ECUADOR BIRD PHOTO WORKSHOPS
This comprehensive photo workshop visits the best lodges and locations for bird photography on both the west and east slopes of the Andes in Ecuador. We spend 4 nights at Sachatamia Lodge, the best lodge for bird photography in Ecuador, where your tour leader, Javier Zurita, personally designed the photography blinds and hummingbird multi-flash photography area. We also visit Mashpi Amaguso, Birdwatcher’s House, Zuroloma, Antisana and have stays at Guango and Rio Quijose Lodges. You will do a lot of multi-flash photography on this workshop some of the many species we should photograph on these sets include Sword-billed Hummingbird, Long-tailed and Violet-tailed Sylphs, Booted Rackettail and Black-tailed Trainbearer. Other spectacular species of birds we should photograph include Cock-of-the-Rock, Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Andean Condor, several species of Antpittas, many beautiful Tanagers and a lot of other great species. This is quite simply the best Ecuador photo workshop itinerary out there.
Maximum Participants: 10 total, including a maximum of 6 photographers.
Cost and Logistics
Photographer $6,800, nonphotographer spouse/companion $5,900, single supplement $500. This includes all lodging, meals, transportation within Ecuador, guiding, instruction. It does not include airfare to and from Quito, Ecuador which is the beginning and ending point of the tour. It also does not include personal expenses such as tips or drinks. To reserve your spot a deposit of $1,800 is required. The balance is due 90 days prior to the tour. The cost of the Amazon extension is $2,695, nonphotographer spouse is $2,395 and single supplement is $300.
October 7th – Arrival to Quito, transfer to Zayant Ecolodge, 15 minutes from the airport. If time allows a bit of afternoon bird photography in the garden. Vermillion Flycatcher and Western Emerald are usually around. Zayant Ecolodge
October 8th – A bit of morning bird photography in the garden at Zaysant then transfer to Guango Lodge. Guango is excellent for multi-flash hummingbird photography. Afternoon multi-flash photography. Guango Lodge
October 9th – We will do a lot of multi-flash photography today. Chestnut-breasted and Buff-tailed Coronets as well as Tourmaline Sunangels are the most common species but many others are around including Sword-billed Hummingbird and Long-tailed Sylph. Walks along the river often yield Torrent Duck and White-capped Dipper. Guango Lodge
October 10th – This morning you will have the option of going up to a high altitude location to find the Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe or you can do more hummingbird multi-flash photography at the lodge. We will then check out and head to Rio Quijose Lodge. This is the best location in Ecuador to photograph the amazing Sunbittern. Rio Quijose Lodge
October 11st – We will spend the full day photographing at Rio Quijose. We will do multi-flash hummingbird photography. Some of the species at the lodge include Booted Rackettail (golden booted race), Violet-fronted Brilliant, Green-backed Hillstar and Long-tailed Sylph. Rio Quijose Lodge
October 12nd – Cock-of-the-Rock can usually be found near the lodge. The lodge also has fruit feeders which attract birds such as Golden-eared Tanager and Red-headed Barbet. Then we will check out and head back over the Andes to our next lodge Sachatamia where we will arrive in the late afternoon. Sachatamia
October 13rd – We will spend the full day at Sachatamia today. There is a morning blind which attracts woodcreepers, trogons and other insectivores to feed on moths. Then we will do multi-flash hummingbird photography, up to 15 species are possible here usually with good numbers of Booted Rackettail and Violet-tailed Sylph. Sachatamia Lodge
October 14th – Today we will visit Birdwatcher’s House. This is the best location to photograph the amazing Plate-billed Mountain Toucan. There are reflecting pools here which make for amazing images for the toucan as well as several tanager species. We return to Sachatamia Lodge in the late afternoon.
October 15th – We will have another full day at Sachatamia Lodge with the blind, multi-flash photography and photography of birds at the fruit feeders where many tanagers are possible. Sachatamia Lodge
October 16th – Morning photography at Sachatamia followed by check out and visit Alambi Lodge. There are some different hummers including a couple hermit species at the active feeders there, then we will continue on to our next lodge: Piripe Lodge
October 17th – We will spend the full day at Mashpi Amaguso Reserve. The fruit feeders there attract some different species including Glistening-green and Moss-backed Tanagers as well as Golden-collared Honeycreeper. We may run into Black Solitare and Rosy-faced Parrot, two rarities. Piripe Lodge
October 18th – We will do a bit of photography around the lodge in the morning then transfer to Zuroloma Reserve for multi-flash hummingbird photography. This is the best location for Sword-billed Hummingbird. Other interesting hummers there include Shining Sunbeam and Great Sapphirewing among others. Then we go to our lodge, San Jorge de Quito.
October 19th – We will visit Zuroloma to photograph three species of Antpitta in the morning, then do multi-flash photography as well as photography at the fruit feeders where the stunning Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager often feeds. Then in the late afternoon we will transfer to our next lodge: Zaysant Ecolodge.
October 20th – Today will be a special day as we will visit the Antisana Reserve. At this high elevation reserve we will photograph Ecuadorian Hillstar and very likely Andean Condor as well as other scare birds like Black-faced Ibis. The reserve is good for raptors. In the afternoon we will return to Zaysant Lodge.
October 21st – Transfer to the airport for your return trip home or start the Amazon Extension.
October 21st-26th. We fly from Quito, Ecuador to Coca, then have a 4 hour boat ride down the Napo River, one of the Amazon’s large tributaries to Sani Lodge. We spend 4 nights at this fabulous lodge which is run by the local indigenous community. Boat trips on the oxbow lakes provide excellent photos of the amazing Hoatzin, several kingfishers and many other birds. They have a hide in the forest for the fantastic Wire-tailed Manakin and feeders which attract Scarlet-crowned Barbet and Crimson-collared Tanager and Masked Crimson Tanager. Trips to the canopy tower in a massive Kapok tree add lots of other species including often the Golden-collared Toucanet and Aracaris. We visit the clay licks at Yasuni National Park which attract Scarlet Macaws, Orange-cheeked Parrots and large numbers of parakeets. The local guides are excellent at spotting roosting owls and it’s a great location for macro photography, there are optional night walks and boat trips. The experience of being in the Amazon itself is enchanting! It includes flight to and from Coca, 4 nights lodging at Sani Lodge across the river from Yasuni National Park, this is one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet. It’s an enchanting location! On the 4th we return by boat to Coca and by plane to Quito and head back to Zaysant Ecolodge. The cost of the Amazon extension is $2,695, nonphotographer spouse is $2,395 and single supplement is $300.
Javier is from Quito, Ecuador, he is an excellent photographer. For his thesis, he studied building blinds for bird photography and he is the person who has constructed the blinds at Sachatamia and several other locations in Ecuador. He also enjoys working with snakes and frogs.
Ken is an award-winning photographer who has co-led some of our Ecuador tours in the past.