Road to La Union for Choco Endemics
The north-western slopes of Ecuador are home of many Choco Endemics such as Choco Warbler, Stripped-billed Aracari, Black-tipped Cotinga, Emerald Tanager, Scarlet-browed Tanager, Scarlet-and-white-Tanager, Gray-mantled-Wren, and many other. Most of these birds can only be seen in this northern region of Ecuador. One of the truly amazing areas for these endemic birds is a road that leads to remote towns where the AWA indigenous people live.
The AWAS, as well as the Choco Endemics, reside both in Ecuador and Colombia. Currently this AWA territory receive protection from the Ecuadorian and Colombian governments and also receive support from local and foreign organizations. Unfortunately their culture and well being is threaten by the traffic of drugs, mining, and logging interest. These powerful economic woes make this region a bit dangerous to travel so I have not explored much of their amazing territory.
The Road to La Union is a good choice for a half day birding trip if you can deal with a muddy and slippery road full of excellent birds! It begins at the highway about 20 minutes west from the town of Lita. If you are going to this area then it is best to stay overnight at Las Siete Cascadas where you can get a local guide to take you into this territory.