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The Andean Condor of Ecuador, a majestic bird. A symbol of great value and a national emblem of the country. 


The Andean condor is the largest flying bird in the world, with a wingspan of up to 3 meters. This majestic bird flies over the skies of several South America countries: Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Ecuador. Being the Andean condor considered an Ecuadorian national emblem, this bird is even the central symbol of its flag. The locals have named this bird “King of the Andes”.

The Ecuadorian Sierra is home to this magnificent bird, being the Antisana Reserve, one of the places where you can observe the flying of the condor. Despite its great importance, the Andean condor is a bird in a vulnerable state. Today there are about 150 of them left. 

Without doubt , having the opportunity to see the Andean condor in Ecuador will be a unique experience. We invite you to continue reading this post and learn all about this bird, its characteristics, the places where you can see it and more. 


Andean Condor

Scientific Name: Vultur gryphus

Order: Ciconiiformes

Family: Cathartidae (New World vultures)

Andean Condor Wingspan: Up to 3.3 meters (10.10 Ft). Wingspan is the distance between the tips of the wings, when they are extended.

Weight: 11-15 kilos for an adult male and up to 10 kilos for females.

Condor longevity: 50 years – 70 years

Habitat: They are found in Andean mountain ranges of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia & Argentina.

Altitudinal range in Ecuador: 2000-4500 m; 1700 m en el valle del Chota, provincia de Imbabura.

Plumage: Overall black coloring with tuft of white feathers at the neck, and white band on the wings. 


  • The Andean Condor is the largest flying animal that currently exists in the world.
  • Its diet consists mainly of mammal carrion. It is able to fly long distances in search of food. 
  • Condors usually nest on cliff ledges, where they can take advantage of warm air currents to take off. 
  • More than 75% of their wing movement in flight takes place in the take-off phase. Once they are in the air and gliding, the effort or movement of the wings is minimal. 
  • Distribution in Ecuador: From the province of Carchi, towards the south, to the province of Loja (at a very local level); to the south of the country it is very rare.
  • The Andean condor is not ready to mate until it is 5 or 6 years old. Once mated, it stays with its mate for the rest of its life and nests between 1000 and 5000 meters above sea level.


The preferred habitat of wild condors is the high altitudes (over 1,000 meters). In Ecuador, you can observe these majestic birds in national parks and páramo reserves. Antisana Ecological Reserve, Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, Zuleta in the province of Imbabura. Cotopaxi National Park and The Cajas National Park.

You also can see them at Parque Condor Otavalo, and sometimes near Papallacta. 

Ecuador Condor at Antisana

The Antisana Ecological Reserve is one of the best spots to observe condors. Antisana is the fourth highest volcano in the country (5,753 m – 18,874 ft).

The entrance to this reserve is easy. Take the Quito-Sangolqui-Pintag highway. From the central park of Pintag continue along the Antisana volcano road until you reach the La Mica control site. From there you will be able to advance to the reserve. 

In the reserve there is an observation platform in front of the Ecuadorian condor’s nest on the cliff ledges. From here you can observe the magnificent birds flying through the Ecuadorian skies. In total, more than 35 condors have been recorded in the Antisana Reserve. It is advisable to bring binoculars for a better view. 

Antisana Ecological Reserve
Antisana Ecological Reserve

Watching Andean Condor at Cajas National Park

This protected area is home to an amazing variety of bird species, some of them considered endangered by conservationists. The Andean Condor is one of the most special species here. There are around 20 condors here. You can see them in the highest and most remote parts. 

To access the park, you must arrive from the Cuenca – Molleturo – Puerto Inca highway, about 40 kilometers from Cuenca. Here you will find an administrative office, an interpretation center and access to the different trails.

Condors en el Parque Cóndor, Otavalo

The Condor Park is a rescue, protection and rehabilitation center for birds of prey, vultures (Andean condor) and owls. Here they carry out environmental education activities and self-financing tasks that promote ecotourism.

Here you will have the opportunity to see the magnificent condors up close, learn more about them and participate in programs for their care and conservation. 

In addition, the Quito Zoo, in Guayllabamba, also has Andean condors in captivity that are very well cared for. 


In Ecuador there are about 150 Andean condors and around 6,700 in the world. This bird is a spiritual symbol and of high value for the great majority of Andean cultures. Unfortunately, they are a vulnerable species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has included the Andean condor in its red list as a near threatened species, with a tendency to decrease its population.

The Ministry of Environment as “Strategy for the Conservation of the Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) in Ecuador” declared July 7 as the “National Day of the Andean Condor”. The purpose of this event is to raise public awareness about the conservation of this endangered bird. 

The Ecuadorian Andean Condor Foundation is one of the main foundations for the research, preservation and care of condors. 

In conclusion, the Andean Condor is one of the most majestic birds that can be seen in Ecuador. Get ready and take a tour in this wonderful country that has an abundant natural wealth. 

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