These photos from the Ecuadorian East Slope of the Andes were taken in a single province, the Napo. This diverse region includes parts of the high Andes, including the spa town of Papallacta and a large part of the Antisanilla Conservation Reserve, as well as parts of the Amazon Basin. But for naturalists and bird watchers, it is also known for the rich diversity of bird life in the cloud forests of the East Slope.
I have traveled several times to different lodges in this region. Sometimes the trip has focused on birding, others on seeing local sights like the San Rafael Waterfall and visiting the orchid reserve of San Cristobál. Tourism has struggled in parts of this province due to the influence of oil and gas corporations and the newly built Coca Sinclair Hydroelectric Dam. Along the E-45 corridor, companies related to these interests have leased many local hotels and hostels, making it tough for tourists to find rooms.
The wildlife photos were taken in two different locations, the Cabañas San Isidro in Cosanga and the Wildsumaco Lodge near Pacto-Sumaco. The waterfalls and orchid were taken during a trip to the Cayambe Coca National Park. We stayed in between Baeza and Santa Rosa de Quijos at the Rio Quijos Lodge, known as a whitewater rafting destination but also an excellent choice for nature lovers of all kinds.
These photos were published August 2016 in partnership with the Geographic Military Institute of Ecuador in the book Ecuador Por Mis Ojos.