Shamanism & Natural Healing
from $810per person
Immerse yourself in a Kichwa community to learn about natural medicine and shamanism.
The past century has opened our minds to alternate means of keeping healthy, from a physical and emotional perspective. Experts in shamanism and healing arts have extensively studied ancient and traditional techniques to the point of granting them a general acceptance. Ecuador is recognized as a haven for those interested in learning how to cope with the pressures of modern times by listening to and observing how the natives from the rainforest actually repair their DNA! For them it’s simply a matter of balancing their energy. For us, it could be a life-changing experience. What’s more, the setting is astounding, deep in an Amazon forest most explorers have overlooked, and where our trusty native guides are the only ones that know “the way of the shaman.”
DAY 1. QUITO / THERMAL SPRINGS / KICHWA COMMUNITY: THE ARRIVAL
Head east, surmounting the Andes at an altitude of 3,300 meters (11,000 feet) above sea level into what is known as the “paramo”, with typically dwarf vegetation just before reaching the tundra. This is also the route that was taken by the early Spanish explorers in search of El Dorado, the fabled city where the king would bathe in gold dust. Thus, it was in 1541 that the quest for gold, as well as rare spices, took ambitious and at times avaricious adventurers deep into unexplored regions of what would later be known as the Great Amazon Basin. Arrive in the mid-morning to a lush high Andean plateau to soak your bones in thermal springs before continuing down the eastern lowlands. As we descend, the vegetation gets greener and more complex. After lunch in a frontier town, we reach the end of the road to embark a motor canoe that takes us across the Napo River, headwaters of the Amazon River, and into the interior of primary forests. Our hike begins in the late afternoon on an irregular trail into the depths of the forest to experience nightfall as it comes upon us. Entering the forest at sunset is the way to go, arriving safely to the lodge, where a warm dinner awaits us. Accommodations are in simple but comfortable bungalows with shared bathrooms (adjacent to the rooms) and nets over the beds, though mosquitos are rather infrequent. The jungle sounds will put you to sleep after a long but unique day. (Lunch / Dinner)
DAY 2. KICHWA COMMUNITY: THE IMMERSION
Trek to a sacred waterfall where shamans get their energy and enlightenment for healing their patients. En route, learn about the healing properties of many plants. Moreover, close to 70% of the active ingredients in today’s pharmaceutical drugs have been discovered in the Amazon forests. Learn how the local people use certain forest materials for crafting their kitchen utensils, thatching roofs, flooring, and furniture, as well as animal traps. In the late afternoon, participate in the preparation of one of the most fascinating medicines in the world – ayahuasca, a vine or liana that grows only on certain trees and whose five different species produce varying degrees of “shamanic visions” used by the healer to diagnose ailments. This evening, participate in a healing ceremony where guests are given a “reading” regarding their physical and emotional state. This is of course totally optional, so you can have an Amazonian checkup and/or just sit back as an observer and feel the energy! (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
DAY 3. KICHWA JUNGLE: THE INTERACTION
Today we spend the day with the community, visiting with children at the local bi-lingual (Spanish and Kichwa) schoolhouse. Next, trek to their “sacred tree”, a huge strangler fig with endless roots and rare energy that is sure to captivate you. The afternoon is set aside to canoe, swim, practice your aim with a blowgun, and engage in handicraft art. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy the rainforest, relax in the hammock, read a book, or simply do nothing, the latter quite a challenge for city dwellers! (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)
DAY 4. KICHWA JUNGLE COMMUNITY / QUITO
In the morning we hike back to the river and up the Andes for our gradual reintroduction to civilization. In the distance, Antisana Volcano might be visible as it dominates from high above, with its glistening snow contrasting with the exuberant greenery of the largest forest in the world. Once at the continental divide, Quito may be seen in the distance spread out in the shadow of Mt. Pichincha. Drop you off at your hotel in the late afternoon. (Breakfast / Lunch)
2019 Rates (per person in USD)
*Minimum two people.
- A 30% deposit is required to confirm the booking.
- Balance payment is due 45 days before departure.
- If cancellation is made 91 days or more before departure, the deposit will be refunded.
- If cancellation is made 90 to 61 days before departure, the deposit will be forfeited.
- If cancellation is made 60 to 45 days before departure, 50% will be charged.
- If cancellation is made less than 45 days before departure, full payment will be charged. The tour may be rescheduled to a later date, plus administrative costs.