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The Yachana Exchange Students Tour
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The Yachana Exchange Students Tour

offered by supplier M19828 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 4 - 5 day(s)
Group Size: 10 - 40 people
Destination(s): Ecuador  
Specialty Categories: Volunteering Vacations   Rainforest  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 285 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 528 US Dollar (USD)

The mission of the Yachana Foundation is to achieve sustainability in the rainforest through education. For this reason, the Foundation started the Yachana Technical High School in 2005 and currently has over 60 students enrolled. Our students receive a practical education and learn by doing while working in various productive areas that are helping the school achieve its goal of sustainability. These include agronomy, animal husbandry, ecotourism, conservation and micro-enterprise development.

Our guests are encouraged to get involved during their visit and work alongside the students on the various projects within each area. The high school strives to implement best practices and systems that do not have a negative affect on the environment. Solar panels, compost, biodigestors and recycling are used at all times and are very much a part of what the students learn during their time at Yachana.

Traveling to Yachana, there are two ways to reach Yachana Lodge:

By plane: Guests can take a short 30-minute flight from Quito to the jungle city of Coca. If weather conditions permit, you will have a spectacular view of the Andes mountains and the Amazon rainforest. Upon your arrival in Coca, you will meet your Yachana guide who will be waiting for you at the airport. Your guide will escort you to the river port to board a motorized canoe for your trip up the Napo River to the community of Mondaña in the province of Napo where Yachana Lodge is located.

The canoe is 17 meters long and constructed of fiberglass designed to minimize any contamination of the environment. Each guest will be provided with a life jacket. The trip will take approximately two and a half hours depending on river conditions and you will be served a box lunch to enjoy during your journey. Upon arrival at the Lodge, you will be welcomed by the staff and given a brief orientation designed to ensure a pleasant stay.

Note: Your Yachana representative will reserve your plane ticket and coordinate your trip. The ticket costs $136 round trip per person.

Ground transport: You can take private transportation from Quito to the jungle city of Tena (approximately four and a half hours away) where you will continue your journey for another three and a half hours to the community of Los Ríos. Your Yachana representative will coordinate a canoe to pick you up for your 20 minute trip down the Napo River to Yachana Lodge.

Note: Your Yachana representative can coordinate ground transportation and the cost may vary depending on the number of passengers. If you have organized your own transport, we will send you a map with the directions that will guide you to Los Ríos.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Once you arrive at the Lodge, you will receive a warm welcome from our staff accompanied by a refreshing beverage and a brief introduction to the lodge’s facility. You will be issued your rubber boots at this time. During the afternoon you will the butterfly house to learn about their metamorphosis and the variety of species of this colorful insect in the deep jungle. You will have a short hike to one of the nicest view points we have to enjoy the nice panorama Napo River offers in between Sumaco volcano and the vast wood of the jungle. Then you´ll enjoy the dinner and after a nocturnal walk to see the insects that just appears during the night.

Day 2: After breakfast, participate in lodge activities with your guide and then, after lunch you will take a short walk to the high school where each group will be in charge of specific activities for each productive areas. The students and teachers will help the participants to carry out the activities in order that the participants share and learn with the students about their culture. Dinner will be served at the lodge 7:00 and afterwards you will have the opportunity to take a night walk. This is a chance to see the “other side” of the rainforest. An entirely different world comes to life at night. It is a wonderful opportunity to see things you would never see during the day.

Day 3: After breakfast, again you have the opportunity to visit to a local shaman to participate in a traditional cleansing ceremony and be liberated of bad energies with a “limpia” or cleansing. You can also try your skills at using a blow gun and throwing a spear. Back at the lodge, take part in a traditional cooking class where the ancestral knowledge of the preparation of typical jungle dishes. For lunch, enjoy the dishes prepared during the cooking class. The afternoon will be spent back at the high school interacting with the students and participating their many projects. Dinner at the lodge will be at 7:00.

Day 4: A complete breakfast served in the morning will give you all the energy you need for this day. During the morning you will have a hike into primary rainforest and discover the immense biodiversity of the jungle into Yachana Private Reserve. Although it takes time to tune into the jungle, many of the rainforest secrets are easy to discover with the aid of the guides’ keen eyes. Photo opportunities are endless. You will a box lunch with you that be served into the Global Vision International Investigation Center into the reserve, where the biologists will give you an speech about their job searching and investigating about the nature of the area. After lunch, spend the afternoon at the high school before enjoying your last dinner in the lodge.

Day 5: You will have your last morning meal. After breakfast, you will depart for the two hour boat ride from Yachana Lodge to Coca and experience your last opportunity to appreciate the Amazon Rainforest vastness and intensity before the flight back to Quito.

Below are examples of activities that foreign students can share with students from Yachana Technical High School:
- Work on our organic farms and in the nursery helping with sustainable agriculture projects
- Trail maintenance
- Make traditional handicrafts out of natural fiber and seeds gathered in the jungle
- Stamp shirts in our silk screening operation
- Work on reforestation projects
- Play soccer and volleyball
- Help care for the animals including the chickens, pigs, fish and sheep.

Notes:
- This itinerary gives you a general idea of the types of activities that Yachana offers. However, on occasion, due to weather conditions and other situations out of our control, some activities and plans may be changed when necessary.
- Please keep in mind that while wildlife is commonly seen in the area, Yachana Lodge cannot guarantee sightings of specific species due to the characteristics and nature of the animals.

Accommodation Options:
- The lodge: This is the most recommended option in which the group can enjoy the comfortable rooms and amenities the lodge offers including large rooms each with private bathrooms and hot water, the dining area with its spectacular views of the Napo River where the staff serves exquisite local cuisine including vegetarian meals upon request while offering you first class service. Maximum capacity is 40 guests.
- Sisa Wasi: Located on the Lodge grounds, these are new triple and quadruple rooms with private baths. Maximum capacity is 28 guests.
- Casa Quest: Located on the Lodge grounds and a popular choice among backpackers and Yachana volunteers, this option offers access to the same restaurant, gardens and wireless Internet that are offered to guests staying at the Lodge itself. However, this hostel-like accommodation offers shared bathrooms. Maximum capacity is 16 guests.

Logistics and additional information:
- Yachana requires full payment of the price of the tour for confirmation
- Dietary requests and health related or special needs should be sent at least 15 days in advance of your visit.
- Luggage for the flight to and from Coca should not exceed 20 kg.
- A Yachana representative will be waiting in the airport the day your tour begins to assist you. They will also give you Yachana stickers and luggage tags.
- It is important to arrive to the airport no later than the time specified by Yachana’s operations manager.
- Souvenirs and beverages in the bar at the lodge can be paid with Visa, MasterCard or in cash.

Member discount:
10% discount for InfoHub customer.  Request a free gift certificate.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Prices (4D/3N or 5D/4N tour):
- Main Lodge: $396 - $528 (additional night: $132)
- Sisa Wasi: $370 - $494 (additional night: $125)
- Casa Quest: $285 - $380 (additional night: $95).

All rates are per person.
- High School: $50 per night p/p.
- Extras:
* If you decide to enter by plane, the round trip ticket price is $136 per person and includes a box lunch and canoe transfer.
* If arriving by ground transport, you are free to make your own arrangements or we can coordinate it for you at a price of $60 per person round trip with a group of no less than 20 people.

Price Includes:
- Canoe transfer
- Ground or air transportation Quito - Coca - Quito
- All meals
- All listed activities
- Local guide fees.

Price Excludes:
- Personal expenses
- Purchases in the bar and gift shop.

Supplier Information
Photos: Next »
Location: Ecuador
Joined InfoHub: Nov 2009
Client Request Served: 7

M19828 and Center for Geotourism Training is an award-winning, Amazon ecotourism destination that inspires thousands of international and Ecuadorian visitors each year. A 2008 winner in the National Geographic Ashoka Changemakers Geotourism Challenge as the best example of Geotourism in the world, M19828, is the only...

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