Ecuador holistic health tours - shamanism & natural medicine

Sample itinerary holistic health tour

This is trip designed for those who have a special interest in alternative medicine and holistic health. We will have the opportunity to practice yoga and meditation with Equatorial energy, relax at a mountain spa in the cloudforest and participate in Shamanic ceremonies and learn about the medicinal plants of the Andes and the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. Below is a sample itinerary.

Day 1 - Quito

International flight into Quito the capital of Ecuador. Transfer in from the airport to your boutique hotel.

Day 2 through 5 - Quito - Northern Andes - Lueva - Quito

We invite you to spend a four days at Lueva where you will enjoy spacious facilities on 12 beautifully landscaped acres. Enjoy the peaceful country setting at Lueva with its surrounding natural beauty and awesome views of the extinct volcanos of Cotacachi and Imbabura. Lueva is ideal for individuals, families and groups who wish to spend time in a healthy environment without being exposed to smoke, alcohol, drugs and other chemicals. During your stay at Lueva you can learn about the local culture, go shopping at the famous Otavalo market, or shop for leather goods in the nearby village of Cotacachi.

There are a variety of other things to do at Lueva: have a massage, mud bath, or reflexology session; enjoy the pool, turkish bath, jacuzzi; spend time in the woods in a hammock or walk through the fruit trees and flower gardens. For those interested, Lueva offers a variety of holistic health programs that include: courses and seminars on alternative healing, stress management, special topics for businesses, Yoga, Tai chi (or our own variety called Lueva Chi). Lueva is an ideal location for those who just need to spend time 'going inward' for self healing. Nutritional meals are served daily with vegetarian meals every other day. Whatever time you spend at Lueva, you will leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

In our voyage throught the northern Andes of Ecuador we will also visit the village of Illuman, where we will have an interview with a local Shaman - Luis Yamberla - he will teach us about natural healing and the use of herbs in spiritual sessions of cleansing. We will also learn about natural foods that will help us cure several types of illness.

Nearby venues for side trips during our visit in the northern Andes are:

  • Cotacachi - known for leather goods 5 min.
  • Otavalo - world famous Indigenas market 15 min.
  • Peguche waterfall and artisan workshops 20 min.
  • Cuicocha crater lake 25 min.
  • Atuntaqui textile mills and stores 20 min.
  • San Antonio de Ibarra wood carving 20 min.
  • Cotacachi ecological reserve 40 min.
  • Chachimbiro natural hot springs 1 1/2 hours

We will return to Quito on the afternoon of the last day, here we will check back into our boutique hotel.

Day 6 - Quito - Santo Domingo - Quito

Today we will depart down the western flank of the Andes towards the coastal lowlands on a hairbending road with majestic cloudforest views. We will visit the city of Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Los Colorados is a nickname for the Tsachila indigenous people (men dye their hair red with food coloring, therefore called Los Colorados), here we will visit some of the most powerful Shamans in Ecuador. We will learn their techniques for spiritual healing, herbal medicine and other natural practices. Return to Quito for the night.

Day 7 - Quito - Baños - Luna Runtun

Starting from Quito, we will cross the mountainous earth of the Andes on the Pan-American Highway. The German discoverer Alexander von Humboldt called it "Highway of the Volcanoes", because it is surrounded by gigantic mountains and volcanoes like the Pasochoa, the Rumiñahui, the Iliniza and the Cotopaxi. We will pass by the cities Latacunga and Ambato to arrive at the small indigenous town of Salasaca. Here, Indians live from their traditional agriculture and their well-known manual crafts, mainly knitted works. After a brief tour of the town, we will continue the trip toward Baños (1800m) at the foot of the volcano Tungurahua. This small town with its beautiful location has a very pleasant subtropical climate and is famous for its basilica and its pools of thermal waters.

We will check in at our mountain spa at Luna Runtun with a majestic view of surroundings and the town of Baños below. 

Day 8 - Luna Runtun Spa

Luna Runtun´s 63 acres are nestled within the Sangay National Park, a declared World Natural Heritage Site, and the view from Luna Runtun is dominated by the legendary Llanaganates National Park and the Pastaza Corridor.

Today we will enjoy the surroundings Baños and Luna Runtun, with an early morning hike. We have 11 different Baños hiking tours and treks for you to choose from, ranging in difficultly levels of easy to difficult. Some are full day trips while others can last around 45 minutes. After our daily exploration we will enjoy 2 ½ hours of SPA treatments from a menu of 25 spa treatments ranging from massage to body treatment that unlock the powerful therapeutic properties of the ashes and volcanic stones of Volcano Tungurahua.

The surrounding area where Luna Runtun is located is considered a magnetic vortex, a unique place where the planet's 4 essential life elements - Air, Earth, Water, and Fire - are found.

Air: Luna Runtun is situated in the gateway to the Amazon Rainforest, the Earth's respiratory system.
Earth: Nestled on the flanks of Volcano Tungurahua, Luna Runtun has been generously blessed with some of the planet's most fertile and fruitbearing earth.
Water: Volcano Tungurahua, Luna Runtun's astonishingly beautiful backdrop, is home to 70 crystal-clear waterfalls.
Fire: Constantly active since October 1999, Tungurahua showers the skies with her spectacular shows of fire and lava, allowing our visitors to partake in one of the world's most impressive natural fireworks displays from the safety of our spa.

After the treatments, relax and oxygenate your brain and lungs in our gorgeous gardens full of fresh air coming from the Amazon Rainforest, the world's respiratory system, and delight in the sights and sounds of the plethora of birds and butterflies that inhabit Luna Runtun. Walk barefoot in the fertile earth of our gardens. Plant a tree and name it! Finally, enjoy the sunrise while doing breathing exercises while taking in outstanding and unforgettable views.

We use for our treatments, pure, crystal clear mineral water from Tungurahua. The treatment rooms are decorated with handmade candles elaborated with natural colors and aromas of Luna Runtun's gardens. Extract yourself mud and clay from Luna Runtun's mine. Walk on a "carpet" of volcanic stones.

Plan to return from your hike today at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time to get in the spa frame of mind and prepare yourself to de-stress and relax. Wear your own Luna Runtun robe, a present from Luna Runtun, the Adventure SPA.

Body treatments

Volcanic ash and salt exfoliation
Honey exfoliation
Hot clay bath
Hot hydrating bath
Steam bath with cold water contrast treatment
Nettle treatments

Massage treatments

Full body massage
Utilizing three techniques to relieve tensions of commodity over stressed areas, this massage is applied to specific body parts

Reiky
Healing Reiki brings the body into balance, allowing the mind to float away and the spirit to soar. Using the hands on the patient's body, this technique offers healing and enhances deep relaxation thereby stimulating energy pathways

Back Massage
Invigorating shiatsu massage to aid joint mobility deeply in every back muscle.
Shiatsu is the application of finger pressure to the energy pathways of the body in order to stimulate the system

Foot Massage
This massage induces both relaxation and rejuvenation. Reflexology is a technique that comes from the Far East. Each area of the patient's feet represents a body organ that needs to be stimulated.
Note: not suitable for pregnant women

Stimulation Massage
For children over six months old.

Skin care treatments
Facials for dry skin
Facials for oily skin
Anti-wrinkle facials

Hair care treatments
Capillar treatment for dry hair
Capillar treatment for oily hair

Manicures and Pedicures treatments
Luna Runtun Spa Manicure
Luna Runtun Spa Pedicure

Body waxing treatments
Full leg
Half leg
Bikini
Underarm
Eyebrows
Lip or Chin
Back
Shoulder and neck
Additional facilities:
carpet of volcanic stone, sauna

Overnight at Luna Runtun and get ready for our trip into the Amazon rainforest.

Day 9 - Baños - Puyo - Upper Napo Amazon basin Lodge

From Baños we will depart toward the east along the river Pastaza. You will see many cascades and waterfalls until our arrival in Puyo, a jungle town, in which we will stop to visit "Omaere", an ethno botanic reservation. Next, we will travel to the Upper Napo region. Here we will check in at our Amazon eco lodge.

Day 10 - Amazon Lodge - Rainforest trails - Shamanic Ritual

This day, you prepare for your Shamanic ritual with an Amazon shaman, we will hike through the rainforest learning about medicinal plants.

After breakfast, we depart by canoe upstream for ten minutes, arriving to a small shore where we begin a fun and thrilling one hour walk, marveling ourselves with the jungle’s secondary forest diverse flora and fauna. After our short hike, we’ll find ourselves in a breathtaking cascade “La Cascada de Latas” where we will take a refreshing bath in its clear crystal waters and enjoy the surrounding views, which, mixed with the jungle sounds, makes it a unforgettable experience. We return along the same way to have lunch at the lodge.

After lunch we put on our “wet gear” (rubber boots & rain poncho) to start an exciting walk in the jungle’s primary forest ready to find the secret wonders of the mysterious hidden jungle, finding amazing plant species with medicinal properties, which will be explained in detail by our expert native guide: their characteristics and how the jungle inhabitants used them in ancient times. We’ll also observe a great variety of insects, small groups of monkeys weaving around the giant trees; though we will need some luck to observe them, we must stay very quiet to admire these beautiful creatures. Dozens of curious colourful birds tag along with us during our walk whistling enchanted notes delighting our senses. After about three hours of walking we come back and arrive to the Lodge. At night, dinner and gathering around the fireplace. It’s time for our ritual with an Amazon shaman.

Day 11 - Upper Napo Amazon basin - Papallacta hot springs 

Having said goodbye to this beautiful paradise of the nature in full forest, we go leaving northwards to the city of Tena. We will visit the Amazon Park which is in a peninsula in the fork of the Rio Napo and of the Rio Tena Rivers. From there we will continue our trip towards the occident in the direction of the Andes. Passing through the small town of Baeza, we will leave the jungle until arriving, always-winning height, at the village of Papallacta . There, in the oriental slopes of the mountain range, we will interrupt for a last time our trip in order to benefit from the opportunity of relaxing ourselves with a bath in the hot thermal sources of the place.

We will then check in at the Termas de Papallacta spa. The accommodation really is delightful with rooms surrounding carefully sculpted pools containing mineral-rich hot water welling up from beneath the Andes.

After a delicious dinner we will lie back and relax in the hot water, such a pleasing contrast to the chill mountain air!

Day 12 - Papallacta - Quito

After an early breakfast we explore the surroundings one more time and head back to Quito on an amazingly scenic road. The road affords splendid views of several snow-capped peaks as it winds its way back to Quito.

Overnight at our Boutique hotel.

Day 13 - Quito - ?

Transfer out for your international flight. You also have the option to extend your trip and take a Galapagos natural history cruise  or a tour of the Choco rainforest.

The above is a sample itinerary prepared for a natural medicine group. It can be customized to fit the needs and special interests of your travellers.