We start off in Quito with an introduction to the cultural and geographical setting of traditional healing. Then overland into the Amazon basin, where we are guests at an isolated indigenous community surrounded by pristine rainforest and medicinal plants. Trek to their sacred waterfall and discover how the local shaman diagnoses ailments, from organic to psychological disorders — you’ll be amazed! Participate in three sacred healing ceremonies.
In contrast, we return to the Andes to experience other types of healing rites in the land of the Imbaya culture. Get ready for non-touristy handcrafts, cultural interaction, delicious food, exciting field trips, incomparable scenery and great revelations! Below is a sample itinerary:
When you arrive in Quito, the capital of Ecuador at 2800 m of height, we await for you at the airport and take you to your boutique hotel.
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. From there we will go toward the east along the Pastaza river. You will see many cascading waterfalls until our arrival in Puyo, a jungle town, in which we will stop to visit "Omaere", an ethno botanic reservation. Next, we will continue our travels until we reach our rainforest lodge, where we will have a snack and spend the next 10 nights.
This day, you prepare for your first ritual, fasting on herbal teas and fruit juices without sugar. In the appropriate moment, you will meet at the sacred ceremony area, where you participate in the ritual. You are explained what is necessary to understand and you can obtain additional explanations to whatsoever you wished to be clarified. (Fast)
You will need these days to relax and to meditate about what you experienced during the ritual. There are also possibilities to go for a walk through the charming surroundings.
Today you will take part in a second ritual. Details will be discussed with Shaman and your facilitator.
Also this day, you will need a rest. Take the opportunity to relax on the terrace of the cabin or lean back in the hammock, enjoying the silence that surrounds you and disconnecting inwardly of the bustle of the world. Nevertheless, perhaps you will prefer to go for a walk on the marked ways, exploring the environs or walking to the near town, where the natives continue living in a simple and traditional way.
Today you will participate in your third and last ritual.
Again, it will be good for you to rest and to assimilate the experience.
This day will begin with an opulent breakfast. A great variety of exotic fruits will underline the nature and atmosphere of the environment. Next, a guide of the region will show you the waterfalls "Las Cascadas", providing you much information on the fauna and the flora of this virgin nature. With some luck, you will be able to see hummingbirds, parrots, armadillos or a sloth. After a refreshing bath in the natural pool at the foot of the cascade, you will take your snack in this singular atmosphere under the open sky. After this walk for the forest, you will relax during the rest of the afternoon in the hammocks of the cabins and enjoy a tropical cocktail. This day will finish around a romantic fire. In a familiar meeting with your facilitator, you will be able to ask all the questions that could still exist. You also prepare for the return trip the following day.
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 at 3800 m. 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. Following the transoceanic highway, we finally return to Quito and check in at our boutique hotel.
We invite you to spend a two days in the northern Andes where you will enjoy the peaceful country setting of a historic hacienda with its surrounding natural beauty and awesome views of the extinct volcanos of Cotacachi and Imbabura. During your stay in the northern Andes 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.
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:
We will return to Quito on the afternoon of the last day, here we will check back into our boutique hotel.
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.