|Starts||Mar 25th 2023|
|Ends||Apr 4th 2023|
|Leader||Steve Gettle & Nicole Sudduth|
|Participants||8 (FULL- returning 2024! Email us to be on the pre-announcement list)|
Experience the wonders of the Andean cloud forest as we photograph birds and other wildlife of the Tandayapa Valley, Mindo Valley and Sumaco foothills. Experience completely different bird species as we visit locations that range from 4,500 to 9,000 feet in elevation. Photograph some of the most stunning subjects Ecuador has to offer!
We designed this tour to take you into the heart of some of the richest locations Ecuador has to offer. We will be staying at top rated lodges that offer not only exceptional comfort and good food but also extraordinary photographic opportunities.
In addition to the rich flora and fauna at the lodges, we have a series of field trips planned throughout the tour. These include excursions give us access to unique species otherwise not seen.
You will fly in and out of Quito airport. When booking flights, please make sure your return flight home is after 9pm as we will drive directly to the airport for flights home.
Saturday, March 25 – Arrival
Arrive in Quito, Transfer to hotel.
Sunday, March 26 – From the Andes to Tandayapa Valley
We will rise early this morning to visit a very special reserve in the Andes that is known for birds such as the Sword-billed hummingbird, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Galoneado Inca, Mountain Velvetbreast, Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Barred fruiteater, unique antpittas such as the Chestnut-naped Antpitta, and many many more. You may even get to feed a Swordbilled hummingbird from your hand! This is a very special place and an incredible start to our adventure!
Following lunch we will continue northward to the Tandayapa Valley where we will reach our lodge, settle in and spend the rest of the day shooting here. Get ready for toucan barbets, hummingbirds galore and mot mots that are regular visitors.
Monday and Tuesday, March 27 and 28 – Tandayapa Valley
We will stay at one of the most famous birding locations in Ecuador and use this as our base as we not only photograph birds around the grounds but also go on excursions as we explore the western slope of the Andes. During these field trips, we will visit hots-pots designed for photographers as we track different Choco endemics present at different elevations.
High-speed flash to capture hummingbirds in flight will be just one of the highlights that you will enjoy during these days!
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, March 29, 30, 31 – Mindo Valley
As we transfer to our next lodge, you will experience a bird photographers paradise! This new lodge has blinds setup for insect eating birds, incredible hummingbird gardens for perched and in-flight bird photography and two incredible reflecting ponds for birds to drink at. Toucans, tanagers, trogans, antpittas, woodcreepers, and a dizzying array of hummingbirds are all here. This location has also proven itself extremely productive.
This is another spot where we will set up our high-speed flash system for you to photograph gorgeous hummingbirds in flight.
Saturday, April 1 – Guango and Sumaco Volcano Area
We will depart early as we head to Guango for a morning shoot. We visit this area mainly for the incredible Swordbill and Chestnut-breasted Coronet Hummingbirds, Inca jays as well as many other species of bird including the Torrent Duck!!
Following lunch, we will continue southward to the Sumaco Volcano area, arriving at our last lodge. This is a wild area that will give us a glimpse into the wildlife of the Amazon. Our lodge is set on a ridge on the eastern side of the Andean foothills. Get ready for gorgeous birds like the Wire-crested thorntail, Golden-tailed sapphire, Napo Saphirewing, and many more. While here, if conditions are good, we will set up for bat photography as well.
Sunday and Monday, April 2 and 3 – Sumaco Volcano Area
The next two days will be filled with more new birds and excellent photographic opportunities! Panoramic views of the Rio Punco Valley, the Andes mountains and beyond can be enjoyed as we discover and photograph incredible diversity of birds, frogs, butterflies and more.
The Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, antpittas and monkeys and Tyra are often seen here too.
Tuesday, April 4 – Morning photography and transfer to airport for flights home
We will spend this morning enjoying final photo shoot tat the lodge. After lunch, we will drive directly to the airport for our flights home this evening.
Deposit of $1,000 due with your reservation
Payment #2 of $2,350 due October 1, 2022
Balance of $2,000 due January 5, 2023