Join a SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour

Ecuador occupies only 0.2% of the Earth's land surface, but it is home to 579 known amphibian species. In terms of amphibian biodiversity per square kilometer, Ecuador is among the highest in the world -- Ecuador actually has approximately 65 times more amphibian species per square kilometer compared to the USA! This incredible diversity is due to the large variety of ecological niches created by the Andes mountains, which cross the country from north to south, dividing the country into three distinct regions: the Amazon, the Coast and the Andes. At least 257 of Ecuador's amphibian species are found nowhere else on Earth. Ecuador's amphibians are incredible: glass frogs with translucent skin on their belly, allowing you to view their beating hearts; colorful frogs of all kind; and amazing behaviors like poison dart frogs carrying tadpoles on their back. With all this in such a small country, Ecuador is the perfect place to enjoy and learn about the unknown and enigmatic world of amphibians.

Hyalinobatrachium valerioi Mashpi Jaime Culebras
Photo of Hyalinobatrachium valerioi from Mashpi, Ecuador courtesy of Jaime Culebras, who also contributed the text above.

An Interview with Chelsea Carson in Ecuador

In October 2015, I visited Ecuador for the first time. I spent my first ten days in the country traveling with amphibian biologist Chelsea Carson. We visited the Amazon, the Andes and the coast to develop the SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour. At the end of our travels, I interviewed Chelsea while overlooking the Pacific Coast at Tabuga in Ecuador's Manabi province. We discussed Chelsea's career path and how she went from being an undergraduate organizing Save The Frogs Day events to a Fulbright scholar researching amphibians in Ecuador and organizing ecotours. Chelsea teaches us about Ecuador's primary ecosystems and the threats they face, and we learn about Chelsea's research in the streams and agricultural areas of the Ecuadorian cloudforest. We also discuss the value of ecotours, both for the ecotourist and the local communities. And of course we talk about the SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour and the beautiful frog habitats we visit on the tour.

Ecuador Ecotours
Chelsea Carson smiling with a glass frog in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Read more: An Interview with Chelsea Carson in Ecuador

Traveling the Amazon: The Best Weeks of My Life

Kaya Klop-Toker, a researcher studying the ecology of amphibians at the University of Newcastle in Australia, tells the story of the most memorable trip of her life. Her trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon (close to where we'll visit on the SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour) was a life-changing experience. The sights and sounds are memories she'll carry with her forever. Read on to explore the wonder of the Amazon.
 
Ranitomeya ventrimaculata ecuador kaya klop toker
This blue and red poison frog (Ranitomeya ventrimaculata) carries tadpoles on its back. They have been seen in bromeliads more than 100 feet above the forest floor.
 

One of the most magical things that I've ever experienced

In May 2017, Stephanie Steelman won a free SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour through our once in a lifetime Ecotour Sweepstakes. She joined the 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour, and here is what she had to say about the trip...

"Hi Kerry!
Thanks for checking in to see how the trip went. Winning the Save The Frogs Ecotour was a life changing experience for me. It's one of the most magical things that I've ever experienced and I'm so grateful that, through a sheer stroke of luck, I won and got to know the people I did and see the amazing things I got to see in Ecuador.

anaconda group hike
Stephanie and the SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour participants prepare to enter the jungle!

Read more: One of the most magical things that I've ever experienced

Photos and Stories from the 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour

From June 8th-20th, 2017, adventurers from Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and the USA joined SAVE THE FROGS! for the 2nd Annual SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour. From frog-watching in the Amazon Basin to hiking in the Andes, our group was overcome by the remarkable biodiversity of Ecuador. The ecotour was simply wonderful and truly an amphibian extravaganza! Our group observed 37 species of frogs and toads, 3 species of salamanders and 2 species of caecilians! We trekked through rainforests, hiked up mountains, swam in beautiful waterfall pools and took in the magnificent nature of Ecuador. We experienced the culture and traditions of indigenous groups and they honored us with their incredible knowledge of the rainforest. We ate fabulous food, made new friendships and integrated with people of different cultures, spreading amphibian awareness as we traveled. United by a love of frogs and an appreciation of nature, our participants left Ecuador feeling inspired and connected with the natural world. Every SAVE THE FROGS! ecotour is wonderful, but this trip was truly special.

“I can honestly say it was the best trip of my life (and I've travelled a lot!)”
- Melissa Steele-Ogus, Ecuador Ecotour Participant

Please read on to see the fantastic photos and stories from our time in Ecuador. We hope to see you on the 2018 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour!

Suchipakari | Anaconda Lodge | Mindo | El Crater | Papallacta | Teleferico | Villa Da Fiore | Amphibians of Ecuador 

Ecotour, Ecuador

Read more: Photos and Stories from the 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour

SAVE THE FROGS! 2016 Ecuador Ecotour Photos and Stories

The inaugural SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour took place June 15th to June 26th, 2016 and was a huge success. Our group of frog enthusiasts explored the Amazon rainforest, the Mindo cloudforests, and the high slopes of the Andes. We found frogs, monkeys, lizard and colorful birds and insects. We ate fabulous food, made new friendships and integrated with people of different cultures, spreading amphibian awareness as we travelled. We hope to see you on the 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour!

Suchipakari | Mindo | El Crater | Papallacta | Rio Quijos | Teleferico | Villa Da Fiore | El Pahuma | Quito | Laguna Cuicocha

suchipakari 78

Read more: SAVE THE FROGS! 2016 Ecuador Ecotour Photos and Stories

Explore the Cloud Forests of Ecuador

Cloud forests are truly fascinating ecosystems that contain rich biodiversity and amphibian species found nowhere else in the world. This year during the SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour we will spend three nights in the remarkable cloud forest ecosystem of the Mindo Valley. The Mindo Valley is not just beautiful and pristine, but its history contains a unique story of conservation, ecotourism, and sustainable development. The dedicated individuals who live in the Mindo Valley started a movement to protect this incredible landscape because they are passionate about the many plants and animals that call this cloud forest home.

Pristimantis crucifer Mashpi Jaime Culebras
Photo of Pristimantis crucifer from Mashpi, Ecuador, courtesy of Jaime Culebras

Read more: Explore the Cloud Forests of Ecuador

The SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour: June 2017

Destinations | Meet Your Ecotour Leaders | Trip itinerary | Prepare For Your Trip | Trip Cost | Contact

The 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour was a huge sucess!
Click here to see the fantastic photos and stories from our time in Ecuador.

Have you ever wanted to explore the Amazon rainforest, learn from experts about tropical ecology, or experience the beauty of the Andes mountains? How about all three? Well now is your chance to experience all of that and more! We are pleased to announce that the June 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour will take place June 8th to 20th, 2017 and will encompass the Amazon rainforest, the Andes mountains, the cloud forests, dry forests, and an abundance of opportunities to find and photograph amphibians. Please complete the Ecotour Expression of Interest Form or send an email to trip leader Chelsea Carson at chelsea@savethefrogs.com if you are interested in joining SAVE THE FROGS! in Ecuador in June 2017 for an amazing 13 days (12 nights) adventure. In an effort to keep our group size small, we are limiting this ecotour to 14 participants. We are looking forward to frogging the Andes and Amazon with you!

"We never would have imagined the powerful connections we made with both the group and the amazing country of Ecuador and it's beautiful people. We are forever grateful for your friendship. We are forever changed by our experiences. We will see both you and Ecuador again."
-- Kelly Geer, Participant of the 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour

Mindo Glass Frogs
We found this beautiful glass frog in the Mindo cloud forests during the 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour.

Read more: The SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour: June 2017

Meet The People Who Went On The 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour

People who like new experiences, adventures, and fringe explorations in wild nature love SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotours. SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotours are defined by lasting friendships, impressions, experience, and adventures, where you’ll meet like-minded people and have experiences of a lifetime. The 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour had people of all ages—from college-aged to senior—from a variety of backgrounds, brought together by a common love of frogs, wildlife, and adventure. The trip included many firsts for the participants, including rescuing an ocelot, ziplining through the canopy, even the first time out of the country or flying solo for some. Read the profiles below of some of the 2016 participants to get a feel of what it’s like to travel with SAVE THE FROGS! and learn about our upcoming ecotours here.

Pristimantis ornatissimus Mashpi Jaime Culebras
Photo of Pristimantis ornatissimus from Mashpi, Ecuador courtesy of Jaime Culebras, who led our group through the Mindo cloudforests.

Read more: Meet The People Who Went On The 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour

Reflections on the June 2016 STF! Ecuador Ecotour

In June 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! led a group of 17 Americans through the rainforests and cloud forests of Ecuador for 12 days on the inaugural SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador EcotourBelow are the reflections and photos of ecotour participant George Quiroga, a professional photographer and wildlife enthusiast who joined us in Ecuador.

I am finally unwinding and have some time before my flight home to reflect on my days in Ecuador these past couple of weeks. It has been a wonderful trip of beautiful scenery, spectacular wildlife, new friendships, rich history, wonderful food, amazing experiences, and boundless new knowledge. There has been adventure, physical challenges, emotional moments hearing of local tragedies, but also the jubilation of discovering awesome creatures, breathtaking scenery, and the camaraderie developed with like-minded enthusiasts along the way.

Phyllomedusa George Quiroga

Read more: Reflections on the June 2016 STF! Ecuador Ecotour

A message from the Amazon Rainforest at Suchipakari

Please watch this short video recorded by SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour Trip Leaders Dr. Kerry Kriger and Chelsea Carson. The video is filmed at a stream in the Amazon Rainforest at Suchipakari, where our ecotour will spend two frog-filled nights!

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Ecuador Ecotours 8

The SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour

Have you ever wanted to explore the Amazon rainforest, learn from experts about tropical ecology, or experience the beauty of the Andes mountains? How about all three? If so, then you should join the next SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour! Our frog experts are looking forward to introducing you to some of the most spectacular frog habitats on the planet. Please contact us with any questions you may have.

View photos from the 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour |
Learn about the June 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour |
View photos from the 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour |
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Save The Frogs Ecuador Ecotour
Visiting AmaZOOnico during the 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour.

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