ECUADOR C FIELD COURSE (Jatun Sacha)


LENGTH: 13 Days/12 Nights

FIXED DEPARTURE DATES: Jun 16-28.

*Other dates for individuals, families and groups, including WINTER INTERIM BREAK and SPRING BREAK, available upon request.

*Our standard ECUADOR C FIELD COURSE itinerary can be modified in content and length for SPECIAL INTERESTS and NEEDS.

*Other JUNGLE LODGES, such as the NAPO WILDLIFE CENTER, LA SELVA, KAPAWI and SACHA are also available to individuals and groups in Ecuador’s Upper Amazon Basin.
Note: Please also see our ECUADOR A and B FIELD COURSES, the latter combines MAINLAND ECUADOR with a cruise in the GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS. Both can be seen at http://www.rainforestandreef.org.

*Affordable EXTENSIONS to the GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS (8d/7n, 5d/4n and 4d/3n); OLD-TOWN QUITO CITY TOUR; OTAVALO MARKET and SURROUNDING VILLAGES; SAQUISILÍ MARKET (half or full-day); COTOPAXI NATIONAL PARK and the AVENUE of the VOLCANOES (half or full-day) and CUENCA are available upon request before or after our ECUADOR C FIELD COURSE. Please contact Rainforest and Reef for details and pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

*WHITE-WATER RAFTING and TREKKING are also available in Ecuador upon request.

*An affordable EXTENSION to CUZCO and the LOST CITY of the INCAS-MACHU PICCHU is also available to individuals and groups. Please contact Rainforest and Reef for details and pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721. Pricing and itineraries are also available at http://www.rainforestandreef.org. Look under PERU A, B AND C FIELD COURSES.

Note: Individuals/groups must fly Quito-Lima, Peru or vice-versa if they are going to combine Ecuador and Peru.

*FIELD COURSES for those with SPECIAL INTERESTS, such as BIRDING and GARDEN GROUPS are available upon request. Sample itineraries can be seen at http://www.birdingtours.org (being updated), http://www.gardentours.org (being updated) and also http://www.rainforestandreef.org. Please contact Rainforest and Reef for details and pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

*SPANISH IMMERSION PROGRAMS for individuals/groups are also available in Ecuador. A sample itinerary can be seen at http://www.iwanttolearnspanish.org (being updated) and also http://www.rainforestandreef.org. SPANISH IMMERSION is also available in the rainforest. Please contact Rainforest and Reef for details and pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

FIELD COURSE COST: 1300.00USD per person. Based on a minimum of 10 full-paying participants. One Group Leader FREE for the ground portion of our ECUADOR C FIELD COURSE with 10 full-paying participants. Cost is based on triple and quadruple occupancy. Double and single occupancy available upon request, usually at an extra cost.

Notes:Group Leaders, please contact Rainforest and Reef for details about STIPENDS, FREE SPACE and GROUP RATES.

For individuals, families or groups of less than 10 full-paying participants, please contact Rainforest and Reef for pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.

Includes: All INSTRUCTION and BI-LINGUAL GUIDE SERVICES; all MEALS and LODGING as stated in the itinerary; all GROUND and WATER TRANSPORTATION within Ecuador; all ENTRANCE FEES to NATIONAL PARKS and OTHER SITES.

Does Not Include: ROUND-TRIP INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE to Ecuador; INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAX (38.00USD per person); GRATUITIES and PERSONAL ITEMS.

ITINERARY:

MEAL CODES: B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner

Note: On the MEDICAL INFORMATION FORM that you will be receiving shortly after registration, please make us aware of any special meal requests and/or dietary restrictions….vegan, vegetarian, etc., that you or members of your group may have. We will be pleased to fulfill your requests/needs.

DAY 1 ARRIVAL QUITO-ECUADOR C FIELD COURSE ORIENTATION. Following your arrival at Mariscal Sucre International Airport, outside of Quito, you will be met by our Ecuador C Field Course Staff and transferred to your hotel. Following dinner, there will be an orientation session to our Ecuador C Field Course. Overnight Quito. D

Note: Our ECUADOR C FIELD COURSE is hosted by the largest non-profit organization in Ecuador, the Jatun Sacha Foundation. They now have 8 Biological Reserves in Ecuador, including San Cristobal, Galápagos. The work of the Jatun Sacha Foundation is to promote the conservation of forest, aquatic, and mountain ecosystems of Ecuador. They have accomplished this through technical training, scientific research, environmental education, natural resource management and community development involving structural organization with local peoples. Please visit http://www.jatunsacha.org/ for more information about Jatun Sacha and their remarkable conservation/education efforts in Ecuador. Their work has been featured in National Geographic Magazine and most Travel Guides, including Lonely Planet Travel Guide to Ecuador.

DAY 2 QUITO-PAPALLACTA THERMAL SPRINGS-EXPLORE VARIETY of LIFE ZONES in ECUADOR’S UPPER AMAZON BASIN-TENA. Early this morning, our group will depart Quito by bus. We will travel up and over Ecuador’s Continental Divide created by the Andes Mountains. During this breathtaking portion of the trip, our group will reach an elevation of more than 13,000 feet and begin the incredible descent into Ecuador’s Upper Amazon Basin. During our journey there will be numerous stops to hike, where our Naturalist Guide will assist in the interpretation and discussion of the many life-zones encountered, including alpine and cloudforest ecosystems. At the Continental Divide, we will stop in the village of Papallacta, have lunch and take time to explore some of the many natural geothermal vents and springs found here. We will then travel to the village of Tena, where our group will stop, purchase “rainforest boots” (~10.00USD per pair) and visit the local market. Dinner and overnight in Tena. B L D



DAY 3 VISIT to an ECOLOGICAL PARK-TENA-JATUN SACHA BIOLOGICAL STATION-RAINFOREST HIKE-EVENING PRESENTATION
. Following breakfast, we will depart we will visit an Ecological Park, designed by Jatun Sacha and local city government. Our group will then travel to the port village of Mishualí and travel by boat on the Napo River to the Jatun Sacha Biological Station. Following lunch, we will take an introductory hike into the rainforest on Jatun Sacha property. A short distance from the Biological Station there is bluff overlooking the Río Napo. On a clear day, 4 Andean volcanoes can be seen from this site. Late this afternoon, participants will return to the Biological Station for dinner. This evening, our group will be introduced to Jatun Sacha Staff members and hear a presentation about the Biological Station and education/conservation efforts of the Jatun Sacha Foundation. Overnight Jatun Sacha Biological Station. B L D

DAYS 4-11 JATUN SACHA BIOLOGICAL STATION ACTIVITIES. B L D (each day)

1) GUIDED HIKES: On most days we will be take Guided hikes to various locations on Jatun Sacha property. On each hike many aspects of rainforest ecology will be interpreted and discussed with our Guides. One hike will take us into the primary rainforest for the entire day.

2) SELF-GUIDED TRAIL HIKES: A number of trails at Jatun Sacha have been marked and can be done alone or with a group. We will have access to these trails and trail maps.

3) NIGHT-HIKE: No rainforest experience would be complete without, at least, one night-hike. This is when the forest comes alive with the activities of so many animals that can’t be seen or heard during the day. Sounds from nocturnal birds, frogs and insects are also a special part of the experience. This will also provide an excellent chance to experience first-hand the incredible biodiversity of this region. A headlamp or flashlight will be necessary. This outing will provide an excellent opportunity for macro-photography, especially when it comes to frogs, insects, spiders and a variety of other invertebrates.

4) SOLO EXPERIENCE in the RAINFOREST: Each member of our group will spend part of a day alone in the primary rainforest participating in a "solo" experience. The intent of this activity is to use all of your senses in gaining a greater understanding of the rainforest. This has been a very popular activity over time and a follow-up is done as group members get together and share their "experience".

5) VISIT a LOCAL CHACRA: It is essential that people in this region raise some of their own food in small garden plots called chacras. We will have a chance to observe how these are designed and maintained to provide important food resources.

6) VISIT the NURSERY and HOME of a LOCAL SHAMAN: A Guided tour of a nursery that belongs to a local Shaman will give us another chance to see how local plants are used for medicinal purposes. We will be invited into the Shaman's home, where there will be a demonstration of a "cleansing session". Many people of this region do not have access to modern medicine or doctors that we take for granted. They depend on the knowledge and skills of the local Shaman, healer or herb-man.

7) MIST-NETTING of BIRDS: We may have the opportunity to participate in the mist-netting of birds, as population counts and other aspects of avian ecology within the Reserve are regularly assessed. This is not a guaranteed activity, as it depends on research taking placing at the Jatun Sacha Biological Station during our visit.

8) ANIMAL POPULATION MONITORING: Group members may have the opportunity to observe Researchers and their efforts in monitoring a variety of animal populations. A sampling of work done in the past includes, butterfliy, reptile/amphibian bird and mammal studies. Again, this is dependent on Researchers present and work that is being done during our visit.

9) VISIT to an ANIMAL REHABILITATION CENTER (Amazoonica): Here we will have the opportunity to observe monkeys, tapirs, ocelots and other animals native to the region. Most have been injured or orphaned. Some of the animals are returned to the wild, while others may be non-releasable.

10) RESEARCH at JATUN SACHA: At any given time Researchers from various parts of the world are present at Jatun Sacha Biological Station. We may have an opportunity to talk with some of these people and find out about their present research. There is also an option for groups/individuals to do their own short-term research projects and data collection at Jatun Sacha. Please let us know what your interests are prior to your group’s arrival. Rainforest and Reef Staff will be pleased to assist with suggestions.

11) TROPICAL PLANT CONSERVATION CENTER VISIT: Created in 1993, the Plant Conservation Center is involved in a variety of agroforestry and ethnobotany projects. These efforts continue to search for long-term sustainable uses of rainforest plants and their products. Group members may participate in seed collection, a reforestation project and/or nursery chores. Discussions will be held concerning present uses of plants from the region for medicinal purposes, as Jatun Sacha continues to collect information about plants that have been used for generations by indigenous people from the region. Newly discovered plants are also continually being tested for potential uses to prevent and cure disease (see the article referencing the Jatun Sacha Foundation’s work in conjunction with the Missouri Botanical Garden in National Geographic, August 1990).

12) ORCHID CONSERVATION and RESCUE: We will have the opportunity to see what may be the best collection of orchids in Ecuador. Many species have been "rescued" from deforested areas and are now kept in a beautiful garden. Several new species have been "discovered" at Jatun Sacha by Staff members. The orchid garden presently contains over 200 species.

13) QUICHUA INDIAN VILLAGE of CAPIRONA: One of the highlights of our visit to Ecuador will be the hike and two day stay at the indigenous Quichua village of Capirona. Following a rigorous 3 hour hike, our group will arrive at Capirona. Here, we will gain a better understanding of their culture and the intimate relationship these people have with the rainforest. Our Quichua hosts will take us into the forest and demonstrate how they garden, hunt and fish. Evening sessions will include story-telling, Quichua music and dance. We will also see a craft demonstration, as they make pottery from local clays. Village members ask that each group take part in a community project or "minga", which may include assisting them in local gardening tasks. We will return to Jatun Sacha by dugout canoes that are hand-made by the Quichua of Capirona.

Note: The Quichua Village of Río Blanco may also be used. Activities at each site are similar.

14) EVENING DISCUSSIONS/PRESENTATIONS: These are held on a regular basis to reinforce daily experiences. Presentations in the past have included Rainforest Ecology, Geology of Ecuador, History of Ecuador, Conservation/Education Projects of the Jatun Foundaton and more.

15) INTERSHIPS: It is possible to spend a SEMESTER ABROAD doing an INTERNSHIP with the Jatun Sacha Foundation. Normally this includes work at one of their Biological Reserves including San Cristobal, Galápagos. During your stay, Intensive Spanish Immersion is available to participants in Quito.

Note: A full-day white-water rafting trip on the Jatun Yacu River is a possible substitution/addition to this sample itinerary. The Jatun Yacu is one of two large rivers that combine to make up the Napo River. The Napo is one of the two major rivers, which come together and form the mighty Amazon (the other is the Marañón River out of Peru). There may be a cost differential if this activity is substituted for something in this 13d/12n itinerary. Please contact Rainforest and Reef for details and pricing by e-mail: info@rainforestandreef.org or call toll-free: 1.877.255.3721.



DAY 11 JATUN SACHA BIOLOGICAL STATION-BAÑOS
. After breakfast, we will say farewells to Jatun Sacha Staff and depart for the Highlands of Ecuador. Our trip back to Quito will take us along a different route, farther to the south. Here, spectacular canyon scenery, waterfalls and rivers will be seen. Stops at several villages will be included to acquaint participants with Indian life in the Highlands. One of these will include the village of Baños. Participants will have a chance to tour this interesting village, observe/learn about some of its' history and architecture, shop for local crafts and relax after a rigorous experience in the rainforest. This will also be a chance to get some laundry done (at this point in the trip you will be more than pleased to hire someone in Baños to do your laundry!). Dinner and overnight Baños. B L D

DAY 12 BAÑOS-AVENUE of the VOLCANOES-QUITO-FAREWELL DINNER. Following breakfast, the morning will be spent taking one final walk through the streets of Baños. This afternoon, we will depart for Quito. Our trip will take us through the famous "Avenue of the Volcanoes", with spectacular scenery to the east and west. Following our “Farewell Dinner”, overnight Quito. B L D

Note: A Guided half-day hike in Ecuador’s Cotopaxi National Park can be added here. There may be a cost differential.

DAY 13 DEPARTURE. After an early breakfast and farewells to our Ecuador C Field Course Staff, you will be transferred to Mariscal Sucre International Airport, outside of Quito for your return flight home. B

Note: Due to weather conditions and circumstances beyond the control of Field Course Staff, certain activities may be changed or done on different days in the best interest of the group.

 
 


Rainforest and Reef

"Outstanding-Affordable Field Courses in Rainforest & Marine Ecology"

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