Rejuvenation and Adventure for Women in February
DATES: February 17th – 28th (Adult)
- TRADITIONAL BASKET WEAVING
- YOGA & HIKING
- ORGANIC MEALS
- HEALING HERBS, BIRD WATCHING & MORE
The Gogi-Nahual sisterhood is based on the common goal of seeing the world and all its cultural wonders through the lens of empowerment, education, and environmental awareness. (http://www.nahual.com.ec)
“Make the Earth your companion. Walk lightly on it, as other creatures do. Let the Sky paint her beauty—she is always watching over you.” -J. Patrick Lewis
Venture from your everyday life into the magic of the Andes Mountains and beyond! This is definitely not a typical tourism trip. From the very first day, we will immerse ourselves in the culture and language as we interact with local Ecuadorians. We will learn traditional art forms and stay with a pioneering Intag family that arrived many generations ago. We will also explore the natural beauty and connect with people and the land in a meaningful and inspiring way.
We’ll arrive at the beautiful Palugo Farm, an adventure and sustainability school nestled in the outskirts of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. This is where we will get our gear ready and prepare our food.
After we’re packed and ready, we will venture to the subtropical lands of Intag, where trees are abundant with tropical fruit, and the community is a lively reflection of successful sustainability initiatives, such as cultivating shade-grown coffee and traditional weaving.
This week is all about savoring the beauty of the land and each other’s company. We offer a space to indulge in just what you need to feel restored and rejuvenated: finding the balance between physical activity and stillness, learning new skills and sharing your own.
The focus will be on yoga, traditional basket weaving, and learning how coffee is produced from seed to cup. You will get to participate in harvesting, roasting, and tasting locally produced, shade-grown coffee. We invite you on this unforgettable journey of connecting with people and the environment, traveling consciously as a citizen of the world, and engaging deeply with the spirit of Latin America. Join us!
PRICE: $1,990 (9 day trip)
TRAVEL WITH COMPASSION AND AWARENESS
- All ground transportation in Ecuador, including pickup from the airport
- All accommodations in Ecuador
- Three daily meals (made from locally grown, organic food), including water, tea, and juice
- Craft supplies and instruction
- Guided tours
- Excursion to hot springs
- Gogi – Nahual guides to translate and help you find your way around
- Spanish language
What’s NOT included:
- Roundtrip airfare to Quito
- Excess baggage charges and airport taxes
- Food and drinks at the airport
- Alcoholic beverages
- Food and meals in addition to the three daily meals provided
- Personal expenses, such as gifts and souvenirs
- Travel insurance
- Tips for guides
Relax on a beautiful farm where you can find meditation spots everywhere, feel refreshed after morning yoga classes, nourish your body with delicious organic food, and be energized by adventurous afternoon hikes. As part of experiencing this new culture, we’ll also learn about healing herbs as we forage for plants to make salves and lip balms. Our journey will end with a hike to volcanically charged hot springs.
On this trip, you will connect with native people, with other travelers, and most importantly with yourself.
Palugo Farm is located one hour from the city of Quito and 15 minutes from the airport. The farm is nestled on 240 acres where four families live and twelve families share the work. Palugo is at the same altitude as Quito, 2800m above sea level. Our days are warm and comfortable, and the nights are cool. The dry season runs from March to August, and the rainy season lasts from September to February.
The farm’s land features open fields for grazing, native chaparro (bush), native trees (such as acacia, molle, and aliso), and introduced eucalyptus and pine. The gardens on the farm have many edible plants, such as tamarillos and local berries.
Palugo is a year-round CSA, producing a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables as well as meat and dairy products for local families. The farm’s herds of Brown Swiss cows have won numerous national and international awards over the past 25 years. Even so close to the city, Palugo is a wildlife oasis, attracting falcons, foxes, rabbits, owls, and a variety of bird species.
Participants will be met at the airport by a Nahual guide and taken to the farm for a full week of adventure that includes enjoying organic food produced on the farm, hiking the Andes, making salves and lip balms from local herbs, and practicing yoga. We will be also be exploring organic agriculture and permaculture as well as the magic of cooking over an open fire and sleeping under a starry sky.
Most of our activities at Palugo Farm will center around harvesting food and preparing meals — basic rituals that establish a connection which brings us closer to our shared roots.
Most meals at Palugo are made from the fruits, vegetables, eggs, milk, and meat produced on the farm. (What does not come directly from Palugo Farm is sourced from other area CSAs.) Fresh milk is processed into yogurt, cheese, and butter. Baking bread and making granola is a weekly chore done in a traditional oven. All food is prepared from local recipes and cooked over an open fire. Meals are mostly vegetarian, but occasionally a chicken, cow, guinea pig, or rabbit is slaughtered to be served as part of a special event.
Snacks are provided to maintain energy throughout the day and include garrapiñada (nuts), toasted corn, and fruit.
Accommodations in Palugo:
Accommodations at Palugo consist of two cabins. One cabin fits 12 people, and a smaller cabin accommodates up to six people. The cabins are built with local and low-impact materials. Beds have mattresses and nice comforters. All lights are solar, and we encourage conscious use of energy because on cloudy days the solar batteries can run out and leave us to candlelight.
The communal space is called El Chozon and overlooks the beautiful Andes mountains. El Chozon consists of a large kitchen with a traditional wood oven, a small library, and a communal space for having meetings, reading, and sharing music.
The bathroom has a spring water shower with a solar-powered water heater, and there is a composting toilet. Both are clean and easy to use, and you will be shown how to maintain these and all other facilities.
If you need to do laundry at Palugo, there is a good washing stone and plenty of sunny spots where clothes dry quickly.
After getting accustomed to the Ecuadorian lifestyle in Palugo, we will journey north to Intag, stopping first at the famous town of Cotacachi and going for a hike near Cuicocha, a high mountain lake tucked into an ancient extinct volcano. Cuicocha means the Lake of the Cuy (guinea pig) in Quechua. The trail we will hike is well maintained and has great views of the lake and islands.
After the hike, we will venture north to the cloud forest of Intag, an area that’s alive with whitewater streams and rivers rushing through small towns and villages.
Accommodations in Intag
In Intag we will stay with a family and share meals together as well as many laughs! We will be staying with one of the last families that still weave traditional baskets. We will spend the day here weaving and learning this new skill. This is a rustic home but quite beautiful and authentic. All the food is locally grown and organic, so you can get your hands dirty and help harvest, or simply relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
Our next stop will be Rio Lindo, a place to meditate next to a rushing river, sit in a hammock and read a book, or do yoga in the communal space.
The accommodation at Rio Lindo is beautiful. You will find yourself enjoying the gardens and your beautiful room with delicious food and time to relax and be inspired by the gardens with cotton, pineapple and coffee. You will be introduced to Iban,one of the pioneers in the valley, and he will show us around and teach us about the area and the land.
There is a large activist community in Intag because the government has been exploiting and mining the land. Iban and others have started a project by working with the communities of the region.
Communities are also getting together to grow coffee and create ecotourism opportunities as alternatives. There is a co-op of farmers growing and producing organic, fair-trade coffee here, and we will have the opportunity to pick and roast the coffee beans and make amazing coffee to drink!
After our adventures and exploring in Intag, we will head back to Palugo. We finish the trip by hiking to the hot springs to soak up and celebrate!
After our adventures and exploring in Intag we will head back to Palugo. We finish the trip by hiking to the hot springs to soak up and celebrate!
A TYPICAL TRIP:
Day 1: Arrive at Palugo for a welcome circle and dinner.
Day 2: The second day at Palugo begins with a morning yoga session. Then after a delicious breakfast, we’ll take a hike around the farm and get an introduction to permaculture before taking an herbal workshop with Marcea in the afternoon. In the evening, there’s time to relax and take in the fresh mountain air.
Day 3: We’ll get an early start for a beautiful crater walk, then descend to the beautiful subtropical valley of Intag. We will leave early and head to Cuicocha Lake to walk the loop and take time to enjoy the beautiful sites and birdwatch.
Day 4: Intag! Here, you will experience traditional basket weaving and soak up the amazing views. We will learn weaving with instructors Eduardo and Paty — some of the last remaining traditional basket weavers in the area. These days in Intag will be days of sharing and learning.
Day 5: We will do yoga and relax in the morning. You also have the option of doing morning farm activities with the family. After lunch, we will arrive to Rio Lindo, a unique coffee farm accommodation.
Day 6: Rise with the sun amongst tropical trees and the sound of the river. Learn the about the process of producing coffee, from seed to cup!
Day 7: Return to the highlands with a stop in Otavalo market for lunch and shopping. Return to Palugo Farm.
Day 8: Enjoy a 4- or 5-hour hike to the hot springs of Papallacta. Soak and celebrate!
Day 9: Good-bye breakfast and farewells!
Gogi Abroad works closely with Nahual Expediciones in Ecuador. Gogi staff is certified in first aid and wilderness advanced first aid. The guides are also professional climbers, mountaineers, and paddlers accustomed to working with adults and students at high elevations.
You will receive more detailed information on how to prepare for this expedition and what to expect in higher elevations approximately 30 days prior to departure.
As a group we will develop a new awareness of the world around us. We will walk with mindfulness, find time to meditate, and focus on ways to quiet your mind and body. You will also gain a higher level of awareness and inner calm as you discover new places and learn some Spanish.
AIRFARE: Round-trip airfare to Quito, Ecuador is not included in the cost of the trip, but you can request that Gogi Abroad book your flights. If you choose to book your own flights, do so when you receive your final payment invoice. (Contact our office if you are considering booking your flights before this time.) Please be sure to arrive by the date Gogi Abroad requests. We do not accept liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets.
Marcea Macinnis comes to Gogi Abroad with a diverse background of travel, mentoring, and phenomenal teaching. She is originally from Saxtons River, Vermont and has a BA from Marlboro College. A cherished guide and teacher, Marcea has been an instructor for Nahual Expediciones for ten years. She resides in Palugo, Ecuador with her husband and two daughters.
She brings a passion for the natural world and teaches with a rich and diverse knowledge of herbal remedies, including flowers, roots and leaves. She is the owner of her own successful herbal business, Yuyos, so when Marcea is not leading a trip, she is shipping out orders of her organic products. Marcea’s lifelong love of herbal work has taken many forms, and students have this unique opportunity to learn about plant medicine and identification with her expertise. Students will learn how to make extracts, oils, and balms and will gain knowledge and awareness of the herbal healing world. Marcea has mentored hundreds of young adults through transformative travel experiences, and we are grateful that she can share her knowledge and passions with Gogi Abroad.