Do you want to know a little about our history?

The Refugio Paz de las Aves is the best place for birding and photography tours in Mindo, Ecuador, each year more than 3000 visitors arrived to observe the Andean cock-of-the-rock, 5 species of Antpittas and more than 186 species of birds. The birding and photography tours in Mindo, Ecuador that we offer you include accommodation, transportation, food, guide, and the best place for birding in Ecuador.

Why Refugio Paz de las Aves has been successful?.

Paz de las aves is a private reserve in Ecuador, created in 2005 by Angel Paz and his brother. Angel’s idea was to create a place for birdwatching and photography tours in Mindo – Ecuador. for several years, Refugio Paz de las Aves is working on farms’ rented which have been dedicated to agriculture and farming.

But now, Refugio Paz de las Aves is paying to protect these areas. So, our future project (2021) is to buy the first farm for us, where, we can continue with the conservation of forests and birds in Mindo, Ecuador. This project will keep the birdwatching and photography tours for everyone who visit Ecuador. Your help for the Project can make our dream happen click here.The story of Refugio Paz de las Aves was related by Angel Paz. Who begins with the idea of tourism for birdwatching and photography in his mother’s farm. As you can image, his 6 brothers toll him many negative comments about the tourism. but he had hunger to grow, and commitment to create the best place for birdwatching and photography in Mindo – Ecuador.

Story of Birdwatching and photography tour in Refugio Paz de las Aves

We emigrated to Mindo area for a new opportunities

My Paz Family are Natives of the Cantón Baños de Agua Santa which is a little town nestled in the skirts of Tungurahua, an active volcano. Our family had a struggling socioeconomically to provide and care for their seven children. Ours parents, Manuel Paz and Teresa Villafuerte were forced to migrate in order to search for better work opportunities (birdwatching and photography tours).

Forty years ago, we moved to the region of Ecuador known as the Noroccidente in the Province of Pichincha – Mindo. It is the best area for birdwatching and photography and is in the subtropical region located 2 hours northwest of Quito. Even though, money was in short supply, our parents ensured that each of us completed at least primary school.We worked from an early age, losing much of our childhood and adolescence. but our parents taught us the values of respect, honor, integrity and to strive for us dreams. So, our dream was to be able to have a family and work in farming and we were able to survive making a living this way. (birdwatching and photography tour Mindo).

The awakening of hope from farming to bird watcher

Rodrigo and I have created The Refugio Paz de las Aves for birdwatching and photography tours in Mindo on August 10th, 2005.  We began by constructing a small path on our parent’s farm for watch the lek of the Andean Cock-of-the-rock.

We asked ourselves, “Is it possible that foreigners will come to our farm to see these birds?”. After a month, the paths began to deteriorate and we hadn’t even had one tourist for Birdwatching or Photography.

Another five weeks passed, when our first tourist arrived for birdwatching and photography the Gallo de la Peña (Andean cock of the rock).  We were all surprised and overjoyed that after only a four hours birding tour, we were paid $10. Which was the equivalent of a complete day work for a farmer.Thus, began the miracle. That one tourist visiting The Refugio Paz de las Aves for birdwatching and photography would soon turn into thousands. And the Refugio would be known all over the world.  It is now one of the most visited birdwatching and photography attractions in Mindo, Ecuador.

Angel Paz (the Antpitta man).

One day while, we had the birdwatching and photography tours in Mindo. I was walking on the new path to the lek of the Andean Cock of the rock. I saw a dark bird with patches of light brown on its chest, long legs and a wide beak eating earth worms on the path.

As I approached the bird, it flew away into its habitat. The next day I said to myself, “This bird with long legs and a big beak should be my friend.”

So, I began to follow the bird into the cloud forest, offering her worms but she wouldn’t accept anything.  However, I was very determined and the forest became my new home as I spent day after day trying to befriend her.

Then the great day arrived and she finally accepted the worms and became my friend from that day forward. I baptized her with the name of my wife, Maria and she comes out from hiding to see me when called.

Maria is now the Giant Antipitta who welcomes everyone to The Refuge Paz de las Aves for birdwatching and Photography tour in Mindo, Ecuador.