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Join me in Ecuador in 2018!

THE FLYING JEWELS OF ECUADOR

11 nights & 12 days
Leader: Juan Carlos Vindas
Oct 5th.-16th. 2017

Ecuador Gallery

Ecuador is home to a great variety of species, many of them endemic. The species diversity makes Ecuador one of the seventeen mega-diverse countries in the world. This country also boasts more than 1600 species of birds, pristine cloud-forests, vast mountain ranges, and grasslands that are breathtaking. Culturally speaking the country is very safe, clean, and easy to travel. The US dollar is the currency of choice, and with a solid infrastructure of highways, it’s a pleasure to travel this country.  One would be hard pressed to find a better place in the world to accomplish your photographic goals. Your leader Juan Carlos Vindas will lead you on a most productive and practical tour. Air transportation to the capital city of Quito is quite easy from Miami and Houston serving as prime departure hubs.

The tour begins with your arrival to Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport. Here you will be met and transferred to your first lodge on the western slopes of the Andean mountain range. We will be staying 5 nights at one of the finest lodges in the famous Mindo area, then will be back in Quito for one night so we can arrive to Antisana Ecological Reserve early the next morning. We will then cross the Andes to visit the Papallacta area where we will be staying 3 more nights. At the end, we return to Quito for our farewell dinner and to pack for your flight back home the next day.

At each lodge, you will photograph diverse species of hummingbirds and many other birds including colorful tanagers, toucans and toucanets, flowerpiercers and manakins, giving you the opportunity to create your own exclusive portfolio of Neotropical bird images.

Let us show you Ecuador from our perspective! We will travel in an altitudinal gradient that ranges from 400 meters (1300 ft) up to 4000 meters ( over 13,000 ft) on both Eastern and Western slopes of the Andes.

Let us show you Ecuador from our perspective! We will travel in an altitudinal gradient that ranges from 400 meters (1300 ft) up to 4000 meters ( over 13,000 ft) on both Eastern and Western slopes of the Andes.

Accommodations are for two persons per room – Double Occupancy

Day 1 (Oct. 5th.) Quito/ Juan will be waiting for you at the exit of the Mariscal Sucre Airport to transfer you to the hotel.

Day 2 (Oct. 6th.) Tandayapa Valley/ We leave our hotel in Quito just after breakfast and travel to Tandayapa Valley but before we will make a stop at a private property where we will have our first experience with the local avifauna. We eat a deliciuos Ecuadorian lunch and continue to our first lodge, we expect to arrive before dark so that we can get acquainted with the lodge grounds and possibly take pictures of the local birds that frequent the feeders. Some of the key species we will focus on are: Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Purple-throated Woodstar, Empress Brilliant, Andean Emerald, Green-crowned Woodnymph, Speckled Hummingbird, Brown Violetear, White-necked Jacobin and many more! BLD

Day 3 (Oct. 7th.) Tandayapa Valley/ |We will roam around the lodge grounds looking for the several bird species that can be seen here. Our target species today are: Violet-tailed Sylph, Booted Racket-tail hummingbird, Empress Brilliant, Velvet-purple Coronet, and Brown Inca among others. BLD

Day 4 (Oct. 8th.) Tandayapa Valley/ Today we will visit a local property where several species of antpittas and other specialty species can be seen and with a little patience we can photograph. We return to our lodge for lunch and take advantage of the nice gardens as many birds frequents the lodge grounds. Target species include: Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Giant Antpitta, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, and the cute Ochre-breasted Antpitta. BLD

Day 5 (Oct. 9th.) Tandayapa Valley/ We will head to our next private garden where some hummingbird species such as Green-crowned Brilliant, Brown Violetear, Purple-crowned Fairy, Green Thorntail, Buff-tailed Coronet, and White-bellied Woodstar can be seen. We return to our lodge in the afternoon to evaluate our images and for dinner. BLD

Day 6 (Oct. 10th.) Tandayapa Valley/ Today we leave our lodge early and will be traveling to a nearby property where we will have a chance to photograph other species of birds and hummingbirds. Some of our target species today will be: Rufous Motmot, Lemon-rumped Tanager, Thick-billed Euphonia, Black-mandibled Toucan, Golden Tanager, Dusky-faced Tanager and White-whiskered Hermit. We return to our lodge in the late afternoon. BLD

Day 7 (Oct. 11th.) Tandayapa Valley/Quito/ Early breakfast and we say good bye to the Western slope, we leave early to Quito but will be making a stop at a local garden to photograph the many birds and hummingbirds that comes to this property. We eat lunch on the way to Quito for the night. Some of the target species are Collared Inca, Buff-tailed Coronet, Masked Flowerpiercer, Violet-tailed Sylph, Great Thrush and many others. BLD

Day 8 (Oct. 12th.) Antisana/Papallacta area/ Early breakfast and then we leave to the Antisana Reserve. This is an area that protects over 463 sq miles in the high Andes. Our main goal today is to photograph some of the most representative highlands species such as the Andean Lapwing, the Carunculated Caracara, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Black-faced Ibis, and Giant Hummingbird, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Great Sapphirewing, Sparkling Violetear besides other uncommon highland species. We then leave before dark to arrive to our next lodge in the Papallacta area where we will have and amazing time photographing several middle elevation species in the Eastern side of the Andes. BLD

Day 9 (Oct. 13th.) Papallacta area/ After a healthy breakfast we will photograph hummingbirds using ambient light as well as fill flash. Some species include: Sword-billed Hummingbird, Collared Inca, Purple-throated Woodstar, and Gorgeted Sunangel among others. There will also be other beautiful species you can photograph if you prefer! Some like the Slaty Flowerpiercer, Turquoise Jay, Mountain Woodcreeper, Torrent Tyrannulet, Turrent Duck and many more! BLD

Day 10 (Oct. 14th.) Papallacta area/ Early breakfast, followed by travel to the fantastic Cayambe/Coca Reserve where we will focus on our target highland species such as the Rufous-belied Seedsnipe, Mountain Wren, Great Thrush, Plumbeous Sierra-Finch, Giant Conebill, and American kestrel among others.  We return to the lodge in the afternoon for lunch and to photograph the many species that come to the gardens. BLD

Day 11 (Oct. 15th.) Papallacta/Quito/ We will spend the morning photographing the Torrent Duck and other aquatic birds then we eat lunch and return to our hotel in Quito. We have our farewell dinner, pack and get ready to fly home or continue with the extension to the Amazonia. BLD

Day 12 (Oct. 16th.) Fly Home!

Juan will make arrangements for your airport transfer. B

What is not included in this tour:

  • International airfare to Quito
  • Any additional night accommodation outside of the tour dates
  • Additional tip for tour leader
  • Fees for passport, visas, immunizations and insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages, laundry, phone and other items of a personal nature
  • Cost of hospitalization and evacuation if necessary –  travel insurance is strongly recommended

Contact Information:

Juan Carlos Vindas jcvpictures@gmail.com +506 8846-1695