Ecuador Amazon, Hot Springs & Volcanoes
If you’re short on time but still want to experience the awe-inspiring majesty of hot springs and volcanos, look no further than this trip packed with Ecuadorian highlights. Among these are a jaunt through the Amazon jungle, a trip to the Papallacta hot springs, and a visit to the Otavalo handicraft market for souvenirs (because lava is kind of hard to pack in your suitcase). Throw in 2 nights in a luxury Amazon lodge and an overnight in a historic hacienda, and you’ll have made a month’s worth of memories in only nine days.
Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group
Your Wellness Moment: Papallacta Hot Springs Visit, Papallacta
Your Discover Moment: Baños. Arrival transfer. Visit the community of San Clemente and enjoy a local lunch. Overnight in an historic hacienda. Explore the Otavalo handicraft market. Relax at Papallacta hot springs. Two nights at an Amazon lodge with jungle walks and canoe excursions. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Traverse the Amazon jungle with a local naturalist guide, be surrounded by towering volcanoes, explore an Andean community and have lunch with locals, learn about traditional handicrafts and folk art from local artisans
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. THE TUNGURAHUA VOLCANO
Please note this tour travels to Banos. The Tungurahua volcano in the area around Banos is constantly active. G Adventures have operated countless tours to the Banos area over the years without incident. However, we are obligated to point out that travel to the area is at your own risk, to exercise caution when travelling in the area. Further, we urge you to check your insurance coverage with your insurance provider prior to travel to the Banos area.
2. All travellers are required to pay the tax on domestic flights in Ecuador. Foreign travellers are exempt form this, and proving you are indeed a foreign traveller can be done by providing us with your international ticket number (ITN). Travellers who do not submit international ticket numbers at least 30 days prior to Day 1 of their tour will be required to pay the domestic tax on all included flights.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, also known as a CEO (Chief Experience Officer). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, Avg 10.
8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Private van, boat, flight, walking.
Airline luggage restriction for flying to the Amazon Lodge:
Each passenger is allowed luggage up to 20 kilos (44 pounds) for checked luggage, as well as a carry-on item such as a backpack.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Comfort hotels (4 nts), historic hacienda (1 nts), luxury jungle lodge (2 nts), hot springs resort (1 nt).
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the “My Own Room” option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
On our Ecuador trip we use various different types of accommodations that are unique to the various environments experienced on this trip. From an historic hacienda in the highlands to a hot springs resort at Papallacta, these are wonderful places to stay.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
An arrival transfer is included when you arrive on Day 1, or when you arrive up to three days prior to the tour, provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through G Adventures in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned other then the welcome meeting which takes place in the late afternoon/early evening. You may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day in which no activities are planned.
A representative will be waiting at the airport to meet you holding a G Adventures sign with your name, directly in front of the arrivals section. There are often many people holding signs so we recommend to take some time to locate the rep with a G Adventures logo and sign with your name. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, you can go directly to the H.A.T.S. counter (Hotel and Airline Transportation Services) which is situated directly in front of the international arrival area, next to the taxi stand, and they will be able to assist you. In addition you may call our local support line at 0999 506 000. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi and report the issue to a G Adventures representative at the welcome meeting.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time and your transfer times back to the airport the next day. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Quito, Ecuador
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Ecuador: +593 2250 6610
From within Ecuador: 022 506 610
After hours Emergency number
From outside Ecuador: +593 999 506 000
From within Ecuador: 0999 506 000
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
Most people automatically assume that the weather is hot in South America, but because of the higher altitude in the Andes, the temperature can feel quite cold, especially at night. We recommend the use of a medium sized soft suitcase, duffel bag or backpack, whichever is easiest for you to carry. A good size daypack is also essential.
Health & Safety:
• Face masks (required)
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Rubber gloves
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.
- Please note that by February 2nd 2018, it will be mandatory for every traveler to show proof of insurance (covering medical, accident, death) to the immigration authority at the airport or border crossing into Ecuador. This insurance must cover the traveler for their entire length of stay in the country.
If you do not carry proof of insurance and/or an insurance assistance card that satisfies this requirement, it is possible that your entrance into Ecuador could be denied.
Detailed Trip Notes
Important nots about visiting the Amazon:
Rubber boots are a must: Rubber boots are very good for hiking in the rainforest, they help protect feet from plants and insects close to the ground as well as deep water. The lodge offers use of boots as a courtesy to our guests, available from size 5 to size 12.
How to keep things dry:
We recommend that passengers bring zip-lock plastic bags or dry sacks for your lenses and camera equipment. A waterproof backpack will also help you to protect your camera gear or anything else you wish to keep completely dry. The humidity is high in the rainforest, however, if you follow the advice about packing appropriate belongings it should not be an issue.
Electricity is available in the bar, dining areas, reception areas and rooms (110V) to recharge batteries. We suggest that guests bring a flashlight or headlamp. The plugs for recharging batteries have three holes, two plainprongs and one circle prong just as most American plugs. However, we recommend that you bring a transformer of two plain prongs.
The weather in La Selva Amazon Ecolodge:
Year-round temperature average is 82°F (28°C), however nights can be cooler. Since Ecuador is located right on the equator, the country does not experience extreme weather changes, and the weather is surprisingly comfortable all year around. Please be prepared for rain.
La Selva Highlights
You will have different activities like: treking, hiking, fishing, swimming, paddle canoes, birdwatching, butterfly watching, photography or simply relax.
New at La Selva is our completed Observation Tower, rising to 35 meters, the tower offers incredible views of the rain forest canopy. Experience amazing opportunities for bird watching and photography, among many species of monkeys, birds, flowers, and insects of which your naturalist guide will more than happy to point out and share interesting facts.
With perhaps the highest species list in the neo-tropics, LA SELVA uses native birding experts for those guests with this singular passion. The Natives speak minimal English, but know the names of all the birds, and, more importantly, how to find them. Please specify in advance if you are a birder and would like to take advantage of this service.
Not far from the lodge you can observe many birds flying by at eyelevel, wildlife of all kinds, and, yes, a bird’s-eye view of it all, from the top platform of our 135 ft. observation tree tower.
The Butterfly Farm
The interest in our butterfly farm is overwhelming. Now entering its 15th year of operation, our guests have enjoyed this attraction even more than we expected. Only 5 minutes from the lodge, a guide will take you there at least once during your stay; however, many people go back a second and third time on their own.
LA SELVA’s Butterfly farm was designed to present an ecologically sound, sustainable alternative way to help preserve the rainforest. It is another step in our ongoing effort to find viable ways (besides ecotourism) to help save this beautiful rainforest.
Kayaking and Swimming
Guests may take out our kayaks to explore the lake on their own anytime they wish. The kayaks hold one or two people and paddlers must be signed in and out at the bar. Kayak instructions will be available from the staff.
Besides voyages of discovery, La Selva will arrange kayak races and other prize-winning activities with the kayaks. It is child’s play and free drinks for the winners but enjoy that silliness and exhilaration.
Unless the lodge is very crowded, guests may have kayaks without time limit, however if there is a great demand a two-hour per excursion time will be in effect. A guest must return for another two hours if desired.
No fishing is allowed from the kayaks, but this activity can be done from the dock.
Swimming, another great recreational activity is highly encouraged. The Lonely Planet guide has called Lake Garzacocha one of the most beautiful lakes in the Amazon, so take a swim with your sunscreen (well applied please) to our balsa wood raft and enjoy the tranquility. If there is truly no demand for the kayaks you can paddle your way to the raft and bring a book a long to read in the middle of a lake in the middle of the Amazon.
The Biology Field Station
In 1992 LA SELVA created, built and continues to fund The Neo-tropical Field Biology Institute. Researchers from around the world come to our lodge to carry out scientific investigation.
Guests often brush shoulders with researchers in the bar and elsewhere for enlightening conversation.
Please find below a partial list of activities. Trained Naturalist guides and Native assistants will accompany you during all your adventure.
This is a two-hour excursion often combined with a picnic lunch and trips across the Napo River. Visit a site where, with a little luck, parrots and parakeets, by the thousands can be seen.
Walk by a Native’s House
Cross Garzacocha Lake. Two and a half to three hour walk on a purposely underdeveloped trail which has some physical challenge. Half of the walk takes place in primary forest and the other half passes the huts of our indigenous neighbors along the Napo River.
High Forest Trail
The duration can vary between three to five hours. Cross the Napo River and arrive at a challenging mountainous trail which offers yet another ecosystem. It is a chance to see birds and wildlife nowhere else seen. Try the lemon ants!
An easy trail close to the hotel which is usually filled with wildlife no matter what hour of the day you do it. The excursion can last as long as you want.
Cross Garzacocha Lake then one hour or more of walking. See an enormous colony of leafcutter ants and whatever wildlife may come your way.
Canoe or walking trips after dark to view nocturnal animals such as caiman, monkeys, insects and owls.
Two versions are available. Cross Garzacocha lake, walk through the virgin forest and arrive at the tower: four hours. Short version: Pass Butterfly farm and join the trail in the middle: two hours.
Head east at Mandicocha trailhead and walk along the lake. Arrive at Napo River. Return by elevated walkway and cross Garzacocha by canoe: three hours.
Short trip by foot around the edge of Lake Garzacocha. Return by canoe to the lodge.
Across the Mandicocha lake, it goes on and on and on. Good place to look for Jaguars.
For Serious Photography
A long lens, at least a zoom capable of 200 mm is recommended and an assortment of film as low as ASA 25 for out on the streams in full sun and around the lodge, to ASA 400 – pushing it if you like, for in the forest. Be sure to carry your film separately.
Digital camera users need only beware (as SLR users) that moisture can fog their lenses rapidly. Silica gel in the camera carrying case should do the job and remember to put your camera back in the case when not using it. Bring plastic zip-lock bags for protecting your gear.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available some may not accept all international credit or debit cards. You may need to try at more than one machine if the first does not accept your card. You should also check with your bank before leaving to ensure that your card works internationally. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. Please bring USD banknotes in denominations smaller than 100, as they can be hard to exchange in Ecuador. 100 dollar bills of certain series (e.g. CB B2) can be especially hard to cash! CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than $100 USD (or equivalent). As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your Discovery Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
- Hiking Excursion
- Horseback Riding (25USD per person)
- Hot Springs (20USD per person)
- Mountain Biking (10USD per person)
- Hiking (Free)
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes, as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. Discovery Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Please note your Adventure travels to high altitude, in Quito and the highlands. This is medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Most people can travel to 8,000 feet with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts to altitude differently and altitude sickness can on set with some people irrespective of fitness and age. For details on how to best prepare and what to do in the unlikely event you are effected on your Adventure, please consult your physician.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
Please take care when wandering about the city on your own, as pick pockets and purse-snatchers are common, particularly in the Old Town. Be safe and leave your passport, credit cards, traveller’s cheques and cash you don’t need in the hotel’s safety deposit box. Most Quiteños are honest and genuinely helpful and friendly, but be safe and enjoy the city!
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
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Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program – Make Every Day Count – Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.
Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.
Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: SEAV, ID: 23044