We have collected a list of most frequently asked questions about the retreats to Ecuador. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Hiking boots
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Hat with brim
- Bathing suit
- Long pants and long light sleeve shirts
- Light rain jacket
- Warm jacket, down or polar fleece
- Hat, gloves socks
- Water bottle
- Steri Pen
- Small backpack
- Sanitary hand gel
- Bug repellent
- Sunscreen lotion (50+)
- Snacks if you have a special diet
- Preferably bio-degradable/all natural body products (i.e.; shampoo, soap)
- Notarized copy of your passport
- Basic medications (aspirin/cold remedy/Imodium/Bandaids)
Ecuador uses US currency though they do have their own coins, US coins are accepted universally. We recommend you bring cash as credit cards are not accepted in all places. Bring smaller bills, it can be troublesome to break $100 bills. There are cash machines in Quito and Otavalo if you should run out of cash while there. FYI occasionally the machines run out of money and they have a $300 limit. You may also want to contact your charge card companies prior leaving the US to ensure usage when traveling outside the US. Without prior approval you may be limited to the amount or frequency your card can be used.
The climate in the Andes varies according to the altitude and the time of the year. http://tour.in-quito.com/quito-tourist-attractions-modern.htmThere are two seasons, wet and dry. The wet season (September through May)is called winter and the dry is considered summer (June through August). The shoulder seasons can include wet and dry conditions. The wet season typically consists of rains in the afternoon and occasional thunder storms at night. The temperatures vary up to 78F in the middle of the day and then go down as low as 55F at night all year around. Because Ecuador is on the equator you can be high in the mountains with no snow and a stable temperature range throughout the year. Also, due to the altitude sun burn can happen very easily even when there are clouds. It is important that you wear sunscreen for 50+ or more.
Quito stands at 9,350 feet and Otavalo stands at 7200 feet. Casa Mojanda is up the mountain from Otavalo and stands at 9,000 feet. Everyone reacts differently to altitude. Medication is typically not needed but if you have concerns notify your doctor to get a prescription. It is helpful to drink a lot of water the first 3 days and if a headache occurs, aspirin often alleviates it. It is also recommended to drink no alcohol for the initial adjustment period. Staff at Casa Mojanda can also prepare a special herbal tea if you experience altitude symptoms.
The basic rule of thumb to try to avoid “Montezuma’s Revenge” is to eat only fruits and vegetables that are either cooked or have been peeled and drink only bottled water. The water at Casa Mojanda is safe to drink and can be used to fill your water bottles.We encourage TAP standards, [ travelers against plastic] and ask you to bring a water bottle and Steri Pen for personal water sterilization..[ Steripens easily found travel & outdoor stores]
Quito is like any other major city with pockets of crime common to a city of 12 million+ people. Common cautiousness is appropriate – stay in public places with activity, keep packages and purses/wallets closed or zipped and with you at all times, travel with others at night, stay alert to your surroundings. In Otavalo there is little danger of street crimes and using common sense at paying attention to you belongs is helpful.
No. You will need a current passport that does not expire for at least six months.
No. There are no shots or medications necessary to travel to this region of the country. There are occasionally requirements or recommendations when traveling into the jungle region. Check with the US State Department for updated information if you intend to travel to the jungle during your trip.
Exactly the same as the United States. Small appliances such as blow dryers,,,chargers, computers, etc will work.
Spanish is the primary language spoken in Ecuador. Though many people in Quito may know some English this is not the case in Otavalo. Any effort you make at trying to speak Spanish is appreciated and people are very friendly and helpful when they can be.
Yes, Casa Mojanda has Internet. But it is does not connected consistently. There are also several internet cafes in the town. If you have international calling on your cell phone it will also work.
People can call or email Casa Mojanda. The facilitators will also be checking their emails daily and cell phones for messages. We will provide you with emergency numbers to share with your family.
Retreat Specific Questions
There is no specific preparation necessary. Your facilitators will describe the intent and basic experience prior to entering into the ceremony and time will be given to debrief the experience afterward. The invitation is to allow the mystery of these unfamiliar experiences to inform you in ways you’ve never been exposed. There are no plant medicines used in ceremonies in which you will be participating.
In the dining room at Casa Mojanda at 10:00 AM on our first day.
There will be a driver waiting for you outside of customs with a sign indicating your last name. He/she will take you directly to the hotel where you will be registered and escorted to your room.
You will be given customs forms on the airplane to complete prior to disembarking (if you should lose them there will be extras at customs). Once leaving the plane you will walk with other passengers to the customs stations where you will stand in line until a station is open. You will be asked basic questions about your length and purpose of stay in Ecuador. Once all is approved you’ll be stamped and allowed to collect your luggage. Once collected you’ll exit the area though be prepared to have your luggage scanned and have your luggage tickets handy as they will be matched to your luggage by security personnel. This process can take up to an hour should other flights be arriving at the same time your plane does.
Personal expenses, excursions not referenced in itinerary
One month prior to departure, you will be scheduled for a pre-journey coaching session and community conference call. Information and pre-work for this session will be sent to you at the time of scheduling. Post community call will be scheduled will be scheduled within a month after the retreat.
If the client cancels, the deposit is non-refundable and the program costs are refunded as follows:
75% refundable 91 days or more prior to program start date
50% refundable between 61-90 days prior to program start date
0% refundable 60 days or less prior to program start date
In addition to the fee stated above, the following will be added to and part of the cancellation fee per person: any cancellation fees, surcharges, or nonrefundable deposits charged to us by its vendors and suppliers, such as individual hotels or other third parties.
Additional Tours and Resources: (confirming)
Website for checking travel notification on Ecuador:
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Main Switchboard: 202-647-4000
TTY: 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay Service)
Hotline for American Travelers: 1-888-407-4747
Passport Information: 1-877-487-2778
Address for visitors:
Ave. Avigiras E12-170 y Ave. Eloy Alfaro; Quito, Ecuador
Address for local mail and package delivery:
Ave. Guayacanes N52-205 y Ave. Avigiras; Quito, Ecuador
Telephone during business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) : (011) 593-2-398-5000
Emergency after-hours telephone: (011) 593-2-398-5000
Facsimile: (011) 593-2-398-5100