Lodging, private transportation and driver, bi-lingual guide, most meals where indicated, all excursions listed, entrance fees to parks, community activities, cooking class
International airfare, any beverages besides water, snacks, guide and driver tips, spa treatments a few meals.
Minimum enrollment for this trip is 6 women. If minimum enrollment is not met 90 days prior to departure date then trip may be cancelled in which full payment including deposit will be refunded.
* Purposeful Nomad is not responsible for cancellations due to medical emergencies.
* A cancellation request must be received in writing by email from participant. Verbal notice will not serve as a valid cancellation.
* Should you choose to withdraw from the program, unfortunately the DEPOSIT IS NON-REFUNDABLE (unless the program is cancelled by PN).
**Cancellation by you up to 90 days prior to departure to will result in full reimbursement MINUS deposit. cancellation by you less than 90 days will result in no refund.**
* In the event that a trip is cancelled due to inadequate enrollment, Purposeful Nomad is not responsible for reimbursement of non-refundable airline tickets. While we do our absolute best to fill each trip, we highly recommend you buy refundable airline tickets.
Most meals will be eaten together at restaurants or the places we stay. Food restrictions and allergies can be accommodated, just please let us know beforehand.
Unless a specific person has been identified you will be assigned a roommate and room upon arrival.
Unless you are purchasing the airline insurance it is a good idea to wait until departure is confirmed to buy plane tickets.
The most popular airlines that fly in and out of Quito from the States are Delta, American and United. Most flights arrive at night after 9pm. and most flights leave very late at night or early morning. Please book your departure for the last day at night. If you would like me to review your flight before you purchase it I am happy to.
*****If you are traveling before or after the program that is great- just please let me know!
Please note if you choose to arrive early or stay late getting to the hotel is up to you. A regular taxi from the airport to Quito is around $40.
FULL PAYMENT DEADLINE:
The remaining balance should be paid 90 days prior to departure.If you are booking within 90 days of departure, then full payment is required at the time of booking.
INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL INSURANCE:
Here at Purposeful Nomad we do our best to ensure that every program is a success. However, in the event of something unexpected we want you to be fully protected. We REQUIRE that you purchase international insurance.
Purposeful Nomad is an affiliate partner with World Nomads but you may choose any company. Click here to purchase insurance through World Nomads: INSURANCE
Make sure you have sufficient supplies of any prescription medicine, it might be wise to bring a small personal first aid kit, including any patent medicines you prefer. You are responsible for taking all necessary health precautions before and during your trip. It is the client's responsibility to ensure they seek professional medical advice before travelling and to take all necessary health precautions and preventative measures.
Vaccinations: Be an informed traveler! Ultimately it is up to you to consult a physician. We are here to help but can not legally provide medical advice. Here are some great websites:
MONEY & TIPPING:
The US dollar is the currency of Ecuador. We recommend bringing your money in SMALL BILLS as it is difficult to change large bills especially in the more rural areas. ATM's are throughout the country in case you need to withdraw money. Credit cards aren't always accepted so please don't depend on them as your only means of buying something.
TIPPING: There will some situations where you may feel the need to tip but as always it is up to your discretion. Typically it is customary to tip our local guide and driver at the end of the trip. Most clients tip about $5 PER DAY for the driver and $10 PER DAY for guide. If you choose to do an extra activity such as horse back riding, tubing etc a small tip is expected. Leaving a little extra at your homestay is also customary. About $5 per person.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON ALTITUDE
Please be aware that during this trip we will be at high altitude. Quito is about 9,300 feet and Chimborazo volcano is 13,000 feet! While breathtakingly beautiful, being at high elevation can sometimes make one feel sick and weak. Your bodies will start acclimating the minute we land in Quito and by the end of the trip we will end up at Chimborazo base camp. For the most part your bodies should feel fine but coming down with mild altitude sickness is very common. Symptoms include headaches, trouble sleeping, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath and loss o f appetite. Some important things to remember:
Take it slow! The air is thinner and it takes a lot more energy to fill your lungs. Go slow and listen to your body. If you are feeling light headed sit down and rest immediately.
Limit alcohol consumption.
Drink lots of water
Eat foods rich in Iron and Vitamin C- leafy greens, meat, citrus
May be helpful to bring Ibuprofen, Tylenol or Chlorophyll (liquid or tablets)
The atmosphere is pretty casual and there is no need to bring any formal dress. Ecuador has many diverse climates. We will be in Quito, the cloud forest and the highlands. Weather varies from place to place from warm to very cold, wet to dry. We will literally be experiencing it all. The key to maintaining your comfort is to bring ample layers and protection from sun, wind and insects. Check out Ecuador weather at:
Less is more and leave valuables at home!
Passport + 1 copy
Any prescriptions or medications you need
Reusable water bottle
Small backpack or day bag
Jacket- fleece or winter
Scarf and light gloves
Hat for sun and hat for cold
Assortment of t-shirts and pants
Bathing suit for spa
Flipflops/Teva/ or similar water sandals
Long pants and socks for working/hiking/exploring
Comfortable walking shoes
Sleep mask/ear plugs
Travel alarm clock
Personal first aid kit
Plastic Bags for wet clothes
Dry bag (optional)
Small Spanish dictionary
Cloth or reusable bag for market shopping
Energy bars like Luna. Cliff, Kind bars
Games like cards, bananagrams, Dominos etc
Woolite- In case you want to wash some socks or underwear in sink.
A word about different locations:
Quito: Quito stays in a constant state of “springtime” Often sunny and warm during the day but cooler at night. Quito is about 9,300 feet. In our time in Quito layers will be very helpful. Wear comfortable walking shoes for our city tours.
Highlands: Can get cold at night. The sun can be strong during the day
Cloud Forest: This is where we will be working on the chocolate farm. It can be very wet and humid so having rain pants and jackets is great. If you don’t have those make sure you have stiff to work in and get dirty. We will supply you with rubber boots for working.
Chimborazo Volcano: Can be extremely cold and windy!! Please make sure you bring clothes you can bundle up in!
Is it safe for women to travel to Ecuador?
Yes. Ecuador is a highly traveled country and typically very safe. In the most tourist areas it is always a good idea to bring only what you need and leave all valuables at home. Like most countries in Latin America it is not uncommon for men to cat call or whistle. Generally this is pretty harmless and best to ignore.
What type of clothes should I pack?
A more concise packing list will be sent along in your trip packet. Bring layers!! Where we are going in Ecuador can range quite dramatically between hot and cold- especially at the higher elevations. Definitely pack a warm jacket and hat, comfortable hiking clothes, versatile clothes for hot/warm weather, a good pair of hiking/walking shoes and swim attire for spa. What you will not need to bring is lots of tanks tops and shorts- it doesn't get that hot in the highlands. Ecuador is near the equator and remember the sun is strong even in the colder temperatures, so best to bring a hat or some sort of sun protection. Also, please keep in mind Ecuador is fairly conservative country and please dress accordingly when you are going to work with the rural communities. They are not accustomed to seeing a lot of skin and that may make things uncomfortable.
Do you have a payment plan for this trip?
Yes! After paying the deposit for the trip, you can chose to pay the remaining balance in 3-5 installments up until 90 days of depature.
What is the weather like in Ecuador?
A loaded question indeed since Ecuador has every micro-climate you can imagine! Quito tends to be like a year-round Spring. Warm during the days and cooler in the evenings. The Coud Forest tends to be more hot and muggy but can rain a lot so come prepared. The Central Highlands are constantly changing. Usually it is warm during the day but drops dramatically down during the night to sometimes the 40's/30's!
Will the group be together the whole time?
Groups travel together at all times in a private van with driver and guide. There are specific days where you are allowed to choose your own adventure, wander into town or just hang out.
What extra money do I need? Can I use US Dollars?
The US dollar is the currency of Ecuador. We recommend bringing your money in SMALL BILLS as it is difficult to change large bills especially in the more rural areas. ATM's are throughout the country in case you need to withdraw money. Credit cards aren't always accepted so please don't depend on them as your only means of buying something. You will need money for a few meals that aren't included, personal shopping, alcohol and any other added adventure.
TIPPING: There will some situations where you may feel the need to tip but as always it is up to your discretion. Typically it is customary to tip our local guide and driver at the end of the trip. Most clients tip about $5-$8 PER DAY for each of them. If you choose to do an extra activity such as horse back riding, tubing etc a small tip is expected. Leaving a little extra at your homestay is also customary. About $5 per person.
Can I drink the water?
No. It is not recommended to drink tap water. We will have big jugs of filtered water. Having said that, please bring a reusable water bottle as most hotels and tourist destinations offer refilling stations.
Do I need to speak Spanish?
It is certainly not a requirement but always fun to try! Every group has a bilingual guide so there is nothing to worry about.
Is there internet?
Yes but not always. Most of the lodging options have wifi but there are a few days where we will be without it. As always be patient if there is no signal or the electricity is down. These things can happen so embrace it!