One of a kind! This is THE only photographic tour that focuses on photographing the Corpus Christi Festival where participants are led, guided and instructed by a professional photographer.
Against the backdrop of the exciting and colorful, 460-year-old Corpus Christi Festival, spend several days with award winning photographer, Essdras Suarez, photographing the city with one of the most laid-back culture in Ecuador -- Cuenca (Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca) – and outlying areas.
This celebration is a photographer’s delight!
During this celebration, Cuenca is full of colors, fireworks, folk dances and traditional music. The Parque Calderon fills with people enjoying the spectacle of the burning castles as the sweet aroma of a myriad of confectionary delights fills the streets.
A UNESCO World Heritage Trust site, Cuenca has been celebrating its Spanish heritage and indigenous traditions of Pachamama and giving thanks to the harvest, with a Corpus Christi Festival since 1557. Without a doubt, Corpus Christi Festival is an event not to be missed!
Fly into Quito, Ecuador, where you will be met and transported to your hotel and given time to adjust to the altitude.
The following morning, we will begin by gathering as a group to meet your fellow travelers and be briefed on how we will spend the next 7 days—find out what Essdras has in store for you!
Next on the agenda is exploring the unique city of Quito - Ecuador’s most European city – with its 16th and 17th century Spanish colonial architecture and city center.
On the third day, we will fly over the Andes Mountains to Cuenca and tour this beautifully preserved colonial city with its clean streets and agreeable weather. After getting settled, we will visit a “Panama Hat” factory; the studio of Andrea Tello, an award-winning jeweler, and a historic and colorful cemetery dating back to the 1800’s.
The next day we will spend exploring Cuenca, focusing on the many street activities surrounding the Fiestas de Corpus Christi and looking for those most-unique opportunities to photograph people enjoying themselves. After an early dinner, we will then photograph the festival fireworks – a sight to behold.
On our last day in the area, we will travel to the picturesque artisan village of Chordeleg. A small town in the mountains of Ecuador that still adheres to the guild system, established during Spanish colonial times, that required each town to have a certain skill or craft that they specialized in. The people of Chordeleg were metalworkers who became silversmiths. Now their artistry has made them THE premiere jewelers of silver, nickel, and brass jewelry.
Then, we will venture on to La Makana a city, which gets its namesake from the production of their world- famous “makanas” or shawls made by using a traditional l weaving technique known as “IKAT”, which uses of different techniques that give threads their unique designs.
When we return to our hotel we will have dinner, after which we will take a sunset drive to Mirador deTuri (“Viewpoint of Brother” in the Quechua language) where one gets the best view in Cuenca – a marvelous lookout point for panoramic photographs.
On day six will fly back to Quito and drive directly from the airport to the Bella Vista Forest Lodge for lunch and to photograph hummingbirds. After lunch we will continue onto Mindo and check into our hotel. Once settled, we will take a five-minute walk to the Chocolate Factory and photograph the entire chocolate-making process and, of course, taste the goodies.
The next day will begin with a professionally guided Bird Watching tour in search of toucans, parrots, quetzals, umbrellabirds and, if lucky, the cock-of-the-rock, which happens to be Peru’s national bird. After a lunch on your own, you’ll have the afternoon to explore some of the other activities Mindo has to offer, such as their Orchid Garden, the Minjoy Park Chairlift through the cloud forest, or do a waterfall hike, etc.
After dinner, we will regroup in preparation for a guided Mindo Night Walk where we’ll search for nocturnal mammals, frogs, luminescent micro bacteria, etc.
On our last morning in Mindo, we will take short walk to the Mindo Butterfly Farm when the butterflies are most active. The Farm boasts of dozens of butterfly species fluttering around amid orchids and flowering trees. Dishes of bananas, which are a favorite of butterflies, are left about for these winged beauties’ delight. Visitors are encouraged to rub a bit of banana onto their hands to attract butterflies to land on them. But even without using the bananas, butterflies randomly land on shoulders and heads.
We will return to our hotel for lunch and collect our luggage and drive back to Quito. After checking into our hotel, we will regroup for a farewell dinner.
On day nine, after breakfast, we will drive to the airport for your flights home.
In addition to the continuous instruction and guidance from Essdras, the package includes:
Not included is:
Note: Citizens of the United States, Canada and most European countries traveling to Ecuador for tourism do not require a visa unless they expect to stay in Ecuador for more than 90 days