Amazon Photo Safari

6 day tour (Available as a private tour)

2022: $ 2490 per person
2023: $ 2510 per person

 

DESCRIPTION

The Yasuní National Park is one of the most biodiversity places on the planet. In this Safari, we will photograph, ethically and in situ, a large number of animal species, from the largest as birds and mammals to the smallest such as reptiles, amphibians, or invertebrates. Tour focuses on photographing animals as we find them, showing their behaviors. With the assistance and advice from your guide and instructor, you will obtain the best results in every situation.

Day 1: Arrival in Coca

Tour starts with morning pick-up in Coca, either from the airport or a hotel if you arrived the day before. Then, we will drive for about an hour and a half to the Tiputini Riverport. Here is where one can start to appreciate the spectacular beauty of the rainforest. We will board a large covered motorized canoe for a 70-minute journey. We will see the beautiful surroundings we will be shooting; animal and landscape photography from the canoe from the port until arrival at the lodge. Along the way, we will pass a few houses from the kichwa and Huaorani communities. We will see the Spectacled Owl, the Anhinga, and some Blue Morpho butterflies if we are lucky while zig-zagging along the river.

All this area is primary and secondary forest. After we arrive at the camp, we will have lunch. Then, we will have a short canoe ride for sighting and animal photography; the scenery itself may be our biggest photo asset.

Just before sunset is a great time to see animal activity. At candlelight, we will enjoy our dinner. A night walk will follow (optional), 1-3 hours taking pictures of night animals on one of the various trails near the camp.
We'll then begin a journey of about an hour 45 minutes in land transport and another hour and a half in a motorized canoe along the Tiputini river. When wel arrive at the camp, you will have time to get to know the facilities and settle into your tent. Enjoy a welcome drink, then a delicious lunch will be served in the main house.
In the afternoon, we’ll cross to the other side of the Yitsu Yacu River for a walk of approximately 2 hours. We’ll finish the afternoon enjoying the sunset on board our motorized canoe, and when we return to camp a delicious dinner served by candlelight will be ready for you.

Day 2 to 5:

Each day's activities will be planned the night before, based on weather conditions, animal activity, sightings, and current hotspots known by the local guides. This area has different environments: terra firme and igapo forest, black water lagoons, and white water rivers.

Parrot clay-lick. Birds are usually more active early in the morning; we will leave the camp around 5 am to visit this site. A short canoe ride on the Rumiyacu river and a walk will lead us to the clay lick. There are various types of parrots, like the Orange-cheeked Parrot. We will return slowly, photographing the fauna we can find like toucans, trogons, or amazing insects. We will pack some fruits and drinks to eat along the way.

El Moretal. This site is just crossing a small river from the camp. Morete is a type of palm tree, and local refers to Moretal to a lowland flooded forest composed by this palm. This hike is near or in swamp areas. This ecosystem is a perfect area to photograph amphibians at night as well as some rare species of birds during the day, like the Long-tailed potoo.
We’ll return to camp for lunch and you'll have time to relax in your hammock or tent, walk around the campsite and even cool down with a swim in a tranquil tributary of the Tiputini river.
In the afternoon, we’ll enjoy a pleasant traditional canoe trip in the Pishña lagoon (giant otter oxbow lagoon) for about 2 hours. This is a very interesting ecosystem, a blackwater lake where unique species live. We’ll enjoy the sunset and then return to the campsite for dinner.

Tiputini river. This river flows west to east and passes all the Yasuni National Park, and in some areas, it is the natural limit between the Kichwa and Huaorani communities. This river carries a lot of nutrients in its water. We will leave early in the morning for a canoe ride; we will turn the motor off and go with the flow. Photography is mainly done from the canoe with a couple of stops at river beaches. This is an excellent opportunity to see swallows, kiskadees, kingfishers, woodpeckers, potoos, and others. If we are lucky, we might see river dolphins. We will return to the camp for breakfast.

Blackwater lagoon. There are a few of these in this area. We can find hoatzins, herons, pigeons, tanagers, swallows, and others. And with some luck, the giant otter. This is a mixed activity, hiking and canoeing.

Casa de la Abuela. We will visit the "grandmother"; this is an excellent opportunity to photograph the daily life of a kichwa family, their customs, and activities. Many birds can be observed and photographed from here as oropendolas, tanagers, trogons, and a tin of different invertebrates as insects in the area. Possibility of going out for a walk from the grandma's house to the camp doing some photography, on the way we will be able to see more wildlife.
When we return, you’ll be served a refreshing drink and a delicious lunch. Time for a short rest or a swim, then around 15:30 we’ll depart in our motorized canoe for the Casa de la Abuela (Grandmother’s House), a traditional home where the founding grandmother of the community still lives. We’ll learn about how traditional chocolate is made, which we’ll serve with our dinner this evening. Time to enjoy amazing views of the sunset from this hilltop home, then we’ll return to camp for a delicious dinner.
After dinner, we’ll take a night walk along a short trail known as the Tucán trail near the camp; this walk is about an hour.

Trails by the camp. One trail (Peccary trail) starts just back of the restaurant, and another two trails are crossing the Tiputini River and the Yutzuyacu River from the camp. Most are loop trails with three options of length. Most of the time it is not necessary to walk long distances to get good photographs. Lots of birds and insects as grasshoppers, katydids, spiders, and some frogs are close.

Day 6: Return to Coca

Depending on your flight schedule, we might have some time for a short morning activity. We will leave the camp around 9 am, just after breakfast. Keep your camera out as there are always new findings on the way. We will be arriving in Coca around noon.

Pace: relaxed to moderate

Difficulty: Easy to medium

Tour for specialized photographers or photography lovers of all levels. A couple of days, we will have early morning activities, usually starting at 5:30 am. We have activities during the day and night. Some afternoons you will have a moment to relax, you will have some free time with your guide to go over your shots. We will spend the night hikes on nearby trails, focusing on finding all types of wildlife at a slow pace. Group will not walk too far as there is plenty of activity nearby. 

The Yasuní National Park is one of the most biodiversity places on the planet. In this Safari, we will photograph, ethically and in situ, a large number of animal species, from the largest as birds and mammals to the smallest such as reptiles, amphibians, or invertebrates. Tour focuses on photographing animals as we find them, showing their behaviors. With the assistance and advice from your guide and instructor, you will obtain the best results in every situation.

Details of the Tour: Tour runs with a minimum of 2 persons and a maximum of 6 (if there are more than three persons, another photography guide will join the group).

 

Included in the Photo Safari: 

  • Transportation Coca – Mandari Panga – Coca 
  • Bilingual Photography guide and native guide
  • Accommodation in tents complete with mattress and bedding 
  • Use of rubber boots for hikes, life jacket for canoe travel
  • Three meals a day (starting with lunch on the first day through breakfast on the final day)
  • Purified water

Not included in the Photo Safari: 

  • Transportation Quito – Coca – Quito
  • Additional beverages and snacks; extra meals in Coca before and after the tour
  • Rain ponchos (can be purchased in Coca before the tour if needed; highly recommended for adequate protection from heavy Amazon rains)
  • Tips
  • Personal Expenses
  • Travel insurance

What to bring (recommendations):

  • ORIGINAL PASSPORT (in waterproof plastic bag)
  • Fast drying, lightweight clothing including long sleeve shirts
  • A light jacket for colder nights
  • Waterproof jacket or rain poncho
  • Sandals or walking shoes 
  • Thick, absorbent hiking type socks
  • Hat or cap
  • Sunglasses, sunblock and repellent (no spray)
  • Water bottle
  • One small (waterproof recommended) daypack
  • Flashlight or headlamp with spare batteries
  • Plastic bags to protect photographic equipment or electronic equipment
  • One small (waterproof recommended) daypack
  • Film gel to keep the equipment dry

 

Recommended photography equipment:

  • Digital SLR camera (DSLR or MIRRORLESS)
  • Angular objective, macro (50mm and/or 90mm) and telephoto (100mm-400mm or a 600mm lens), extension tubes and teleconverters
  • 1-2 flashes with diffusers and triggers or cable
  • Trusting cable
  • Tripod
  • Sufficient rechargeable batteries
  • Sufficient memory cards

CLIMATE:
The Amazon Rainforest is characterized by rain, heat and more rain and heat (usually 72°-90°F, 22°-32°C), providing the perfect environment for plants and wildlife! The Amazon is always humid with generous amounts of rain occurring year-round. Both the rainy and “rainier” seasons are great times for an Amazon tour.

Sunshine and rain showers during the day and slightly chilly temperatures at night are a rule of thumb to go by on Amazon rainforest tours.

December and January are the driest months-with January and February being a shoulder season that leads to the months with the heaviest rainfall.

March, April, May, and June see the most precipitation in the Ecuador Amazon Basin. These months coincide with the wet season in the rest of the country. Rainfall in the Andes spills over into the Ecuador Amazon Basin-raising water levels of the Napo River and its tributaries. 

July through December see a decline in the amount of rain that falls each month. The average temperature in the jungle remains around 25°C (77°F) year-round, but during the dry season, daytime temperatures can reach 40°C (104°F).

ELECTRICITY:
There is limited electricity at the camp; there is a charging station for electronics which functions from 6 pm to 10 pm. There is electric lighting at the camp during these hours.

LUGGAGE:
There is no luggage limit weight that you can bring to the campsite

VACCINATIONS AND HEALTH TIPS:
Full Covid-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test is required to enter the Yasuni National Park.

Yellow fever and Malaria are the usual concern of our visitors. We haven’t had any cases at our campsite, but it is always recommendable to have a shot and bring medication for this, as well as a type of anti-biotic for Traveler’s diarrhea (TD).

Consult your doctor for the most current recommended health precautions for your time visiting the Amazon rainforest. The US Center for Disease Control is an excellent source for detailed information on preventing travel-related illnesses.

TRAVEL TO AND FROM COCA

  • On the first day of the tour, passengers are met in Coca in the morning (approx. 10 AM).
  • At the end of the tour, passengers will be in Coca by about 10 AM, and can take a flight or bus to their next destination. This may change upon flight availability.
  • To get to Coca, there are currently flights departing from Quito on our operation days. There are currently 2 airlines flying this route, please ask us for options. If there are no early flights, passengers traveling to Coca should arrive the day before the tour. Exceptions can be made if necessary, please contact us. Regular bus service to/from Coca is also available, the trip is about 6 hours.
  • Passengers beginning their tour in the morning will have the option to stop at a local restaurant for breakfast (not included), this restaurant is operated by a Kichwa women’s association to benefit community conservation projects.
  • For those traveling by bus, there are day and evening buses as well as overnight buses departing at 11 PM or 11:30 PM. 
  • We can assist with purchasing flight or bus tickets.

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