You are here: La Frangancia. Old Loja-Zamora Road La Frangancia. Old Loja-Zamora Road La Frangancia. Old Loja-Zamora Road.

Located at an elevation of 1100 meters, La Fragancia is a small village where the Loja Zamora Highway connects with the old Loja Zamora road.  The old road loops back to the highway after 15.9 km at an elevation of 1550 meters. The area is located near the town of Zamora. The area doesn’t have any conservation status, but the dirt road provides access to many forest patches and some bird species are better seen here than at the Bombuscaro entrance of Podocarpus NP or the higher elevation sites along the Loja Zamora highway.

Lower Montane Forest and Footjill Forest.

La Frangancia. Old Loja-Zamora Road

No special arrangements are needed to visit this road, and you can stay in one of the many hotels in Zamora, of which Cabañas Copalinga deserves special mention.  Further information regarding Cabañas Copalinga may be obtained at, writing to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or calling the cell phone: 093477 013.

There are many buses running along the Loja-Zamora Highway and you can easily transport from Zamora to any of the access points of the old road along the highway.  Walking the entire 15.9 km along the old road would be very difficult and is not recommended.  It would be better to hire a pickup truck from Zamora, go to the site and schedule a later pickup once you finish birding.



La Frangancia. Old Loja-Zamora Road

Beginning in Zamora at the roundabout in front of the bus terminal set odometer to 0.0 km.   

(Click here to download Map. Old Loja Zamora Road La Fragancia)

Take the four lane avenue heading toward Loja and uphill until it ends.  Turn right and follow the main street heading out of city.  At 2.4 km from Zamora bus terminal, you will reach a police check point outside Zamora.  Continue on 3.2 km, or 5.6 km from Zamora.  

At this point you will see a gravel road on your right. This spot is the start of the old Loja-Zamora road at the site known as La Frangancia.  Reset your odometer to 0.0 km for future references.  Take the old road and drive for 0.7 km.  At this point you arrive at a bridge over the Zamora River.  Look on the river for Fasciated Tiger-Heron and White-capped Dipper.  The heron is better seen in the early mornings and late afternoons.  The area near the bridge is a good place to look for Black-billed Treehunter and Yellow-whiskered Bush-Tanager.  

Drive on another 0.7 km, or 1.4 km from La Fragancia.  Here you will find a couple of old houses on your left.  Park here and walk down for 400 meters. The big Inga trees behind the houses are where a pair of Equatorial Graytails have traditionally built their nest.  The bulky nests made of sticks can be seen on the high branches.  Along the stream on the far side of the bend you should look for Olive Finch.  From the two houses you could also walk uphill for some 600 meters into a dense Second-growth, where on the right hand side of the road, you can find White-browed Antbird and Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher.  This 1.0 km stretch of road is also a bird rich area where many birds may be seen including:  Green Hermit, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Wire-crested Thorntail, Violet-fronted Brilliant, Dark-breasted Spinetail, Ash-browed Spinetail, Lined Antshrike, Slaty-capped Flycatcher, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Black-and-white Becard, Olivaceous Greenlet, Cerulean  Warbler (Oct. to Mar.), Green Honeycreeper,  Blue Dacnis, Black-faced Dacnis, Chestnut-vented  Conebill, Blue-necked Tanager, Paradise Tanager, Green-and-gold Tanager, Spotted Tanager, Yellow-bellied Tanager , Bay-headed Tanager, White-shouldered Tanager , Magpie Tanager , Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager, Chestnut-bellied Seedeater and Yellow-browed Sparrow.

 From the old houses you drive another 1.4 km, or 2.8 km from La Fragancia.  At this point there is a good piece of forest that stretches for 0.7 km until 3.5 km from La Fragancia.  The forest along this section of road is a good place to look for Coppery-chested Jacamar; the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock has a lek that can also be seen here. Here we have also encountered the White-breasted Parakeet in this area.

 Continue driving for 2.0 km, or 5.5 km from La Fragancia.  From this spot the forest stretches for 2.1 km until 7.6 km from La Fragancia.  The forest along this stretch of road is a fine place to look for birds as; Chestnut-tipped Toucanet, Chestnut-crowned Gnateater, Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher and Lafresnaye's Piculet.

Along the next 0.5 km until 8.1 km from La Fragancia, the habitat is much more disturbed and big pasture lands with tall trees dominate the landscape until you get to a couple of streams that run across the road.  The big trees in the pasture and the surrounding forest area are a good place to look for Equatorial Graytail, Gray-mantled Wren, Blue-browed Tanager and Vermilion Tanager. The last two stops might also produce a range of interesting species including: White-breasted Parakeet, White-eyed Parakeet, Red-billed Parrot, Black-breasted Puffbird, Lanceolated Monklet, White-necked Jacobin, Booted Racket-tail, Long-tailed Sylph, Amethyst Woodstar, Highland Motmot, Dusky Spinetail, Montane Foliage-gleaner, Olive-backed Woodcreeper, Plain Antvireo, White-streaked Antvireo, Yellow-breasted Antwren, Blackish Antbird, Northern White-crowned Tapaculo, Ecuadorian Tyrannulet, Olive-chested Flycatcher, Lemon-browed Flycatcher, Golden-headed Manakin, Pale-eyed Thrush, White-thighed Swallow, Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Orange-eared Tanager, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Golden Tanager, Golden-eared Tanager, Golden-naped Tanager, Metallic-green Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager, Spotted Tanager, White-winged Tanager, Highland Hepatic-Tanager, Subtropical Cacique, Olivaceous Siskin, Bronze-green Euphonia and Golden-rumped Euphonia.

From the streams across the road at 8.1 km from La Fragancia, drive another 5.5 km, or 13.6 km from La Fragancia.  Here you will be crossing over a bridge. The forest from this spot onward is fragmented and mainly restricted to the down side of the mountain. Birding the next 1.3 km, or 14.9 km from La Fragancia to a small concrete bridge is a good place to look for Torrent Duck, Emerald Toucanet, Spectacled Prickletail and White-fronted Tyrannulet.

Continue on 0.7 km, or 15.6 km from La Fragancia.  At this point you will be near a bridge over the Zamora River.  At the bare rocky slope up the mountain, just at dusk, wait for the male Lyre-tailed Nightjar to display.

Driving on for 0.3 km across the bridge you will get back to the highway at small village. This site is 20.4 km from Zamora at an elevation of 1550 meters.


Birds to look for

La Frangancia. Old Loja-Zamora Road.

Second-growth (2G), Forest (F), Rivers (R).

Common: Squirrel Cuckoo (2G,F), Smooth-billed Ani (2G), White-eyed Parakeet (2G,F), Red-billed Parrot (2G,F), White-necked Jacobin (2G,F), Fork-tailed Woodnymph (2G,F), Violet-fronted Brilliant (2G,F), Dark-breasted Spinetail (2G), Ash-browed Spinetail (2G,F), Lined Antshrike (2G), Plain Antvireo (2G,F), Blackish Antbird (2G), Slaty-capped Flycatcher (2G,F), Common Tody-Flycatcher (2G), Yellow-olive Flatbill (2G), Olive-chested Flycatcher (2G), Black Phoebe (R), Piratic Flycatcher (2G), Olivaceous Greenlet (2G,F), Black-billed Thrush (2G), Tropical Parula (2G,F), Green Honeycreeper (2G,F), Blue Dacnis (2G,F), Saffron-crowned Tanager (2G,F), Golden Tanager (2G,F), Beryl-spangled Tanager (2G,F), Spotted Tanager (2G,F), Blue-necked Tanager (2G,F), Bay-headed Tanager (2G,F), Blue-gray Tanager (2G,F), Palm Tanager (2G,F), Silver-beaked Tanager (2G,F), White-shouldered Tanager (2G,F), Magpie Tanager (2G), Buff-throated Saltator (2G,F), Chestnut-bellied Seedeater (2G), Olivaceous Siskin (2G,F), Golden-rumped Euphonia (2G,F).

Uncommon: Torrent Duck (R), Fasciated Tiger-Heron (R), Green Hermit (2G,F), Violet-headed Hummingbird (2G,F), Wire-crested Thorntail (2G,F), Booted Racket-tail (2G,F), Long-tailed Sylph (2G,F), Highland Motmot (F), Coppery-chested Jacamar (2G,F),  Black-streaked Puffbird (F), Lanceolated Monklet (2G,F), Emerald Toucanet (2G,F), Chestnut-tipped Toucanet (2G,F),  Lafresnaye's Piculet (2G,F), Dusky Spinetail (2G), Montane Foliage-gleaner (2G,F), Black-billed Treehunter (2G,F), Olive-backed Woodcreeper (F), Russet Antshrike (2G,F), Yellow-breasted Antwren (2G,F), White-browed Antbird (2G), Northern White-crowned Tapaculo (2G,F), Ecuadorian Tyrannulet (2G,F), Dusky-capped Flycatcher (2G,F), Lemon-browed Flycatcher (2G,F), Chestnut-crowned Becard (2G,F), Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (F), Golden-headed Manakin (F), Brown-capped Vireo (2G,F), Pale-eyed Thrush (F), White-thighed Swallow (2G,F), Gray-mantled Wren (F), Slate-throated Whitestart (2G,F), Three-striped Warbler (2G), White-capped Dipper (R), Black-faced Dacnis (2G,F), Orange-eared Tanager (2G,F), Paradise Tanager (2G,F), Golden-naped Tanager (2G,F), Metallic-green Tanager (2G,F), Green-and-gold Tanager (2G,F), Yellow-bellied Tanager (2G,F), White-winged Tanager (2G,F), Highland Hepatic-Tanager (2G,F), Yellow-whiskered Bush-Tanager (2G,F), Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager (2G,F), Bronze-green Euphonia (2G,F).

Rare: White-breasted Parakeet (2G,F), Amethyst Woodstar (2G,F), Equatorial Graytail (2G,F), Spectacled Prickletail (F), White-streaked Antvireo (F), Chestnut-crowned Gnateater (F), White-fronted Tyrannulet (2G,F), Plumbeous-crowned Tyrannulet (2G,F), Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher (2G), Cerulean  Warbler (2G), Chestnut-vented  Conebill (2G,F), Blue-browed Tanager (2G,F), Vermilion Tanager (2G,F), Olive Finch (2G,F).



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Meet the Author

Lelis Navarrete – Birding tour leader. Lelis has 19 years of experience as a birding guide and naturalist in the field. He has led groups of birders throughout most of Latin America, guiding frequently in countries like his native country of Ecuador and in the Galapagos Islands, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and Panama. A Biology B.Sc. graduate from Universidad Católica in Quito, Lelis has supported Jocotoco Foundation since its founding in 1998 and was an active Board Member until 2010 supporting Ecuadorian bird and wildlife conservation. Lelis divides his time between his two great passions in life: birding and spending time with his wife Solange and son Fabian with whom he lives in Quito.


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