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You are here: Paquisha Paquisha

Paquisha in Shuar language means pretty valley.   The town of Paquisha located on the eastern side of the Nangaritza River, on the western slopes of the Cordillera del Cóndor mountain range.  The birding areas are located at an elevation between 850 to 1750 meters, and near the Peruvian border in the Zamora Chinchipe Province.  The birding areas close to Paquisha lack of any kind of formal protection.  This is one the few places to look for Straw-backed Tanager in Ecuador.



Lower Montane Forest and Footjill Forest.




No special arrangements are needed to visit the birding areas from Paquisha.  There is a small Hostería in town with basic accommodation, but it is only recommended for the more adventurous birders.  Paquisha could be visited from the city of Zamora or on the way in or out from Yankuam Lodge.  There is bus transportation from Zumbi to Paquisha, but driving your own vehicle is more desirable.  To access the birding areas a four wheel drive is recommended, although you could make it with a high clearance vehicle.




If you are continuing from your visit to Bombuscaro entrance to Podocarpus NP or Yankuam Lodge and Shaime please see the birding instructions in those respective subchapters on how to get here.

(Click here to download Map. Paquisha English)

Starting along from Zumbi to Paquisha-Guaysimi, when the road splits heading to Paquisha and Gayisimi, mark 0.0 km.    Continue downhill toward Paquisha for 3.0 km.  At this point you will cross a bridge over the Nangaritza River before entering the town of Paquisha.  Drive through town remaining on the main street for 0.6, or 3.6 from the Guaysimi turn off.  Here you will reach a roundabout with a statue of an indigenous woman in the middle.  

Reset your odometer to 0.0 km for future references.  Take the road continuing straight ahead as it climbs the mountain for 8.0 km.  At this point you will see the first forest patches.  Continue driving for 1.1 km, or 9.9 km from Paquisha.  Here the road enters forest in better condition.  Continue further 2.3 km, or 12.2 km from Paquisha, until the road peters out by becoming heavily overgrown with tall grass and no surfacing.  At this point an obvious foot trail continues uphill to the left.

I have only visited the site once, and not during the best time in the day, and I do not have a good checklist for the place.   Nevertheless, you should concentrate your efforts here to look for the rare and local Straw-backed Tanager.  Check especiallyall the bird flocks for the tanager and Plain-winged Antwren and Spectacled Bristle-Tyrant.


Birds to look for


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


Uncommon: Straw-backed   Tanager (2G,F), Spectacled Bristle-Tyrant (2G,F).

Rare: Plain-winged   Antwren (F)


Copyright © 2010 by Lelis Navarrete

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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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