top of page

Tropical Bird Photography


Feb. 7 to 19, 2021

We've designed this trip to visit Ecuador's most amazing places for bird photography. We'll help you take your bird photography to the next level so that you bring home a stunning and diverse portfolio. In addition to amazing birds, we'll do some fantastic macro work as well. And, unlike other tours to Ecuador, you have 2 award-winning photographer leaders with you full-time plus our local guide, a naturalist and pro photographer himself, making this a fantastic value!



Feb. 7 to 19, 2021





Difficulty Level



Available Spots

Sign up fast!

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

Go to sign-up form

About the Workshop

Tropical Bird Photography

About the Workshop

Tropical Bird Photography


Doug Brown

Doug Brown

Doug Brown is an internationally renowned professional bird photographer and BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year award-winner. His work has been displayed at the British Natural History Museum and a number of other museums around the world. Doug's images can be found in a variety of digital and printed field guides and textbooks. Doug has a particular interest in photographing birds in flight. Although he resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Doug travels extensively to pursue his photographic passion and leads workshops in Costa Rica, California, Ecuador, and New Mexico.


You can see Doug's stunning bird in flight images 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!





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, 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.


Internet Access

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.

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

  • 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. For those who have arrived a day early, we may have an optional afternoon jaunt to explore the city.


Day 2, Quito/Elfin Forest


We leave early this morning for a fantastic day trip – a visit to the highland home of the iconic sword-billed hummingbird! We'll spend all day there photographing the sword-billed hummingbird as well as shining sunbeam, great sapphirewing and some cool flowerpiercers and mountain tanagers. We return to Quito in the early evening to rest up after this busy day. Dinner will be on your own this evening. There are a number of fast-food and finer casual dining options immediately surrounding our hotel.


Day 3, Amazon Lowlands


After breakfast, we depart for the airport to fly to the Amazon city of Coca. We transfer from there to the boat that takes us to our amazing luxury lodge in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon. We arrive late afternoon with time to photograph birds on the ground and the sunset over the rainforest. During our boat ride, we may be able to photograph the prehistoric hoatzin.


Day 4, Amazon Lowlands


After a great breakfast this morning we head to a nearby clay lick that attracts dozens of parrots and parakeets, as well as the occasional macaw. This is one of our Amazon highlights as the clay licks of the western Amazon are one of the planet's true natural wonders. We photograph all morning and return to our lodge in the afternoon. We then gear up and head out on private boats into the nearby lagoons and jungle canals in search of the ancient hoatzin bird, caimans, and giant river otters. We enjoy a fantastic dinner after this busy day.


Day 5, Amazon Lowlands


After breakfast, we have a chance to try a really cool technique – wide angle macro photography – that produces amazing images of small subjects in their habitat. Later in the morning we have a second chance at the clay lick. We may encounter some different species, and it's also a great opportunity to try slow shutter speeds or to correct any mistakes you may have made on the first clay lick visit. After lunch, we have the afternoon free to relax, to explore the lagoon in a private boat, or to visit a nearby canopy tower for a bird's-eye view of the rainforest.


Day 6, Cloud Forest


We depart very early this morning for our boat back to Coca and then our plane back to Quito. Be sure to have a camera handy as the dawn light can be inspiring! We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then arrive to our cloud forest lodge in late afternoon with time to relax and photograph hummingbirds right outside the lodge restaurant. We will spend the next few days in the famed Mindo area, one of the world's absolute best spots for birds!


Day 7, Cloud Forest


Today we have a full day with the multiple-flash setups for hummingbirds at the lodge. Booted Racket-tail abound, 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. And as a special treat, we will be working with macro setups for cool frogs, lizards, and insects.


Day 8, 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 visit a local farm to photograph the amazing Andean cock of the rock. We return to our lodge for a relaxing dinner after this busy day.


Day 9, Cloud Forest


After an early breakfast we visit a nearby home where we have set up perches for colorful tanagers including, golden, golden-naped, beryl-spangled, and many others. We'll also be on the lookout for red-headed barbets and crimson-rumped toucanets. After a lunch break back at our lodge, we visit a nearby forest reserve to photograph hummingbirds such as the green thorntail, white-whiskered hermit, empress brilliant, and white-necked jacobin. We visit our favorite wood-oven pizzeria in the town of Mindo for a special dinner. What a way to end a day of great tropical bird photography!


Day 10, Cloud Forest


We have a relaxing breakfast this morning and time to work on post-processing before we head to our final destination, the Tandayapa Valley. We arrive to our lodge for lunch with time to check in and photograph some of the amazing hummingbirds at the lodge feeders with natural light and fill flash.


Day 11, Cloud Forest

Today we have a full day with the multiple-flash setups for hummingbirds at the lodge. Over a dozen species are waiting for us, including the outrageous Booted Racket-tail and Violet-tailed Sylph. In addition to our main target, the fantastic hummingbirds, we will be working our herp setups with subjects such as Emerald Glassfrog, Dappled Glassfrog, Gem Anole, Equatorial Anole, colorful Executioner Clownfrog, Palm Treefrog, Babbling Torrenteer, and the uber-cool Hippie Anole!

Day 12, Cloud Forest/Quito

We take this morning to visit a nearby lodge that is higher up and offers us great possibilities for photographing blue-winged mountain tanager, masked trogon, and the super cool toucan barbet. If we're lucky, we many even get another look at the plate-billed mountain toucan. We then head back to our lodge, pack up and travel back to Quito. En route, we stop at the Equator for a great typical lunch and a fun time learning a little about the culture and geography of the country that we've enjoyed so much for the past 10 days! We arrive to our capital city hotel around 3:00 for check-in and then a free afternoon and evening for you to enjoy the hotel's fantastic amenities or simply to relax and enjoy the fast Wi-Fi. Dinner is on your own this evening so that people with early transfer times the next morning can pack and rest. The hotel offers room service, and there are a large number of nice restaurants right outside the hotel if you'd like to go out to eat.


Day 13, Airport


Private transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Itinerary includes

  • Lodging as specified in DBL occupancy

  • Meals as specified

  • Transportation w/private driver in spacious air-conditioned tour bus

  • Internal flights

  • Boat transport in Amazon

  • Private transfers to and from airport

  • Professional, full-time photo instruction from your leaders Greg and Doug

  • Full-time guide services from local guide Frank Pichardo

  • Multiple-flash setups for hummingbird photography

  • Entrances and fees for all described activities

  • Taxes for all specified services

Itinerary does not include

  • International airfare

  • Dinner the first 2 nights and the last night

  • Alcoholic Drinks

  • Tips

  • Non-mealtime snacks and drinks

  • Single room supplement - $1081

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!


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!

  • + 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.
bottom of page