Ecuador Photo Tour ~ 2019 ~ Explore in Focus™ with Jeff Parker

Chocó Foothills, ECUADOR Photo Tour 2019

January 12 – 19, 2019
Chocó Region, Ecuador
Ecuador Hummingbirds and More Photo Tour with Jeff Parker

On my “Winged Wonders of Ecuador Photo Tour ~ 2019” we’ll focus on the avian jewels of the Neotropics. By visiting several elevations in at the foothills of Ecuador’s Chocó Region we will experience different ecosystems & the special birds they harbor.

LIMITED to eight (8) travelers ~ SOLD OUT ~ The 2020 tour is now posted

Hummingbirds are the highlight! In Ecuador, they come dressed in dazzling colors & a variety of forms — including the magnificent Booted Racket-tail & Sword-billed Hummingbird! During this Ecuador Photo Tour we could have the opportunity to photograph up to 40 unique hummingbird species!

A big part of this trip will be multi-flash hummingbird photography. I’ll provide the equipment & backgrounds & other items needed to get great shots. And by limiting my “Winged Wonders of Ecuador Photo Tour” to just eight (8) participants everyone gets to utilize the set-ups as much—or as little—as they wish.

But hummingbirds are just part of what we’ll discover in the Chocó region of Ecuador. The places we’ll visit also host a bonanza of beautiful tanagers. Get ready to be amazed at the number & colors of tanagers to be found here! What we have in North America provides only a small sample of what lies in store for you during this journey.

But wait, there’s more! Motmots, toucans, manakins, euphonias & the improbable looking Cock-of-the-Rock will also fill our memory cards.

We will also take a day trip to an Oilbird roost. These strange nocturnal fruit-eaters typically roost in caves, which makes them very difficult to photograph. However, we’ll get a chance to capture images of them in a canyon instead. That’ll give us the light we need to do our photography.

Winged Wonders of Ecuador Photo Tour with Jeff Parker


  • How to balance flash & natural light in hummingbird photography
  • How to set up your own multi-flash high-speed hummingbird photography
  • Techniques to get images featuring both sharp or blurred wings
  • How to master manual exposure (& when it’s better than priority exposures)
  • How to create the sorts of set-ups that make the best bird photographs
  • How to create natural-looking images even when using flash
  • Where to put your flashes & how to do them remotely
  • How to increase your chances of getting in-focus shots of hummingbirds & other little birds at set-ups
  • How to handle the low-light conditions of a rain/cloudforest.

A note about instruction on my photo tours:
Since skills levels vary so much on photo tours, I tailor my teaching to individual needs.  Please do not be shy about telling me what you need.


• 8 nights double-occupancy accommodation.
• 7 full days of photography fun & exploration
• Jeff’s one-on-one review &/or instructional time
• Jeff’s instruction & photography tips throughout
• Meals & tea, coffee, non-bottled water, & juices from dinner on January 12th through dinner the evening of January 19th.
• The use of multi-flash, high-speed hummingbird photography set-ups, which include radio triggers, lighting, & backgrounds
• Jeff’s instruction on high-speed hummer photography.
• An in-depth dossier
• The services of a local guide to maximize our chances of locating our feathered subjects
• Entrance to all reserves & parks
• Entrance into the “Cuidad Mitad del Mundo”
• WiFi at the Tandayapa Bird Lodge for one device (you can add additional devices for $5.00 per day)


• Trip insurance
• Health insurance & medical needs
• Personal items
• Phone calls
• Laundry service
• Bottled & canned beverages
• Alcoholic beverages
• Tips (The dossier we provide before your trip includes info about tipping protocol for this tour.)

Winged Wonders of Ecuador Photo Tour with Jeff Parker



With the exception of the steep path up to the lodge, the physical requirements on this tour are limited.   We’ll do most of our photography from blinds, at set-ups, and within gardens. 

That said, paths are made of earth, can be uneven, and at times quite wet.  They will also include inclines in some places.

Those wanting a medium and/or vigorous hiking experience can easily get that by exploring the many paths through the cloudforest and tropical environs!

Regarding elevation, the tour begins with a Welcome Dinner in Quito, where elevation is over 9,300 feet.  We will only go higher than that once — the first full day of the tour when we visit Yanacocha Reserve.  The Reserve reaches as high as 11,500 feet, but we do not anticipate going higher than 10,500 feet.

Our lodge is located at approximately 5,700 feet.


You’ll want to fly into the airport in Quito, Mariscal Sucre International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre). The airport code is UIO.


Please plan to arrive in Quito by 3:00 pm January 12, 2019 if possible. We’ll begin the tour with a Welcome Dinner that evening.


U.S. & Canadian citizens do not need to procure a visa before arriving to Ecuador. Once you enter the country, you’ll automatically get a stamp in your passport that serves as a tourist visa (good for 90 days).


You will receive an extensive dossier as your photo tour grows closer and it will include, among lots of other things, packing lists for both photography equipment & personal items.

In the meantime, if you’re wondering what sort of photography equipment you might need for your “Winged Wonders of Ecuador Photo Tour,” here is the EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST (PDF) I send out with the dossier.

NOTE: You do not have to own everything on the checklist. It’s a list of recommended equipment. If you have any questions about the minimum lenses, etc. that will get you though, don’t hesitate to ask!

Winged Wonders of Ecuador Photo Tour with Jeff Parker


  • DATES: Saturday, January 12 ~ Saturday, January 19, 2019. ~~ NOTE:   The tour ends after the Farewell Dinner on the evening of the 19th, but does include lodging the night of the 19th for those who do not have departing flights until the next day (the 20th).  We will provide your transportation to the airport.
  • SPACE FOR:  Eight (8) travelers ~ SOLD OUT ~ The 2020 tour now posted.
  • PAYMENT DUE DATES:  A total of half the cost of the tour due 6-months before departure.  Remaining balance due 60-days prior to start date of tour.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please read our CANCELLATION POLICY before purchasing

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Explore in Focus™ / Photo tours & workshops for the Naturally Curious™