Photo by: Kathy Adams Clark
Location: Ecuador
PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR

Ecuador Photo Tour: Birds of Paradise

  • A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Houston Audubon Society to support their programs.
  • Travel with an Ecuadorian naturalist/birder, Naturalist Gary Clark, and Photo Leader, Kathy Adams Clark.
  • Visit Mindo Valley, tropical lowlands, and high Andes for a chance to see a wide array of hummingbirds, tropical birds, and the majestic Andean Condors.
  • Accommodations at Septimo Paraiso, a well-known destination for their onsite hummingbird feeders and on-site bird photography.
  • Two nights in the Papallacta area, the eastern slope of the Andes, offering some of the most exciting birding in the country.
  • Visits to the Antisana, Yanacocha, and Alambi Nature Reserves, photograph their wealth of diversity.
Region

Latin America and Caribbean

Destination

Ecuador

Dates

May 17-25, 2020

Duration

8 days

$3995

per person, double occupancy*

*U.S. dollars based upon minimum of 7 participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 5-6 participants. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested (subject to availability), or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, there is a single room surcharge of $595.

Tour Overview

Welcome to a land of endless discovery… Visiting Ecuador is finding a paradise full of wonder and astonishing natural attractions. Ecuador has it all, with its snow-capped volcanoes, plunging valleys, majestic mountains, breathtaking gardens, green valleys bathed by cascading waterfalls, beautiful colonial architecture, monasteries, Indian markets, and little villages lost in the Andes. Ecuador’s attractiveness springs from the fact that over 1,500 species of birds have been recorded in this...

Welcome to a land of endless discovery… Visiting Ecuador is finding a paradise full of wonder and astonishing natural attractions. Ecuador has it all, with its snow-capped volcanoes, plunging valleys, majestic mountains, breathtaking gardens, green valleys bathed by cascading waterfalls, beautiful colonial architecture, monasteries, Indian markets, and little villages lost in the Andes. Ecuador’s attractiveness springs from the fact that over 1,500 species of birds have been recorded in this tiny country. The country is rapidly becoming a prime destination for photographers and naturalists because the land is being wisely protected with a system of national parks and private reserves. The comfortable lodges in the midst of our photographic locations allow us to relax and enjoy Ecuador. You will see why Ecuador is a growing world-class destination. Your Tour Leaders Kathy Adams Clark is a professional nature photographer and owner of a stock agency representing fifteen photographers. Her work has been published in a variety of national and regional publications including National Geographic Books, The New York Times, and Sierra. Kathy teaches over fifty photography workshops and classes each year. Her work is seen each week in the “Nature” column in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News, written by her husband, Gary Clark. A lifelong naturalist, Gary Clark has studied birds, mammals, and butterflies in North, Central, and South America and in East Africa. He is an award winning professional writer whose column “Nature” appears weekly in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News. He has authored feature articles in state and national magazines and has written six books that include photographs from his wife, Kathy. He frequently conducts birding workshops and leads birding tours. He is founder of the Piney Woods Wildlife Society of Texas, former president of the Houston Audubon Society, and former vice-president of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory. Gary is a full professor at Lone Star College. Kathy enjoys traveling with people new to photography as well as with folks with advanced skills. She has an ability to explain complicated photographic terms in an easily understood language. She likes to teach those hungry for new information, but also understands that photography can be a solitary task. Each person traveling with Kathy is treated as an individual, but the group always has fun. She is skilled in all makes of digital cameras.   www.kathyadamsclark.com

Fitness & Health The trip will not be strenuous, but there will be walks each day, sometimes uphill in the heat, mud, & high altitude (9000 feet). Anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to participate in all scheduled walks, but if you have questions about how much activity is involved, please inquire further. At present, no inoculations are required for entry from the United States. Food is generally safe to eat everywhere in the country. Water is not safe to drink in through out the country, be sure to drink only bottled water. Your local guide can offer guidance if you have concerns. Although malaria has probably been eradicated from areas we’ll be visiting, you should consult your doctor about precautionary measures. Full details will be sent upon enrollment.

Accommodations are clean, comfortable and pleasant, but not luxurious. When visiting parks and reserves, expect cabin-like accommodations with private baths.

Ecuadorian food is not spicy. Menus are usually simple, but the food is always good and plentiful. Breakfast menus are much like those in North America. Rice, meat, beans, and vegetables are usually served at lunch and dinners. Delicious fruits and juices are in abundant supply.

Photo Leader

Kathy Adams Clark

Over all an excellent trip: food, guides, and the tour itself! Kathy did a great job.

— J Davis

I learned a lot of new things about photography and details of better camera use that I will put into practice. We were very pleased with the trip, the guides, the drivers, the food, and the accommodations.

— D. Lund

Tour Itinerary

May 17: Home - Quito, Ecuador

Flights from the U.S. arrive in Quito this evening, where there will be a group transport (time to be announced) to your accommodations, in the heart of Quito. Overnight Quito (meal aloft)

May 18-20: Mindo Lomo - Yanacocha - Alambi Reserves

Enjoy photographing the many ecological reserves on the western slope of the Andes for the next three days. Depart Quito after a late breakfast and make your way to the Yanacocha Reserve, enjoy lunch in the lovely village of Nono. Your next two days will be filled with photographing hummingbirds such as the Purple-bibbed Whitetip, Booted racket-tail, and White-necked Jacobin. We will also photograph hummingbirds at the many feeders around the grounds. A morning birdwalk might yield Streak-capped Treehunter, Tricolored and White-winged Brush-Finches, Gray-breasted Wood-Wren, Slat-throated Whitestart, White-winged Becard, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, and Three-striped Warbler. Mixed flocks of tanagers often pass through, stopping to feed on fruiting bushes at the right time of year and Blue-winged Mountain-Tanagers, White-winged Brush-Finches, and Red-headed Barbets come to eat the fruit put out for them outside the lounge windows sometimes bringing Crimson-rumped Toucanets with them. We will have time to explore the varied trails at our own lodge for one day, allowing us time to photograph as a group, or wander on our own. Our birding guide will walk with those interested in photographing forest dwelling birds such as Rufous-breasted Antthrush, Moustached, Scaled, and Ochre-breasted Antpittas, Dark-backed Wood-Quail, and White-throated Quail-Dove. The next day you will photograph at Alambi Reserve and other lodges in the area. Each destination has been selected to maximize photographic and birding opportunities. Overnight (B, L, D three days)

May 21-22: Quito

After a leisurely morning or photography at Septimo, return to Quito this afternoon with photo stops along the way. Enjoy dinner with the group or on your own with discussion at the hotel this evening. The next day enjoy a leisurely morning at the hotel. You will then enjoy lunch, followed by a Quito city tour, the Capital City of Ecuador, taking time to photograph the rich colonial architecture. Overnight Quito (B, L both days) 

May 23-24: Antisana - Papallacta Area

Start early with a drive to the Antisana Ecological Reserve. Giving us an opportunity to view a unique landscape that gradually turns into forest. In this reservation we find the Antisana Volcano as a backdrop, with its indescribable beauty. Antisana gives us one more opportunity to photograph the Andean condor as well as the Carunculated Caracara, Andean Hillstar Hummingbird, and Stout-billed Cinclodes. Continue on through the Eastern slope of the Andes, travelling through the Papallacta Pass. This habitat holds a wonderful array of birds, including such species as the Giant Hummingbird, Andean condor, Andean Gull, and Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe. Our resort is perched on a high Andean valley at the entrance route to the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle, the spa – resort offers its visitors warm thermal baths, gorgeous gardens, walking trails, and a relaxed atmosphere. We will take a trip the next day to Guango Lodge to photograph hummingbirds such as the four-inch long Sword-billed hummingbird, Tourmaline Sunangel, Collared Inca, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, and Long-tailed Sylph. Garden birds of particular interest include the Turquoise Jay and Glossy Flowerpiercers. Surrounding grounds are home to Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Buff-breasted and Hooded Mountain-Tanagers, Grey-hooded Bush-Tanager, and Slaty Brush-Finch. Overnight Papallacta (B, L, D both days)

May 25-26: Quito – Home

Enjoy early morning on the grounds of Termas, and return to Guango or another area for additional photography with Kathy & Gary. In the late afternoon you will make your way back towards Quito airport with a photo stop and farewell dinner at a lovely hacienda with gardens. The group will then be taken to the Quito airport for check in. Flights depart for home around midnight, landing at home the next day (May 26). (B, D)