Photo Safaris - Ecuador 2017 - Galapagos | Amazon

Bill Gozansky in conjunction with Zenith Travel, an Ecuadorian adventure tour operator, will be offering an extensive photographic safari to Ecuador in 2017. In a private or small group setting, learn field techniques of professional wildlife photography while exploring the unique flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands and the amazing biodiversity of Ecuadorian Amazon.

Designed to suit photographers of all levels, the photo safaris will enhance your photographic skills and introduce you to field techniques focused on the amazing Ecuadorian landscapes and wildlife. Your photo safari actually begins well before you board your plane to Ecuador. Bill will personally email you to discuss your photographic goals, equipment resources and knowledge of photography to help ensure that your photo safari is optimally structured to target the subject matter that interests you the most. It is our hope that the photo safari will not only enable you to capture stunning images of Ecuador, but will also provide you with an incredible experience of a lifetime.

The dates and itineraries of the Ecuadorian photo safaris are flexible and can be tailored to your individual desires. To make a reservation or for more information regarding this photo safari, please contact Marcos Endara at Zenith Travel info@zenithecuador.com or Bill Gozansky at info@billgozansky.com.

PHOTO SAFARI ITINERARY: Specific Dates Available Upon Request (Suggested Departures: Feb thru May)

Day 1 – Quito Arrival
Day 2 – Quito City Tour
Day 3 – Quito to Galapagos Island
Day 4 – Sail to Floreana Island
Day 5 – Sail to Plazas Island
Day 6 – Sail to Bartolome Island
Day 7 – Sail to Seymour Island
Day 8 – Ferry to Isabela Island
Day 9 – Isabela Island
Day 10 – Isabela Island – Islote Tintoreras
Day 11 – Ferry to Santa Cruz Island
Day 12 – Return to Quito
Day 13 – Quito to Amazon / Coca
Day 14 – Amazon Lodge
Day 15 – Amazon Lodge
Day 16 – Amazon Lodge
Day 17 – Coca to Quito
Day 18 – Quito Departure

Note: The Galapagos 10-Day portion of the itinerary is a “land-based” trip, meaning that we fly to the Galapagos and then have a home base in hotels on two of the populated islands and take day trips (via powerboat) to other islands. On certain days we will also have privately guided day trips on the islands we are staying. Thus, the references to “Sail” refer to a trip via a 16-person powerboat (with other tourists) from our hotel (or nearby marina) to our island destinations. However, we have arranged for a private English speaking guide for our photo group, so when we are on the islands we can move about in a smaller group to better accommodate our pace for photography.

Day 1

Arrive into (Quito) Mariscal Sucre International Airport, clear immigration and customs, and you will be greeted and transferred to your Quito Hotel where you’ll meet up with Bill and the other photo safari participants. Overnight at Patio Andaluz.

Day 2

Quito City Tour. We start with the visit to the Guapulo Church and the fantastic view of the valleys. Then continue to the historic center of Quito. We’ll visit such landmarks as: La Plaza Grande, El Palacio Presidential, La Cathedral Metropolitan, El Saguaro, La Companía, San Francisco y Santo Domingo, El Panecillo, Basilica del Voto Nacional and more.

Photography Focus:

Street, Architectural, People, Lifestyle and more.

Day 3

Quito – Flight to Galapagos – Tortuga Bay. After breakfast, transfer to the airport in order to take your Aerogal flight to Galapagos. Depart 08h10 arrive in Galapagos 10h10. Upon disembarking from the airplane, you will go to the Galapagos immigration area. (Here you will need to present your passport and pay your US$100.00 Galapagos National Park fee in cash which is a requirement for all visitors) Once the Park officials have completed the check-in you exit the immigration area and you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel in Puerto Ayora. Lunch

Afterwards, we will take an excursion to one of the most beautiful beach in Galapagos, Tortuga Bay. A 30 minute walk (2km) west from Puerto Ayora on a marked and cobbled path. The path is good for bird watching, it is easy to spot several species of finches as you walk along the path. There is a swimming area and a nice spot for relaxing. The white sand beach is considered by many the nicest of the archipelago. It name comes from the sea turtles that go there to lay their eggs. Other species can be found, including pelicans, flamingos and marine iguanas. Return to the Hotel. Dinner

Photography Focus:

Coastal Landscape, Marine Iguanas, Birds and more.

Day 4

Sail to Floreana Island. Our guide will pick us up from our hotel at 07h30. Breakfast at the hotel. This is one of the islands with the most interesting human history and one of the earliest to be inhabited. Pink flamingos and green sea turtles nest from December to May on this island. We will visit Champion Bay and Endervy, both great places for snorkeling. Then we continue to “Devil’s Crown”, an underwater volcanic cone, coral formations are found.

After Lunch we continue to Puerto Velasco Ibarra, were we will have an historic introduction of this Island. We will take a “Chiva” to see the Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat. We will see: penguins, sharks, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, frigatebirds, and marine iguanas. Then return to the Hotel. Dinner

Photography Focus:

Landscape, Galapagos Tortoises, Marine Iguanas, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, Birds, Underwater (optional) and more.

Day 5

Sail to Plazas Island. The guide will pick you up from your hotel between 08h00-08h15. This island is full of life. There are colonies of sea lions and land iguanas. On the steep banks it is possible to see a great number of birds such as nesting tropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls, but most of all, enjoying the beautiful view from atop the steep banks or strolling along the base of the cliff is an extremely pleasurable experience. The Opuntia cacti grow here too and the vegetation changes color according to the season of the year. Return to the Hotel. Dinner.

Photography Focus:

Landscape, Sea Lions, Land Iguanas, Birds and more.

Day 6

Sail to Bartolome Island. Our guide will pick us up from our hotel at 06h00 AM. Breakfast on board the boat. On Bartolome, it seems like we are walking on the moon as this young island is inhospitable to most plants and animals. This island offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the archipelago. The island consists of an extinct volcano and a variety of red, orange, green, and glistening black volcanic formations. Bartolomé has a volcanic cone that is easy to climb and provides great views of the other islands. Bartolomé is famous for its Pinnacle Rock, which is the distinctive characteristic of this island, and has become one of the most representative landmarks of the Galápagos Islands.

You can snorkel with the penguins, marine turtles, white-tipped reef sharks, and other tropical fish. The bay is also an excellent place to go swimming. Galápagos penguins are frequently seen, as a small cave behind Pinnacle Rock houses a breeding colony of this species. Seasonally, Bartolomé is the mating and nesting site for the green sea turtles. Herons frequent the gentler beaches as well. The Galápagos Lava cacti colonize the new lava fields. Return to the Hotel. Dinner

Photography Focus:

Landscape, Underwater (optional), Seal Lions, Galapagos Penguins, and more.

Day 7

Sail to Seymour Island. Our guide will pick us up from our hotel at 07h30. North Seymour is an “uplifted island,” formed from geological uplift. In previous times, this was the ocean’s floor. Its name was given after an English nobleman, Lord Hugh Seymour. This island is home to a large population of blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls. It hosts one of the largest populations of frigatebirds as well. Return to the Hotel. Dinner

Photography Focus:

Landscape, Blue-footed Boobies, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Land Iguanas, Frigatebirds, and more.

Day 8

Charles Darwin Station – Ferry to Isabela Island: Flamingo lake. Our guide will pick us up from our hotel at 08h30 AM. Breakfast in the Hotel. The Charles Darwin Research Station encompasses an information centre, a museum, a library and the tortoise breeding station as well. Here you will have an opportunity to visit the work of some of the best scientists of the Galápagos. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is focused on the conservation of the islands. In the tortoise breeding and rearing centre you can encounter tortoises of different subspecies, which are prepared for reintroduction to their natural habitats. After Lunch we will travel by speed boat for approximately three and half hours to Isabela Island. Accommodation in our hotel and a short rest. Then we will then visit the Flamingo Lagoon, the largest coastal lagoon in Galapagos and a principal breeding ground for the Flamingos. Dinner and overnight.

Photography Focus:

Galapagos Tortoises, Marine Iguanas, Flamingos, Landscapes and more.

Day 9

Isabela Island: The Wall of Tears, Orchidea Viewpoint, Estero de Isabela, Cueva de Sucre and Trillizos. After breakfast we will visit the famous “Muro de Lagrimas” (“The Wall of Tears”), where from 1946 to 1959, Isabella Island was designated as a penal colony by the Ecuadorian government. Here the prisoners built a wall made of enormous lava rocks. Additionally, we will visit the Orchidea Viewpoint and the ‘Estero de Isabela”. After lunch we will visit Cueva de Sucre and Trillizos.

Photography Focus:

Landscapes, Historical Landmarks, and more.

Day 10

Isabela Island: Tintoreras & Loberia Chica. After breakfast, we will visit via private charter the “Islote Tintoreras” known for one specific kind of shark that lives there which has a characteristic white fin and is known as a “Tintorera”. We will also have the chance to watch other animals native to the region like sharks, penguins, and sea lions, and go snorkeling. We will end the day by visiting the Loberia chica, which is a piece of coast that has been named for the large number of sea lions resting on the rocks and sand.

Photography Focus:

Underwater (optional), Marine Iguanas, Blue-footed Boobies, Coastal Landscapes and more.

Day 11

Isabela Island: Transfer to Santa Cruz Island – Highlands of Santa Cruz – Kayak. Our guide will pick us up from our hotel at 05h40 and will take us to the pier of Isabela Island in order to take our boat to Puerto Ayora. Once in Puerto Ayora we will be transferred to our hotel. Then we will take an excursion to the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. The scenery will continuously change as we ascend through all seven vegetation zones of the Galapagos. Passengers will be able to view the giant tortoises at a farm in the highlands. Then we will visit “the twins” (Los Gemelos), a pair of large craters or sinkholes where we might find the bright red male vermilion flycatcher. We’ll also visit the “tunnels”, the largest lava tunnels found in the Galapagos. Lunch.

Photography Focus:

Galapagos Tortoises, Landscapes, Lava Tunnels, Birds and more.

After lunch, we slip into our kayak and paddle around Divine Bay and Punta Estrada, traveling through multiple lava channels of calm, turquoise waters. Within the channels, white tipped sharks and rays patrol beneath the waves – while colonies of blue-footed boobies, tropicbirds, herons and marine iguanas are perched along the jagged cliffs. In the evening, we are free to explore the nightlife in Puerto Ayora, the Galapagos’ most populous town. Diner and overnight.

Photography Focus:

Coastal Landscapes, Birds, Marine Life and more.

Day 12

Puerto Ayora – Baltra – Flight to Quito. After breakfast, at 08h00, we will be transferred to the airport in order to take our flight to Quito. Our flight departs at 10h45 and arrives in Quito at 15h30. Transfer to our hotel. Free afternoon.

Day 13

Quito – flight Coca – Napo Wildlife Center. A rewarding 30 minute flight to Coca over the eastern Andes mountain range is the beginning of this amazing experience. After landing, a short 5 minute drive to the port in the Napo River will take you onto a comfortable covered motor boat. Here we start a boat ride along the Napo for approximately 2 hours. Some aquatic birds can be spotted on the way. After arriving at Napo Wildlife Center’s welcoming area, we take a magical and peaceful 2 hour dugout-canoe along a narrow creek that connects to the lake where the lodge is located. Great chances to spot wildlife, various species of monkeys as well as large birds like toucans, parrots or even macaws. Late afternoon arrival at the lodge. Lunch in transit and Dinner at the lodge.

The Napo Wildlife Center is one of the great luxury ecolodges in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Located in one of the most pristine Amazon rainforests, this ecotourism project includes the conservation of approximately 53,000 acres within the Yasunì National Park, an important UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the largest tract of tropical rain forest in Ecuador. The ecolodge, run by the indigenous Anangu Community, is an incredible success story of conservation and ecotourism. While at the Napo Wildlife Center we’ll have daily guided excursions via canoe and hiking trails. We’ll explore canopy towers and unique parrot clay licks.

We will have a great range of photographic opportunities in this environment. From landscape photography while on the rivers and in the canopy to macro photography of tiny insects and frogs that are abundant on the forest floor. It is a true paradise for bird photography – from the noisy Hoatzins, colorful tanagers, and flocks of parakeets that abound – to the reclusive Zigzag Heron or tiny Antbirds that flit along the creek side.

Day 14

Full day of photography and excursions at the Napo Wildlife Center. All meals and overnight at Napo Wildlife Center.

Day 15

Full day of photography and excursions at the Napo Wildlife Center. All meals and overnight at Napo Wildlife Center.

Day 16

Full day of photography and excursions at the Napo Wildlife Center. All meals and overnight at Napo Wildlife Center.

Day 17

Amazon Lodge – Flight to Quito. Early breakfast, and last excursion canoeing back to the Napo river, the creek may reveal new sights of giant otters, Monk Saki monkeys, hoatzins, black-capped donacobius or other birds. The motorized canoe will return you back to Coca, for the flight back to Quito.

Day 18

Quito – Flight Home. After breakfast transfer to the airport in order to take your flight back home. This is officially the end of your photo safari. We hope to see you again soon.

Prices

Price Galapagos & Amazon:
(Prices may vary based on availability of lodges, size of group, and season of travel.)
If 4 people – $8,050 USD per person
If 6 people – $6,600 USD per person
Single Supplement may be required if not sharing accommodation.

Price Galapagos Itinerary Only:
(Prices may vary based on availability of lodges, size of group, and season of travel.)
If 4 people – $5,500 USD per person
If 6 people – $4,500 USD per person
Single Supplement may be required if not sharing accommodation.

Includes

  • Photography Guide and Field Instruction with Bill Gozansky
  • All transfers airport – hotel – airport in Quito, Galapagos and Amazon.
  • Accommodation in Quito with American Breakfast
  • Quito City Tour + Lunch at El Tianguez or similar
  • Private Transportation
  • Airfare Quito – Galapagos – Quito
  • All Meals in Galapagos (Breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • Accommodation in Puerto Ayora
  • Tour of Tortuga Bay and Charles Darwin Station
  • Wetsuits and snorkeling gear for sail tours
  • 1 Local guide exclusively for the group.
  • Sail to Bartolome Island
  • Sail to Floreana Island
  • Sail to Plazas Island
  • Sail Tour to Seymour Island
  • Transfer to Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) – Puerto Villamil (Isabela Island)
  • Accommodation on Isabela Island
  • Private Charter to Tintoreras Islands
  • The Wall of Tears, Orchidea Viewpoint, Estero de Isabela, Cueva de Sucre and Trillizos
  • Airfare Quito – Coca – Quito
  • Local naturalist guide (indigenous guide) in Amazon
  • Fluvial Transportation in Amazon
  • Translator naturalist guide English – Spanish (National tourism guide with license) in Amazon
  • Three daily meals in Amazon
  • Programmed excursions in Amazon
  • Accommodation in cabins with private bathrooms
  • Safe bottle water in meals, cabins and excursions
  • Rubber boots (till number 43).

Excludes

  • International flights
  • Lunches & Diners on Mainland (except in Amazon and during Quito City Tour per above)
  • Galapagos National Park fee US $ 100.00 (To be paid in cash in Galapagos)
  • Ingala Immigration card of US $ 10.00 (To be paid in cash in the airport in Quito)
  • Isabela Dock Tax of US $5.00
  • Personal purchases and equipment: flash lights, rain poncho, curios, etc.
  • Extra meals and extra beverages
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Gratuities

Notes

  • Services subject to availability at the time of booking
  • Rates subject to change without prior notice based on lodge availability, group size, season of travel, etc.
  • Terms and Conditions apply

To make a reservation or for more information regarding this photo safari, please contact Marcos Endara info@zenithecuador.com or Bill Gozansky at info@billgozansky.com.