How to book this Adventure Package

Daily Itinerary

The Colorado Photo Retreat is just that

A retreat that will allow us to experience a ride range of photography preferences: landscape, portrait, cultural, travel, motion, night, and the list goes on. And, we will have the ranch to ourselves!

We will spend from Sunday to Sunday at the Majestic Dude Ranch:

  • Surrounded by fresh air and beautiful scenery,
  • Being catered to by a dedicated staff
  • Feasting on all inclusive meals
  • Sleeping on Tempur-pedic beds in spacious cabins
  • Sharing time with fellow photographers and
  • Learning from our very own Pulitzer Winning photographer – Essdras Suarez

Our days will be filled with time spent:

  • Photographing the workings of the ranch
  • Taking trail and ATV-rides to photograph some of the most spectacular countryside in the west dotted with incredible Aspen forests in all their yellow glory
  • Attending photography workshops conducted by Essdras focusing on how to crop for impact, shooting portraits and how best to capture sophisticated landscape imagery
  • Having fun with light as soon as the sun sets

We will alternate days at the ranch with side trips.

  • Drive a short distance to Mesa Verde, the best-preserved, archaeological sites and dwelling in North American. Here we will explore the Ancestral Puebloan Cliff Palace—the largest and most famous cliff dwelling—that was built 450–1300 CE.
  • Visit the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation guided by an Ute Indian and introduced to the Ute and Ancestral Puebloan cultures. Here we will see cliff dwellings and surface sites where Ute history is reflected in rock arts (petroglyphs).
  • We will complete our Colorado adventure on the infamous Durango and Silverton Narrow Gage Train. Boarding the train in Durango, we will take the 3.5 hour morning ride train that offers constant photo opportunities and arrive in the old mining town of Silverton in time for lunch. After exploring the city, we will returning to the ranch.

Colorado Photo Retreat: Daily Itinerary


  • Take flight from home to Durango Airport where you will met by Majestic Dude Ranch staff and take a 35 minute drive to the ranch in Mancos.
  • Get settled and join the group for an introductory meeting and a get to know-each-other dinner.
  • Take time to adjust to the 8,000 foot elevation and get a good night’s sleep.


  • With cameras in hand, while we tour the Ranch, you can take note of the photographic opportunities and be able to plan how best to capture them.
  • Depending upon the time of day, Essdras will direct the group in photographing the various ranch activities such as cattle gathering, team penning, etc.
  • Time will be dedicated in the afternoon for instruction on taking landscape photos in preparation for tomorrows excursion.


Participate in a guided, trail ride on photog-friendly horses making lots of stops along the way to take photo of incredible fall scenery. Some of the best scenic photo opportunities are areas on the ranch that can only be reached on horse back.

Don’t worry, fortunately, there will be plenty of ranch hands along for the ride to help us get off and back on our horses!


  • This morning we will drive a short distance and spend the morning at Mesa Verde photographing the Cliff House, one of the most notable and best-preserved archaeological sites. Cliff House, having more than 150 rooms, was thought to be the social and administrative site with high ceremonial usage.

And, for the nature photographers, the site offers several habitats and houses around 74 species of mammals, 200 species of birds, 16 species of reptiles, 5 species of amphibians, 6 species of fishes and over 1,000 species of insects and other invertebrates.

  • Return to the ranch for lunch and relaxation.
  • In the afternoon, head out on ATVs driven by our trusty hosts, to photograph “some of the most spectacular views possible,” one of which offers a special view of the Ute Mountain.


  • We will start the day photographing ranch activities, animals and environment.
  • Have a portrait session, guided by Essdras, photographing some of the Ranch’s staff dressed as we expect cowhands to be dressed.
  • In the afternoon:
  • Attend a session on how to crop images to maximize the power of your images.
  • And, if the waters are running, to photograph people fly-fishing in the river just across the road from the ranch.
  • After dinner we will bring out the glow-sticks and flashlights and have some fun with lights.


  • Today, we travel about 35 minutes to the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation to for a half-day tour.

Guided by an Ute Indian, we will learn about the Ute and Ancestral Puebloan cultures and be able to photograph historic rock art (petroglyphs) found on rock faces, scenic lands, Ute pictograph panels, geological land formation and surface sites.

All sites on the half-day tour are within a short walking distance of the gravel road.

  • Return to the ranch for lunch and a bit of relaxation.
  • Take your last photos of the ranch, its activities and animals.
  • Save some time to review your photos and select 3 photos to share with the group in a slide show.
  • Enjoy the photos we have shared and celebrate the week with a farewell dinner.


  • Spend the morning take a truly unforgettable step back in time on the historic Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway.

During the 3.5 hour journey in the coal-fired, steam-powered, narrow gauge train you will be photographing the uniqueness of the beautiful old train and the variety of scenery from open air gondolas/cars designed for the best possible views.

  • Arrive in and explore the old mining town of Silverton, have lunch on your own and, perhaps, some shopping.
  • Return to the ranch for dinner


After breakfast, take the shuttle back to the airport and return home.

Colorado Photo Retreat: Details

Participants: Min 16 – max 22

Cost Per Person: $3,900.00

This all-inclusive package includes:

Accommodation – regardless whether you wish single or double accommodation.

  • Meals:
  • All meals except .. lunch in Silverton on Saturday, Sept. 22, thus giving you the freedom to eat when you want and to explore and shop to your heart’s content.
  • Dinner will include wine, beer or soft drink. Other alcoholic beverages are not available.
  • Snacks:
  • Coffee and lemonade is available in lodge all day long.
  • Bottomless cookie jar in lodge at all times.
  • All ground transportation supplied by Majestic Dude Ranch:
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • All ground travel in a private mini van to and from all off-ranch excursions
  • All park fees, entrances, guides, etc.

The package does not included:

  • The cost of transportation to and from Durango – including all costs associated with that activity such as baggage surcharges, taxes and fees.
  • Gratuities and personal expenses.

Booking Conditions

Registration Deadline: May 15, 2018

  • A $500 deposit is required to secure a reservation
  • The deposit can be made by credit card (Visa or MasterCard), personal check or wire transfer.

Final Payment – Deadline: June 22, 2018

  • Full payment will due no later than 90 days prior to your departure.
  • Full payment can be made by credit card (Visa or MasterCard), personal check or wire transfer.

  • All inclusive
  • All types of photography
  • Private rooms
  • Learn about Native American Culture
  • See how a ranch is run
  • Ride antique train

Participants: Min 16 / Max 22

Tour Location: Mancos, Colorado

Dates: Sept. 16 to Sept. 22

2018 Price: $3,900

Deposit: $500

Registration Deadline: May 15, 2018

Final Payment Deadline: June 22, 2018