This is essentially a herpetological tour visiting West flank cloud forests at different altitudes down to the tropical dry forests of the coastal lowlands. We will see and photograph the many adaptations to different climatic conditions and observe lots of interesting camouflage techniques employed by these animals.
Orchids are one of the largest families of plants in the world. Ecuador boasts more than 4000 documented species. They are among the first colonizers of openings in the forest and are found in many other unique niches. Macro photography allows us to see details in these attractive flowers which we will explore in the western cloud forests. We will also visit two companies which farm orchids as a business.
The Choco region is west of the Andes and stretches down to the coast, this is one of the wettest regions in the world and extends northwards into Colombia. Most of the birds found in these locations are unique and the region where they live is defined by the vegetation which requires high moisture levels that are only found between the Andes and the Ocean to the north of the Pacific coastal deserts. Two of the commercial crops which do well in this area are “altitude” coffee and “arriba” chocolate.
This tour looks through magnification of specialized species in the Amazon basin and western cloud forests of northern Ecuador. We will not be confining ourselves to one family or genera instead we will be looking at the tiny things whose adaptations often camouflage and hide them from predators and other observers. We’ll explore photographic techniques used to enter this small world.
This tour concentrates on three regions, the upper western cloud forests, the amazon basin and various highland locations. We will learn about adaptations to different climatic niches, camouflage, defense systems and co-evolution. There will be various interesting talks and many night walks to find our photographic subjects. We will explore various photographic techniques suitable for recording our finds.
Discover the diversity in such a small country, from the paramos surrounding Cotopaxi Volcano to lowland Amazon jungles, Andean craters, and misty western Cloud forests. Murray will guide us through Macro photography to Macro vistas, tiny hummingbirds and large raptors in some of the most spectacular equatorial scenery. We will stay in some historic haciendas and prize-winning forest lodges.