Ecuador Eco-Photo Tour (Old page, but we love the pictures--Enjoy)

 Capture the Majesty of Ecuador’s Scenic Wonders August 9-20, 2008

Editor's note--As you can see, Ecuador Eco-Photo Tour is an old page. However, we have decided to leave it posted because it has some beautiful pictures, and shows the majesty of Ecuador. 

From the mountains of the Andes to the coastal tropical forests….  Want birds? Amazing scenery? Old-world architecture?  Want a trip you won’t forget?  This is it!

Join us for a ten-day tour in a photographic paradise, exploring Ecuador’s biodiversity and indigenous cultures.  This is not your average sightseeing tour...  it is designed specifically with nature lovers, cultural explorers, and photographers of all levels in mind.

The itinerary was carefully selected by Pro-Ecuador staff and photographers to give you an insider’s access to some of the best eco-cultural-photo opportunities in Ecuador.

The departure date is Saturday, August 9, with a return on Wednesday, August 20, 2008. 12 days in total with 10 full days in Ecuador.  Plenty of time is provided to fully enjoy the uniqueness of each location we visit.  Time to meander, soak up the local atmosphere and set up the perfect shot! You will never feel rushed.

Pro-Ecuador is hosting an Eco-Photo tour of Ecuador designed and led by Pro-Ecuador photographers Sandy Morris and Paul Yarnall.

Sandy leads Eco-Photo tours around the world with his company, Safari Party Adventures Ltd.  Paul, a technical expert, will be available during the tour to answer all of your photography questions. 

Pro-Ecuador insider Jason Murphy  will be along to guide the tour through the various regions of Ecuador.

Along with majestic natural wonders, awe-inspiring vistas and an unusual culture, this tour will include superb accommodations, dining, and opportunities for spa treatments and relaxation.  This tour has something for everyone!

Pro-Ecuador Eco-Photo Tour of Ecuador
Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

The group will travel to Quito, Ecuador.  You may meet the group in Rochester, NY, along the way, or in Quito, Ecuador.  Sandy and Paul will guide you through customs and immigration in Ecuador and we will spend the night at an excellent Quito hotel.

Day 2

Quito, Ecuador.  We will visit the historic old city of Quito, one of the largest areas of Spanish colonial architecture in Latin America.  With its magnificent churches and splendidly preserved buildings, we step back in time to a bygone era. Our tour will be comprehensive, but not rushed.  We will spend the evening in Quito, recently named #15 of the 53 top places to visit in 2008 by the NY Times.  Click here to read more.

Day 3

We will travel 1.5 hours north of Quito to Otavalo and La Casa Sol.  This hillside Andean hideaway was constructed in the traditional adobe style and is a creative masterpiece.  Click here to learn more about La Casa Sol. The afternoon will be spent relaxing in the pastoral surroundings of the weaving town of Peguche and hiking to a delightful waterfall, an area highlight.

Day 4

Otavalo, Ecuador.  Colorful photo opportunities abound in the largest, most important  indigenous market in Latin America, brimming with colorful hand-made items such as hammocks, rugs, tapestries and shawls as well as wood and stone carvings.  The quaint village of Cotacachi is next, with its famous “leather street,” impressive Catholic church and picturesque hills and volcanoes.  We spend the evening at La Casa Sol.

Day 5

We will have the opportunity to capture shots of the breath-taking volcanic crater lake Cuicocha (below) before traveling high in the Andes Mountains to the well-hidden mountain resort Papallacta.  This resort is internationally known for it’s natural hot springs, biodiversity, and exceptional service.  Click here to learn more about this resort. 

Day 6

We will spend the entire day at Papallacta.  The geothermal pools are available for lounging.  Papallacta’s Spa offers many optional services to soothe and relax you.  Guided hikes into the adjacent Cayambe-Coca ecological reserve are available throughout our visit.

Day 7

Papallacta boasts over 150 species of birds, presenting a challenge for both birders and photographers.  The interpretive center at Papallacta will provide our group a means to view and share our sightings and photos.  Wireless internet will be available during our stay at Papallacta.

Day 8

After departing Papallacta, we will descend into the western slope of the Andes mountain range to arrive in the tropical paradise of the Kashamaresort. Nestled all around, built into the cliffs and hugging the hillsides are charming fantasy bungalows, connected by artful stone bridges and walkways.  Each bungalow is of a different design painted in a rainbow of colors.   

Day 9

Our group will visit the La Carolina botanical gardens in Santo Domingo, Ecuador.  The gardens are truly a paradise for the eye and the camera lens.  The grounds possess enough flora, from tiny orchids to towering trees, and colorful birds to keep you intrigued and your shutter snapping for days. There is also a collection of rescued animals. 

Day 10

Leaving the modern world, we will venture deep into a totally different reality when we visit a unique indigenous Tsachila community near Santo Domingo.  Regarded as powerful shaman, the men still paint their bodies with black stripes and dye their hair bright red with the fruit of the achiote (paprika) plant. 

Day 11

Before returning to Quito, we will visit Tinalandia, a cloud forest ecolodge where we can snap photos of some of the 360 species of birds in the area.  Diverse cloud forest flora is present at every turn.

“. . .Tinalandia rests on the Western slope of the the Andes, at the southern end of the Choco bio-region. At an ideal altitude of 2,000 feet above sea level, Tinalandia is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth.”

Click here to learn more about Tinalandia

We will spend the evening back in Quito.   A goodbye dinner and evening will provide ample opportunity to compare experiences and plan future adventures.

Day 12

Our tour ends with an escorted trip to the airport in Quito.

Return to Pro-Ecuador homepage from Ecuador Eco-Photo Tour page

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