Ecuador Tour

Bird Photography Tour

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Ecuador Photography Tour

Versatile and mesmerising are the perfect epithets to describe Ecuador as a destination for eco-tourism and action-packed photo expeditions. Like her other South American counterparts, Ecuador too is blessed by Mother Nature with scenic landscape and dense forests brimming with rich biodiversity. Located on the west near the Pacific coast, this country lies right on the equator, so you can imagine what the climate of the place will be like. Don’t let the humid weather discourage you to take a trip, or else, you will miss out experiencing the animated wildlife which is like the heartbeat of the Ecuador from close quarters.

Here you can witness first-hand the beautiful orchids, the hummingbirds sucking nectar from flowers, the colourful frogs moving around freely and many other tropical birds with brilliant plumage. You will get a chance to shoot interesting subjects like the famous Cock of the Rock, White-bellied Antpitta, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Black-banded owl, the Mountain-Tanagers and colourful frogs to name a few. They are the gems of Ecuador and you will never be able to find them anywhere else in the world. So, whether you are a wildlife, bird and nature enthusiast for you Ecuador will be a treasure trove worth capturing with your lenses and still you can’t get enough of it!

The size of Ecuador can be compared to the state of Colorado and has four geographical regions, namely- La Costa or coast located on the west, La Sierra or the highlands which is a home to several Ecuador’s volcanoes and the breath-taking snow-capped Andes, La Amazonia also known as El Oriente or the East which comprises of the world famous Amazon jungle provinces and national parks and finally the La Región Insular or the archipelago of volcanic islands including the famous Galápagos Islands known for the giant turtles is located west of the mainland in the Pacific Ocean. The slopes of the Pacific coast are covered with a dense cover of cloud forest and shooting there needs special skills. The tropical setting with cloud cover can be a tricky place to shoot photos, but with us at Tropical Photo Tours you will get to learn new techniques of nature photography from well-published and expert photographers and go home with an enviable portfolio. It is one helluva ride shooting in Ecuador for the challenges it puts forth and what Nature has to offer to mankind!

At Ecuador you will not only get to visit the Amazon forests and the national park around the highest and active Cotopaxi volcano, you can experience city life at the historical Quito and the Amazonian city of Coca. Quito is the largest highland city in Ecuador well known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, cultural diversity, mouth-watering cuisine and a gorgeous skyline. While the Amazonian city of Coca is a great place to train your lenses to capture the rare birds and enjoy some intense nature and bird photography. A bonus here is that you can also visit the Amazonian clay licks in search of the multi-hued parakeets, parrots and macaws, where you will find them in plenty. Bet, this will be a visual treat that will stay with you forever. After all, Ecuador is a photographers’ dream destination!

Ecuador is not very far from North America and you can reach there in less than eight hours. Apart from watching the birds and animals in their natural habitat you can also explore the scenic beaches, picturesque snow-capped  mountains and venture deep into the virgin locales of the Amazonian rainforests to enjoy pristine and green nature far away from the civilization. A great place for a digital detox too!

Staying in the secluded lodges amidst the forests will take you away from the city’s cacophony and maddening rush, it will slow down your pace and soothe your nerves. The best place to reenergize. Come drench in the poster-perfect beauty of the Ecuadorian Amazon and all it has to offer for a passionate photographer and nature lover like you!

What to See

The verdant Amazon rainforest, the highlands, and the Pacific Slope Cloud forest host nearly 1,600 species of tropical birds in Ecuador out of which 100 are Hummingbirds! Then are 4000 varieties of intricate orchids, 100 different types of colorful frogs, many kinds of primates and innumerable butterflies and insects. So, when it comes to subjects you want to capture there is no dearth of numbers and the options are incredible. However, If you are more inclined towards bird photography, here is the list of fascinating birds you will spot at Ecuador-

  • Crimson-rumped toucanet
  • Sword-billed Hummingbird
  • Velvet-purple coronet
  • Andean cock of the rock
  • Mustached Antpitta
  • Giant hummingbird
  • Booted racket-tail hummingbird
  • Andean Emerald
  • Empress brilliant
  • Violet-tailed sylph
  • Umbrellabird
  • Plate-billed mountain toucan
  • Golden-headed Quetzal
  • White-bellied woodstar
  • Tawny Antpitta
  • Golden Tanager and many more species
  • This exciting photo trip is for 12 nights and 13 days
  • You can indulge in nature photography at the beautiful Puembo Birding Garden where you can spot many flowers. We will also do bird photography here as the chances of spotting the Trainbearer Hummingbird, Vermillion Flycatcher, Scrub Tanager and other species of birds are very high
  • You can enjoy a boat ride to the Amazon city of Coca and reach the lodge located amidst the forest. This will be an adventure of a lifetime as you will also get a chance to photograph the sunset at the forest.
  • You will get an opportunity to try out different styles of bird photography like the canopy tower birding to shoot the White-throated Toucans, Plume Throated Cotingas, Gilded Barbet and other rare birds.
  • The parrot clay licks are very popular at the Yasuni National Park and you will get an opportunity to shoot that along with other amazing birds like the Yellow Crowned Amazon and the Mealy Amazon.
  • Enjoy canoeing in the lagoons and spot some endemic birds and animals like the Hoatzin, Caimans, Giant River Otters, and Black-Capped Donacobius.
  • You will able to shoot the famous Wire Tailed Manakin that is exclusive to this ecological zone
  • Those who want to shoot the vibrant parrots and Macaws will get an option to visit the Amazonian Clay Licks to indulge in some more bird photography. Here you can create some amazing images you ever imagined.
  • You will also get a hands-on knowledge about macro and flash photography right from the expert tour leaders who are best in the industry. You will also get enough opportunities to put the theoretical knowledge about macro and flash photography in practice at Coca while shooting the Caiman Iguana, snakes and the colorful tree frogs.
  • At Coca, you can enjoy landscape photography to capture the dramatic scenery around the lodge
  • Make the most of dawn photography while traveling towards the Pacific slope cloud forests. This is going to be a life-changing experience for you!
  • You can enjoy spotting and shooting the Hummingbirds outside the lodge at the Pacific Cloud Forest.
  • You can try your hand at different types of photography during this tour like the Multi-flash and Herp technique of nature photography. Since the cloud forests host some rare amphibians and reptiles other than the birds, you can catch a glimpse of the colorful treefrogs, glass frogs and the Equatorial Anoles to name a few species.
  • We will also shoot at a higher elevation at the Pacific Cloud forest to catch the sight of the elusive birds like Toucan Barbet, the Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, Blue-winged Mountain Tanager and Masked Trogon.
  • A chance to spot the world’s largest hummingbird at the Cotopaxi National Park located near the ice-capped Cotopaxi volcano. Here you can catch the glimpse and capture the clear and mesmerizing starry night sky that you can hardly find in a busy city and breathe in the fresh air.
  • You will get to spend enough time shooting at the Cotopaxi National Park where you can watch the splendid sunset
  • The Ecuadorian landscape is well known for its dramatic scenic beauty giving you ample chance to dabble in nature, bird and wildlife photography like ever before! Your memory cards will be packed to the hilt with some jaw-dropping images that you can brag about back home!!
  • At Quito, you can roam around the city on the last day, visit the botanical garden, enjoy a thrilling cable car ride to see the city skyline and sample the local cuisine.
  • Enjoy discussions with our tour leaders to understand and learn more about nature, landscape and bird photography and get a chance to get all your doubts cleared. The step by step guidance provided by our tour leaders will help you to learn something entirely new about nature photography and develop a stronger connection with your passion. With Tropical Photo Tours you will not only rediscover the joy of photography but also find a different side of yourself that you never knew existed!

Departure Dates for 2020: 

Jan 18th – 25th 2020 (North West)
Jan 26th – 30th 2020 (Amazon Extension)

  • Please read all the terms and conditions before signing up for the photo tour
  • You can reach out to us by signing the contact form below
  • If you want a private tour or want to get your tour customized, please write to us.
  • Bring your Digital SLR as a full frame camera is good to have
  • Your longest telephoto lens preferably 300mm or more
  • A wide-angle lens if you are interested in capturing landscapes
  • You can also bring your flash with a flash bracket
  • Pack a ton of memory cards
  • A macro lens is highly recommended
  • A sturdy tripod or monopod is required
  • Since it is likely that there might be rain, so you must pack your rain jacket as well

Apart from camera gear, some more gears are useful like Laptop, memory card readers, bug spray, sunscreen, silica gel sachets to keep your camera dry.

  • You will learn how to apply the basics of Fill Flash to shoot birds in a tropical forest setting
  • How to select and set up perches to get sharp, clean and natural images.
  • The participants will also learn how to attract birds to a perch where the light and background is perfect for a shot
  • Learn the techniques of post-processing images using Lightroom and Photoshop from our master photographers so that each of your images resembles a masterpiece.
  • You will also learn how to use new techniques of nature photography like the Canopy Tower Birding, Herp Technique of Nature Photography, Macro Photography, and Multi-flash to capture the endemic birds of Ecuador especially the Hummingbirds.
  • The review sessions are particularly important for those who want to clear their doubts and critically analyze the images they have taken so as to improve it in the future. This step is essential for all those who want to ace the tricks of successful tropical photography where climate plays a pivotal role.

We usually keep our group very small so that we can pay individual attention to all our guests. The number of participants doesn’t exceed more than eight so that our tour leaders can focus on everyone’s photographic needs and the minutest details.

Cost

  • The cost of this tour is USD 4250 per person in shared accommodation
  • The Amazonian extension costs an additional USD 1200 per person
  • For a single supplement, the payment will be an extra USD 400
  • You need to pay a deposit amount of USD 1000 to confirm your participation for this photo tour
  • Please contact using the contact form for payment options. Please note that bank transfer, check, PayPal options are available.

Travel Insurance

It is advisable that you purchase travel insurance to protect your trip investment and yourself while traveling. According to our company policies we can’t take responsibility for contingencies like flight cancellations, medical expenses, gear damage, loss of gear, accidents, natural disasters, and extended stays to name a few.

Tour Leaders

Birding Tour

Supreet Sahoo

Detailed Itinerary

Most of the South American countries are rich in biodiversity and Ecuador ranks high on the list. The biodiversity at Ecuador will throw you in a photo clicking frenzy. It can be safely said with a hand on the heart that you will get to see some vibrant colours in birds and frogs that you will never get to spot anywhere in the planet Earth! These eco-sensitive zones of Ecuador give a bird and nature photographer that flexibility to experiment with different styles of photography. Many places are ideal for setting up perches and feeders to get a clean shot. This is what makes this photo tour special and traveling with us at Tropical Photo Tours you will get to recapture Nature in various avatars, learn the modern techniques of nature photography and find a different side to yourself.

Here is the tour itinerary to give you an insight of how the photo trip looks like-

Day 1: Arrival at Quito and overnight.

On your arrival to Ecuador’s capital city Quito you will be received by our tour representative at Mariscal Sucre International Airport and then we will drive up to the lodge at Puembo Birding Garden. The lodge has a beautiful garden with many flowers and here you can spot many birds like

 Trainbearer Hummingbird, Vermillion Flycatcher, Scrub Tanager, Saffron Finch, Western Emerald, Sparkling Violetear Hummingbird to name a few. The afternoon will be spent capturing them with your lenses. If you can come early to Quito then you must not miss the beautiful architecture of this historical city.

Dinner on this day is included in the package.

Day 2: Transfer to the Amazon city of Coca

Post breakfast we will drive to the airport and depart for Coca, a city located in Ecuadorian Amazon. From there we will take a boat and reach the lodge located in the heart of the forest. Here all transportation happens via boat. Spent the evening shooting the gorgeous sunset in the forest and soak in the peaceful ambience.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included

Day 3-5: Discovering the popular birding spots in Coca

The next three days we will indulge in several photographic activities and you will get your many ‘wow’ moments!
Here are the activities we will be doing at the Amazon area-

Canopy tower birding to shoot White Throated Toucans, Plume Throated Cotingas,

Gilded Barbet etc.

Visit Yasuni National Park to shoot parrot clay licks. Primary targets include Mealy

Amazon, Yellow Crowned Amazon, Blue Headed Parrot

  • Nearby Manakin lek we will spot the Wire Tailed Manakin
  • Canoeing in lagoons
  • Spot and capture some rare birds like the Hoatzin and Black-Capped Donacobius

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included

You can also visit the Amazonian clay licks are nature’s wonderful creations and it attracts birds like the parakeets, parrots and Macaws by the dozen. So, an ideal place to get fantastic images. After this we will head back for lunch and we will spend the afternoon canoeing in the lagoons and canals in the forest to spot and capture the Hoatzin, Caimans and giant river otters with our lenses. This will surely be an adventure. After which you can enjoy a relaxing dinner. After dinner we will discuss about the importance of macro and flash photography from our tour leaders. A great opportunity to get your doubts cleared!

Day 6: Enjoy Macro photography in Coca

Post breakfast we will work on macro set up the entire day capturing the multi-hued poison frogs, tree frogs, snakes and the Caiman Iguana. Here again you have an opportunity to review your previous images and put your knowledge on macro photography in practice. You will also get a first-hand knowledge how to use Flash photography to make your images look sharp and natural. After the day’s activity you can explore the area around the lodge and indulge in some bird and landscape photography.

 

Breakfast, lunch and dinner is included in the package.

Day 7: Transfer to Pacific Slope Cloud Forest and Overnight

Early morning, we will take a boat back to Coca and then fly back to Quito. Don’t miss this dawn photography as it is the best time to capture some surrealistic images of the landscape.

We will have our lunch en route to our lodge at the cloud forest. You will have time to relax and photograph the hummingbirds right outside the lodge.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the package.

Day 8: Full day photo tour at the Pacific Cloud Forest

We will capture the vivid Hummingbirds, Booted Racket-tail Abound and Violet-tailed Slyph through multiple-flash photography technique. Our guests can also learn to photograph other subjects like the Executioner Clownfrog, Palm Treefrog, Babbling Torrenteer, Emerald Glassfrog, Dappled Glassfrog, Gem Anole, Equatorial Anole, and the Hippie-Anole through the Herp technique of nature photography. Here is a golden opportunity to dabble in different techniques of nature photography.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included in the package.

Day 9: Last day at the Pacific Cloud Forest and then transfer to Quito

After an early breakfast, we will trek to a higher elevation in the Cloud Forest to shoot rare birds like Toucan Barbet, the Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, Blue-winged Mountain Tanager, and Masked Trogon. After lunch, we will travel back to Quito and reach there mid-afternoon. You can sit back and relax in the afternoon or explore the city.

Breakfast and lunch are in the package, but dinner is not included.

Day 10: Transfer to Cotopaxi Volcano

After breakfast, we will leave for the Cotopaxi National Park for our daily dose of nature photography. After lunch at the lodge, we will spot and photograph the world’s largest Hummingbird in and around the lodge premises. In the evening we will go out to admire and shoot the ice-capped Cotopaxi volcano and the starry skies.

All three meals included.

Day 11: All day photo tour at Cotopaxi Volcano area

In the morning we will be indulging in some more Hummingbird photography as they are the star of the show!

After breakfast, late morning, we will go to the Cotopaxi National Park to photograph some more colorful and rare birds and the Andean fox too.

Today evening will be special and something that will stay with you forever is a sunset over the Cotopaxi volcano. The silhouettes of the Andean Llamas grazing against the dreamy sunset background will not only make a perfect picture, but it is an unforgettable memory to take back home with you!

If you didn’t get enough of the beautiful starry night sky over the ice-capped Cotopaxi volcano you can visit it again for more photographs.

All three meals included.

Day 12: Transfer back to Quito and explore the beautiful city

We will move back to Quito and those who want to explore the city and try its cuisine can feel free to do so. It will be a relaxing day. In the late afternoon and evening, we can sit and review the images and learn how to caption them correctly. Also, go through all the techniques you learned during the photo tour. This is again a great moment to get all your queries answered by our expert photographers cum tour leaders. Those interested can visit the botanical garden to do some nature photography and learn more about flowers. A cable car ride is a must if you want to get a bird’s eye view of this city throbbing with life. With this city tour, you will fall in love with Quito!

Breakfast included, lunch and dinner are not included s there are many restaurants nearby where you can try the local cuisine.

Day 13: Drive back to the airport for onward journey

Since it is the last day at Quito, it is time to say goodbye. You will drive back to the Mariscal Sucre International Airport to catch your flight back home. Now that you are better storytellers and photographers, which was our promise to you, we hope to see more of you in rest of our action-packed photo tours to some other exciting tropical location.

Hasta la vista!

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