Yanacocha (1.5 hours)
Most people visit the reserve at Yanacocha on their way from Quito and then drive along the Old Nono–Mindo Road to get to Tandayapa Bird Lodge. Thus most visitors will visit Yanacocha before they reach the lodge, but occasionally people visit from the lodge itself. The reserve was established to protect Black-breasted Puffleg, one of the rarest hummingbirds in the world. Your chances of seeing it are highest between about April and June, when it is seen more often, occasionally even at the feeders, but it is always very difficult and unpredictable. The  hummingbird feeders at Yanacocha attract Golden-breasted and Sapphire-vented Pufflegs, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Great Sapphirewing, and Buff-winged Starfrontlet among others. If you get to Tandayapa before dark, you could see 25 or more hummers in a single day, a great start to any tour. Most of the other birds here are flock species, and they include stunning mountain-tanagers, Bar-bellied Woodpecker, Barred Fruiteater, and the strangely-named Superciliaried Hemispingus. Between November and March, you will almost certainly hear Undulated, Rufous, Tawny, Chestnut-naped, and Chestnut-crowned Antpittas, and Ocellated and Blackish Tapaculos, but seeing them is another matter…

The shocking Sword-billed Hummingbird is a Yanacocha favorite.