Saturday: Transfer from Quito Airport to your accommodation at our Student House in one of the nicest parts of Quito.
Sunday: Day off to get to know the city.
Monday - Friday: Start of the Spanish classes. This week you have 4 hours of group lessons a day. On Tuesday, there will also be 1 hour of salsa classes.
Saturday: All-day tour of Cotopaxi, mountain biking is included.
Week 2 - Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Sunday - Friday: Transfer to bus station then public transportation to Puyo for a 5-day/4-night jungle tour to Jamu Lodge in the Cuyabeno wild life reserve (bus ticket not included). The travel time from Quito is approximately 4-5 hours. This protected area is named after the Cuyabeno River, which overflows in its midpoint creating a 14 lagoon complex and also the most extensive wetlands of the Ecuadorian Amazon. These flooded forests are the territory of dolphins, manatees, alligators, anacondas, otters, and of the water guarango tree, the most unique tree in this reserve. A unique experience in the Ecuadorian jungle. Overnight in Lago Agrio.
Pick-up from hotel in Lago Agrio and transfer to the reserve. Start by registering at the office of the reserve. Here your naturalist guide will give you information about the reserve, important recommendations and other tips. You will board the canoe and start an exhilarating first ride on the Cuyabeno River. During the canoe ride you will get a first look at the forest and you will see different types of birds such as caciques, orioles and the prehistoric bird Hoatzin. You can also see a variety of monkeys and other jungle animals, depending on weather conditions. You will arrive at the Jamu Lodge in the afternoon. At this time you will have time to settle into your room and relax a little. After a siesta you will leave the lodge to swim in the lagoon and watch a beautiful sunset in the middle of Laguna Grande. You will return to the lodge for dinner and you can finish your first day in the jungle, relaxing in a hammock or enjoying a drink in the bar.
After breakfast you will do a hike of about 3-4 hours through the primary forest, during which the guide will explain about the rainforest and medicinal plants. You can observe large trees like Ceibo trees or small insects like ants. You will return to camp for lunch, have a break and in the afternoon you will see the beautiful butterflies and swim in the lagoon. When you are lucky, you can see the beautiful pink river dolphins. Enjoy the gorgeous sunset and take in the beauty of the Amazon. Dinner will be served at the restaurant of the lodge. At night you have the option of a nocturnal activity, which will be searching for caimans along the river banks riding with the canoe on the river. Afterwards you will return to the lodge for a relaxing night of sleep, while listening to the jungle sounds.
After breakfast you will set off down the river in a canoe, a journey of about an hour to visit a family of the Tarapuy community. You can learn how to prepare Casave - Yuca traditional bread. You can assist in the making of Casave and learn to use the materials of the forest to make bread in this way. You will return to the lodge around two o´clock in the afternoon. After lunch it is time for a siesta and relaxing. After dinner you have the option of a nocturnal hike through the primary forest; this hike is focused on observing nocturnal insects such as spiders, geckos or scorpions. It is a perfect way to enjoy the sounds that the Amazon provides.
Today you will visit the Laguna Cananguena in a native dugout canoe called ´quilla´. While paddling you have a better opportunity to see more fauna and flora, and you can get a good idea of what a flooded forest looks like. You can observe a variety of different birds and monkeys. Since this activity is about 4 - 5 hours long, you will take a box lunch with you. In the afternoon you will do another hike in the forest. Dinner will be served in the restaurant.
You will get up early and undertake a birdwatching excursion before breakfast. After breakfast and check-out at 09:30 you take the motorized canoes back to the entrance of the Cuyabeno reserve. On the way back you have a last chance to spot birds and other animals like monkeys and even anacondas. At the entrance of the Cuyabeno reserve you will be picked up by a shared bus who takes you back to Lago Agrio. You will have breakfast and a lunch box when leaving this day. The tour ends in Lago Agrio approx. at 15:00.
Friday: Transfer back to Quito and overnight in the student house.
Please note that the itinerary may change due to local weather conditions and your guide.
The jungle climate is hot and humid with occasional rain. High rainfall occurs between December and March. Items that we recommend you bring are:
- Comfortable loose clothing
- Long-sleeve shirts and trousers for walking
- Warm jacket for the evening
- Bathing suit and towel
- Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
- Sandals, sneakers
- Rain jacket
- Insect repellent
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Reading material
- Personal belongings
- Passport (not a copy)
- Minimum age of 18
- Passport number
- All foreigners entering Ecuador are obliged to have a valid health insurance.
- Arrival transfer in Quito
- 1 week of group Spanish classes (20 hours) in Quito
- 1 hour of private Salsa lesson
- Day tour including biking in Cotopaxi
- Transfer from accommodation in Quito to the bus station and assistance buying the bus ticket to Puyo
- 24/7 emergency phone and travel assistance
- Information package
- All necessary materials for the classes
- Grammar book
- Certificate after finishing the classes
- Administration fees
In the jungle
- Accommodation and all meals
- Purified water is permanently available in the jungle
- Rain poncho and rubber boots
- Bilingual guide (English / Spanish)
- Motorized canoe excursions as per itinerary
- Local bus tickets between the destinations
- Indigenous community visit $10
Accommodation in Quito
Our student house is located just across the street from the Spanish school in the lively neighbourhood La Mariscal. Surrounded by restaurants and bars, there is enough to do in the area to not get bored! But our house is comfortable as well: a spacious living room with a TV, DVD and a comfy sofa, a big table to eat with all your housemates and a great kitchen with all its implements to make delicious meals. In our main house we have 4 shared bedrooms.
Accommodation in Cuyabeno
The Jamu Lodge is located along the Rio Cuyabeno in the Cuyabeno reserve close to the Laguna Grande. All the cabanas are built in a traditional, rustic style with thatched roofs. The lodge consists of 5 cabanas that areall lit with candles to preserve the feeling of the jungle. In the Jamu Lodge you can enjoy a cocktail at the bar or relax with a beer in the hammock lounge. You can choose between shared dorm-style or private rooms.
According to itinerary
In Quito meals are self-catering. All meals are included whilst in the jungle.