Hummingbirds of Ecuador Photo Safari

Sword-billed Hummingbird This trip is limited to just 8 photographers (plus non-photographing companions). For the non-photographing companions, we will offer many bird walks through the surrounding habitats in search of trogons, quetzals, toucans, warblers and so much more. The photographers are obviously welcome to take a break from the hummingbirds to enjoy these additional birding opportunities as well. Some of the lodges also offer great relaxation opportunities.

Hummingbirds are jewels of the birding world, and Ecuador is home to about 130 species! The eastern slope of the Andes in northern Ecuador are home to over 60 species, and we will explore the best locations to see and photograph these flying gems with names like Shining Sunbeam, Collared Inca, Mountain Velvetbreast, Sword-billed Hummingbird and an array of Brilliants, Woodstars, Coronets, Avocet-bills and so many more.

Our birding areas will be in cloud forest from 4500 ft up to above tree line in the Paramo at 12,000 ft. Most lodges offer stationary feeder sites as well as wildflower and garden locations in each area in order to find the most species and the best photo opportunities.

This trip is designed for any level of photographic knowledge from beginner to expert, so no matter what your skill level this trip will help you get the best possible images of these beautiful birds. Join us for this colorful, challenging and fun photographic adventure!

  • Workshop Cost
  • 2015 Cost

    $4950 per photographer from Quito, Ecuador

    $4250 per non-photographer companion sharing room


    Prices are per person double occupancy. If a single room is preferred or a suitable roommate is not available a single supplement fee of $600 will be charged.



    Included in the Tour Cost

    All ground transportation, including transfers from arrival airport. All accommodations. All meals from dinner on arrival day through breakfast on departure day. All entrance fees and guide fees. Tips for meal service.


    Not Included in the Tour Cost

    International air travel, passport fees, luggage fees, trip insurance, alcoholic beverages, departure taxes, phone calls, laundry, or other items of a personal nature.

  • Itinerary
  • Day 1 Quito / Hotel quito
    Participants arrive throughout the day.


    Day 2 Quito to Bellavista Lodge
    Drive from Quito to Bellavista, along the way we will visit the well known Yanacocha Reserve along the Nono-Mindo Road seeking Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, the rare, endemic Black-breasted Puffleg plus many additional hummingbirds.


    Day 3 Bellavista Lodge
    After breakfast we will explore the grounds of the lodge which has many hummingbird feeding stations and excellent hiking trails. After lunch at the lodge we will drive to another hummingbird location where we’ll enjoy over 30 feeding stations.


    Day 4 Drive to Septimo Paraiso Lodge
    This morning we will rise very early to visit the Cock-of-the-Rock lek and Antpitta haven of Reserva Angel Paz. After, we’ll continue to the Mindo Valley, photographing along forested and open roads.


    Day 5 Septimo Paraiso Lodge
    Today will be spent at and around the lodge to enjoy the hummingbird gardens.


    Day 6 Guango Lodge
    Depart for our next location, making some great stops along the way. Hummingbird feeders surround the front of our lodge and this is the best place to find many species like Chestnut-breasted Coronet and the amazing Sword-billed Hummingbird.


    Day 7 Cabañas San Isidro
    Our morning will offer more opportunities to photograph the hummingbirds at Guango before departure to Cabañas San Isidro.


    Day 8 Cabañas San Isidro
    Today we will explore the trails around the lodge as well as enjoy more new species of hummingbirds around the lodge.


    Day 9 Drive to WildSumaco Lodge
    Morning opportunities for photography, birding and hiking before our departure to WildSumaco.
    After lunch we will drive down-slope to about 4500 ft to our lodge and it awaiting hummingbirds!


    Day 10 Drive to WildSumaco Lodge
    This new lodge offers spectacular gardens and feeders and will add as many as 10 new hummingbirds to our list!


    Day 11 Drive to Quito
    Our final full day will offer both tiny and large... the diminutive Ecuadorian Hillstar is a hummingbird found above 12,000 ft in the cold paramo habitat. In this same location, we will also seek Andean Condor!


    Day 12 Return to USA
    Flight departures throughout the morning.

  • Accommodations
  • Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge

    Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge was designed for birdwatchers. It lies on the west slope of the Ecuadorian Andes at an elevation of about 8000 feet. The buildings are unique in design. The bedrooms are spacious and all have private bathrooms.


    Septimo Paraiso Lodge (Mindo)

    Septimo Paraiso Lodge lies on a private reserve set at about 5000 feet above sea level. The lodge offers luxury well beyond its rustic setting. Large rooms with full bath... some with spectacular views, are surrounded by rainforest. The birding is spectacular!


    Guango Lodge

    Guango Lodge is a new, small tourist facility on a family property that is surrounded by temperate forest and very birdy flocks. Guango Lodge, about 1 hour away from San Isidro, lies at a higher elevation (about 9000 feet) on Ecuador’s eastern slope.

    This area is centered in a zone classified as humid temperate forest, a habitat distinctly different from San Isidro and characterized  by its more stunted trees (and thicker canopy), cooler climate, and different bird and plant composition. All rooms have private bath.

    Hummingbird feeders surround the front deck and this is the best place to find many species like Chestnut-breasted Coronet and the amazing Sword-billed Hummingbird.


    Cabañas San Isidro

    Cabañas San Isidro, surrounded by its own 1,300 acre forest reserve, has built a reputation for being the pioneer in private conservation and birding/nature tourism on the northeast slope of the Ecuadorian Andes. While many popular birding spots lack any type of lodge, at Cabañas San Isidro you will not have to sacrifice comfort for great birds and the chance to see other interesting wildlife.


    WildSumaco Lodge

    WildSumaco is a brand new tourist lodge with all the ammenities... full en suit bath, etc, set amidst the incredible mid-level cloud forest on the eastern slope of the Andes.