The Waterbearers Journeys

Delivering Clean Water Systems in Ecuador

NEW DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED

Limited number of participants. Reserve your space NOW by downloading the RESERVATION FORM 

The Waterbearers Journeys continue – Bringing Women, Water and Wisdom to our Precious World

Our custom journeys offer a unique experience in magical places, and provides opportunities to discover a deeper understanding of who you are in the world. Each conscious travel experience is designed to capture and enhance your total involvement of what it means to be a Waterbearer.

  • Expansion of Self
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Sisterhood / Brotherhood
  • Global Service

Join The Waterbearers Co-Founders, Spryte Loriano, Jane Brinton and Erin Toppenberg on this incredible journey.  Travel to the depths of the Amazon Rainforest for a breathtaking immersion into another world in the most bio-diverse area on the planet and deliver safe clean water to the Achuar Communities. Then travel to the beautiful Andes Mountains for a soul-centering experience and the cultural diversity of the natives of the Imbabura province.

All participants on this trip will accompany us along with our Travel Team Co-Leaders Sora Garrett and Kathy Steele, as we visit the surrounding communities to bring safe water filter systems to the women and children and educate them on the importance of drinking and cooking with clean water.

The Achuar of Ecuador are an indigenous ethnic group whose 1.7 million acre territory spans two provinces – Pastaza and Morona Santiago.  Today they number approximately 7,000 divided into 70 communities.  Though they traditionally lived a nomadic life and had no contact with the world outside their territory until the 1960s, by the 1990s they had organized into a self-governing body, the Achuar Nationality of Ecuador (NAE).

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Kapawi is the most remote jungle lodge and reserve in Ecuador. The lodge is located in the heart of Achuar territory and the local community is managing the lodge after years of training. Kapawi is internationally known mainly because it has shown an alternative to petroleum exploitation through eco-tourism. The lodge is ecological run and has solar energy and garbage recycling. The lodge and reserve are close to the Rio Pastaza but can only be reached by small planes and a trip by canoe.  The lodge consists of 20 double rooms with private bathrooms, sun heated showers and a wide terrace.

Journey Includes:

  • Transportation (unless specified) and Air Travel in country
  • Luxury and First Class Accommodations
  • Meals (unless specified)
  • All excursions and entrance fees with English speaking guides

Not Included:

  • International travel to Quito, Ecuador
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Travel Insurance
  • Gratuities

Itinerary

DAY 1 Quito, Ecuador

Arrival at Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Quito, Ecuador and transfer to nearby Hosteria San Carlos.

DAY 2 Amazon

5:30 am we will be driven through the Avenue of Volcanoes from Quito to Shell, and met by the Achuar representatives and assisted onto small planes for a 50-minute flight. We pass over unbroken pristine rainforest, arriving at the airstrip of the local Achuar community, and welcomed by Kapawi guides, who will escort us on the final leg of the journey to the Kapawi Amazon Lodge, a beautiful 30-minute canoe ride into the majesty and tranquility of the rainforest.

Lunch at the lodge and time to acquaint ourselves to our new surroundings. Afternoon walk along one of the Pastaza River beaches and then an introductory orientation session about the rainforest and the Achuar culture, while enjoying a beautiful sunset. After dinner, explore the Kapawari River in search of nocturnal animals such as monkeys, alligators and birds. All this coupled with a fantastic starry sky over Kapawi, as we enjoy yoga and movement and deep sacred breathing together.

Day 3: Amazon

Early morning: Our guides will escort us on a 30-minute motorboat ride to reach one of the best natural attractions, the Claylick, where we can observe different species of parrots, macaws, and parakeets such as the Cobalt-Winged Parakeet, Chestnut- Fronted Macaw, Yellow Crowned Amazon. Then visit a community that does not have access to clean water, where The Waterbearers will provide a demonstration of our clean water systems, and work with the women in the community for health and sustainability.

After lunch we will explore the Kapawari River via kayak with its connecting lagoons, and see the local wildlife such as the pink river dolphin. We then head into the jungle for an evening of “glamping” under the stars, with our own Achuar Shaman, who will teach us about medicinal plants, the sacred energy of the forest, and perform ancient healing and cleansing rituals with us. 

Day 4: Amazon

Early morning after some deep breathing and yoga under the canopy of trees, we may have the opportunity to distribute more clean water systems before leaving the lodge. We are then escorted along the Pitzacocha or Pama trail. During this time we will learn more about the Achuar people and our guides will also teach us about Achuar hunting techniques and Arutam the spirit of the forest.

We then are treated to a picnic lunch in the forest. After lunch we will visit another Achuar community and have a chance to purchase some local handicrafts.

We return to the lodge for a traditional Achuar dinner followed by additional cultural activities (legends in hammock house and greetings around a campfire). We will have the fun and adventure of learning the art of Achuar face painting and how it relates to their different lifestyle activities.

Day 5: Amazon – Otavalo

Early morning yoga and movement class before breakfast and prepare for our departure. In the last few hours before departure from the Achuar territory, will participate in a blowgun contest to demonstrate who is the best hunter among the guides and guests! We then fly back to Shell, with Box Lunch provided, and return to Quito.

From Quito we will be met and driven to the mountain top wellness sanctuary Sacha Jí “Beloved Mountain” located in the Northern Ecuadorian Avenue of the Volcanoes, which combines scenic magnificence and sustainable, feng-shui based design to create an experience where art meets nature.

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Time to relax and renew as we watch the sunset in the hot tub. Dinner and time to reflect.

Day 6: Otavalo

Each morning we will experience Shakti Naam yoga and meditation surrounded by the majestic mountains and volcanoes. The powerful breath work will enliven the body and put us in flow with the rhythm of the Universe. After lunch a short hike to a lake or waterfall for a sacred cleansing.  This is a relaxation day to take in the scenery and all that nature has to offer.

Day 7: Otavalo

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Morning yoga and meditation. After breakfast we visit the town of Otavalo, which holds one of the biggest indigenous markets in Ecuador, where you can buy all kinds of textiles and handicrafts.  Then we will visit a traditional family home for a cultural experience. Here we may have another opportunity to provide clean water. Return to Sacha Jí for dinner, sharing circle and closing ceremony.

Day 8: Transfer out

After breakfast and check out, transfer out to Quito International Airport via taxi or van shuttle Transportation can be arranged, but is not included.

If times allows before your flight, you can visit the Cayambe Equator Monument and learn about ancient astronomy. The words “quitsa to” mean “center of the world” in the language of the Tsáchila people, and one of the goals of the monument is to link Ecuador’s modern identity as an equatorial nation to the ancient cultures of the region who understood the techniques of charting celestial movements and knew exactly the position of the equator.

Day 9: Optional Stay (Oct 14-15)* $600

HORSE GUIDED EMPOWERMENT by Waterbearer Christina Ring

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Option to stay one extra night at Sacha Jí and experience an introduction to Horse Guided Empowerment with Christina Ring at 4 Volcanoes Farm. Includes guided empowerment facilitation, accommodation, meals and transportation.

Topics for the horses: Working as a team (sisterhood); Serving out empathy and compassion versus ego driven; Honor your sense of self and hold space without energy loss; Personal boundaries – maximize your impact without burn out; Personal diagnose: what motivates/blocks you?

Please check here to let us know if you want to add the extra day.

OPTION Horse Guided Empowerment

 

DEPOSIT & TRIP PAYMENT 

A deposit of $800 is due to hold your reservation. Final payment is due 45 days prior to departure date. Contact us for payment options info@thewaterbearers.org


Payment Options Select

Cancellation Policy

We suggest you seriously consider before canceling your trip. Your deposit is non-refundable. Cancellation prior to 45 days of departure date will be refunded at 50%. No refunds after 30 days.

The Waterbearers™ reserve the right to cancel a trip, due to unforeseen circumstances, such as trip safety and 100% of funds received will be forwarded to a future trip. Minimum 6 persons this trip.

 

FAQs

Do I need a Visa to Ecuador?  You don’t need a visa to visit Ecuador, but when you arrive your passport will be stamped with a 90-day visitor permit. You do need to make sure you have a valid passport and it has at least 6 months remaining from the date you arrive in Ecuador.

How much luggage can I bring? On domestic flights in Ecuador, there is a limit of one checked bag 20kg (44lbs) and one carry-on bag per person.

Is Ecuador safe? While no country is totally safe, International airports are a prime target for pickpockets so please be aware. Keep valuables out of sight (camera, watch, necklace, etc). You will be met at Arrivals and transferred to your hotel.

Is the Water safe to drink? If you have to ask this question, we suggest you use bottled water even to brush your teeth. We can use filtered water once we get to our destination hotels.

What immunizations do I need before traveling to Ecuador?   We recommend you speak with your personal doctor before traveling, but vaccinations are NOT a requirement. Amazon Jungle – Yellow Fever (optional, not required). Malaria – You do not need to take malaria medication to be in Quito, Cuenca, or Guayaquil. Check the Center for Disease Control (CDC) http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/ecuador

You may want to take preventive malaria medicine, starting between 2 days and 2 weeks before you enter the jungle (depending on what type of medicine has been prescribed by your doctor). The risk of malaria while in the jungle is extremely small, even without the medicine.

What is the elevation in Quito?   Elevation of the city is 9350 ft.

Can I get altitude sickness in Quito?   While getting altitude sickness in Quito is less likely than it would be at a higher elevation, it is even less likely for people over 50. Get acclimated the first day or two, before doing anything too strenuous. Local cure is Mate de Coca tea (available here); Ibuprofin and drink lots of water.

How is the weather in Quito?   Quito has a Mediterranean climate with dry warm summers and mild winters. The month of October is characterized by gradually falling daily high temperatures, with daily highs around 20°C (68°F) throughout the month,

How is the weather in the Amazon?   The Rainforest is generally the same temperature year round “Hot and Humid” about 90-94°F and 72° at night. October-November is a little cooler and is considered the second of 2 rainy seasons, the other being March-July.

Is Tipping Common?   Gratuities are an accepted part of the travel business for tour guides, drivers, hotels and restaurants, but generally locals do not tip for everyday services.

Tips are NOT included. So PLEASE be generous individually or as a group, it is welcomed and appreciated. Our guides in the Amazon should be tipped $5 to $10 per day per person – they will work hard for us and earn a small salary, as do most in Ecuador. Tip at the end of the Amazon trip in the morning before departure. Please tip nightly into the BOX for waiters and all staff to share! In other locations please remember to bring tip money for meal service, guides and drivers $10 each (from each person in group).

What to Bring?   Here is a suggested checklist for both the Amazon Rainforest and the Andes Highlands – Checklist Ecuador

Do I Need Travel Insurance?   We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance that will cover unforeseen circumstances, flight cancellations, lost luggage etc., and medical coverage. World Nomads is a good option for short-term travel.