SouthWild is particularly enthusiastic about bears, any bears anywhere. Given our fanaticism about bears and our extreme specialization on South American wildlife, it is only fitting that we are the only agency in the world to guarantee Spectacled Bears, the normally-invisible denizens of remote cloud forests of the tropical Andes.
How can we ensure viewing of such a shy, endangered, charismatic mammal? We cracked the code on how to be in the right place at the right time. Now, it is possible to show you Spectacled Bears climbing 14-18 meters up in wild trees of the avocado family to break and drop to the ground arm-thick, 3-meter-long branches laden with their favorite, tiny wild avocados. They then descend to the ground and eat every single fruit. They repeat this whole procedure over and over again for weeks until all the fruits are gone from protected stands of their favorite species of food tree.
The complicated part of the miracle of guaranteed Spectacled Bears is that they only become highly visible during the fruiting season, and the fruiting of their favorite species of tree can occur at any time between September and November, only lasts for 3-4 weeks, and does not happen every year. Thus, guests who wish to see these bears should put their names on our Spectacled Bear list, and we will notify you 2-3 months before the fruits ripen.
Most guests probably do not have the flexibility to plan a bear trip to Ecuador with only 2-3 months of warning, but we have a solution: on every day of the year in another part of the Ecuadorian highlands, we can offer you a 30-50% probability per day of seeing this bear, but at a distance of 80-250 meters, with the bears walking and foraging in humid, high elevation grasslands. Obviously, we prefer hours of viewing from only 20-40 meters, particularly of bears climbing trees and breaking and dropping branches, but if you already are scheduled to go to the Galapagos, it is worth adding three days before to go find these attractive bears.
The most serious wildlife fanatics can wait for the news of the advent of an excellent fruiting season and then book their trips to see the bears up close. Of course, the cloud forests and elfin forests that harbor the bears also offer a number of colorful Andean tanagers, hummingbirds, and other birds, but in terms of rarity and charisma, the bears eclipse all the other fauna. Comfortable, unique lodges and hotels exist in the cloud forest to allow easy access to these bear locations.