Ecuador small group holiday, hidden villages of the Amazon

“Expand Ecuadorian horizons over two weeks as part of a small group (max 12). Travel by road, river and air to experience as many cultural encounters as tropical treks. ”


Quito | Bellavista Reserve | Chugchilan village | Cross the Equator | Avenue of Volcanoes | Banos hot springs | Option to trek on Chimborazo Volcano | Ride the Devil's Nose railway | City tour of UNESCO-listed Cuenca | El Cajas National Park | 3 nights in Cuyabeno Nature Reserve | Visit the Siona Indian Community |

Description of Ecuador small group holiday, hidden villages of the Amazon

Follow a dedicated group leader and specially trained local guides into the hidden villages of the Amazon as you embark on an Ecuador adventure that's way off the typical tourist trail. Your group will be treated to an amazing array of experiences to share and to cherish with Equator crossings and train rides on the Devil's Nose Railway, just a couple of the many deep and varied tropical highlights.

Ecuador's rich variety of ecosystems and untouched environments is simply unsurpassed and thanks to the country's relatively small size, about as big as the UK, experiencing as much as possible, over the course of two weeks, is an extremely achievable prospect.

This holiday offers authentic insight into Andean lifestyles very far removed from our own with colonial era towns and mist shrouded cloud forests conjuring contrasting scenes en route from Quito and Cuenca to three nights spent in the Cuyabeno Nature Reserve.

Exploring in the Amazon rainforest is definitely an experience to tell the grandkids about and if you're looking for a few more then look no further than meetings with indigenous Siona tribe members as you discover just what it takes to live in the rainforests of South America.

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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

On day 2 of this particular tour, we will be staying in an Eco-lodge in the Bellavista Reserve. The lodge is actively involved with protecting the 700 hectare reserve through its research station. It is important to protect this habitat as many species in Ecuador are threatened by deforestation. The lodge also works with local communities to find innovative ways of living that respect existing culture, while ensuring conservation of forest and nature. The trails for guests to visit have been carefully laid out to ensure minimal impact on the reserves flora and fauna.

We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged in any way. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to each one of our trips, and as a responsible tour operator, it is something we are careful and steadfast about promoting. Each one of our guides are trained to uphold, promote and put into practice such responsible behaviour, especially in wilderness areas or whilst traveling to UNESCO heritage sites, which this Ecuador trip does do.

By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12 and through walking through many regions during the tour, we minimise the human and environmental impact on the fragile sites and ecosystems we visit. Along with our small group size, we will be staying in local guesthouses and homestays, directly transferring profit into the local economy and creating a smaller carbon footprint than staying at bigger hotel chains.

We attempt to reduce plastic bottle use wherever possible by promoting use of reusable and filtered water bottles. Our partnership with Water-To-Go provides a discount on filtered water bottles to our clients. We do not provide water from plastic bottles to our clients in country but always ensure there is regular access to drinking water on our tours.

We are promoting the natural beauty and ancient heritage of Ecuador through visiting not only El Cajas National Park, Bellavista Cloud Reserve and Cuyabeno Nature Reserve, but also the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cuenca. UNESCO Sites are chosen by the UNESCO committee and must "bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to civilisation", "an important interchange of human values" or be outstanding examples of major stages of Earth's history or ecological and biological processes in evolution. Visiting such sites helps sustain the traditions and natural ecosystems of Ecuador.

The Impacts of this Trip

On day 10 to 13 of this particular tour, we will stay in an eco-lodge within the Cuyabeno Natural Reserve. The lodge is fuelled by solar energy and encourages natural oil lamp use, as well as uses biodigesters to treat all wastewater naturally. The lodge is within a primary rainforest which is home to the indigenous Siona Indian Community, a culture unchanged for millennia. Meet the local shaman who will use their knowledge of the rainforest passed down from generations to provide you with a deeper understanding of their relationship with their surroundings.

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that we have been committed to since our conception. It is part of our core sets of beliefs that these words are not simply scattered nonchalantly into our literature and on our website but moreover that they are central to each and every trip. Our adventures are therefore carefully curated celebrating all that is local from the people, to the culture. We believe that a successful trip delivers a unique and authentic journey for our clients, but furthermore benefits the people whose land we have the privilege of encountering.

On each Group tour we use local ground handlers. This means that all operational costs go directly into the local economy and help improve employment opportunities in remote regions. Such support can also be seen in our incorporation of homestays, locally owned hotels, family run restaurants and the services of local guides and drivers into our itineraries, which ensures that the money you spend with us goes directly into the local economy and local community.


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