Ecuador’s Land of Emeralds

Western Ecuador Photography Workshop

Ecuador’s Esmeraldas Province was named after fabled baseball-sized emeralds to be found there. Alas, there never were many gems, but there was the treasure of green wilderness. However today, much of these verdant forests of the South American Choco are replaced by cattle pastures and palm oil plantations; only fragments of the original biological riches remain.

In every one of these fragments, however, there are species that are found nowhere else on Earth. In fact, we have discovered over 20 new species candidates on one small mountaintop in the region.

That’s where you come in. Many of these animals were originally identified with photographs taken by our field crews. These are the type of photographs that you can learn to take, while contributing to our understanding of biodiversity and what’s happening to it.

Photograph Ecuador’s Land of Emeralds

The Canande forest represents one of the very last remnants of pristine forest in all of western Ecuador. The forest and its inhabitants are priceless gems, but also exceedingly imperiled. They are threatened by cattle, palm oil plantations, and timber harvesting. Your efforts can show the world that this place is worth more than these short-term uses.

Hyalinobatrachium aureoguttatum

More Details

Dates: May 13-20, 2018

Itinerary: Arrival in Quito on the first day, and departure for the western Ecuadorian rainforest the next morning. We start up the mountain on the second to last night and have a photo shoot in the Andean cloud forest. The next morning we head up the mountain for one last night in Quito.

Subjects: Tree frogs, stick insects, orchids, tarantulas, hummingbirds.

Cost: $3,400. Single room supplement $400, if needed.

Skill Level: Intermediate to Professional

Physical exertion needed: Moderate

Maximum number of participants: 6 per instructor, 12 maximum.

Costs Included: Everything from Quito Airport and back, including all transportation, guides, personalized instruction, comfortable accommodations.

Expenses Not Included: Flights to Quito, Ecuador, all personal items, all photo gear, required traveler’s insurance.

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