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Touch The Jungle Upcoming Ecuador Tours October and November

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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 tracy@touchthejungle.org or visit our website for more info also at http://touchthejungle.org

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Replies to This Discussion

I am so excited about the upcoming trip. It is less than a month away. I can't wait to get back to the jungle of Playa de Oro. There is no place in the world like it. there are no phones, no internet, no problems for 3 days whole days. It totally removes you from the reality of the rat race we have a home. As you are go up the river in the dug out canoe a peace comes over you. This is the only world that exists , you don't even think about home, there are no problem, just air rich with oxygen and a jungle that few people have walk in. This trip in August has 7 repeat travellers in it, one coming all the way from Sweden to do it again. How great is that, their experience was so life changing that they had to come back and relive the adventure. Don't miss out on this experience. There are two spots left for October 17, and 4 spots for October 26. Right now there are some good prices on airfare.
For the August trip, I got the lowest airfare in about 5 years to Ecuador--just about $530!!! I couldn't believe it. It usually is around $900 for me, so that was a nice reduction.

And you get to do so much on the tour for such a low price, this would easily be a $2500++ tour if a travel agency was doing it. Instead, the groups are lead by volunteers (Grace and myself) and so we don't get paid, and everything is at actual cost. Our purpose in doing the tours is to bring in tourists to Playa de Oro and the other communities we work with, in order to bring the work and income to them. It is more expensive to travel on your own there, so putting the groups together help more tourists who may not be able to afford it on their own. (Although anyone can travel to Playa de Oro on their own anytime, just send me an email for details) The groups are more like just traveling with friends, not some packaged manufactured travel experience. Most of the places we go are off the beaten path and not real touristy, so it is really an authentic experience. We have made friends with native Ecuadorians, and we have native people travel with us to explain cultures and history of things you see or experience, so that you get a real Ecuador experience.
6 people on my October tour just booked from Detroit for $668. that is a great price. And the tour , I actually should say adventure is two whole weeks. When you go to an all inclusive, they charge big bucks everyday to go on a tour, our trip has them included. You will travel from the high point in Quito to the low in the rainforest jungle. See the difference in the country side over a few hours, Ecuador is amazing. You feel like to travel to different countries, Quito, high in the mountains, Otavalo, and ecuadorian experience, Playa de oro, the african jungle, Intag, the cloud forest and coffee. And to top it off we go to Mindo, it is sort of touristy, with amazing hummingbirds and butterflies, for the touristy things, like ziplining, and tubing. Zip lining is $15, and tubing is $5. these kinds of prices are unbelieveable, compared to having done these things from an All Inclusive Resort.
You will have the time of your life, with people that share the same interests that will become friends for a lifetime.
Update....
October 17 - 30, 2009--- FULL---no spaces left

October 26 - November 8, 2009 ONLY 3 spots left!!!

If you want to go on this tour, you can't drag your feet to sign up because the spots go fast! We haven't set dates for tours past November yet, but the next dates will not likely be until after the first of 2010, likely in the spring. There is also the chance that prices for expenses can go up between now and then also, so I can't guarantee the tour fee will remain the same after November either.
It's in the news LOL
NWHS Touch The Jungle News Article

It's also been submitted as Care2 News
Touch The Jungle Rainforest Preservation Tours

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