Arrive in Quito, Ecuador, and transfer to your hotel. Overnight.
Drive north to visit "El mirador de Guápulo" (view point), from where we can admire its church and Quito's nearby valleys. We'll go south towards Quito's colonial center - one of the world's cultural heritage sites, where we can see many historical buildings; including churches, museums and monuments. From here we'll continue to El Panecillo - the small, rounded hill which dominates the old town. From its summit we'll see marvelous views of the whole city stretching out below, as well as magnificent views of the surrounding volcanoes.
We will then travel towards "La Mitad del Mundo" (the middle of the world) in the village of San Antonio, about 22 Km. north of Quito. Here we'll visit the trapezium stone monument, which is built on the equator, and the excellent Museo Etnográfico and Inti-Ñan. Overnight in Quito.
Spend these three days completing your Advanced Wilderness Life Support certification. Approximately half of the curriculum is delivered in hands on teaching sessions in small groups. Students will learn practical techniques and practice them in mock scenarios. Topics covered include:
• Animal, Insect, Arthropod, Marine Bites and Stings • Avalanche • Head, Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat, Skin • High Altitude Related Problems • Hyperthermia • Hypothermia & Frostbite • Infectious Disease • Lightning • Medical Kits • Medical Problems • Moving an Injured Patient • Patient Assessment • Patient Packaging & Evacuation • Submersion Injuries • Water Disinfection and Purification • Wilderness Life Support Scenarios • Wound and Musculoskeletal Injuries Management
Transfer to the airport. A short flight takes you over the high Andes and down to the Amazon frontier town of Puerto Francisco de Orellana (called Coca by locals). From here you travel by motorized canoe two and a half hours down the Napo River, followed by a short walk through thick palm forest to Sacha Lodge, your home for the next few days.
Days at Sacha Lodge are filled with discovery. During excursions, visitors are divided into small groups (max 6), each with it's own native guide and bilingual naturalist. Native guides carry a lifetime of knowledge about the medicinal and functional uses of rainforest plants. They proudly display the wonders of their home environment, sometimes even offering a tasty treat like the strange lemon tasting ants that coexist in the stems of certain trees. Naturalists, educated in biology and ecology, translate for native guides and compliment excursions with explanations of the scientific workings of the rainforest.
Sacha Lodge has something for everyone. A favorite activity includes paddling dugout canoes along black water creeks and lakes past luxuriant lianas, bromeliads, and enormous palms. Swimming and piranha fishing are also popular (the piranha here are harmless, really!). And for the adventurous there are night walks and canoe trips in search of caiman and other nocturnal creatures.
Sacha Lodge also offers three very unique sites to visitors. The first is a 130-foot observation tower that gives visitors a chance to get above the rainforest canopy for incredible views of the area. This is also a great place to observe toucans and macaws and with luck spot noisy howler monkeys or a three-toed sloth. The second site is the butterfly house where over 40 local butterfly species are bred. Visitors can see the process of breeding and raising these colorful insects and wander through the "flying room." Finally, there's the Yasuni Macaw Lick. Just a short distance from Sacha Lodge is Ecuador's most famous macaw lick, where visitors can observe dozens of the magnificently colored birds feeding on the clay's salt.
After an early breakfast, you'll head back up the Napo River for the flight back to Quito. At the airport, you'll be picked up and transferred to your hotel and have the evening free to enjoy Quito.
Transfer to the airport for your continued journey home, or decide to choose to extend your trip for a few days.
$750 single supplement
Additional $695 Course Fee