3rd Week: The Amazon Jungle
Located in the eastern part of Ecuador lies the awe-inspiring and mystical Amazon Jungle, the world’s largest remaining tropical rainforest, where more life hums, buzzes, chatters and bubbles than anywhere else on the planet. This area of Ecuador is home to exotic plants and animals, indigenous tribes, inspiring natural vistas, and adrenaline-fueled adventure activities. Only a day’s drive from Quito, the Ecuadorian Amazon provides us unique opportunities for experiencing the magic of the rainforest.
Our first stop in the jungle is Shandia Eco-lodge, located in the small Kichwa village of Shandia. Providing us with a comfortable night’s sleep, all rooms have individual beds for each participant, private bathrooms, satellite television, and daily housekeeping. Enjoy three fresh meals per day at the lodge’s private restaurant. Enjoy the sounds of nature from your hammock and take walks to the nearby river for unparalleled views of the jungle.
Next stop – paradise. After our time working and learning with the Kichwa tribe, it is time to sit back and enjoy the jungle. We will board motorized canoes as we cross the Napo River and head to our next destination, Casa del Suizo, a beautiful jungle resort perched comfortably atop the banks of this magnificent river. Relax in the resort’s infinity pool and swing in your private hammock as you enjoy unbeatable views of the breathtaking scenery.
Volunteer in the Amazon
Cultural Immersion with the Kichwa
While staying in Shandia Eco-lodge, days are spent volunteering with the Kichwa, a local indigenous tribe in the Amazon Jungle. Also, one of the most interesting aspects of living amongst the Kichwa tribe is the opportunity to learn about their unique history and culture. We will participate in the age-old chocolate-making process, starting with cacao beans and ending with delicious treats. Learn how to hunt like the Kichwa as we participate in a blow-dart presentation. We will be fully immersed in the mysticism of the past and the future as we meet with a local Shaman for an otherworldly experience. Get ready to move as we participate in a traditional dance presentation!
- Mountain Relaxation
- Enjoy some rest and relaxation in the bubbling hot springs at Papallacta Hot Springs, high in the Andes Mountains.
- White-Water Rafting in the Jungle
- Raft with our professional outfitters down roller coaster rapids and enjoy the scenery on our breathtaking rafting adventure!
- Swim in Pristine Nature
- Located in the heart of the rainforest, we will visit natural swimming pools for an afternoon of splashing in the pure jungle water.
- We will visit AmaZoonica, an animal refuge founded for the purpose of protecting and caring for native and wild animals that have been either injured or mistreated due to illegal animal trafficking.
- Canopy Adventure Park
- Get ready for our high and low ropes-course jungle adventure!
- We will board canoes and head to the resort’s beautiful private jungle reserve. We will cross streams and valleys as our guides point out different medicinal plants as we learn about the incredible power of the rainforest.
…plus beach bonfires, jewelry making presentations, rainforest hikes, and more!