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Ecuador, a Paradise for the lovers of Photography  

by Hugo Sandoval

I am a hardened photographer and I have more than 15 years in this area and I want to tell you that visiting Ecuador in South America, was a wonderful experience, mainly because I had the aid of GRAY LINE TOURS and because I could take the necessary time to admire and to photograph its Four Regions, and is that Ecuador, in spite of being a relatively small country, with a 98,985 Mi2 of territory, it has "Four Worlds" clearly marked, for delight of its visitors: Ecuadorian Coast, Ecuadorian Highlands, Amazonian Jungle and the Galapagos Islands.

I had the opportunity to photograph great part of those Four Worlds and is why I want to share with you my experience.

I initiated my trip by Ecuadorian Coast, in city of Guayaquil - Ecuador, where is one of two international airports that this beautiful country has, and I had the opportunity to take one of the Tours of Gray Line Tours, in which I could appreciate and photograph this beautiful and great city, that is second in importance of all Ecuador.

Because Ecuador co pretty by the West with the Pacific Ocean, has a large extension of beautiful beaches in which I could catch with my lens a numberless of beach landscapes with impressive views of sea, rocks, vegetation, animals, people and sunsets worthy of the paradise. Also I can say to you that, in the zone of the Ecuadorian Coast, not only exist beaches like tourist attraction, also we can found in this one zone several cities and towns full of spectacular colorful and traditions and with the aid of the Ecuador Tours that Gray Line Tours offered to me, I could photograph each detail of these wonderful destinies.

In the same way, I could photograph a lot of Ecuadorian history, since the Ecuadorian coasts, are rich in cultural treasures since on its lived, among other cultures, the Indigenous Culture of Valdivia, very important for the Formative Period of Ecuador, therefore we found many museums in which we can observe vestiges of this culture, mainly of the "Venus de Valdivia", who are a representation of a woman, her activities and live cycles, as well as several types of ceramics and rest leaved by these cultures.

As I had the opportunity to travel in the month of August, I take a tour to the Plata Island, that is located 2 hours in boat from the continent, and in the way I could capture, in my lens of course, some Humpback Whale, that jumped one and once again of the water, filling us of emotion to all of that we were in the boat. When we arrived at the Plata Island, my admiration did not finish, be cause I could appreciate many species of birds, that I thought only I will going to find days later of my trip, when I should arrive at the Galapagos Islands.

I continued my trip by the Ecuadorian Highlands, arriving at the other one International Airport of Ecuador, in the city of Quito - Ecuador, the Capital and more important city of Ecuador, located to a 9,300 Ft. above the sea level and near to the Middle of the World (length 0º), place where the planet Earth is divided in two equal parts by the Equatorial Line, for that reason when I arrived, I asked for my kindly guide of Gray Line Tours make a City Tour & Equatorial Monument, one of products of Ecuador Tours that offer Gray Line Tours and with which I could know why, UNESCO named to Quito - Ecuador and its Historic colonial downtown like Human Cultural Heritage, I almost could say that I photographed each centimeter of this Cultural Heritage as well as the Famous Middle of the World city and its monument.

In the central part of the Ecuadorian Territory and crossed by the Mountain range of the Andes, we found the most beautiful mountainous places, full of culture and tradition, Archaeological Ruins, like the Inca’s Ruins of Ingapirca (Inca’s Ruins, second in importance of the entire world), big lagoons, some of them within old extinct volcano craters, volcanoes, snow-covered mountains, majestic mountains, colorful cities and populations, landscapes that I was capturing one by one with my camera, in the day, in the afternoon, or in the night, I never let to be admire myself with the spectacle of this particular beauty

Among other cities of importance, we found the third city more important of the Ecuadorian Territory, the city of Cuenca - Ecuador, Also we found the population of Riobamba - Ecuador, well-known by its famous " Devil’s Nose Train ", Otavalo - Ecuador and its Indigenous Market, etc. All of them constitute a gold mine for the photographers like me, cannot maintain the finger taken off from the shutter of the camera.

After my stay in the Ecuadorian Highlands, I continued my trip towards the Amazon Jungle is one of the tourists most desired destinies, for the who enjoy of the adventure and the old cultures, to completely far away of the comforts and the noise of the great cities. For the lovers of the green tonalities, let me tell you that here you can find thousands of these tonalities, from the darkest green, to clearest and pale ones. Beautiful landscapes of a pure and virgin forest or borders of rivers, that in their majority are affluent of the Great Amazonas River, spectacular photos of black water rivers and its igapos, where inhabit piranhas, pink dolphins, Caymans, boas, anacondas, etc and its sunsets with the sun being reflected in their waters, photos which I am sure will astonish to all that could see them, and don’t by my photographic abilities, but rather by the images shaped in them and the facility that I had to catch them, I am sure that any person without experience in the photography could catch photos better than any expert, by the landscaping that this jungle displays to us.

Before finalizing my trip to this wonderful country and with the aid of Gray Line Tours and its Ecuador Tours, I could know another one, according to UNESCO, Biosphere Natural Heritage, like are the Galapagos Islands and is that speaking of the Galapagos Islands, it is to speak of another completely different world, where you can photograph Marine Wolves, Iguanas, Boobies, Penguins, etc, to few meters of distance, you could even touch them, but that it is not allowed of course.

Each one of the islands and their submarine territory, has a flora and a different fauna, which makes a paradise for the lovers of the photography and mainly for the open waters divers like me, since, if they have luck will be able to dive and to photograph the greatest Shark of the world, the Whale Shark, that is very difficult to see in other places, also I had the opportunity to photograph a large number of hammer sharks, rays eagle, morays, dolphins, tropical fishes, etc, etc.

At least, to speak of Ecuador and its Four Regions, is to speak of a country incredibly rich landscapingly speaking, that complemented with their biodiversity, habitats, human heat, etc, make it perfect for the photography and the tourism.

About the Author

Hugo Sandoval is chief editor of Grayline Ecuador. If you are planning to visit Ecuador please visit

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