocristatus), the tangara montana ventriescarlata (Anisognathus igniventris), the turquoise magpie (Cyanolyca turcosa), and many species of hummingbirds stand out . When leaving the forest and to culminate the route, you continue along a long path that crosses again cultivation areas, pastures and live fences, where you can observe a wide variety of birds such as seedbeds (Catamenia inornata), goldfinches (Carduelis magellanica), pinchaflores (Diglossopis cyanea) and the tealight candelite (Myioborus melanocephalus). Historical and cultural attractions. The communities of the Narancay area, including Uchuloma, have had a historical struggle for their lands. Towards 1763 the town of Narancay is organized for the recovery of the territory of the ancestral peoples in a fight that lasts until 1790, when the Royal Audience of Quito grants them territoriality. However, the owners of the Chuquipata estate are reluctant to hand over the land and initiate several chain trials. The “Compulsa” granted resolves to leave 119 hectares of the community center, the hills and moors, for the use of the “Indians”. One of the results has been the conservation of one of the last patches of high Andean native forest around Cuenca, in the community of Uchuloma, which will have the opportunity to meet on this route. The struggle of the comuneros has been permanent. In 1999, a kaolin mining concession was granted in the area, but the community organized with the support of ECUARUNARI and CONAIE and managed to stop the exploitation of the mine, once again keeping intact the nature and land of its property. The organization has been indispensable, and thanks to it, useful projects have been achieved to improve the quality of life of the community, such as the water system and the school. Today the community of Uchuloma maintains a community tourism project that offers guidance services through the forest, food and lodging (Tlf 09-97420050). It is recommended to hire these services for this route. At the end of the route in the parish center of Baños, the walker will have the opportunity to relax and rest in the hot springs and enjoy the local cuisine, including traditional wind empanadas.Show more
#6 - Caminantes Ruta 4: Cerro Plateado a Cerro Guagualzhumi
Cuenca Canton, Azuay, Ecuador
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(2)
Length: 4.8 mi • Est. 3 h 22 m
Hiking trails through the ancestral hills of Cuenca. This route connects the two most important hills of the Southwest of Cuenca: El Plataado and Guagualzhumi. It begins with an ascent between silver colored stones and native forests in El Plateado, with a wide view towards the surrounding valleys. Then travel along the side of the Curitaqui (Cerro de Oro), to finally ascend the edge of one of the most iconic and majestic mountains around Cuenca: the Guagualzhumi. The high archaeological and landscape value of this route makes it one of the most attractive on the circuit. During the tour you can see several archaeological remains, mainly ceramic remains that date back to more than 4000 years. The level of difficulty is medium, so it is recommended to have a good physical condition.Show more
#7 - Caminantes Ruta 6: Guagualzhumi a Cerro Jalshi
Cuenca Canton, Azuay, Ecuador
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(2)
Length: 4 mi • Est. 1 h 52 m
This is the third route that includes the sacred hill Guagualzhumi. Although its summits will not be visited as in the previous routes, the route will cover its skirts, where it will be a challenge for the walker to find the trails, so interaction with the neighbors of the place is key to receiving indications, announcing the reason for the Hike and take advantage to know a little more about your way of life. The change of landscape in the second part as it approaches the city is evident. The trails are clearly marked and you will walk along roadways. The route reaches the hill of Jalshi, a real balcony towards the Southwestern part of Cuenca where you can also see pre-Inca ceramic vestiges, probably from the Tacalshapa culture. Except for the last descent (which may be optional) the route is suitable for all types of walkers, including children or the elderly. It is important to be careful with watchdogs!Show more
#8 - Caminantes Ruta 1: Cerro de Zhinglla a Cerro Cachaulo
Cuenca Canton, Azuay, Ecuador
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(2)
Length: 7.5 mi • Est. 3 h 32 m
This route connects the slopes of the Zhinglla hill, an area of important archaeological remains, and the Cachahulo hill. Most of the route is accompanied by water, mainly in the irrigation canals maintained by the communities and that comes from the high areas in the El Labrado dam. In its route, the route shows the differences between the traditional ways of rural life in the most remote parts, and the most urban life near the parish centers. It is an easy route, although a bit long, suitable for all audiences including children and senior citizens. It is only necessary to be careful with guard dogs and steep slope areas. The second part of the tour goes along a water channel and offers the traveler beautiful landscapes and very striking panoramas.Show more