ECUADOR YOGA & ADVENTURE RETREAT 2017
ECUADOR YOGA & ADVENTURE RETREAT 2017
This trip explores the rich diversity of two river valleys in Ecuador. It is a trip designed for adventure seekers who are interested in immersing themselves deep into the heart of the Amazonian rain forest via SUP, raft, kayak, by foot and by motor boat. Ecuador has a unique way of life and some of the most fascinating cultures found in the Americas.
We have created a trip itinerary for you that includes daily yoga practices, hiking, bird watching, cultural immersion, waterfall exploring, medicinal plant tours, horse back riding, whitewater kayaking and rafting. Four days of this trip will be a SUP trip into the Cuyebeno National Reserve, a preserved jungle area known to have the highest biodiversity in the world with the greatest number of species of plants and animals. This is a special adventure dedicated to the Adventure Yogi in need of an experience of a life time!
Journey to the Quijos River Valley
Your trip will begin in Quito at an elevation of 9,400 ft. I will be meeting you with our private bus and driver at (link to the hostel.) Our meeting time is scheduled for 9:00am. Please be checked out of your rooms and ready for us in the Lobby.
We will make our way to the Rio Quijos Eco Lodge a 3 hour journey through the jungle mountain scape over a 13,000 –foot pass, to the Quijos River Valley. We will arrive in time for a late lunch. You may wish to relax at the Eco Lodge or take 20 minute bus ride to the Papallacta Hot Springs for a relaxing afternoon.
Paddlers will take this time to outfit their boats and with water levels permitting, we may paddle a short section 6 miles up-river from our lodge. An evening yoga class will be offered after dinner at the riverside palapa.
Jungle River Adventure
Waking up to the sound of the river and birds never seen before is part of the magic at the RioQuijos Eco Lodge. Each day will begin with a morning yoga session. After breakfast, the group will take off on their adventure either on the river or exploring the jungle.
Daily activities will include hiking, waterfall exploration, and rafting. A list of the possible activities are included on the Quijos River Activities page. A schedule of activities will be announced on our first day of arrival after we have heard from participants on what they are interested in doing.
Yoga sessions will be offered two times a day at the lodge. There will be an early morning session to wake up to before breakfast. In the evenings we will be alternating between a late-afternoon session scheduled for the end of the river/off-river activities or a wind-down yoga session after dinner.
Journey to the Cuyebeno National Reserve
After an early breakfast, the group will begin the 4 day Jungle SUP segment of the trip.
Our destination is to the Cuyebeno River, a 4-hour drive from the Eco Lodge. We will have a box lunch at the Cuyebeno National Park Reserve site. Our time at the Park’s office we will register and a Naturalist Guide will give information about the Reserve, important recommendations. This is the entryway into the Reserve’s Jungle and the point at which we will be taking a boat ride up the river to our jungle home for the next three nights. Our arrival and check in will be in the afternoon and before the amazing sunset upon the big lagoon. Once everyone has settled in and possible taken a short siesta in the hammock, we will head out onto the SUPs and have our first SUP yoga session watching the sunset and pink dolphins dance.
The day begins waking up with the sunset and possibly the Howler Monkeys.
SUP boards will be available for an hour to exploring the flooded ecosystem. The morning fresh temperature is the best time for exercise and also a good time for bird watching during the sunrise. After breakfast we will take a trek into the primary forest for 3 to 4 hours, where our guide will explain how the complex tropical ecosystem works. You will be able to learn about medicinal plants and might be able to see some exotic birds, monkeys and other wildlife.
“Being right on the equator, Cuyabeno has a somewhat drier but no rainless "dry" season, as opposed to Amazon areas further away from the equator. This explains why studies have found to have the highest biodiversity in the world. It has the greatest number of species of plants and animals in the world per hectare.”
We will then return to the camp for lunch and a brake during the hottest part of the day. In the afternoon, we will paddle to the lagoon, have a swim and watch the sunset. With a little luck you can observe the pink river dolphins or an anaconda sunbathing in a tree. All of the afternoon activities will be done from our SUP boards before we return to the Lodge for dinner. After dinner we can then take a canoe night ride to look for caimans.
SIONA Native Community Experience
After an early morning SUP yoga session and breakfast, we head out to visit the Siona Community of Puerto Bolivar, this is a 2 hour boat ride and a 4 hour SUP float. Floating down stream on the SUP is a great way to see more wildlife. The small community of Puerto Bolivar is the largest ethnic group in the Reserve. During this tour you will learn their customs, traditions and way of life. We will be participants in making of the Casabe, a local dish made of yucca roots and drinking the popular local drink called chicha. To top off the visit in the best and most healing way, we will visit the local Shaman for the sacred energy cleanse.
This is a full day excursion that returns to our Eco lodge by dinner.
An evening yoga practice will be offered and other nighttime activities such as a walk through the primary forest with a nature guide to become familiar with the night sounds of the jungle.
Sunrise SUP yoga sessions & Journey back to the RioQuijos Eco Lodge
Taking advantage of our last day in this amazing Jungle Reserve, we will be having an early morning SUP yoga practice. After breakfast we will start the journey back upstream on the Cuyabeno River and make our way back by boat and by private shuttle to the RioQuijos Lodge. We will be stopping on our way home for Lunch and arrive at the Lodge by dinner. An evening yoga session will be offered and taking the time to relax into our last two days of this amazing journey.
Last Day for River Running and Jungle Activities
Our last full day at the lodge will be organized according to what the group is interested in doing. Morning and evening Yoga session will be offered and an evening BBQ celebration to celebrate the Jungle and all the magic it has offered along the way.
Trip to Quito for flights out and Art Town Excursion
After Breakfast, we will be taking our private shuttle to Quito for an Airport drop-off for anyone who is scheduled to fly out during the day on Saturday. Flights should be booked starting on Saturday at 12:00 or after. In general, flights out of Quito to the US leave at midnight and arrive to the International connection early morning on Sunday. When booking your flight make sure you are booking the correct flight for the Early Sunday morning and not Early Saturday morning.
Otovalo Market excursion is a fun way to end the trip. If your flight is leaving late in the evening on Saturday, you will have time exploring the town of Otovalo. This little town north of Quito is the biggest Artisano hub for all of Ecuador. Here you can find the perfect souvenirs to remember your journey.
Flights should be arranged to Quito, Ecuador. To visit as a tourist, you will need a valid passport. The passport must have an expiration date of greater than six months after your return date. You will receive a migration form from the airline you fly with. Please keep this form with your passport at all times. You must have it to exit the country.
Participants will need to book their arrival flight no later then Thursday November 16th
We will be meeting with you on Friday morning in the lobby at the Hotel Embassy. The information for this Hotel is in the link, just click the name of the hotel here. This is the most convenient place to stay when you arrive into Quito from the Airport but there are other hostels in the area. If you wish to stay at another hostel, you will need to meet with the group in the lobby at 9am on DAY 1 of the trip. Please let us know what your plans are. You are responsible for making your flight reservations and hotel reservations for any period of time outside of the 9 day trip.
You will be responsible for making reservations for the beginning and end of this trip.
Reservations for a hotel room at the end of the trip would start on the evening of:
Saturday November 25th
If your flight leaves on Saturday evening then you will not need to book a room for the end of your stay. You may stay at another Hostel that is near but make sure to get to the meeting point, Hotel Embassy Lobby at the Hostel by 9:00am in the morning and meet up with me and the other trip participants.
We will be staying for part of our trip at the Rio Quijos Eco Lodge. This jungle lodge has cozy cabins and there are shared rooms and matrimonial room options. Once we have your deposit and know that you are committed to being a participant on the trip we will talk to each of you individually about room arrangements. The maximum capacity of this trip is for 8 people, making this a special and unique adventure for all participants.
• All accommodations have walk-in showers with hot water
• Daily maid-service is provided
• To preserve our eco - resort feel, all rooms are intentionally TV-free
• WiFi is available in the lodge
• Private beach and Nature Trails are available for all guests of the lodge
Meals will be served at the lodge and we will go out of our way to accommodate special eating restrictions, but take into consideration that we will be experiencing a different culture with food specialties we may never have tried before. Do not anticipate food to be prepared the same as at home. Dishes tend to be grilled with very few sauces. There will be vegetarian and vegan dinners served with a meat side-dish options. In general, fresh fruit and eggs are ubiquitous, and rice, yucca and potatoes are staples with every meal. The only real challenge in Ecuador is gluten-free options. We recommend you bring gluten free bread and/or tortillas with you.
The land that is now Ecuador was first brought under one rule when the Incas of Peru invaded in the middle of the 15th century. The republic of Ecuador took its name in the early 1800's from the equatorial line that runs through its heart. Straddled across the Andes on the most westerly point of South America, it is the smallest of the Andean countries.
The Andean mountain chain divides the country into three distinct regions: the coastal plain or "Costa"; the mountains or "Sierra"; and the eastern jungle or "Oriente". The fourth region is the Galapagos Islands, 1000 kilometers due west from the mainland in the Pacific Ocean.
The country is made up of virgin-forested canyons, interspersed with small farming villages. Abundant tropical flora and fauna complete the picture. Numerous species of colorful birds such as toucans and macaws can be seen in the lower elevations. Ecuador is a bird watcher's paradise! The wide variety of habitats ¾ from tropical rain forests to windswept highlands, from mangrove swamps to hilly forests, provide a birder with a wider range of species than any other country in the Americas. Over 1,500 bird species have been recorded here (which is two times as many as in the US and Canada combined).
The country is the size of West Virginia but contains what is considered to be the worlds tallest mountain. peaks in South America, peak at 5,100meters 16,732ft
Located directly on the equator, Ecuador's climate is not a four-season climate. The seasons simply alternate between dry and rainy. Temperatures change little between seasons; however, each day runs the gamut of temperatures (i.e.: Quito's daily range of temperature is between 56° - 70°F). There is one rainy season: November - May, with frequent rainfalls during the afternoon and evening. Typically, days will start out warm. If clouds build up in the afternoon, temperatures will drop, and rain is likely in the late-afternoons. Evenings are cool.
THE CAPITAL: QUITO
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is a beautiful city. At 9,400 ft., it is surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes ¾ just 24 kilometers from the equator. Although it was an important Indian City in Inca and pre-Inca times, its indigenous buildings have been erased, and today it is divided between the colonial architecture and sculpture of its Spanish conquest days and the clean line of its modern section. This combination of well-preserved colonial churches and contemporary architecture makes it one of the most beautiful cities in the whole of Latin America. Quito is very urban, full of ex-patriots, and their influence is everywhere. It is a well-traveled country for Europeans and staying in Quito will be one of the highlights of your trip.
THE PEOPLE AND THE CULTURE
Ecuadorians include descendants of the Spanish Conquistadors and original pre-Columbian inhabitants, many of whom still speak "Quichua" and maintain traditions from Inca times and before. The people are approachable and easy-going, and you will find them remarkably open to foreigners.
Politically Ecuador has been under democratic rule since 1979. Oil has occupied a key place in recent Ecuadorian history, bringing Americans into the country in the early '70s. The Lonely Planet describes Ecuador as one of the safest to travel in South America.
THINGS TO KNOW
When you go on vacation in a foreign country, leave your North American time schedule behind. Life moves at a different pace in Ecuador. You will find that many times you will hurry up, just to end up waiting. Remember, you’re on vacation ¾ leave your watch behind!
To visit as a tourist, all you need is a valid passport. You will want to make at least one copy of your passport before departing home. You should carry a passport or photograph/copy of it at all times.
No vaccinations are required to enter the country. Diarrhea is the most common illness. We personally recommend Hepatitis, Tetanus and Flu Shots. In addition, do not drink the tap water (bottled water is readily available). Stay clear of uncooked vegetables, salads not properly treated or unpeeled fruits. Malaria is a small risk in the lower coastal regions. We strongly encourage you to consult your personal physician about what would be best for you.
Check with the CDC current information on travel to Ecuador. (click for link) You are responsible for making your own decisions regarding travel vaccinations and all participants are required to have travelers insurance for the entire time during the ten day trip.
TRAVEL INSURANCE Required
Here is the link to a web site where you can make a decision on traveler insurance. Make sure the insurance you purchase will cover activities you wish to enjoy on this trip. I purchase mine with Allianz Global Assistance and they covered kayaking. Here is the link: Travel Insurance
Bring strong sunscreen and a hat. Altitude sickness (soroche) can sometimes affect travelers arriving in Quito. Andean air is thin, so take it easy for the first day.
Plan on bringing your money in small bills ($5 and $10 bills). It is difficult to find change for large bills (and a $20 is considered large on the street!). Major credit cards are accepted in larger hotels, restaurants and shops in Quito.
If you need to stay in touch with those at home, plan on the following: In Quito it is effortless. There are Internet Cafes on every block, providing inexpensive computer time and Internet phone calls. Cell phone service is exceptionally good in Ecuador. But check with your carrier about an international plan before you depart. Take caution making a phone call from a hotel room or through a US phone service—both are very expensive, especially relative to the Internet or phone cards. Once out of Quito, you will have daily Internet access, although not always reliable.
At the jungle retreat on the Quijos there will be WiFi available.
WHAT TO DO WITH EXTRA DAYS
Ecuador offers such a great diversity that we cannot possibly acquaint you with it all in your days of paddling. We highly encourage you to spend some extra time touring Ecuador’s fascinating sites. Options to get you started include: time in Quito with its churches and museums and great places to just “hang out”; the Galapagos Islands; climbing Volcano Cotopaxi or Chimborazo; Amazon Jungle Tour; 1-day bike trips from Cotopaxi; and the Otavalo Market.
ABOUT THE YOGA
We plan to do yoga everyday in the morning and in the evening. Depending on what the group is in the mood for we have the knowledge and experience to offer a style of yoga that fits the moment and with the activities we will be doing daily, this is important! All together we have a training background in Vinyasa Flow, Prana Vinyasa, Ayuryoga, Iyengar yoga, SUP Yoga, Restorative Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra and Trance Dance Yoga. It is so exciting to offer a trip with one of my closest friends. The knowledge and background you will be receiving in healing arts during your 9 day adventure is what makes this trip so special. Our teaching bio's are below.
Kristi Murrin CHom, 500 E-RYT, Ayuryoga Wellness Consultant, Homeopathic Consultant, Certified Yoga Instructor
Kristi Murrin grew up in West Virginia and moved to Colorado in 1990. She began her studies with healing arts when she first went to an acupuncturist in Crested Butte for chronic back pain. She was recommended to an Iyengar yoga class and after the first week of classes she knew yoga would always be an important part of her life.
Her interest for the healing arts grew and in 1993 she moved to Boulder, Co to begin her studies in Homeopathy at the International School of Homeopathy. There she spent four years completing a certification program for Homeopathic Consultation. At the same time she continued her education at the University of Colorado and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.
Her passion for adventure and travel led her to a job teaching at a traveling high school for teenagers who are advanced whitewater kayakers. For six years she travelled around the world teaching math, science and occasionally yoga to the World Class Kayak Academy Students. She still has a great passion for the sport of whitewater kayaking and has kayaked in Africa, China, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and all over the US.
In 2010 she decided to travel to Indonesia and complete her first of many certifications to teach yoga with the School of Sacred Arts. Since then, she now has over 500hrs of training with Shiva Rea, the creator and founder of Prana Flow©, a vinyasa style of yoga that integrates natural body movement with the alignment of breath and asana.
Her most recent studies have been focused on the ancient teachings of Ayurveda, and has completed her 500hr certification as a AyuryogaÒ Wellness Consultant with Maria Garre and Dr. Vasant Lad at the Ayurvedic institute in Albuquerque New Mexico. Ayurveda teaches the art of living in harmony with the five elements in nature. She is also trained in Ayurvedic Marma Point Therapy and Pulse diagnosis.
In the last two years, Kristi has been invited to teach weekend seminars for Yoga Teacher Trainings on Ayurveda, Yoga Nidra, Restorative Yin Yoga and Vinyasa Flow. She has a love of teaching and travelling; two activities she is finally meshing together to create magical trips focused on creating an environment for any adventure enthusiast who enjoys exploring the natural environment and a deeper connection to their personal self healing, growth and awareness.
Kristi is a full time resident of Crested Butte Colorado and has a Homeopathy, Ayurveda and Yoga practice available for private consultations. Her contact number is (970)596-7337 to schedule an appointment. Or visit her web page at www.kristimurrin.com
Stephanie DeTar, 500 Hour E- RYT
Stephanie and I met each other in Ubud, Bali where we both received our first 200hr YTT. The training was a month long intensive journey studying with the School of Sacred Arts . Our friendship has lasted since then and in the last year we have collaborated with several other amazing teachers to offer 200 and 300hr Yoga Teacher Training out of her studio. She has an infectious personality: one that will light you up when you meet her.
Stephanie stepped into exploring Yoga in her teens while working at a Holistic Healing Center back in Michigan, her home state. She was raised in a household where a Holistic lifestyle was of the norm and is ever so grateful for her late mothers constant curiosity to bring this way into her children's lives. In 2011, she flew to Bali to receive her 200 hour RYT through The School of Sacred Arts. There she was trained in Vinyasa Flow and Yin Yoga. She has also trained with Shiva Rea completing her Trance Dance certification in 2012. Stephanie welcomes all levels to the mat and sets a nurturing environment in her classroom striving to make everyone comfortable with where they have arrived from. She enjoys teaching the balance of Yin and Yang styles and sets the stage for honoring where you are today and guides from this place to connect mind to body and body to breath.
In the last 4 years she has created a beautiful studio, boutique and cafe called The Lotus Wellness Spot in downtown Ogden Utah where she offers 200hr and 300hr teacher training's. She is about to complete her 500hr certification in Yoga and Ayurvedic Therapy in Costa Rica.
This is an all inclusive trip meaning from the time I meet you in Quito on Thursday morning at 9:00am till the time I drop you off on Saturday in Quito, everything is included in the price. Meals, lodging, travel and all the listed activities available along with professional guides to help keep the trip safe. There are only 8 spots available for each trip. A $500 deposit will secure your spot.
Early Bird Price of trip is $2,300 and this must be paid in full by August 15th.
The cost of this trip is $2,450 and must be paid in full by October 1st.
If you are planning on using your credit card, you will be charged 3% in addition to the training cost. This is the charge fee for using a credit card. If you would like to send a check for the full amount not including the extra 3%, please write your check to Kristi Murrin and it to:
Po Box 2631
Crested Butte, Co 81224