Río Silanche Bird Sanctuary

  • Start DateMarch, 2005
  • Hectares protected100 (250 acres)
  • Altitude300 - 350 meters (1000 ft avg)
  • Habitat typeChocó-lowland Rainforest
  • Important Bird AreaCaoní River (EC040)

Come experience

and support our 100 hectare (250 acre) Chocó-lowland Bird Sanctuary, with its ample trail system and 15 meter (≈ 50 ft) tall canopy observation tower.

This important site—one of the last remaining accessible forest remnants found in this key life-zone—is situated in hilly lowland forest at an altitude between 300-350m. The main feature at Río Silanche is its incredible birding: mixed species foraging flocks, packed with many important Chocó regional endemic species, bombard the visitor all day long without a break. Many of these bird species are otherwise difficult to find without arranging a logistically far more complicated expedition to Esmeraldas province or even Colombia: Purple-chested Hummingbird, Chocó Trogon, Double-banded Graytail, Moustached/Griscom’s Antwren, Stub-tailed Antbird, Black-tipped Cotinga, Slate-throated Gnatcatcher, Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Scarlet-and-white Tanager, Blue-whiskered Tanager.


Silanche Bird List
Map & Directions

Rio Silanche is just a three hour drive out of Quito, 7 kilometers down an all-weather dirt road taken at kilometer 126 along the Quito-Calacali-La Independencia-Esmeraldas highway. At km 126 look for a right-hand (North) turn-off, and “Santuario de Aves” sign, then follow smaller directional signs along this road until you get to the metal bridge over the Silanche river. Continue uphill 500 meters and the Reserve entrance and parking lot on your left.

All conservation efforts in this bioregion are vital to secure the long-term viability of the avifaunal population in such fragmented habitat, and we have reforested 44 hectares on a neighboring property, as a first effort to repair and maintain a natural corridor between the Caoní and Silanche rivers, strengthening the Río Caoní IBA (EC040). See more about this aspect of our project in the Reforestation & Restoration program.


Chocó Toucan at Río Silanche