Upcoming Touch The Jungle Tours:
August 2009- fully booked, all spaces filled
October 17 - 30, 2009 (UPDATE 7/20/09 date is FULL, no spaces left)
October 26 - November 8, 2009 (UPDATE 7/20/09, 3 spaces left)
Join us for an authentic Ecuador rainforest experience with the native people whose ancestors have lived on this land for more than 400 years, miles from "civilization" and modern conveniences, yet still having comfortable accommodations. Starting off with a day tour of Quito and a visit to the Equator, you'll travel on to the cloud forests of Mindo, famous for countless butterflies and hummingbirds. Then onto the highlight of the tour, to the community owned and operated Ecoproject in the El Choco region of NW Ecuador, the Playa de Oro Reserva de Tigrillos. You'll also visit the highland town of Otavalo and experience the largest artesian market in all of South America before traveling on to the northern highland cloud forest area of the Intag Valley. At Intag, you will experience the cloud forest by horseback, visit thermal hot springs, and local coffee farms before returning to Quito to prepare for your departure home.
The El Choco region is listed as one of the world's biodiversity hotspots by Conservation International. The Global Conservation Fund at Conservation International is supporting several initiatives in northwestern Ecuador focused on protecting the remaining intact lowland forests in and around the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve and the Awá Ethnic Reserve. The Playa de Oro Reserva de Tigrillos borders the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve and focuses on preserving the habitat, native wild felines and other wildlife, while providing low-impact ecotourism to help financially sustain the local community.
Basic Tour Itinerary for Touch The Jungle Group Tours
Most everything is included in your $850 tour fee such as your lodging, private transport, most meals, bi-lingual translator, jungle guides, etc. There are a few extra activities and meals are not included in the tour fee, that you can opt to do or not at your own discretion. If you choose to do all the extras it will cost under $150 for all of them.
Day 1 - Fly into Quito, You will be picked up at the airport by our driver. Meet your fellow trip members back at the hotel.
Day 2- After breakfast, we'll go to ride the Teleferico cable car up to the crest of a (inactive) volcano to see magnificent views of Quito. Tour the Old City, churches and parks. We'll have lunch near the Equator, go to the actual Equator Park where you can balance an egg on the head of a nail, walk the equator line, stand in two hemisphere's at once! By late afternoon we will travel on to Mindo - Check into our hostal El Gallo de la Pena and go for a swim in the pool.
Day 3- Zip Lining in cloud forest, Lunch at the Butterfly Restaurant tour Butterfly farm, River tubing in the Mindo River, dinner at El Gallo de la Pena or another local restaurant.
Day 4- riding through the country side either by horse or 4wheeler, hike to the waterfalls and ride cable car across gorge. Late lunch near the Equator, travel on to Otavalo.
Day 5-depart early AM to meet Playa de Oro boat, arrive in PDO by early afternoon. Jungle hiking or a swim in the afternoon.
Day 6- Playa de Oro, hiking in the jungle to waterfalls (with a refreshing swim) and boat trip further upriver deep into the reserve to enjoy unusual scenery such as the large rock formation known as "la Cathedral". Later in the afternoon, you can try gold panning the old fashioned way, or you can try your luck with a fishing pole.
Day 7-Playa de Oro - hike or boat to the Playa de Oro village, tour village, visit school, attend a native dance performance.
Day 8- depart early AM for Otavalo, afternoon in the native craft markets.
Day 9- depart early AM for Intag, lunch in town – afternoon tour the organic coffee factory and the village of Apuela. Get settled in the hostal de Cafeteil, and visit a fruit and coffee farm. We will end the day with a refreshing hot mineral soak at the thermal hot springs.
Day 10- Intag, horseback riding in mountains, visit hot springs and tour organic coffee farm to learn more about this environmentally conscious farm community, fishing or exploring around the river and farm.
Day 11- Visit Apuela market, hike "The Face" of Intag, tour local farms, hot springs
Day 12- depart early AM, back to Otavalo, stopping at the Cuicocha Lake on the top of Cotacachi Volcano, we will do a boat tour around the the lake, and have a late lunch over looking the lake.
Day 13- depart Quito early AM, visit Quito zoo
Day 14 - Fly home
Space is limited on these tours, please sign up ASAP to reserve your spot for the last group tours being offered this year!
Contact Tracy Wilson to sign up for Group Tours at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website for more info also at http://touchthejungle.org