Art of Biodiversity
Aug. 13 to 23, 2023
Colombia is incredible, and we'll photograph it's amazing birds but also combine them with targeted sessions for landscapes, macro, and even city photography. Biodiversity includes human culture, and our workshop is designed to help you tell an in-depth story of the country by using a variety of photo techniques. With two leaders, one a pro photographer and the other a photographer/ecologist, you'll come away with a stunning image portfolio, great natural history knowledge, and a ton of new photo skills!
Aug. 13 to 23, 2023
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View the itinerary below, read more about the tour, or sign up now!
About the Workshop
Art of Biodiversity
About the Workshop
Art of Biodiversity
Costa Rican born and raised, Paulo Valerio is an ecologist, tourism entrepreneur, and nature photographer. Paulo graduated as a tropical ecologist from the Biology School of the National University. During his graduate studies, he specialized in the development of sampling and research methods for high-flying bats in the rainforest canopy.
Involved with ecotourism since 1992, Paulo has worked as a naturalist guide and field instructor for several companies, has developed and directed field study programs and taught tropical ecology at various universities in Costa Rica and the US.. He is also a nature photographer and birdwatcher. Paulo recently also decided to pursue a long time interest and passion and obtained his PhD in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture.
Gregory Basco is a professional nature photographer based in Costa Rica. After completing graduate degrees in political science and tropical ecology (his doctoral dissertation focused on the politics of ecotourism in Costa Rica), Greg worked in conservation before turning to photography full-time in 2006. His images have been awarded in the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Nature's Best Windland Smith Rice competitions and have appeared in numerous magazines and books around the world.
His latest major project is the second edition of the large format printed book National Parks of Costa Rica in conjunction with Zona Tropical and Cornell University Press. His popular e-books include The Guide to Tropical Nature Photography, the mega e-book Flash for the Nature Photographer, and the new Complete Video Guide to Lightroom for the Nature Photographer.
You can see more of Greg's work at his website.
You should arrive to Cali's Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (CLO). You should depart from Medellin's Jose Maria Cordova International Airport (MDE). Our driver will be waiting to provide your private transfers between the airport and our city hotels. Both Cali and Medellin are serviced by multiple direct flights from the US.
Electrical outlets are US-style. Those coming from Europe or Asia may need travel adapters. We will send more info after signup.
We strongly recommend you purchase trip insurance that includes trip cancellation and medical coverage while overseas.
Colombia currently requires up to date vaccination against Covid-19 or a negative PCR test for entry. Please consult with your doctor regarding general travel vaccinations.
All of our hotels have free WIFI. We will also have cell data coverage for most of the trip.
All of our services are conducted by fully licensed travel, lodge, and transport operators. This is part of our commitment to providing a professional and legally operated travel experience.
Tele lens 500 mm or longer
Camera body or bodies
Medium zoom lens, e.g., 70-200 mm, 100-400 mm
Wide angle lens
A flash with TTL functionality
Telephoto flash bracket
Flash plus Better Beamer for birds and wildlife
Rain cover for camera
Small softbox or diffuser
Small pack or shoulder bag for daily shooting
View the full Itinerary +
Day 1, Arrival/Cali
Arrival to Colombia. Meet our representative at Cali's Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (CLO). and transfer to our hotel near the business district, where Foto Verde Tours’ Greg Basco and Paulo Valerio will be awaiting your arrival. Those who arrive early can take the afternoon to stroll through the nearby city park and shops in this city of 2.5 million people that was founded in 1536. The hotel has free wireless Internet throughout the grounds and in the rooms.
Day 2, Rainforest
After breakfast, we check out and head to our first destination, the rainforest in the hills outside the city of Cali. We enjoy lunch en route and then spend the afternoon photographing tanagers and toucanets at local feeders. We check in to our lodge this evening and enjoy a presentation by Greg on multi-flash hummingbird photography before dinner.
Day 3, Rainforest
Today we divide the group with half of you staying at the lodge to work all day at our multiple flash setups for hummingbirds and the lodge's own feeders. The other half of the group will visit different local feeder sites for photos of tanagers, guans and toucanets and also macro photography or frogs and insects.
Day 4, Rainforest
And today we do it all again, switching the groups.
Day 5, Cloud Forest/Paramo
After breakfast, we travel north and ascend into the mountains above the city of Manizales. We'll stop for lunch at a picturesque lake and arrive to our mountain hot spring lodge in the late afternoon. You'll have time to relax and even have a soak or photograph the local hummingbirds before dinner.
Day 6, Cloud Forest/Paramo
Today we make a day trip to a local farm that has set up fantastic opportunities to photograph two amazing bird species - the Sword-billed Hummingbird and the Gray-breasted Mountain Toucan! This will be a fantastic day with a delicious lunch on site.
Day 7, Cloud Forest/Paramo
We're up early this morning to photograph the Tawny Antpitta. Then we enjoy the morning to photograph the Shining Sunbeam, the Great Sapphirewing, and the Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager right at our lodge. We have lunch and then head to high paramo for some amazing landscape photography, including the sunset over the famed Espeletia plants that grow in this unique habitat. We return to our lodge for dinner and a rest after this busy day.
Day 8, Coffee Country
After early morning photography at our lodge, we have breakfast and then head north to our next destination -- the beautiful coffee growing area that is home to the colonial town of El Jardin. After a stop for lunch en route, we head straight to a local house to photograph the famed Andean Cock of the Rock, an unforgettable experience! We then check in to our boutique hotel right in the center of town. You have a free evening to enjoy dinner at a local restaurant or simply relax and have a coffee at one of the many streetside cafes.
Day 9, Coffee Country
Today we're up early for another session with the Cock of the Rock, and then we'll enjoy a coffee tour at a local family farm that takes us through the entire process of Colombia's most famous crop. There are photographic opportunities here, and we'll work with you on some techniques for photographing people and details. We enjoy a light lunch with the family and then head back into town. We'll take the afternoon for street photography and then have a blue hour photography session in the town square, including the neogothic church. Dinner is on your own this evening so that you can enjoy any of the plethora of local restaurants in the town.
Day 10, To Medellin
After breakfast this morning, we head to our final destination, the city of Medellin. This fascinating city is world-famous for its transformation into a modern and progressive urban area centered around its highlight metro system, including the famed aerial cable cars that connect the city's downtown with the neighborhoods that are perched up in the surrounding Andes mountains. We arrive to our hotel near the airport about an hour away from the city to check in and enjoy a farewell dinner.
Day 11, To the airport
Private transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Full-time photo instruction and setups by Greg and Paulo
Lodging as specified in DBL occupancy
Meals as specified
Private transfers to and from hotels on first and last days
Professional driver/photo/nature guide and private transportation in spacious tour bus
Multiple-flash hummingbird and other photography setup equipment
Entrance fees for all described activities
Taxes on all services listed above
Itinerary does not include
Dinner nights 1, 8, and 9
Non-meal time snacks
Non-meal time soft drinks and bottled water
Single room supplement - $635
Booking a tour with us is easy!
1. Register for your tour using the form at the end of each workshop page.
4. Send us your traveler info form.
2. Send us your reserve deposit.
5. We will send you your final invoice.
3. Book your international air travel.
6. We´ll send you everything you need to know before you hop on the plane!