Throughout this journey, participants will be invited to communicate with, honor, and learn from sprits – local spirits of the land, spirits of nature, spirits of local ancestors, etc. The ability to undertake the classic shamanic journey, while desirable, is not essential to participate in this trip. Participants who lack the shamanic journey experience will be encouraged to learn through exchanges with experienced participants. The journey leaders are experienced shamanic teachers.
A moderate level of physical fitness and a willingness to walk are necessary since this stay in the rainforest will require regular hiking.
Friday, May 11th
Arrival in Quito. Group stays at the charming hotel, Café Cultura. (Note: We recommend that you arrive a day or two early to acclimate and rest.
Saturday, May 12th
After breakfast and an orientation meeting at Café Cultura, we’ll head north to the scenic Andean region of Otavalo where we’ll explore the open-air indigenous artisan market displaying the crafts and culture of the Otavalan Quichua people. Next, we’ll visit with a Quichua elder shaman for a healing and purification ceremony before arriving at San Clemente, an indigenous-owned community-based project situated on the flanks of the sacred Imbabura volcano. Dinner and accommodations with our gracious host families.
Sunday, May 13th
Breakfast with families followed by activities in the community, including agricultural practices (oxen plow, planting/harvesting crops, grinding corn, etc.), forest hike to learn about native medicinal plants, discussions about the Andean cosmo-vision and a traditional feast with local foods grown in the community. Evening dinner with families followed by cultural sharing and celebration including traditional Andean music.
Monday, May 14th
After breakfast and farewells with our indigenous families, we’ll embark on a beautiful drive – visiting the center of the world (equator) along the way – descending the Andes through the avenue of the volcanoes and the mysterious cloud forests until we reach the gateway to the Amazon rainforest. Dinner and evening discussion about entering the rainforest and the Achuar territory at your quaint hotel, El Jardin, located on the outskirts of Puyo.
Tuesday, May 15th
Head to the nearby town of Shell where we’ll take a 45-minute flight deep into the Amazon rainforest to the Achuar village of Chichirat. After a traditional Achuar greeting, we’ll walk to the Bobanaza river for a beautiful motorized canoe ride down to the village of Ti’inkias, where the community will welcome us with their traditional beverage, nijaamanch (known as chicha). Then we’ll walk to the nearby simple encampment, built in traditional Achuar style, that will be our home for the next five days.
Wednesday, May 16th
Early morning dream sharing ritual with Achuar families followed by time in the village participating in cultural practices and activities. Return to encampment for rest and solo time. In the afternoon, we’ll hike through the forest learning about medicinal plants and Achuar cultural uses of the forest. We’ll take a refreshing swim at an oasis-like natural pool near the community.
Thursday, May 17th
After breakfast, we’ll go to the village to play games with the community. Then, down to the Bobonaza river where we’ll travel by canoe to a special site our Achuar hosts have prepared for us next to a black water lagoon. Here we will have time explore the lagoon and have some quiet and contemplative time with the rainforest. We’ll camp at this beautiful site and in the evening there may be an invitation to participate in a traditional ceremony with an elder Achuar shaman.
Friday, May 18th
After breakfast and sharing, we’ll return to the Ti’inkias camp for rest and reflection. In the afternoon, we’ll return to the village for another refreshing swim in the natural pool followed by a cultural exchange (feel free to bring small instruments, songs and dances for sharing), a traditional Achuar feast and an attractive display of Achuar handmade artisan items.
Saturday, May 19th
After breakfast, we’ll pack our belongings and say our farewells in the village before heading back up the Bobanaza river to the village of Chichirat where we’ll fly to the small town of Shell. Our bus will take us to the cozy and inviting Hacienda Manteles in the Patate valley of the Andes, with sweeping vistas of the magnificent Tungurahua volcano. Free time for rest, reflection, hiking to nearby waterfalls; immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the enchanting Llanganates National Park.
Sunday, May 20th
Relax and enjoy the verdant cloud forest surroundings and gourmet food. Later in the afternoon and evening, we’ll participate in an Awakening the Dreamer Symposium, a powerful inquiry and discussion that will deepen the context and meaning of our journey having just been with the indigenous people who inspired the Symposium’s creation and purpose.
Monday, May 21st
I Group gathers for a journey completion circle. We drive back through the Avenue of the Volcanoes to Quito and Hotel Café Cultura and enjoy our final celebration dinner together. Stay at Café Cultura.
Tuesday, May 22nd
Itinerary is subject to change
We recommend arriving a day or two in advance of the formal itinerary to acclimate, rest, and see Quito if you wish. Those personal reservations for hotel and airport transfer can be made through www.CafeCultura.com. Pachamama Journeys will arrange lodging at Café Cultura for Friday night.