Birds, Macro, and More!
Feb. 22 to Mar. 5, 2023
We've designed this trip to maximize your shooting time and give you a diverse nature photography experience in Ecuador. We will photograph Ecuador's most amazing birds, hummingbirds, frogs, and lizards, as well as some great landscapes, all while learning new techniques. And, unlike other tours to Ecuador, you have 2 award-winning photographer leaders and a local naturalist/professional photographer guide with you full-time, making this a fantastic value!
Feb. 22 to Mar. 5, 2023
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View the itinerary below, read more about the tour, or sign up now!
About the Workshop
Birds, Macro, and More!
About the Workshop
Birds, Macro, and More!
Frank Pichardo is a Peruvian wildlife photographer and tour leader with a strong passion for nature, most of his experience in the field comes from his seven-year work as a naturalist guide for the prestigious lodges of Rainforest Expeditions leading people and teaching about the flora and fauna since 2009. Frank obtained his degree from the Tourism School in Lima, where he also became fluent in English and German. This was the beginning of a long term work in the ecotourism industry.
At the moment, he is part of Tropical Herping, contributing for the “Reptiles of Ecuador”, “Reptiles of Galapagos” and “Amphibians if Ecuador” books, joining also scientific expeditions into remote areas to understand better this group of animals, leading workshops and photo tours. Frank’s work has been featured in National Geographic and BBC Wildlife Magazine.
Follow Frank on Instagram -- @frank_pichardo
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 and depart from Ecuador's Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO). Our driver will be waiting to provide your private transfer to our capital city hotel.
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.
Though Ecuador does not require any vaccinations besides Covid-19, we suggest you stay up to date on routine travel shots. Some countries may require that you have proof of yellow fever vaccination upon departing from Ecuador.
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 travel experience.
Tele lens 400 mm or longer
Camera body or bodies
Medium zoom lens, e.g., 70-200 mm, 100-400 mm
Wide angle lens
Fast wide angle lens for night scenes
A flash with TTL functionality
Off-camera TTL flash cord
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/Quito
Arrival to Ecuador. Meet our representative at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport and transfer to our hotel in the heart of Quito's vibrant business district. There are tons of nice shops and restaurants just outside our hotel.
Day 2, Amazon Slopes
We depart after breakfast and arrive to our lodge on Amazon slopes of the Andes in the shadow of the active Sumaco Volcano. We'll have a few stops en route for landscape photography as well as lunch and then arrive in the late afternoon for check-in and a delicious dinner.
Day 3, Amazon Slopes
Today we work all day at our lodge to photograph hummingbirds with natural light and multiple-flash. Highlights include the Wire-crested Thorntail and Gould’s Jewelfront. We’ll also be working during the day to photograph some awesome frogs, reptiles, and insects while we teach you our best macro photography techniques.
Day 4, Amazon Slopes
Today we do it all again with a couple of creative techniques that we want to teach you – slow shutter speeds with flash for hummingbirds and wide angle lenses for macro photography. If we’re lucky we’ll be able to photograph monkeys and maybe even the Amazonian race of the famed Cock of the Rock :-)
Day 5, High Cloud Forest
We check out this morning to head back toward Quito for a brief interlude in preparation for an awesome day trip the following day. Along the way, we’ll stop for lunch and a chance to photograph the Torrent Duck. We arrive to our capital city hotel in the late afternoon with time to check in, relax, and organize gear. Dinner tonight is on your own just in case you prefer to skip dinner or keep it light. There are a plethora of great restaurant options right outside our hotel.
Day 6, Paramo
We head out early this morning for a day trip to an absolutely amazing farm in the highlands outside of Quito. We’ll have awesome opportunities to photograph the famed Sword-billed Hummingbird visiting native flowers and also great photographic looks at a couple of rarely seen birds – antpittas and fruiteaters. We return to our capital city hotel in the evening. Dinner tonight is again on your own.
Day 7, Pacific Cloud Forest
After breakfast today we check out head to an area west of Quito that boasts some of the world’s best cloud forests. In fact, it’s precisely in this area that hummingbirds took off on their incredible evolutionary trajectory. We’ll arrrive to our lodge for lunch and then visit a local house with great bird feeders that offer us great opportunities to photograph toucanets, tanagers, and hummingbirds.
Day 8, Pacific Cloud Forest
We leave early this morning for a fantastic opportunity to photograph the beautiful plate-billed mountain toucan! This will be an unforgettable experience. After lunch back at our lodge, we’ll work on macro photography and multi-flash hummingbirds. Booted Racket-tail abound, the Violet-tailed Sylph will visit our setups, and the Velvet-purple Coronet is always a show stopper! In addition to hummingbird setups, we will be exploring the surrounding forest for colorful tanagers, woodpeckers, and even the crested quetzal.
Day 9, Pacific Cloud Forest
Today we have a full day at our charming lodge for multi-flash hummingbird photography and more macro work, including with wide angle lenses again. And tonight, we have a special treat – dinner at our favorite local wood-fired pizza place.
Day 10, Cloud Forest/Quito
After breakfast, we check out and head to a special destination to photograph the Toucan Barbet, the Glistening Green Tanager, and a few other surprises. We have lunch on site, and then continue back to the capital city where we arrive to our hotel for a bit of rest before the next day’s activities.
Day 11, Orchids & Landscapes
We have a really cool day of macro and landscape photography planned today. After breakfast, we’ll spend the morning photographing in the national botanical garden just across the street from our hotel. The orchid collection is simply fantastic! We have lunch at a fantastic local restaurant and then head up to the hills above Quito in an aerial tram to photograph the incredible views over the city until sunset. What a way to wrap up the trip!
Day 12, Airport
Private transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Lodging as specified in DBL occupancy
Meals as specified
Transportation w/private driver in spacious air-conditioned tour bus
Private transfers to and from airport
Professional, full-time photo instruction from your leaders Greg and Frank
Full-time guide services from local guide
Multiple-flash setups for hummingbird photography
Entrances and fees for all described activities
Taxes for all specified services
Itinerary does not include
Dinner Day 1, 5, 6, 11
Non-mealtime snacks and drinks
Single room supplement - $691
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!