Ecuador is home to some of the world’s wildest corners. Join us as we navigate this tropical paradise alongside wildlife biologists and award-winning photographers.
By day, we’ll explore areas like the stunning Yasuni National Park. It’s home to one out of every three Amazonian reptile and bird species—and almost as many amphibians, fish, and mammals. At night, we’ll get some rest and relaxation at ultra-luxe ecolodges within the park. This is a rare opportunity to go way, way off the grid with the comforts of luxury lodging.
On this trip, you’ll visit a local indigenous community and learn what life is like as a tropical biologist. Along the way, you’ll gain a meaningful understanding of the realities of conservation.
The total cost of this trip is $4,635. Note that space at these remote lodges is limited, which means you'll be sharing a room with one or two fellow travelers. For those traveling solo, single accommodations can be provided, subject to availability, for the first night in Quito only, at an additional cost of $70. Please contact us to request a single room.
Be prepared to walk three to five miles over the course of each day through thick, muddy jungle terrain. Keep in mind this will be much more taxing than five miles of flat pavement. Please contact us directly if you have further questions about the health and fitness level required for this trip.
You should aim to arrive in Ecuador by 4 p.m. on Day 1, and depart after 8 p.m. on Day 7. If you decide to extend your stay, your guides will be happy to suggest additional sights and activities.
The International Ecotourism Society has formally defined ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.” In other words, it's an effort to combine sustainable travel with ecosystem-level conservation and the explicit recognition of and respect for the rights of indigenous people. That’s why ecotourism is more than just “nature tourism." It has the explicit goal of benefiting local communities both environmentally and economically. By providing financial incentives through tourism, these communities can become empowered to fight against poverty, and by achieving more sustainable economic development, can better resist other, more exploitative industries such as mining, agriculture, ranching, or logging. Ecotourism has also motivated the traditional tourism industry in general to move toward more “green” or sustainable practices.
Your participation helps to support the vital conservation work carried out by the indigenous Kichwa Añangu community residing within Ecuador's Yasuni National Park, often described as the most biodiverse place on the planet. By embracing ecotourism and rejecting the financial allure of oil extraction, the community can invest in renewable energy, education, and healthcare without exploiting and destroying the ecosystems of western Amazonia. Not only is the conservation of the Ecuadorian Amazon important for the people, plants, and animals that live there—it also plays a huge role in carbon sequestration. The Amazon rainforest scrubs a tremendous amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and provides about six percent of the world's oxygen. In addition, your participation supports the ongoing protection of Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve, which has sustainably modeled the role private landowners can play in the preservation of wild places. You can further increase your impact by offering cash tips to lodge staff and local guides, and by reducing your use of unsustainable rainforest-derived products at home.
All you need to enter and depart Ecuador is a valid passport with evidence of return or onward travel. With a U.S. passport, you will automatically receive a free 90-day tourist visa. For more information, see the State Department’s Ecuador travel page.