Author of “Huntleyas and Related Orchids”, co-author of “Orchids of Brazil: Oncidiinae” and editor of “Maxillaria: An unfinished monograph”
Leaving the comfort of home and going out into the “wild” can be intimidating and strenuous. It is hard work, but if it was not fun it I would not do it. Exploring with the guides from Ecotone Tours makes the effort fun. It is not just about orchids, but all the plants, birds, bugs–the whole environment. The guides do not just place names on everything but allow everyone to feel like they are participating in the discoveries. Their enthusiasm is charming and infectious. Their personalities are easy going, joking and laughing at the odd situations that occur, something that is so important in handling the various adversities that always happen.
Gary Yong Gee
Member of the Orchid Species Society and Orchid Conservation Alliance.
I enjoyed a well-conducted tour with Ecotone Tours for 10 days. Accommodation and transport were well arranged. I was impressed by the knowledge and enthusiasm or our guides who were able to show our group of mixed enthusiasts numerous orchids, birds and other wildlife in many locations.
Sebastian Moreno was very helpful with his identification of the orchid species plus his general knowledge of other plants and wildlife was notable. Although I am not a birder, I’m amazed at how Ruben Dario Palacio can spot and recognise so many birds that are far away. David Haelterman also has a comprehensive knowledge of the native orchids.
I’m certainly going to be using Ecotone Tours next time I visit Colombia.
[Visit Gary’s personal website at www.yonggee.name ]
The people at ecotone tours are really great. Our group had varied interests and they strove to put us on the plants and animals which we wanted to see. In our limited time, we covered several ecosystems and they were knowledgeable about all of them. They were extremely patient, friendly, and professional catering to everyone, from novice to professional, from botanist to birder. On my next visit to Colombia, I will definitely request their service.
Director of the Orchid Conservation Alliance (OCA), member of the Conservation Committee of American Orchid Society.
I enjoyed our trip very much. We had very interesting days on the road above Orquideas del Valle and in Puracé, down the hill from the condor rock. I’d never before seen a caucea or Masdevallia racemosa in bloom. And I should say that the condor feeding was spectacular! To see them at such close range and to video the pair and their interaction with the black vultures – that was really special! I also loved the paramo and the blooming auropurpureum. It must have been exciting to see so many of them in bloom.
Ken and Jeanne Chamberlain
To Rubén: We had a great experience birding with Rubén. He is knowledgeable about the birds, song and habitat. He brings an honest enthusiasm to the effort. He responded well to unexpected events and had a flexible approach that we appreciated. Rubén is fluent in English and pleasant to spend time with in the field. We can recommend his services without hesitation.
[Note from Ecotone Tours:] You are welcome to check the birding trip report that Ken and Jeanne wrote for their Western and Central Andes of Colombia adventures (Valle del cauca itinerary): Colombia 2016 Trip Report.
John Nelson and Tin-Wein Yu
Louisiana Orchid Connection
To David Haelterman: Tin and I would like to thank and recognize you for the outstanding tour that you put together for us in Colombia last November.You came well recommended and I must say, you exceeded our expectations in every way.
When we initially received your contact information, we sent a request to you to put a 5 or 6 day tour together for us with the goal of seeing as many orchid species as possible. Your response was prompt and complete: you outlined an itinerary that gave us a broad exposure to a number of climates and habitats affording us the opportunity to see dozens and dozens of species.You were flexible as our group size increased at the last moment.We ended up with a wonderful collaborative gang that really enjoyed the company and conversations as well as our many orchid viewing experiences.
We all had a wonderful time thanks to the efforts of you and your support team.I hope that our paths will cross again someday soon and in the meantime, I look forward to recommending you and your company to any and all that are looking for great forest experiences hunting for orchids.
Founder and CEO, Wildlife Trust of India, Senior Advisor to President, IFAW. Member Steering Committee IUCN SSC and Chair, AsESG, IUCN SSC.
To Rubén: Ruben Palacio accompanied me in a most memorable trip at Cali and turned to be a qualified and enjoyable birding guide who both knew his birds, their ecology and also interesting behavioural traits. I would unhesitatingly recommend Ruben to anyone who wishes to enjoy the birdlife of Colombia and in particular the surroundings of Cali which is truly a bird paradise.