Shiwiars village Shiwiars village "Your chance to immerse yourself in a culture that belongs to the forest"
Graphic charter
Graphic charter

The jungle expedition

Why go there?
This is your chance to discover an unspoilt region of the Amazon rainforest, to really leave the beaten track behind and to immerse yourself in a culture that belongs to the forest. You can experience the incredible biodiversity of the area, and find real warmth without luxuries. But this is an opportunity offered by a variety of agencies. What makes our project different is that it offers you the rare opportunity to escape the false "ecotourism" trap, where community events are staged and the business is own by foreigners, channelling profits into their businesses not back into local hands. But not here. Shiwiar Ikiam is completely self-managed and locally owned. You will not be invading or disrupting our culture but helping to preserve it. Our expedition offers you a wonderful opportunity to experience the jungle as it is, but more importantly to give something back to a community.

Where will I Go?
The Shiwiar territory is rather big. Ouf of all our territory, we elected the community Tanguntsa to receive the Ikiam expedition, being the newest and the most isolated and therefore holding the highest levels of biodiversity.

Who should go?
If you have a strong interest in the fantastic biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest, if you are not afraid of the lack of western comfort and if you are sufficiently open minded to interact with a very different culture, then this expedition is for you. Visitors should be in reasonably good physical condition You must read and accept the code of conduct before booking the expedition.

What will I do there?
What you choose to do is completely up to you, this is not a travel agent's tour and you will not be stuck to a fixed agenda. We can take you on canoe trips down the river, teach you how to harvest and plant yucca, make handicrafts, and build traditional houses. We will prepare our customary food for you, share our legends and cosmogony with you, and demonstrate the use of medicinal plants. You could also spend the night camping on the river bank, if you wish. You will have the chance to see dozens of plant and animal species, and to relax listening to the forest symphony.

What will I eat?
We currently eat what we hunt, fish, harvest from our chacra or collect from the forest. Nevertheless as we do not want to put more pressure on the wildlife of our territory, you will have to mostly eat western food. Don't worry, you will have the opportunity to taste our local fish and yuca, and we will offer you plenty of chicha.

Where will I sleep?
You will sleep in a bed inside a traditional house specially built to receive visitors. Don't worry, we will provide you with a good mosquito net. Nothing fancy but very typical.

What should I bring?
To fully enjoy your stay, we recommend you to bring light clothing, long sleeved shirts and trousers, several pairs of socks, rubber boots and a spare pair of shoes. Insect repellent, efficient sun block, hat, sunglasses, a rain coat or rubber poncho and a bathing suit are essential. Malarial prophylaxis (Chloroquine or Mephaquin) are also indispensable.

Of course don't forget your camera with films, binoculars and a flashlight. Lots of plastic bags are essential to keep things dry. Extra precautions are necessary for digital cameras (it's very humid in the forest!). Reading a book with the sounds of the jungle around you is something you are bound to enjoy.

Above all, remember that you must pack lightly as there is not a lot of space in the plane!

How long can I stay?
The duration of your adventure is up to you. We recommend a stay of 5 days/4 nights to be able to fully enjoy the forest and our culture, but people can stay much longer if they wish.

Is the tour safe?
There is nothing to be afraid of, but obviously you need to be cautious. Do not go in the forest alone, touch branches or leaves without checking first that nothing is sitting on them, or put your hands into holes. But remember that you are with indigenous people who know the forest, and that it is far less dangerous than people usually think!

There is however a low risk of malaria, as in other parts of the Amazon. The use of repellent is therefore strongly recommended. While the risk is low here, prophylaxis are essential, and if you have any questions we recommend that you seek professional advice.

In case of an emergency, we have a radio that we can use to call for an aerial ambulance.

How do I get there?
Our territory is located in the province of Pastaza, in the Ecuadorian Amazon region, and is only accessible by plane from Puyo (Shell).

To access the site from Quito, you can take a bus up to Puyo (5 hours- US$ 5), where you need to change and take another bus to the village Shell (15 minutes-US$ 0.30). It is also possible to fly from Quito to Shell (1 hour - 200 US$).
From Shell you need to take a flight to Tanguntsa (1 hour and 20 minutes) in a Cessna (5 passengers maximum). We will welcome you at the air strip and take you to our village of Juyuintsa and then by canoe (half an hour) to get in our cabins.

The price of the flight depends on the number of people in the plane. It is currently set from a minimum of 350/700 US$ return per person, depending on the number of passengers, up to 600 US$ if you are travelling alone.

How much does it cost, and where will my money go?
The expedition costs 100US$ per person daily, this includes everything (accommodation, guide, canoe, and food) except the plane. The flight currently costs from 200US$ per person (depending on the number of people in the plane), up to 600 USD if you are alone.

Once the operating costs have been paid, all benefits are used to fund the work of the FUNSSIF, who are fighting to legalize our territory and conserve its biodiversity. Therefore your money helps to protect the rainforest and its inhabitants, while allowing you to have a great time. How can you spend a dollar more happily?