Hikes and Cultural Exploration from the Cloud Forest to the High Andes

Ecuador Private Journey

Ecuador

8 Days

From $5,695

Level 3

Moderate

Overview

    Contact Us Download Itinerary

    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    Overview

    Discover the enchanting world of the cloud forest, the ancient haciendas of Ecuador's highlands, and hike on Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes on Earth! Celebrating Ecuador's phenomenal array of landscapes and cultures, our Private Journey immerses you in three totally distinct settings. In the lofty realm of the highlands, explore beguiling rural landscapes, centuries-old markets, and enjoy a warm welcome at an atmospheric 17th century hacienda. On the high páramo grasslands of Cotopaxi National Park, crowned by ice-draped Cotopaxi (19,347'), hike along high trails and enjoy fantastic stargazing in the night sky of the Southern Hemisphere. For a grand finale, enter Ecuador's pristine cloud forest, home to some of the richest biodiversity in the world, and walk through vine-draped forests and even take an aerial "sky bike" ride across the canopy. As you explore these three realms of Ecuador, dining will be a special part of the experience, with locally sourced meals inspired by the ingredients of Ecuador's natural bounty. Our handpicked accommodations, from a stunning nature lodge in the cloud forest to a 17th century hacienda and a cozy mountain lodge, will be as memorable as the journey itself.

    Arrive: Quito, Ecuador

    Depart: Quito, Ecuador

    Highlights

    • Visit the famous Otavalo market, with its world-famous crafts
    • Enjoy the ambiance of Zuleta, a classic highland hacienda and working farm
    • Explore Cotopaxi National Park, with a picnic at an Inca fortress
    • Hike up to the glaciers on magnificent Volcano Cotopaxi
    • Glide across a cloud forest, hike to a “healing” waterfall, hear the roar of howler monkeys

    Overview

      Contact Us Download Itinerary

      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

      Download Itinerary Expand All Days
      From Quito, set off for a drive into the green Ecuadorian highlands to Hacienda Zuleta, a stunning 17th century property and working farm set on 4,000 acres. Virtually everything gracing the table comes fresh from Zuleta's rich earth. Hike to the hacienda's Cóndor Huasi conservation program, where injured Andean condors are rehabilitated for release, visit Zuleta's artisan cheese production area, or hike the miles of trails. Enjoy a guided hike around Laguna Cuicocha, a spectacular crater lake set at 10,000 feet, and explore the famous market town of Otavalo (8,202'), a showplace for the textile arts of the Otalaveño and other indigenous Andean groups.
      Move up to another Ecuadorian realm, magnificent Cotopaxi National Park and the high, green páramo landscape that surrounds Cotopaxi Volcano (19,347'), with its glowing mantle of snow. Enjoy a picnic at Pucará de Salitre, a semi-restored Inca fortress, hike the grassy páramo landscape, perhaps seeing some of the wild horses, deer, or llama that make the park their home, and from the climbers' refuge at 15,748 feet on the flanks of Cotopaxi, hike up to the volcano's glaciers. Overnights are at Chilcabamba Mountain Lodge, a family-owned accommodation with spectacular views of towering Cotopaxi.
      Descend to the cloud forest realm of beautiful Mashpi Lodge at 3,117 feet, set in a private nature reserve that is a biodiversity hotspot of flora and avifauna. Join one of the lodge guides for forest hikes, ride on the "Dragonfly," the lodge's unique cable car system that crosses the forest canopy, spot birdlife from the 85-foot-high Observation Tower. The cuisine at Mashpi is inspired by the ingredients and flavors of the cloud forest. Guest rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows to allow immersion in the cloud forest. Return to Quito and depart on Day 8.

      Dates & Pricing

      Best months to go: May to January. For our Private Journeys, you choose your own group and your preferred dates. Prices are per person and not guaranteed until services are confirmed. Contact us for availability, questions, or to book your adventure!

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      At time of reservation: $1,000
      90 Days prior to departure: Balance

      *Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Minimum fee: $500 per person
      61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
      46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
      45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      *Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

      Included
      • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel guide (Day 1 to 6) and local guides
      • Accommodations in hotels, haciendas, and lodges
      • All meals
      • All activities as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • All ground transportation and baggage handling from meeting until departure
      Not Included
      • Travel to and from the arrival and departure location as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • Additional hotel nights outside the trip's scheduled dates
      • Optional gratuities to guides or staff
      • Optional travel insurance
      • Other expenses of a personal nature (some alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)
      • Any activities and services described as an upgrade or optional

      Accommodations

      Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

      Wyndham Quito Airport

      Quito, Ecuador

      Day 1 (1 night)

      The Wyndham Quito Airport is a nice hotel with a great location right next to the airport. Rooms are spacious, with plush bedding and great views of the nearby hills, and the lounge area is perfect for relaxing upon arrival. The hotel also has a spa with a sauna.

      Hacienda Zuleta

      Highlands, Ecuador

      Days 2-3 (2 nights)

      There is something quite special about Hacienda Zuleta. Surrounded by more than 2,000 acres of forest and grazing lands, it was built at the end of the 16th century and is still a private family home. You can get a sense Ecuador's history here, and that of the Galo Plaza-Lasso...

      Chilcabamba Mountain Lodge

      Chilcabamba, Ecuador

      Days 4-5 (2 nights)

      Family-owned Chilcabamba is an exclusive, yet unpretentious, mountain lodge in a gorgeous setting, with spectacular views of towering Cotopaxi on a clear day. Guest rooms are comfortably furnished and heated by wood-burning stoves (and with thick duvets to keep you warm throughout the night!). The chef prepares excellent home-cooked meals...

      Mashpi Lodge

      Mashpi Private Reserve, Ecuador

      Days 6-7 (2 nights)

      Mashpi is a luxurious retreat surrounded by a private nature reserve in the cloud forest. Guest rooms have floor to ceiling windows onto the cloud forest, and the terrace is the perfect place to enjoy sights, sounds, and views over the canopy. The chefs provide...

      What the Trip is Like

      This trip is rated Level 3, Moderate, according to our trip grading system. Cultural explorations and day hikes are the focus of the trip, with hotel, hacienda, and lodge accommodations throughout. Much of the trip takes place at higher altitudes, ranging from 9,500 feet at Otavalo to over 15,000 feet in Cotopaxi National Park. Overland travel is by van. There are five days with optional hikes of about 2-4 hours each. For your enjoyment of the trip, we recommend you make a special effort to be in very good physical condition, and ready to hike on varied terrain (rock and sand), driving on mountain roads that can be rugged, and the hikes will often be cross country, not on developed trails. Please note that your Trip Leader may make adjustments to the itinerary and hiking routes, depending on local weather and trail conditions.

      Review Trip Level Details

      Because of Ecuador's location on the equator, the weather patterns don't change very much during the year. Altitudes are very much the determining factor in the temperatures. In Quito, temperatures are pleasant and spring-like much of the year, with highs around 75°F and lows around 50°F. The central highlands of Ecuador are crossed by the Andes, with snow line starting at altitudes of about 16,500 feet. Expect the daily high to be around 75°F. Nights and mornings are cold, dropping down to 50°F or even lower. In the cloud forest at Mashpi, expect daytime highs of around 80°F and much cooler evenings, possibly as low as the mid-50s, and higher humidity.

      The summer season is June through September, and you will enjoy great views of the volcanoes and mountains. The rainy season is generally February-April, and while temperatures are comfortable, it is not an optimum time for hiking.

      Extend Your Trip

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

      Submit the form below to download itinerary

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      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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You&apos;ll be met by your private guide for a short transfer to the Wyndham Quito Airport Hotel, just minutes from the airport, for a well-deserved rest...meals on your own.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":2,"DayTo":2,"Headline":"The Ecuadorian Highlands \/ Hacienda Zuleta","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"After a trip briefing with your private guide and breakfast at the hotel (a good start for sampling Ecuador&apos;s array of tropical fruits and juices), set off for a drive north along the Pan-American Highway into the green Ecuadorian highlands. Arrive in time for lunch at Hacienda Zuleta, your home for the next two nights. Virtually everything gracing the table at Zuleta comes fresh from Zuleta&apos;s rich earth and is carefully prepared by hand. After lunch, enjoy your choice of self-guided activities at Zuleta. You can hike to the hacienda&apos;s C&oacute;ndor Huasi conservation program, where injured Andean condors are rehabilitated for release into the wild and chicks are raised for release. Another option is a visit to the hacienda&apos;s artisan cheese production area, with a tasting. There are miles of trails at Zuleta that lead through a green patchwork where wheat, maize, potatoes, and quinoa are grown, and you can learn about traditional Zulete&ntilde;a embroidery, or simply explore the grounds and enjoy the sublime mountain setting. Many of the hacienda&apos;s employees are from the Zuleta community. &ldquo;Zulete&ntilde;os&rdquo; are known for preserving their culture and traditions&mdash;you&apos;ll notice that their attire is unique and different from the traditional Otavalo clothing. Zuleta has been known to cast a spell and it is a delight to savor its atmospheric setting. Optional activities (at extra cost) include horseback riding, mountain biking, and a cooking class. The main sitting room has a roaring fireplace to keep away the chill of high altitude. Enjoy a delicious family-style dinner around a common table this evening. Overnight at Hacienda Zuleta (9,488&apos;).\r\nDriving Time: 2 hours\r\n\r\nHacienda Zuleta is a stunning 17th century property and working farm set on 4,000 acres. For over 100 years, it has belonged to the family of Mr. Galo Plaza Lasso, who was president of Ecuador from 1948 to 1952. A liberal reformer, Galo Plaza Lasso and his mother did what no landowner in Ecuador had ever done before&mdash;introduced land reforms that returned substantial tracts of land back to the local people, and today the peoples of this local region enjoy independence and control over their lives. Many are still farmers, and the local women are productively engaged in the local embroidery industry.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":3,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"Hacienda Zuleta \/ Laguna Cuicocha Hike \/ Otavalo Market","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Enjoy a beautiful hike around Laguna Cuicocha this morning with your guide, with a box lunch prepared by Hacienda Zuleta. Cuicocha is a spectacular crater lake set at 10,000 feet in the Reserva Ecol&oacute;gica Cotacachi-Cayapas. You'll have views of the towering Cotacachi and Imbabura volcanoes. Along the way, keep your eye out for hummingbirds, orchids, and perhaps even a soaring Andean condor. You can make the hike just a mile or two out and back, or hike the complete circuit of 5.5 miles. In the afternoon, head with your guide to the town of Otavalo (8,202&apos;), famed for its market featuring the textile arts of the Otalave&ntilde;o and other indigenous Andean groups. The people of Otavalo have excelled at weaving since pre-Inca times and their centuries-old market is a rainbow of textiles, from blankets to alpaca sweaters. You&apos;ll recognize Otalave&ntilde;o men by their fedoras, dark blue wool ponchos, and long braid (the long, single braid of Otavalo men is such an important symbol of their ethnic identity that when Otalave&ntilde;o men serve in the Ecuadorian army, they are not required to cut it off). Women of Otavalo wear white blouses,&nbsp; long blue skirts of wool, and multiple necklaces of gold beads&mdash;some scholars think this is the closest to traditional Inca clothing worn anywhere in the Andes. 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Keep an eye out for resident and migrant Andean birds and savor views of mighty Cotopaxi, one of the most beautiful and colossal peaks in the high Andes, its perfect cone covered by a thick cloak of white snow that glows against the deep blue of the sky. After lunch, hike across the grassy p&aacute;ramo landscape, perhaps seeing some of the wild horses, deer, or llama that make the park their home, as well as seasonal mountain wildflowers. Cotopaxi National Park&apos;s landscape is a rolling moorland with native shrubs, lichens, and flowers adapted to the high realm. Your hike continues through the canyon of the Rio Pita to your perfectly located accommodation, Chilcabamba Mountain Lodge, a rustic accommodation in a gorgeous setting, with spectacular views of towering Cotopaxi on a clear day. Overnight at Chilcabamba Mountain Lodge.\r\nDriving Time: 3.5 hours\r\nHiking Time: 4 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":5,"DayTo":5,"Headline":"Hike on Volc&aacute;n Cotopaxi","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Drive from the lodge right up to the climbers&apos; refuge at 15,748 feet on the flanks of Cotopaxi. Here you&apos;ll hike over steep terrain towards the base of the volcano&apos;s glaciers. It&apos;s a good idea to have warm clothing on hand, including a hat, gloves, scarf, and wind layers, as the weather can change quickly on this towering volcano. If the clouds part, the views are incredible. Cotopaxi is a popular high-altitude climb and you will see many climbers preparing for their ascents. Return to Chilcabamba for lunch, with the afternoon free to explore. An optional activity today (at extra cost) is a mountain bike ride from the base of Cotopaxi to Laguna Limpiopungo on a rugged fire road (approximately one hour). Overnight at Chilcabamba Mountain Lodge.\r\nHiking Time: 2-3 hours","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":6,"DayTo":6,"Headline":"From the Altiplano Into Vine-Draped Cloud Forest","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"After breakfast at the lodge, depart for a drive that brings you down to the cloud forest, with stark changes in landscape and vegetation en route. Arriving at Mashpi Lodge at 3,117 feet, you&apos;ll bid farewell to your private guide (who will meet you again on your arrival in Quito) and be welcomed by the lodge&apos;s naturalist guides for a short presentation on this fascinating ecosystem. The lodge is a striking contemporary building nestled into the private, 3,000-acre Mashpi Reserve in the heart of the cloud forest. The land in and around the reserve is world-famous as a biodiversity hotspot of flora and avifauna. In the afternoon, head out with one of the specialist guides for a short walk through primary forest dominated by ancient copal trees, whose aromatic resins were used by the pre-Columbians as incense. The lodge&apos;s Life Center building has forest panoramas from the wide wooden deck, a good place to spot birds, hear the roar of mantled howler monkeys, and learn about the many species of butterflies found in this region. The cuisine at Mashpi is inspired by the ingredients and flavors of the cloud forest. Guest rooms are designed with floor-to-ceiling windows to allow an immersion in the cloud forest, and it&apos;s a delight to awake to a magnificent forest view. Overnight at Mashpi Lodge.\r\nDriving Time: 4 hours\r\nWalking Time: 1 hour","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":7,"DayTo":7,"Headline":"Cloud Forest Ride, Healing Waterfall, Bike in the Sky!","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"The forest rewards early-bird explorers, and the dawn light attracts a wide variety of beautiful avians. Those who want to join the guides on the terrace at 6:30 this morning will enjoy not only the birdlife but also the beauty and the sounds of the forest. The lodge&apos;s spotting scope is available to look for birds, and there is coffee and tea available. After breakfast, join one of the lodge guides for a hike through the forest to the &ldquo;Dragonfly,&rdquo; the lodge&apos;s unique cable car system that crosses above and sometimes even directly through the forest canopy for a stunning open-air perspective (there are walks aplenty if you don&apos;t want to take the cable car). The Dragonfly ride is a chance to watch the mist rolls back from the forest below and listen to the birds. Afterwards, head out for an energetic hike deep into the reserve to the Healing Waterfall, where the sun bursts through the foliage with striking rays of light glancing off glimmering rocks. After lunch back at the lodge, walk to the Sky Bike station for a unique adventure&mdash;pedaling two-person &ldquo;bicycles&rdquo; suspended by a cable above a ravine and a river. It&apos;s an unforgettable way to experience the exuberant nature of Mashpi&mdash;and great for photos. At the Observation Tower, 85 feet above the forest floor, you&apos;ll get some of the best views across the canopy. Species spotted from here include toucans, woodpeckers, barbets, tanagers and parrots, as well as birds of prey, and this is a great place to watch the sunset. Overnight at Mashpi Lodge.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":8,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Depart","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"After breakfast at the lodge, transfer to Quito, where you will be met and brought to the day rooms held for you at the Wyndham Airport Hotel. Optional activities in Quito (at extra cost) include a city tour with lunch, a museum visit, and a chocolate tasting, or a day excursion to Papallacta Hot Springs. Evening transfer to the airport for departure on homeward-bound flights.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":1,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":1,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"Quito \/ The Ecuadorian Highlands \/ Hacienda Zuleta","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"From Quito, set off for a drive into the green Ecuadorian highlands to Hacienda Zuleta, a stunning 17th century property and working farm set on 4,000 acres. Virtually everything gracing the table comes fresh from Zuleta&apos;s rich earth. Hike to the hacienda&apos;s C&oacute;ndor Huasi conservation program, where injured Andean condors are rehabilitated for release, visit Zuleta&apos;s artisan cheese production area, or hike the miles of trails. Enjoy a guided hike around Laguna Cuicocha, a spectacular crater lake set at 10,000 feet, and explore the famous market town of Otavalo (8,202&apos;), a showplace for the textile arts of the Otalave&ntilde;o and other indigenous Andean groups.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":4,"DayTo":5,"Headline":"Hikes in Cotopaxi National Park","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>Move up to another Ecuadorian realm, magnificent Cotopaxi National Park and the high, green p&aacute;ramo landscape that surrounds Cotopaxi Volcano (19,347'), with its glowing mantle of snow. Enjoy a picnic at Pucar&aacute; de Salitre, a semi-restored Inca fortress, hike the grassy p&aacute;ramo landscape, perhaps seeing some of the wild horses, deer, or llama that make the park their home, and from the climbers' refuge at 15,748 feet on the flanks of Cotopaxi, hike up to the volcano's glaciers. Overnights are at Chilcabamba Mountain Lodge, a family-owned accommodation with spectacular views of towering Cotopaxi.<\/body>","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":6,"DayTo":8,"Headline":"Into Vine-Draped Ecuadorian Cloud Forest","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>Descend to the cloud forest realm of beautiful Mashpi Lodge at 3,117 feet, set in a private nature reserve that is a biodiversity hotspot of flora and avifauna. 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Hotel check-in is at 12:00 pm.<\/p>","Custom_Departure_-_Sales":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2022-12-05T14:44:51 --><p><strong>Suggested Airport:<\/strong> Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO)<br \/><strong>Suggested Date &amp; Time:<\/strong> Day 8, after 4:00 pm <br \/><br \/>Trip members will be transferred from Wyndham Quito Airport Hotel to Mariscal Sucre International Airport 3.5 hours prior to their international departure. Most flights depart for the US in the evening.<\/p>","Custom_International_Air_Travel":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2022-12-05T14:46:43 --><p>You are responsible for making your own arrangements for flights to and from Ecuador. There are many online consolidators for booking travel, but for more personal help arranging air transport, you can contact Exito Travel at 1-800-655-4053 in the US or 1-800-670-2605 in Canada. They are very adept at putting flight itineraries together, to even the most far-flung places. More information can be found at <a href=\"https:\/\/exitotravel.com\/\">www.exitotravel.com<\/a>.<br \/><br \/>Depending on your routing, it is necessary to depart from the US one or possibly two days prior to Day 1 of the trip itinerary. The name on your airline ticket must match the name on your passport exactly, and your passport must be valid for at least six months after your date of return to the US.<br \/><br \/><strong>Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip.<\/strong> Once tickets are purchased, please forward a copy of your email flight confirmation from the airline. It is your responsibility to ensure your flight times coordinate with the arrival and departure logistics for this trip.<\/p>","Custom_Extra_Hotel_Nights":"","Custom_Recommended_Hotels":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_2":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_5":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_5":"","Custom_file_name":"ecuador-private-journey","Custom_Passport":"A valid passport is required for your trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. <strong>Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of exit from Ecuador. <\/strong>In addition, we recommend your passport have at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say &#8220;Visas&#8221; at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say &#8220;Amendments and Endorsements,&#8221; and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate visa pages. You can request a new passport through <a href=\"http:\/\/travel.state.gov\/passport\/passport_1738.html\">US Passport Services Office<\/a> (the service of adding pages for visas was discontinued as of January 1, 2016) or use a visa service agency, which can take care of your passport renewal and expedite the process, if needed. We recommend <a href=\"http:\/\/www.passportvisaexpress.com\/?affId=2120\">Passport Visas Express<\/a>. Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip. <br><br>It is a good idea to carry photocopies of your passport's photo page and any acquired visa pages for your trip (if applicable) in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.","Custom_Visas_and_Entry_Notes":"US citizens do not need a visa for Ecuador. A tourist card will be issued to you on the flight to Quito. Half of the card is collected upon your entry to the country, and you keep the other half to present upon your departure. <br><br>If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, check with a local consulate for entry requirements.","Custom_Money":"The unit of currency in Ecuador is the US dollar. Be sure to bring an ample supply of US cash with you. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express cards are accepted in major hotels, restaurants, and shops. If you plan to use your credit cards, inform your credit card company before your departure that you will be using the card abroad. ATMs are available in Quito. Check with your bank for information about international transaction fees, daily maximum withdrawal limits, and PIN codes for international ATM use. <br><br>You will need to budget spending money for gratuities for the Trip Leader and personal items such as phone calls. We recommend that you bring your cash in small denominations ($20s or $50s). $100 bills are not accepted in Ecuador. Make sure dollar bills are in good condition. Torn or tattered bills will not be accepted.","Custom_Tipping":"Tipping is completely discretionary, but over the years, clients have asked us for tipping guidelines to reward guides for outstanding service. In Ecuador, a range of reference would be:<ul><li>\r\nFor luggage porters, $1 per bag.<\/li><li>\r\nFor airport transfer drivers, $2-$5 per guest per transfer.<\/li><li>\r\nFor Quito hotel housekeeping (if there is not a pooled tipping box), $3-$5 per room per night<\/li><li>\r\nBetter restaurants add a 10% service charge to the bill. If the service is good, you can add an additional amount at your discretion.<\/li><li>\r\nFor a local hiking guide or city guide, on private day tours, $15-$20 per guest per full day.<\/li><li>\r\nFor a local driver, $10-$15 per guest per day for a full-day tour, reduce for shorter drives.<\/li><li>\r\nAt Hacienda Zuleta, there is a general pooled tipping box for the Hacienda staff, $20-$30 per guest per day.<\/li><li>\r\nAt Mashpi Lodge, there is a general pooled tipping box for guides and staff combined, $20-$30 per guest per day.<\/li><li>\r\nAt Chilcabamba Lodge, $15-$20 per guest per day for guides and staff combined.<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Food":"Please reach out to us directly to discuss any dietary restrictions or concerns you may have. We can easily make arrangements for most diets, but please keep in mind that certain cultural differences or logistical limitations can make it difficult or at times impossible to accommodate all requests. With this in mind, please inform us at least eight weeks before your trip if you have a special diet, and any food allergies in particular, so we can do our best to meet your needs.","Custom_Communications":"<strong>Telephone<\/strong><br>The international dialing code for Ecuador is 593. Please contact your cell phone company for specific instructions for international use.<br><strong><br>Email &amp; Internet Access<\/strong><br>Internet access is available at most of the hotels, but service can be spotty.","Custom_Electricity":"Ecuador has standard 110\/120V current, and plugs with two flat prongs, the same as the US. If you require a three-prong outlet for any appliance, please bring a plug adapter.","Custom_Laundry":"Laundry service is available at some of the hotels.","Custom_Ship_Notes":"","Custom_Inoculations":"No inoculations are currently required for entry to Ecuador. Entry requirements are subject to change. We recommend you discuss the following with your physician:<br><strong><br>Polio<\/strong><br>People who have received the primary series of at least three doses of polio vaccine are considered fully immunized. People who are unsure of their status should receive the vaccine (three doses spaced at intervals).<br><strong><br>Hepatitis<\/strong><br>The vaccines HAVRIX and VAQTA (two injections, six to 18 months apart) give long-term protection against Hepatitis A and are worthwhile if you travel regularly to developing countries.<br><strong><br>Tetanus Booster<\/strong><br>It is very easy to get a small cut. A booster is strongly recommended if you are due for one (effective for 10 years).<br><strong><br>Typhoid<\/strong><br>The CDC recommends the shot or the oral vaccine, Vivotif Berna. You may not be able to take the oral vaccine simultaneously with mefloquine (for malaria prevention).<br><strong><br>Yellow Fever<\/strong><br>A Yellow Fever immunization is not required for Quito but is recommended for travel to Ecuador's Amazon, if you are taking a jungle extension. For most travelers, a single dose of yellow fever vaccine provides long-lasting protection and a booster dose of the vaccine is not needed. However, some travelers may require a booster dose. Also, certain countries might require a booster dose of the vaccine; visit the CDC Travelers' Health link (<a href=\"https:\/\/wwwnc.cdc.gov\/travel\">cdc.gov\/travel<\/a>) for information on specific country requirements. Have proof of the shot recorded in your International Health Card and carry the card with your passport. Health officials at borders often (but not always) request proof of the shot. <br><br>Please note: According to the CDC, people 60 years or older may be at increased risk for serious adverse events following vaccination, compared with younger persons. This is particularly true if they are receiving their first yellow fever vaccination. If you are over 60, please discuss this with your physician. <br><br>If you are advised to decline the vaccine, please get a written waiver from your physician or travel clinic in case you might need it during the visa application process. <br><br>","Custom_International_Health":"","Custom_Malaria_Prevention":"If you are traveling to the Amazon, antimalarial medications are strongly recommended but not required.For further malaria information, consult your doctor or the CDC Malaria Hotline (<a href=\"https:\/\/www.cdc.gov\/malaria\/travelers\/\">cdc.gov\/malaria\/travelers<\/a>) or by phone at 888-232-3228.","Custom_Staying_Healthy":"Don't brush your teeth with tap water; use bottled water, and don't use ice in your drinks unless you are sure it was made with treated water. When in doubt, ask your Trip Leader for guidelines.","Custom_Getting_In_Shape":"","Custom_Medical_Care":"","Custom_Altitude_Considerations":"Quito is at an altitude of 9,350 feet and you will be hiking at altitudes from 9,000-15,000 feet, with an optional hike at around 15,000 feet. Individuals vary widely in their ability to acclimatize. Since physical fitness does not confer any protection or facilitate acclimatization, it is impossible to predict how you will adapt to the altitude. The greatest protection is avoiding rapid ascents and allowing time for acclimatization. Normal physiological changes at altitude include headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, irregular breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling of the ankles and eyelids. <br><br>It is not uncommon to experience some of these symptoms when you first arrive at high altitude and then have them decrease in severity within a few days. It is important that you inform your Trip Leader immediately of any symptoms or discomfort, however minor, so that he or she can help you monitor the situation. While acclimatizing, avoid pushing yourself too hard, however physically fit you may be or feel. Pace yourself comfortably, rest often. You may find that you hike more slowly than others in the group, or slower than you are used to.","Custom_Reading_List":"Elevate your travel experience by delving into this curated collection of books tailored to your upcoming adventure. They will not only entertain but also provide invaluable insights into the history, culture, cuisine, wildlife, mountain trails, or even folklore of the places you're about to explore. Discover the perfect companions for your journey ahead by <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-ecuador-private-journey\">following the link<\/a> or scanning the QR code.","Custom_Photography":"","Custom_Cultural_Considerations":"","Custom_Giving_Back":"","Custom_Enviromental_Concerns":"","Custom_Shopping_and_Souvenirs":"","Custom_Seasickness":"","Custom_Explore":"","Custom_Additional_Information":"","Custom_Essentials":"<ul><li>Air tickets (or E-tickets)<\/li><li>\nPassport<\/li><li>\nOne other picture ID, such as a driver's license<\/li><li>\nExpense money<\/li><li>\nInternational Health Card (&#8220;Yellow Card&#8221;) with proof of Yellow Fever inoculation within the last 10 years (if you are planning to visit the Amazon and opt to get the inoculation)<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Luggage":"<ul><li>Medium-sized duffel bag or rolling duffel, with a small padlock (must be unlocked for air travel).<\/li><li>Daypack, large enough for a water bottle, camera, and other items you want with you during the day.<\/li><li>Small roll-up duffel if you are an avid shopper.<\/li><\/ul><div> <br><br>Please note: Airline luggage service to Quito is reliable, but you should carry or wear your hiking boots on your flights to make sure they arrive with you.<\/div>","Custom_Clothing":"Dress on the trip is very informal, with the exception of city dinners for which you may want to dress up a little (jackets are not required for men).It is very important to have appropriate clothing for hiking. The temperatures in the high Andes can get cold, especially at night, and hiking can be uncomfortable if you are ill prepared. Even if you do not use each item listed, it is better to be prepared. <br><br>\nThe clothing list below is provided as a guideline only.<br><br><ul><li>\nGore-Tex rain\/wind shell jacket with hood. A poncho is not adequate raingear for hiking.<\/li><li>\nGore-Tex rain\/wind pants, preferably with leg zippers so that they can be taken off without removing your boots<\/li><li>\nWarm fleece jacket\/insulated \"puffy\" jacket&mdash;temperatures can be below freezing at night<\/li><li>\nFleece sweater and\/or fleece vest<\/li><li>\nHiking pants. Convertible hiking pants with zip-off legs are a practical choice. Some women like wearing a mid-calf hiking skirt with thermal underwear underneath; a skirt also provides some privacy for toilet purposes on the trail. Jeans are not suitable for hiking because they are made of dense cotton and if they get wet are slow to dry.<\/li><li>\nLightweight cotton pants or jeans for city wear<\/li><li>\nSturdy hiking shorts<\/li><li>\nLong-sleeved shirt. Fleece or quick-drying &#8220;travel&#8221; fabrics like nylon are best.<\/li><li>\nT-shirts. Synthetics are best; cotton will get soggy with perspiration.<\/li><li>\nShade hat with a wide brim or baseball cap<\/li><li>\nFleece hat for warmth<\/li><li>\nFleece mittens or gloves<\/li><li>\nMedium-weight hiking boots<\/li><li>\nRunning shoes, Tevas, or other comfortable shoes for city wear<\/li><li>\nHiking socks<\/li><li>\nCasual socks for city wear<\/li><li>\nUnderwear; synthetics dry faster<\/li><li>\nSports bra for women (for hiking)<\/li><li>\nSleepwear (long underwear can double)<\/li><li>\nCasual city\/hotel attire<\/li><\/ul><br>","Custom_Hiking_Boots":"","Custom_Equipment":"<ul><li>Sturdy reusable water bottle (preferably Nalgene), 1 qt. capacity. Wide-mouth bottles are easier to fill.<\/li><li>\nGood quality sunglasses with UV protection. A spare pair of sunglasses is invaluable should your first pair be broken or lost.<\/li><li>\nPersonal toiletries<\/li><li>\nAssortment of plastic bags to keep items dry and dust-free in your bag<\/li><li>\nMoney belt or neck pouch. Always carry your passport, credit cards, and cash with you in a money belt or neck pouch tucked down inside your shirt or blouse.<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Personal_First_Aid":"Every trip member should bring a small kit for personal use. Your own experience will influence your choices.<br><br><ul><li>\nSunscreen SPF 30 or higher. Essential at high altitude! We recommend mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they do not contain harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Brands such as Honest Company, Badger, and Alba Botanica are found in most sporting goods stores and drugstores.<\/li><li>\nLip balm with sunscreen and\/or zinc oxide<\/li><li>\nAspirin, ibuprofen, or Tylenol for muscle pain or headaches. Tylenol PM for sleep.<\/li><li>\n\nTopical antibiotic (such as Neosporin) for cuts, bites, or sores<\/li><li>\nInsect repellent. Repellents with DEET are recommended. DEET content of about 30-35% is ideal (higher DEET content is not recommended). Wipe DEET off your hands before touching plastic surfaces (such as binoculars) because it can damage the plastic. Aerosol repellents are useful for spraying on clothes.<\/li><li>\nBlister kit. Look for the long-lasting gel-type bandages that you can apply directly on blisters, such as Band-Aid Advanced Healing Bandages or Curad Gel Multi-Day Bandages. &#8220;Liquid band-aids,&#8221; such as New-Skin, are useful because they dry rapidly to form a tough protective cover over a blister.<\/li><li>\nVaseline for nose\/lips (for dry air at altitude)<\/li><li>\nAnti-bacterial gel for hand washing<\/li><li>\nAntihistamine such as Benadryl and cold remedy such as Sudafed<\/li><li>\nPepto Bismol tablets<\/li><li>\nImodium for diarrhea. If you wish to bring an antibiotic for diarrhea prophylaxis, please consult your physician.<\/li><li>\nPrescription medications, properly labeled<\/li><li>\nSpare contact lenses or spare prescription glasses<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Optional_Items":"<ul><li>\nTrekking poles. Hiking with a collapsible hiking pole helps to distribute your body weight, takes pressure off your knees, and improves your balance. Most hikers like using one pole, and some hike with two poles.<\/li><li>\nCamera, spare batteries, flashcards<\/li><li>\nBandanas; good for protecting your neck from the sun and for use as handkerchiefs<\/li><li>\nReading\/writing material<\/li><li>\nBinoculars<\/li><li>\nTravel clock, small mirror<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Prohibited_Items":"","Custom_When_to_Go":"","Custom_Children":"","Custom_Tag_Line":"Hikes and Cultural Exploration from the Cloud Forest to the High Andes","Custom_Lodging":"7 nights hotels, haciendas, and lodges","Custom_Meals":"All meals included","Custom_Difficulty":"5 days of optional hikes on moderate trails, 2-5 hours, altitudes between 3,200-11,800 feet; 1 optional hike at 15,600 feet","Custom_Currency_Exchange_Rate":"","Custom_Fuel_Surcharge":"","Custom_Signing_Up_For_a_Trip_-_Email":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_This_Year":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_Next_Year":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Header":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Text":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like":"<p>This trip is rated <strong>Level 3, Moderate, <\/strong>according to our trip grading system. Cultural explorations and day hikes are the focus of the trip, with hotel, hacienda, and lodge accommodations throughout. Much of the trip takes place at higher altitudes, ranging from 9,500 feet at Otavalo to over 15,000 feet in Cotopaxi National Park. Overland travel is by van. There are five days with optional hikes of about 2-4 hours each. For your enjoyment of the trip, we recommend you make a special effort to be in very good physical condition, and ready to hike on varied terrain (rock and sand), driving on mountain roads that can be rugged, and the hikes will often be cross country, not on developed trails. Please note that your Trip Leader may make adjustments to the itinerary and hiking routes, depending on local weather and trail conditions.<\/p>","Custom_Terrain":"","Custom_Getting_in_Shape":"","Custom_Weather":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-11T22:46:09 --><p>Because of Ecuador's location on the equator, the weather patterns don't change very much during the year. Altitudes are very much the determining factor in the temperatures. In Quito, temperatures are pleasant and spring-like much of the year, with highs around 75\u00b0F and lows around 50\u00b0F. The central highlands of Ecuador are crossed by the Andes, with snow line starting at altitudes of about 16,500 feet. Expect the daily high to be around 75\u00b0F. Nights and mornings are cold, dropping down to 50\u00b0F or even lower. In the cloud forest at Mashpi, expect daytime highs of around 80\u00b0F and much cooler evenings, possibly as low as the mid-50s, and higher humidity.<\/p><p>The summer season is June through September, and you will enjoy great views of the volcanoes and mountains. The rainy season is generally February-April, and while temperatures are comfortable, it is not an optimum time for hiking.<\/p>","Custom_Accommodations":"","Custom_Cuisine":"","Custom_Transportation":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us on this trip.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">saito8.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">saito8.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-04-19T13:27:44 --><p><strong>COVID-19 TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS:<\/strong> Please double-check COVID-19 entry requirements for any countries you may be traveling to or transiting through, on this website: <a href=\"apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions\">apply.joinsherpa.com\/travel-restrictions<\/a><\/p>","System_Pre-Trip_Safety":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:37:06 --><p><strong>PRE-TRIP SAFETY:<\/strong> In the next weeks, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy. Please practice social distancing, steer clear of potential COVID-19 exposure, and take an at-home antigen or lab based PCR test before you depart.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.borrowlenses.com\/\">borrowlenses.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">saito8.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body><p>At time of reservation: $1,000<br>90 Days prior to departure: Balance <br><br><em>*Please note that this differs from our standard policy.<\/em><\/p><\/body>","CancelSchedule":"<body><p>Minimum fee: $500 per person<br>61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost<br>46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost<br>45 days or less: 100% of trip cost <br><br><em>*Please note that this differs from our standard policy.<\/em><\/p>"}}