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Ecuador Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Ecuador? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.

Filming in Ecuador

For an introduction to shooting in Ecuador see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.

Ecuador Film Locations

Ecuador is an equatorial South American country that offers a variety of locations in close proximity to each other. In a single day you can drive from the Amazon rainforest, across a range of snow-capped volcanoes, through verdant cloud forests, finally arriving at Pacific coast surf beaches.

Agricultural film locations include plantations of cocoa, coffee, bananas, sugarcane, corn, palm oil, rice, potatoes, tobacco, pineapples, oranges, cotton, timber, and cut flowers. Ecuador is known for its shrimp farms. The country mines oil, gold, silver, copper, and antimony. Energy film locations include hydroelectric dams, and thermal power plants.

Ecuador has hosted productions including The Amazing Race 11 (2007), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Proof of Life (2000), Clear and Present Danger (1994), and Baraka (1992).

Film locations can be divided into four main geographic regions:

La Sierra

The Andes region includes the provinces of Carchi, Imbabura, Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Bolívar, Chimborazo, Cañar, Azuay, and Loja.

The Andes mountain chain offers a variety of incredible landscapes including volcanoes, national parks, scenic train journeys, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and colonial towns.

Quito is Ecuador’s capital, second largest city, and main film production centre. The city sits at the high altitude of 2,850m (9,350ft). Situated in a valley of volcanic peaks, Quito is best known for its well-preserved Spanish colonial old town.

Carondelet Palace is the seat of government.

Plaza de la Independencia is the main square.

Churches of note include the Church and Convent of St Francis and Compañía de Jesús, Basilica and Convent of San Francisco, Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito Metropolitan Cathedral, Church of El Sagrario, Church of Santo Domingo, and Cementerio de San Diego.

Museums of note include National Museum of Ecuador, Museo Templo del Sol Pintor Ortega Maila, Casa Museo Guayasamin, La Capilla Del Hombre designed by Oswaldo Guayasamín, and Intinan Museum.

Entertainment venues include Casa De la Musica, Sucre National Theatre, and and Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa.

Parks of note include Parque Metropolitano Guanguiltagua, Parque Bicentenario, La Carolina, El Ejido, and Guápulo.

Qorner Tower is a modern building designed by Moshe Safdie.

Quito Astronomical Observatory is a unique building.

Garcia Moreno prison is an abandoned prison available for filming.

Transport locations include Quito Metro, and Mariscal Sucre International Airport.

A scenic rail journey runs from Quito all the way to Guayaquil, with the spectacular Nariz del Diablo portion of the track being of particular interest to filmmakers.

Proof of Life (2000), and Clear and Present Danger (1993) filmed in Quito.

Outside of Quito the Andes region includes the following film locations:

Cuenca is a beautiful city known for the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Sagrario Church, Cuenca City Hall, and Plaza Abdon Calderon.

Baños de Agua Santa is the gateway to the Amazon rainforest.

Otavalo is known for its colourful textiles market.

Cotopaxi National Park is known for Cotopaxi volcano, the highest active volcano in the world.

Cayambe Coca National Park is known for high altitude sierra with Cayambe volcano, montane cloud forests, as well as the hot, humid rainforest of the Amazon basin. San Rafael Waterfall is a beautiful film location. Wildlife of note includes spectacled bears, foxes, páramo rabbits, armadillos, mountain tapirs, cougars, culpeos, and a diversity of birdlife.

Other volcanos of note in this region include Antisana, Sangay, Altar, Illiniza, Tungurahua, Pichincha, and Chimborazo which is Ecuador’s highest peak.

Cajas National Park has a landscape of cloud forests, and páramo. Wildlife includes a diversity of birdlife including the South American condor.

Llanganates National Park is Andean páramo with a deserted landscape of mountainous peaks and high valleys. Wildlife includes vicuñas, llamas and alpacas.

Yacurí National Park is known for its high altitude lakes, páramo landscapes, and cloud forest. Wildlife includes cougars, spectacled bears, mountain tapirs, and a diversity of birdlife.

Mashpi Lodge offers luxury accomodation inside the Mashpi Cloud Forest.

Quilotoa, and Cuicocha are two picturesque crater lakes in this region.

Coca Codo Sinclair Dam is located in El Reventador.

La Costa

The Coastal region includes the provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabí, Los Ríos, Guayas, Santa Elena, and El Oro.

The Pacific coast offers beaches, surf breaks, rivers, scenic coastal roads, whale breeding areas, coffee and banana plantations.

Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city. Film locations include the Port of Guayaquil, Malecón 2000 boardwalk, Guayaquil Metropolitan Cathedral, Museo Antropológico y de Arte Contemporaneo, Parque Seminario, Parque Samanes, José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport, Estadio Monumental Banco Pichincha, and Estadio George Capwell.

Beaches of note include Playa Montañita, Playa Mompiche, Playa Escondida, Playa De Los Frailes, and Playa De Canoa.

Machalilla National Park protects islands, beaches, fog forest, and dry forest. Wildlife includes armadillos, monkeys, and a diversity of birdlife. The park is a breeding ground for humpback whales.

El Oriente

The Amazon region includes the provinces of Sucumbíos, Napo, Francisco de Orellana, Pastaza, Morona Santiago, and Zamora Chinchipe.

Ecuador’s Amazon jungle region, located to the east of the Andes, is one of the world’s most accessible areas of the upper Amazon basin.

Yasuní National Park includes three unique regions, the Equator, Andes Mountains, and the Amazon rainforest. Wildlife includes a diversity of birdlife, bats, fish, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and monkeys including the napo saki. The park’s riverways are the main mode of travel.

Sangay National Park is known for its glaciers, volcanic landscapes, tropical rainforests, cloud forests, wetlands, grasslands, and páramo high elevation moorlands. Wildlife of note includes mountain tapirs, spectacled bears, giant otters, jaguars, cougars, pampas cats, ocelots, margays, Brazilian tapirs, white-tailed deers, little red brocket deers, Northern pudus, and a diversity of birdlife.

Podocarpus National Park has a diverse landscape that spans from lower montane rainforests to elfin forests. The park is home to over 4,000 species of plants and trees. Wildlife includes mountain tapirs, spectacled bears, northern pudus, and jaguars.

Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park tropical forests are home to jaguars, cougars, spectacled bears, giant anteaters, brown-throated sloths, and mountain tapirs.


The Galápagos Islands, located 1,000 km (621 mi) west of Ecuador’s mainland, are made up of 18 main islands and many islets. The islands are famous for their unique marine and land animals.

Baltra Island is a centrally located island, known for its arid landscape of salt bushes, prickly pear cacti, and palo santo trees. Seymour Galápagos Ecological Airport is located on the island.

Bartolomé Island is home to Galápagos penguins, and green turtles. Pinnacle Rock is located on Bartolomé Island.

Darwin Island is known for its fur seals, frigates, marine iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions, whales, marine turtles, and red-footed boobies, and Nazca boobies.

Española Island is known for its unique Española lava lizards, Galápagos tortoises, marine iguanas, waved albatrosses, and other birdlife.

Fernandina Island is the youngest island. It is known for flightless cormorants, Galápagos penguins, marine iguanas, and Galápagos sea lions.

Floreana Island is known for its flamingos, Galápagos petrels, and green sea turtles.

Genovesa Island is known for its diversity of birdlife including frigatebirds, red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, storm petrels, tropicbirds, Darwin’s finches, and Galápagos mockingbirds.

Isabela Island is the largest island. The island is known for Galápagos penguins, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and a diversity of birdlife including flightless cormorants. Sierra Negra is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. The Collapsed Lava Tunnels are a unique film location.

Marchena Island is home to Marchena lava lizards, Galápagos hawks, and sea lions.

North Seymour Island is home to blue-footed boobies, and swallow-tailed gulls.

Pinzón Island is home to Galápagos tortoises, and Galápagos sea lions.

Pinta Island is home to swallow-tailed gulls, marine iguanas, Galápagos hawks, and Galápagos fur seals.

Rábida Island is home to pelicans, white-cheeked pintails, boobies, and several species of finch.

San Cristobal Island is known for Galápagos sea lions, Galápagos tortoises, marine iguanas, and a diversity of birdlife. This island is also know for El Junco Lagoon, and San Cristóbal Airport.

Santa Cruz Island is the second largest island and most populated. The island is known for Charles Darwin Research Station, Lava Tunnels, and Tortuga Bay. Wildlife includes Galápagos tortoises, marine iguanas, and Galápagos crabs.

Santa Fe Island is home to Barrington land iguanas, Barrington leaf-toed geckos, and Santa Fe marine iguanas.

Santiago Island is home to Galápagos fur seals, Galápagos sea lions, Sally Lightfoot crabs, marine iguana, and Galápagos land iguanas.

Wolf Island is known for its underwater life including hammerhead sharks, Galápagos sharks, whale sharks, green turtles, and manta rays. The island is also known for birdlife including frigatebirds, red-footed boobies, and vampire finches.

Rocas Baimbridgen is home to the spectacular Blue Lagoon.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) filmed in the Galápagos Islands.

Ecuador Film Location Permits

Permitting depends on the scale and specifics of the project. Note, even small scale filming like b-roll in places such as national parks, historic centres, or churches requires additional permitting and may incur fees. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Ecuador’s weather varies depending on the region. Along the coast, high rainfall occurs during the months of February and March. From the month of June to December, the coast experiences dry weather. The Andes region has a rainy season from October to May and a dry season from June to September. The dry seasons are the best times to film for weather. The Amazon region has rainfall throughout the year. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

• Carnaval takes place in cities across the country in February.
• Semana Santa processions across the country in April.
• Inti Raymi takes place in Otavalo in June.
• Fiestas de Guayaquil in July.
• Fiestas de Mama Negra takes place in Latacunga in September.
• Día de los Muertos across the country in November.
• Fiestas de Quito in December.
• Años Viejos across the country on New Years Eve.

Ecuador is a predominately Christian country, so those holidays are observed.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Ecuador.

Unique Local Stories

Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.

If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.

If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Ecuador trades in the USD. Locations, local talent, support crew, and locally produced goods are inexpensive. The need to bring in most key crew and equipment adds to the costs of shooting in Ecuador. Our Ecuadorian fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. At present there are no specific government tax incentives for foreign feature films or commercials shooting in Ecuador.

The Ecuadorian government may offer support in kind. If you have a long-form project requiring multiple-entry travel for crews and equipment, and many locations to permit, then our local production team can organise supporting letters from various government departments. Your script and other information needs to first be submitted. If the government deems the project to be of benefit to the country then the supporting documents will be approved. These documents will make it easier to get crew and gear in and out of the country. It will make it less expensive and easier to deal with permitting authorities for various public locations such as those run by national parks and municipalities. Various other public departments will also be made available to assist you, such as the police. The application process takes about a month.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Ecuador has a small pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Crews are non union. Supporting crew are good, resourceful and speak English. There are some key crew but for more complicated projects it is recommended to bring in your key crew from abroad.

Contact us if you are looking for a Quito, Guayaquil, or Galapagos based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew in Ecuador.

Talent is non-union. Day rates and buyouts are negotiable.

Spanish is most commonly spoken. Quichua and Shuar are the main intercultural languages among indigenous peoples.

Talent looks vary by region. Ecuador’s ethnic composition is made up of Mestizos, Caucasians, Montubios, Afro-Ecuadorians, and Amerindians such as the Shuar, Huaorani, and Kichua people. Other talent looks are best cast abroad.

Ecuador Film Equipment

Equipment. Basic camera, lighting and grip equipment available locally. Additional equipment can be easily brought in from Chile or Argentina.

In terms of bringing in equipment, a customs permit is required to make sure you can clear gear without paying import taxes. To process the customs permit our Ecuadorian fixer / service producer will require you to send a project synopsis, equipment list with serial numbers, flight information and passport bio page scan of crew member responsible for the equipment. 

Communications. Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.

Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.

For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction. It’s best to bring in art department key crew to oversee the project. Quality of local craftsmanship is high and man power is cheap.

Studios. TV Stations such as Ecuavisa, Gamavisión and Teleamazonashave have studios for rent.

Backlots don’t exist at present.

Post Production. Some basic post facilities exist in Quito.

Visas & Work Permits

Ecuador has one of the most open visa policies in the world allowing visa-free travel for most nationals for stays of up to 90 days. US passport holders can find more information here. For more information contact your local Ecuadorian embassy / representative.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Major roads are up to international standards. Some rural roads are poorly maintained and slower going. Most larger towns are serviced by domestic flights. There are daily flights to the Galapagos Islands. Several international airlines service flights into Quito.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Quito include:

Boutique Hotel Mansion del Angel
Radisson Royal
NU House Boutique Hotel

Please contact us for corporate rates.

For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Try some local cuisine including cuy asado, bolon de verde, encocado de pescado, encebollado de pescado, ceviche, llapingachos, guatita, seco de chivo, arroz con menestra, fritada, mote pillo, uchumanga, locro de papa, and humita.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Ecuador, please see below:

Hire Ecuador Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Ecuador, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Ecuador, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.