Deposit: 50% trip cost
POA for children under the age of 12
Meeting Point: Quito, Ecuador
Length of trip: 13 nights, 14 days
Group size: minimum 8, Maximum 10
What is included in the price of the trip?
What is NOT included in the price of the trip?
During the last 18 months, many of us have asked ourselves questions about our work/life balance, our service, our place in the world, what is truly important and meaningful to us, and decided that we wanted to shift our energy to be more in alignment with our values and beliefs.
This magical 13 night, 14 day journey into the heart and soul of the Ecuadorian Amazon and Andes is for those who have felt the call of the wild, who want to further explore their connection to nature, to the Earth and themselves; to heal and to learn from the forest, the mountains, the rivers, and from the indigenous wisdom keeper custodians of these lands, who generously share their deep knowledge and connection to the earth with us. We really feel that the jungle calls to us at exactly the right time, so if you are hearing the call, come!
Our time together will be healing, transformational and soul nourishing but also fun with a touch of adventure!
From the heights of the Andes Mountains to the species-rich jungle floors of the Amazon Basin, discover Ecuador's natural treasures, swim in its waterways, hike with indigenous guides, canoe down mystical rivers deep in the Amazon, take part in ceremonies with indigenous shaman, experience tribal culture, worldview and hospitality. Enjoy traditional cuisine, and relax and recuperate in a volcanic thermal spa in the shadow of Ecuador's magnificent volcanoes.
Throughout the trip we will integrate our shifting perspectives and deepen our transformation with at least six Breathwork sessions with renowned Breathwork evangelist and visionary Richie Bostock (AKA The Breath Guy).
You will hardly believe that this trip is only 13 nights long - it will feel like a month! Due to Ecuador's small size and its diversity (it contains all the ecosystems of South America except the Argentine Pampas) we are able to have a number of experiences in a short space of time, without feeling rushed.
For those who have more time we have a couple of possible additions to your trip -for example Galapagos islands. Please contact us if you are interested and we can help you plan travels before or after your jungle experience!
Your guides Zoë Tryon and Richie Bostock
Day One: Friday 10th June 2022
Arrive Quito, Ecuador - flights from Europe and the US usually arrive in the evening, you will be collected from the airport and taken to your hotel the delightful Cultura Manor. For those who have arrived early we will meet for dinner at the hotel.
(many people choose to arrive a night or two early to explore Quito or get over jet lag before the trip proper starts – if you would like to do this let us know and we can offer some suggestions – we will also create a whatsapp group so you can connect with other people arriving early and plan things together)
Day Two: 11th June
We drive in our own comfortable bus down from Quito through the famous Valley of the Volcanos, from the Andes down to the gateway to the Amazon Basin. Stopping for the first shamanic ceremony of our journey with the Salasaca people and shaman Mama Julia, to ground us and connect us with the spirits of the land, after a delicious home grown Salasacan lunch we continue on our way.
Dropping down through the cloud forest into the edge of the Amazon basin, spending the night in a gorgeous little hotel nestled in gardens on the edge of the forest, we will be joined for dinner by Amazonian indigenous leaders who will share with us how they are battling to protect the forest and their visions for the future.
Day Three: 12th June
After breakfast, a short drive to the airstrip and we fly by small Cessna planes into the forest. The experience of flying over the forest is truly magical, watching as built up areas fall away until you see just a blanket of treetops beneath you as far as the eye can see, snake like glistening rivers wind their way through the jungle. As we fly deeper into the mighty Amazon rainforest, the calmer you will feel.
We land in the Sapara indigenous community of llanchamacocha on the banks of the Conambo river. The Sapara people 'the hippies of the Amazon'- a peaceful people who are master healers who believe that any illness is the result of emotional and spiritual imbalance. It is their intent to restore that balance by revitalizing our connection to the healing power of the natural world – through dream work, ceremony and other modalities. Sapara culture is under grave threat and in the process of extinction. In fact, on May 18, 2001, UNESCO recognized the Sapara oral tradition as a Masterpiece of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Of the 559 or so Sapara left, only 4 speak the Sapara language.
After a beautiful welcome and clearing ceremony we make our way downstream by canoe (or those who are brave enough can swim!) We will stay in their traditional healing center, in huts built in the typical style found in every Sapara home. The open-air design allows us to all be together and for you to experience the beauty and sounds of the jungle all times. We will settle in and then bathe in the river and spend time with our hosts learning about Sapara culture.
Day Four: 13th June
Before breakfast there will be another traditional cleansing ceremony best described by Manari Ushigua, leader and shaman of the Sapara people:
"When we have visitors to our territory the first thing we have to do is a limpia (ritual cleansing). We use medicinal plants chiricaspi, and haoneca (jungle tobacco) and using these plants we open a window for them to connect with nature and the spiritual world. These plants neutralize and clean the contamination of the city, and the contaminated thinking, so they can be connected to the scent of the forest. Once they are balanced the people can begin to recognize nature and it can begin to communicate with them, they can't do that when they are contaminated. Then when they sleep that night they will begin to dream"
There will be a light breakfast of jungle grown fruits, and then those who choose to take part in the ceremony in the evening led by Manari will fast. Our medicine will be prepared by Sapara elder Mukasawa one of the four remaining speakers of the Sapara language, she is Manari's mother and wife of the famed Jaguar shaman who has sadly passed away.
Day Five: 14th June
After a big breakfast we will meet with Manari to share our experience of last nights ceremony. The morning can be spent relaxing in the river, journaling, ,resting or perhaps a light hike or canoe ride.
After lunch we will fly deeper into the jungle, into the territory of the Achuar. The Achuar people live along both sides of the border between Ecuador and Peru, a warrior nation who have never been conquered, they call themselves a 'dream culture' in that they are guided by dreams and visions. One of the last Jivaroan groups to be contacted they are still are generally unaffected by the outside world. The Achuar have created a few tourism projects in their territory to connect with outsiders to teach us about their culture and worldview, to share with us and 're-awaken' those living in the modern world. We will stay in the village of Sharamentsa for two nights.
Day Six: 15th June
Our day begins before dawn sharing a traditional dream ceremony with Achuar elders, this is a beautiful liminal space between day and night where we learn about the guidance of our dreams. The day will be spent learning about the forest and walking with indigenous leaders as their share their way of life with us. There is always time for rest, journaling and swimming in the river. We will have a deep sleep surrounded by the sounds of the forest and the gentle lapping of the river.
In the evening we will meet with our hosts and take part in a cultural exchange, the Achuar have formal ceremonial greetings which they will show us, this is also an opportunity to teach their children, so all the village will gather to watch. They will share songs and dances, music and then invite us to do the same – so if there is anything you would like to share – a fun game or a song this is your opportunity! From beat boxing to miming they love it all!
Day Seven: 16th June
After a delicious breakfast over looking the river. We can see and even buy some stunning traditional handicrafts made by our Achuar family, from feather earrings, to woven combs, ceramics - everything comes from the jungle.. After our goodbyes we will leap into the first solar powered canoes in the Amazon and journey down the mighty Pastaza river which is a great opportunity to see rainforest birds and river dolphins on our way to Kapawi. The lodge which is 100% owned by the Achuar nation, with all revenue generated supporting the wider community, preserving their culture and protecting the Amazon rainforest.
The indigenous people of the Amazon believe that human sickness and the degradation of our earth are inextricably linked, sharing the same root causes. By visiting the Sapara and Achuar people we are joining them in protecting the pristine rainforest essential to the vitality of our planet on the frontlines against climate change.
Day eight: 17th June, and day nine: 18th June
During our time at Kapawi there will be many fun activities to take part in but over these days we also want to give you time to rest and listen to the forest in your hammocks over looking the lagoon, watching monkeys and magnificent birds. There will be a chance to spend time in the jungle alone on a self guided trail if you wish. So all adventures are optional.
We will explore the rivers and secluded streams by canoe and kayak, learning about the wonders of the natural world from our Achuar guides. Early morning bird watching by canoe, and night hikes are truly magical.
As people indigenous to this land and born naturalists, our guides have a sixth-sense for the whereabouts of animals, birds & insects at all times. They will scour the forest for wildlife encounters for us, like a newly discovered giant otter den, a sloths tree, or a horned screamers nest, or possibly a harpy eagle siting! During our time in the forest we learn from the wisdom of the forest herself and her custodians - the Achuar people. They believe that these journeys into nature bring clarity and confidence in your vision and focus for your life. The Achuar will teach us how to see the forest as a pharmacy and place of healing.
On the 17th we will visit the renowned Achuar elder and shaman Sumpa in his home, he has invited us to visit a sacred waterfall with him for a tobacco ceremony, to connect us with the power of Artuam the spirit of the forest. He will then lead a powerful natem ceremony for us that evening back at the lodge. We are so delighted to be able to work with Sumpa one of the oldest and most loving, wise Achuar shaman.
Day ten: 19th June
Sadly it is time to leave our forest home this morning, after an early breakfast we will take our final canoe journey up the Capahuari river to the village of kasutkau where we will fly back to Shell and travel up into the mountains to stay at a volcanic spa – Papallacta – it's time to bathe in the hot pools heated geothermally and each of you has a massage already booked for your arrival.
Day eleven: 20th June
After a delicious breakfast you are welcome to book more treatments, or relax in the hot pools, for those Wim Hof fans you can leap into icy water and into hot water again. This landscape is high Andes and volcano land, utterly stunning for a wander into the mystical polylepis forests.
After lunch we will travel to our home for the next few nights Hacienda San Juan de la Vega, nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains, it is as if we are hugged my mama nature herself. In the land of the Kichua people. We will be staying in three beautiful houses surrounded by stunning gardens.
Day twelve: 21st June
Today will be spent in our beautiful sacred valley. Two Salasacan shaman will come and visit us to share with us an Aquacolia ceremony traditional to the people of the high Andes. It is it a very heart opening ceremony to … you guessed it… connect us more deeply with ourselves, each other and the earth. It will take most of the day. Perhaps we will take a walk to the sacred waterfall at the end of the valley, and definitely spend time with the very friendly animals.
Day thirteen : 22nd June
Today is the equinox – Inti Raymi – the most important festival for the Kichua people of the Andes. It is a celebration and a thanksgiving to father Sun and to Pachamama or mother earth for the abundance of the harvest but also an entreaty to them both to start another strong growing cycle.
We will visit the village of Cotacachi to witness the toma de la plaze (taking of the square) an ancient ritual where hundreds of Kichua men in fabulous dress fight to take control of the main square of the village – a symbolic reclamation of the land that was once theirs. we will then visit another small village where celebrations involve folkloric dances and music traditional Andean music. The people dance in celebration for the harvest and the bounty that they have received from the Sun – they feast and generously share with us!
Day fourteen: 23rd June
Starting our day in the village of Cotacachi to witness the 'toma de la plaza' (taking of the square) an ancient ritual where hundreds of Kichua men in fabulous dress fight to take control of the main square of the village – a symbolic reclamation of the land that was once theirs. we will then visit another small village where celebrations involve folkloric dances and music traditional Andean music. The people dance in celebration for the harvest and the bounty that they have received from the Sun – they feast and generously share with us!
If you would like more information, or to apply to join this trip please contact us using the form below, we would also be delighted to arrange a call with you to answer any questions, and for us to find our whether you are the right fit for this trip.
Once you are accepted on the journey please pay 50% of the price of the trip within five days to secure your place.
Due to limited places on the trip (maximum 10) this very special and intimate journey will sell out swiftly. So looking forward to connecting with you!