We hope this journey will be an eye-opening and life-altering experience for everyone. Please read through these questions and answers carefully to adequately prepare you for this trip. Of course, if you have further questions, please contact us directly.  We will be covering this information again in a conference call prior to the trip.

How do I know if this experience is right for me?

We trust that people are called to this experience and go when the time is right. Keep in mind that we are spending 7 nights in the jungle with basic facilities.  There will be hiking in the jungle.

Your presence, openness and willingness to absorb the teachings of the Sapara is important. We hope you will share your experience with your community back home.

If you are not sure if this is the right experience for you, please contact us and we can help you with your decision.

How many people are in the group and what ages travel with you?

We have between 10-12 participants for each journey not including the guides.  Participants ages range anywhere from youth to seniors.  We encourage a diverse age group with our journeys.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the trip is US$3000. 

The price excludes airfare to Quito and personal spending money.

What is the currency?

Ecuador’s economy is based on the US dollar and there is no need to exchange your US funds. Be sure to bring your dollars in smaller denominations (mostly $1’s, $5’s, $10’s and just a few $20’s). You will find that vendors and local businesses will not have the appropriate change and $1 and $5 bills will be very handy and even necessary.

Credit cards may be accepted at larger establishments but often with a surcharge. If you plan to use your credit card in Ecuador, we recommend you let them know before you leave that charges will be incoming from Ecuador to avoid any security issues.

ATMs are available only in Ecuador’s larger cities and pin numbers must not be longer than 4 digits. You will have access to an ATM in Quito upon arrival and then in Banos after we get out of the rainforest.  Surprisingly, traveler’s cheques are not accepted at most places and can be very difficult to cash even at banks.

What is the weather like?

The Amazon rainforest is characterized by rain, heat, and more rain and heat, providing the perfect environment for plants and wildlife. The Amazon is always humid with generous amounts of rain occurring year-round. Both the rainy and “rainier” seasons are great times to visit because there tends to be a greater amount of animal activity. This is due to the fact that an increase in rain brings higher levels of fruit production, which means many species (including monkeys and fruit-eating birds) are more active and begin their reproductive cycles. The Amazon is a unique, unpredictable place, so to ensure the best experience possible it is necessary to come prepared for the unexpected.

The rain becomes more frequent in March and continues through July. August through to early December is more of a fluctuation season, meaning it can rain one minute and be sunny the next.  The daytime temperatures in the rainforest are usually 26C to 32C degrees with humidity and in the evenings can fall to 20C degrees.  Even though temperatures are warm, it is important to bring clothes that cover your arms and legs due to the bugs, so focus on light, breathable fabrics. Bring a few light layers for evening or sleeping as we are sleeping undercover, but outside with a light blanket. 

When do I need to be in Quito? Can I arrive early or stay longer?

We will be making all of your in-country travel and lodging arrangements well in advance of the trip commencing. You are responsible for making your flight arrangements to and from Quito, the capital city of Ecuador.

If you are planning to arrive in Quito prior to the official start date of the trip for some personal time before the trip formally begins, make sure you make the appropriate room arrangements for yourself. You might want to stay at the hotel where our group will be spending the first night together.  We will be advising you soon about the details regarding that hotel.

What do I need to bring?

Pack lightly and pack only what you will need. You will want lightweight, moisture-wicking, long sleeved shirts and long pants for the rainforest. Lightweight clothing made of synthetics designed to wick away moisture from your body is recommended. Check out REI, MEC and ExOffficio.

The Sapara will supply all of our equipment including mosquito nets, sleeping mat, pillow and blanket and rubber boots for jungle trekking. Items you will not need in the rainforest will be stored in a safe place and picked up before you go to the cloud forest for your final few days. Please see the detailed packing list for more information.

How much money do I need to bring?

Costs not covered in Ecuador are cab fare at the end of the trip to the airport and personal purchases.  We have found that $250 in personal spending cash is sufficient.

You may want to buy artisan crafts or other items in Ecuador. Please note, however, that our itinerary does not have significant focus or time allotted for shopping. You can plan for that personally either before or after the scheduled itinerary if you wish.

Should I bring a journal?

Part of the preparation process for the journey is to begin journaling. Because the Sapara are from a dream society, you may find that your dreams are more vivid. Record your dreams and thoughts in your journal. Notice the events leading up to your trip. Clarify your intentions for this trip and be sure to bring that journal with you. You will have the opportunity to have your dreams interpreted as well as the chance to share them with others.

What paperwork to I need to supply?

There are several documents that are required to complete your registration.

  • A photocopy or scan of the photo page of your passport
  • A completed Hold Harmless Form (will be sent separately)
  • A copy of your flight itinerary forwarded by email
  • A copy of your travel insurance policy.
  • A copy of your care card or personal health insurance information.

Do I need a passport and visa?

Your passport must be valid for at least six months past your date of entry in order to enter Ecuador. You will not be allowed to enter the country with a passport that expires within six months of your date of entry. Be sure to check your passport now to see if you meet this requirement so you can secure a timely renewal if necessary. No visa is required for entry with a Canadian or US passport.

Do I need travel insurance?

We require that you purchase travel insurance for your time away from home. This kind of travel can be unpredictable and weather dependent.  We have found that BCAA or AAA provides comprehensive travel medical plans and flight cancellation insurance. You can also consider purchasing flight insurance when you purchase your airline ticket.

Can I take pictures?

To protect the privacy of the Sapara and to maximize your experience, we ask you not to bring your own camera.  We will have one photographer on hand who will take pictures on behalf of all of us.

Will I need a cell phone?

We have designed this trip as an electronic free experience.  If you bring a mobile phone with you, we will ask you to leave it behind when we fly into the rainforest.  There is no cell service or WiFi, and pictures will be taken on your behalf.

What do we eat?

Before and after our stay with the Sapara community, we will eat at our hotels or at local restaurants.  Everybody can choose their own meals.  During our stay in the Amazon we will have nourishing, tasty but plain meals.  The meals will be mostly vegetarian and may include rice, pasta, quinoa, yuca, legumes, vegetables and fruit. Coffee and tea and purified drinking water will be provided.

Where do we sleep?

We will stay in very comfortable hotels before and after our trip to the Amazon.  You will share a room with another travel companion.

During our stay in the rainforest, our group will stay in two palapa style, traditional buildings.  We will each have a bed with a mattress and a mosquito net.  Pillows and blankets will be provided.

Do I need any vaccinations?

Vaccinations are not required, but check with your local travel clinic for updated information.  We recommend that your Hepatitis A/B and Tetanus vaccinations are current. There is currently no Malaria in this part of the Sapara territory. See Packing List for more information.

Where does the money go?

65% of your trip fees will go to the Sapara and Naku project.  The remainder of the money will cover travel costs in Ecuador before and after your stay with the Sapara, as well as other trip expenses.

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