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Ecuador Amazon Jungle Trek

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Ecuador Amazon Jungle Trek

Witness the sights and sounds of the enigmatic Amazon rainforest as you trek through its dense jungle and canoe along its vast waterways

Prices from $595

Ecuador is a pocket-sized slice of beautiful South America. Despite its diminutive size, it is bursting with vibrant culture, stretches of white sand beaches, mouth-watering foods, steamy jungles, epic mountain landscapes and exotic tropical wildlife. 

Ecuador has a picture-perfect capital painted in pastel colours, alive with cafés, clubs, bars, churches and museums. Markets where friendly locals sell their wares are surrounded by the hustle and bustle of traditional street life. In contrast, the peaceful and serene Andes provide a home for indigenous mountain communities. This captivating country contains a culture that is expressed in an abundance of diverse musical forms and colourful festivals that will enliven your senses.

Your trek will take place in the dramatic Amazon rainforest, as you adventure through its lush undergrowth and canoe along its mighty waterways. Come face to face with indigenous species in this relatively unexplored part of the world and learn to appreciate the forest’s peaceful atmosphere amongst the wider chaos of jungle life.  

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PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the pristine wilderness of the Amazon rainforest
  • Observe birds, primates and other indigenous mammals in their natural habitat
  • Create unforgettable memories 

FAST FACTS

Location Cuyabeno Reserve, Ecuador
Activities Jungle trekking
Canoeing
Bird & animal watching
Transport Airport pick-up
Accommodation Traditional jungle hut
 

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas and equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country Food (3 meals a day)
Accommodation
Airport pick-up
Project orientation and training
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up

QUALIFICATIONS

A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

Day One

Your adventure will begin with a 2 hour bus/truck ride to a remote Amazonian village where you will continue your journey onwards by canoe, paddling down the Aguarico River while taking in your impressive surroundings for the first time. Continuing down the Cuyabeno River, approximately 2 ½ hours later you’ll arrive at base camp, which will become your home for the next few days. 

You will have time to freshen up before meeting your fellow explorers and the knowledgeable guides who will be showing you around for the next week – this is a great opportunity to talk about your ambitions for the week and get to know the rest of your group! 

After dinner you’ll receive a lecture from the guides explaining about the nature reserve, identify species you should look out for and safety procedures. This is bound to get you excited for your trek the following day!

Day Two

You will rise early for a morning canoe excursion – the brisk morning hours are the best time to see the rainforest’s thriving activity! After returning back to base camp for a hearty breakfast, you will begin your trek into the rainforest, accompanied by guides native to the area. Their experience of the rainforest and its species is extensive, so they will be able to answer all of your questions knowledgably.  

Following lunch, you will paddle in a traditional dug-out canoe down the river where you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the jungle, from out-of-this-world insects to the fearsome cries of Howler monkeys, rainbow-coloured birds, caimans, peccaries and even jaguars. You will also have the opportunity to fish for piranha from your canoes! 

After dinner you will experience the atmosphere of the forest at night, keeping on the lookout for scampering insects, fluorescent frogs and even snakes as you tread carefully through the undergrowth.

Day Three

Another early morning start will see you enjoying the sounds of the jungle for a spot of bird watching, where you will admire macaws, toucans, parrots and other indigenous species. After a filling breakfast you will again trek into the forest with your guides, this time learning about the practical and medicinal uses of the plants. You will stop for lunch on the way, before manning your canoes again and navigating along the Cuyabeno River appreciating your surroundings. If your energy levels remain high even after the day’s fun, then you may also have the opportunity to go on another night walk to see if you can spot any more species lurking in the dark. 

Day Four

Starting early in the morning you will spend the whole day exploring. You will navigate downstream to observe the enchanting salt lick (an exposed clay bank) where colourful parrots and parakeets feed to draw toxins out of their bodies. You will return to base camp for breakfast, after which you will trek into the pristine rainforest where the guides will continue their teaching on the medicinal and practical uses of forest flora and fauna – knowledge passed down from their ancestors through generations. 

In the afternoon you will visit a 30m observation tower where, above the canopy, you will see a breathtaking view of the surrounding rainforest – see how many different species you can spot, keeping your eyes open for toucans, parrots and monkeys native to the rainforest. 

You will then take to the water as you try to spot freshwater pink river dolphins in their spectacular natural scenery. After dinner you will venture out on a night excursion in search of caiman and nocturnal birds.

Day Five

On your final day you will visit the local native Indian community where you will learn about the culture and traditions of their people. You will be welcomed by a local family who will share a part of their lives with you – this experience will undoubtedly be very rewarding for both parties, so it’s worth making the most of the indigenous people’s generosity by asking all you can.

You will then travel by canoe for a final time back down the Cuyabeno and Aguarico Rivers to your original drop off point, where you will take the bus back to Lago Agrio and either continue your travels or make your way back home. 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

You will be met upon arrival at Lago Agrio airport at 9:30am on Monday morning, by a member of the project team. 

To get to Lago Agrio you will need to fly via Quito (Mariscal Sucre International Airport) and take an internal flight on to Lago Agrio.

If you are arriving earlier than Monday your Frontier Volunteer Coordinator will provide you with accommodation recommendations if required.

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

Throughout the duration of your project you will be staying in a traditional Amazonian Indian lodge within the jungle. Base camp is located on the Cuyabeno River, towards the lower part of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, to give you a truly wild experience. Accommodation will be shared with the expedition group and includes a bathroom and shower. Each bed comes with its own mosquito net to keep you safe during the night. Each cabin also has an area for relaxing in hammocks, or just sitting and observing the birds and monkeys playing in the nearby trees. It is the perfect place to enjoy nature early in the morning or to listen to the nocturnal songs of the Amazon.   

In addition to the dormitory cabins there is also a central hut where you will eat with the rest of the group and a traditional bar where you can purchase extra drinks. The hammocks here overlook a small lake, which is the ideal spot to rest up and relax after a long day’s adventure. 

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

You will be provided with three nutritious meals each day to keep you energised during your day’s exploration. The food will be a combination of traditional Ecuadorian delicacies and more Western-style meals. Get ready for chicken and rice to become a staple in your diet. 

You will be supplied with purified drinking water and soft drinks during the day when you are at base camp. 

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You will generally follow a set itinerary for the duration of your project, but you should have some time in the evenings to relax, enjoy your surroundings and either read a book or discuss the day’s adventure with your new-found friends.  

Ecuador offers a wide variety of extra activities if you would like to continue your travels either before or after the project, with both adventurous and cultural opportunities available like rafting, caving, hiking, and trips to thermal pools. If you would like to arrange fun excursions like this, then we would ask you to book these directly through local providers – this is a fantastic way of contributing to the local economy and making sure you have a great time too!

There are also a number of volunteering opportunities for you to get involved with during your time in Ecuador. If you like animals then check out Frontier’s Ecuador Amazon Wildlife Sanctuary project, or if you’re interested in a more community-focused project then Ecuador Community Work could be perfect for you! 

COSTS

5 days $595

Departure Dates

Projects begin on a Monday so please aim to fly into Lago Agrio airport on the morning that your project starts. You will be collected from the airport at 9:30am to begin your adventure, so it is important you are at the airport before this time

Monthly (please arrive Sunday in order to transfer to the project)

This project is not available on the following dates in 2019:

New Year: 1 January
Carnaval: 4-5 March
Good Friday: 19 April 
Labor Day: 1 May

Battle of Pichincha: 24 May
Indedpendence Day: 10 August
Guayaquil Independence Day: 12 October
Day of the Dead: 1 November
Cuenca Independence Day: 03 November
Christmas: 25 December - 01 January

Duration

5 days

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Lago Agrio (LGQ)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


LEGAL STATEMENT

Please read our legal statement regarding the running of NGO projects.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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