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Art of Biodiversity

Colombia

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!

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Date

Aug. 13 to 23, 2023

$

Price

$6,499

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Difficulty Level

Moderate

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Available Spots

Contact us to get on the wait list.

View the itinerary below, read more about the tour, or sign up now!

Go to sign-up form

About the Workshop

Art of Biodiversity

About the Workshop

Art of Biodiversity

Leaders

Paulo Valerio

Paulo Valerio

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.

You can see Paulo´s photography at his website.

Greg Basco

Greg Basco

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.

Follow him on Instagram @gregbascophotography

Follow him on Facebook @deepgreenphotography

Watch his YouTube channel @DeepGreenPhotography

Sign up now!

Gallery

Info

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Airport

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.

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Electricity

Electrical outlets are US-style. Those coming from Europe or Asia may need travel adapters. We will send more info after signup.

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Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase trip insurance that includes trip cancellation and medical coverage while overseas.

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Medical

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.

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Internet Access

All of our hotels have free WIFI. We will also have cell data coverage for most of the trip.

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Certified

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.

Camera Gear

Recommended gear

  • Tele lens 500 mm or longer

  • Teleconverters

  • Camera body or bodies

  • Medium zoom lens, e.g., 70-200 mm, 100-400 mm

  • Macro lens

  • Wide angle lens

  • Cable release

  • 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 +

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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.

Itinerary includes

  • 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

  • Airfare

  • Dinner nights 1, 8, and 9

  • Alcoholic drinks

  • Gratuities

  • Non-meal time snacks

  • Non-meal time soft drinks and bottled water

  • Single room supplement - $635

Sign-up Form

Name *

Are you registering for one person or more?

 

Please provide names of additional people signing up with you, and please indicate if the additional people are photographers or not. We offer discounts for non-photographers on some trips.

Booking a tour with us is easy!

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1. Register for your tour using the form at the end of each workshop page.

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4. Send us your traveler info form.

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2. Send us your reserve deposit.

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5. We will send you your final invoice.

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3. Book your international air travel.

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6. We´ll send you everything you need to know before you hop on the plane!

  • + Will someone be there to meet me at the airport?
    Certainly! We take care of you from the moment you step off the plane until the moment you leave to return home. We'll send you all of the info you need to know regarding arrival in a final info message before the trip.
  • + I plan to arrive a day early. Can you help?
    Definitely, we'll be happy to make your reservations to ensure that you get to the same hotel that we have booked for the official first night of the tour. By the way, private transfers to and from the airport are always included in our tours, and you can use this transfer whether you arrive early or depart later than the official dates.
  • + What kind of clothes should I bring?
    In general, your best choices are lightweight garments that breathe and dry quickly, and you'll want a mix of long sleeves and short sleeves. A light polar-tec and a good rain jacket are also good to have. For meals, it's informal at the lodges and in the region in general. A pair of jeans, tennis shoes, and a clean shirt are just fine for dinner, even in the capital city hotels. Lightweight hiking boots are fine for your photography out in the field, and if you're visiting a beach area, you will want sandals or aqua shoes as well. Of course a good hat and sunscreen are important. We will send you clothing information specific to your trip after you've signed up.
  • + Can I have laundry done?
    Many of the lodges we use offer laundry service for a cost of approximately $1 per garment with same or next day service. We will indicate to you which lodges have laundry service after you've signed up for a given trip.
  • + Can I drink the water?
    This is probably the question that our clients ask us the most. And it’s the one for which we have the least definitive answer, except to say that beer is always a safe choice!. Water in and around capital cities is treated with chlorine and generally can be consumed with no worries. The lodges that we use for our photo travel often have their own well water, which is tested regularly by the Ministry of Health. Nonetheless, upset stomachs do occur as a result of change in diet or simply bacteria different from those to which Northern stomachs are accustomed. Serious disorders such as Giardia or amoebic dysentery are virtually unheard of. Bottled water is very widely available at our hotels and lodges, and a conservative strategy would be to use it as often as possible when outside the capital. As with travel to any foreign country, immodium pills are good to have along, and some of our clients also bring along Cipro or other broad-spectrum antibiotics. Some go so far as to begin taking antibiotics before arriving in-country. For antibiotic use, we suggest you consult with your physician. That said, we have very very few problems with water and food-related issues on our tours. During the tour, we will indicate to you where and when it might be better to stick to bottled water.
  • + I'd like a single room. Can that be arranged?
    Certainly. Simply indicate your rooming preference on the workshop signup form. There may be an extra for the single room supplement. This is simply the difference due to what our hotels and lodges charge us. We do not take a commission for single room supplements.
  • + I'm traveling by myself but would like a double room. Can that be arranged?
    It depends. If we can match you up with a suitable solo traveler who also wants to share, we will be happy to place you in a double room.
  • Should I bring a tripod?
    Yes, you always want to bring a tripod. We will advise your each trip of any need for specialized heads or flash brackets.
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