Ecuador Posted by ME to WE Signature Lodges October 25th, 2017

MingaEcuador

ME to WE Lodge: Minga

Your Ecuador adventure is waiting—a journey beyond the river’s edge.

This is more than a typical jungle retreat—because when the road stops, your adventure to Minga is only just beginning. This trip is about connecting with people and places and learning about the jungle from the communities who call it home, carving out their lives in the midst of lush green trees framing the banks of the Rio Napo. With years of experience working with our partner WE Charity and its development projects, we have formed close bonds with local indigenous communities, allowing you to join a family when you travel with us.


Experience Minga

Feel the rainforest coming alive around you every moment you’re at Minga, whether you’re venturing out for one of our immersive activity offerings or relaxing in your private cabin. From creature comforts like hot showers, delicious meals and beautiful, comfortable cabins, to expert local guides and friendly staff, we take care of every detail—letting you focus on being present and connected.

Location

Your journey to Minga begins at the banks of the Rio Napo, a tributary of the Amazon River. Climb aboard our private motorized canoe for a ride down the river. Pass by families panning for gold at the river’s edge, feeling a gentle breeze on your face as you take in views of lush shorelines with broad palm leaves as big as people and thatched rooves peeking out of the dense foliage. As you arrive at Minga, our friendly staff are waiting to welcome you and lead you to your accommodations. It’s time to savor a welcome drink and meal on our al fresco dining platform, taking in views of the river below.

Location

Your journey to Minga begins at the banks of the Rio Napo, a tributary of the Amazon River. Climb aboard our private motorized canoe for a ride down the river. Pass by families panning for gold at the river’s edge, feeling a gentle breeze on your face as you take in views of lush shorelines with broad palm leaves as big as people and thatched rooves peeking out of the dense foliage. As you arrive at Minga, our friendly staff are waiting to welcome you and lead you to your accommodations. It’s time to savor a welcome drink and meal on our al fresco dining platform, taking in views of the river below.

Experience Minga

Explore your journey to Ecuador and what sets our trips apart.

Experience

Giving Back

Every trip with ME to WE directly supports projects in the communities we visit. We’ll take you to local communities in the Amazon rainforest. Step into the shoes of families who work hand-in-hand with our partner, WE Charity. We’re working together with indigenous communities to improve access to resources like high-quaility schooling, clean water, health care and alternate forms of income. If you choose, you can even get your hands dirty by contributing to an ongoing project, like a clean-water well, classroom or health clinic.

Experience

Community & Culture

Follow your guide down winding pathways through the jungle to a nearby partner communty, where a local artisans’ group waits to greet you in their choza—a thatched-roof hut where the artisans gather to create beautiful beaded and woven pieces, sheltered from the jungle sun and rain. Share laughs and smiles as everyone introduces themselves, before trying your hand at making intricate pieces traditional to Kichwa culture, crafted using materials sourced from the rainforest. Spend a peaceful afternoon at the home of a local shaman, as he leads you through a traditional cleansing ceremony. Take part in a fun cooking class to learn how to prepare local favorites, like fish wrapped in bamboo leaves and cooked over a fire. Each day of your trip, feel connected to the people and places around you.

Experience

Community & Culture

Follow your guide down winding pathways through the jungle to a nearby partner communty, where a local artisans’ group waits to greet you in their choza—a thatched-roof hut where the artisans gather to create beautiful beaded and woven pieces, sheltered from the jungle sun and rain. Share laughs and smiles as everyone introduces themselves, before trying your hand at making intricate pieces traditional to Kichwa culture, crafted using materials sourced from the rainforest. Spend a peaceful afternoon at the home of a local shaman, as he leads you through a traditional cleansing ceremony. Take part in a fun cooking class to learn how to prepare local favorites, like fish wrapped in bamboo leaves and cooked over a fire. Each day of your trip, feel connected to the people and places around you.

Experience

Adventure & Discovery

The rainforest is known as the lungs of the earth—discover its magic and spirit for yourself on guided hikes with your jungle guide. Rise early for a hike through a nearby 300-hectare forest reserve, with a stunning scenic viewpoint awaiting you at the end. Experience the jungle coming alive after sunset on a night walk, taking time to stand still, close your eyes and be enveloped by the sounds of wind rushing through the trees and the chirps of frogs and insects.

Accommodations

In Ecuador, a minga is a call to action: the coming together of people for the good of all. Our tranquil jungle lodge brings together local design with comfort and convenience—your home base as you connect with the people and places around you. Feel welcomed and at home from the moment you step off the boat.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Cabins

Wake up each morning to the sounds of the jungle waking up outside your window, as the sunrise gently filters in. Spend a peaceful afternoon on your private verandah, putting your feet up in a hammock to read or relax, and savor a hot shower after a day spent visiting local communities.



ACCOMMODATIONS

Cabins


Wake up each morning to the sounds of the jungle waking up outside your window, as the sunrise gently filters in. Spend a peaceful afternoon on your private verandah, putting your feet up in a hammock to read or relax, and savor a hot shower after a day spent visiting local communities.

ACCOMMODATIONS

The Property

Feel as though you’ve stepped into paradise every day at Minga. Meander down stone pathways framed by lush green trees and bursts of tropical color, get to know the lodge’s resident parrot, Yolanda, and take in unbeatable sunrises and sunsets as you relax in lounge chairs on our deck overlooking the Rio Napo.



ACCOMMODATIONS

The Property


Feel as though you’ve stepped into paradise every day at Minga. Meander down stone pathways framed by lush green trees and bursts of tropical color, get to know the lodge’s resident parrot, Yolanda, and take in unbeatable sunrises and sunsets as you relax in lounge chairs on our deck overlooking the Rio Napo.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Dining

Start your day with fresh Ecuadorian coffee served alongside an array of tropical fruits, and look forward to each delicious, savory meal, prepared by our chefs using fresh local ingredients. Enjoy Ecuadorian favorites like fresh papaya, yucca, rice and beans. Western-style dishes are also always available, as well as options to suit any dietary needs.



ACCOMMODATIONS

Dining


Start your day with fresh Ecuadorian coffee served alongside an array of tropical fruits, and look forward to each delicious, savory meal, prepared by our chefs using fresh local ingredients. Enjoy Ecuadorian favorites like fresh papaya, yucca, rice and beans. Western-style dishes are also always available, as well as options to suit any dietary needs.

Packages and Rates

10 Days: from $3,295 USD

or

Connect with us at
1-(877) 638-6931 ext. 540

Your Experience at a Glance

Sample Itinerary : 9 days, 8 nights

Additional itineraries are available through your preferred travel provider, or contact us at 1-877-638-6931 ext. 540


DAY 1:

  • Depart
  • Evening Arrival in Quito, Gateway to the Amazon
  • Check-in at hotel in Quito

DAY 2:
  • Descend into the Amazon Basin
  • Jungle Cruise River Expedition
  • Minga Lodge Arrival and Orientation
  • Learn about WE Villages
  • Practice your Spanish

DAY 3:
  • Rainforest Excursion
  • Community Orientation and Volunteering
  • Volunteering in the Community

DAY 4:
  • Volunteering in the Community
  • A Day in the Life
  • Curious Critters: Wild Amazonian Night Hike

DAY 5:
  • Volunteering in the Community
  • Shamanic Ceremony and Weapons Training

DAY 6:
  • Volunteering in the Community
  • A Sweet Trip to the Cacao Farm
  • Gratitude Sharing

DAY 7:
  • Volunteering and Community Farewell
  • Kichwa in the Kitchen
  • Braided & Beaded: Alternative Income Initiatives in the Amazon
  • Farewell Dance

DAY 8:
  • Depart for Quito
  • Visit Historic Quito
  • Check in at the hotel

DAY 9:
  • Early Morning Departure

FOR THE INCLUSIONS / EXCLUSIONS BOX
Inclusions
  • Hotel accommodation in Quito (2 nights)
  • Accommodation at Minga Lodge (6 nights)
  • All meals and drinks while at Minga Lodge (beer and wine included)
  • Farewell Dinner in Quito
  • All activities as outlined in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to sights in Quito
  • Airfare from Coca to Quito
  • Ground transportation throughout the duration of the trip
  • ME to WE professional facilitators
Exclusions
  • International airfare
  • Alcoholic beverages in Quito
  • Travel insurance (i.e. out-of-country medical, trip cancellation and interruption insurance)
  • Gratuities ($5-10 per person per day recommended)

Offers & Trip Extensions

We’re here to help you make the most of your Ecuador experience—whether you want to trek to the top of the most famous icon of Inca civilization, Machu Picchu, sail the Galapagos Islands by yacht or explore the wonders of the sea. Surround yourself in the natural beauty and historical magnificence of South American culture on an unforgettable trip extension.

To learn more about booking a trip extension, connect with us at 1 (877) 638-6931 ext. 540 or speak with your preferred travel agent. We’re happy to customize any itinerary to meet your needs!

Explore Our Extensions

Need Assistance?

To learn more about booking a trip extension, connect with us at 1.877.638.6931 ext. 540 or talk to your preferred travel agent.

Activities

Traveling with ME to WE isn’t about retreating from the world—it’s about immersing yourself in it. Be welcomed into local communities we’ve partnered with for years, joining families as they collect water, source food and build connections with one another, and partaking in their cultural tradtitions.

ACTIVITY #1

Rainforest hike

Explore the jungle, sometimes called "the lungs of the earth," on an optional hike with your naturalist guide. Take a moment to stand still, close your eyes and be enveloped by the sounds of the rainforest coming alive around you.

ACTIVITY #1

Rainforest hike

Explore the jungle, sometimes called "the lungs of the earth," on an optional hike with your naturalist guide. Take a moment to stand still, close your eyes and be enveloped by the sounds of the rainforest coming alive around you.

ACTIVITY #2

Cacao farm visit

Chocolate is a key source of income in Ecuador. Walk side-by-side with a local farmer as he harvests fresh cacao to supply to fine French chocolatiers, and learn the secrets of making chocolate from scratch.

ACTIVITY #2

Cacao farm visit

Chocolate is a key source of income in Ecuador. Walk side-by-side with a local farmer as he harvests fresh cacao to supply to fine French chocolatiers, and learn the secrets of making chocolate from scratch.

ACTIVITY #3

Shaman ceremony

Take time to reflect on your experiences in the jungle with an experience that takes you deep into local culture and traditions. Be invited to the home of a local shaman, who will guide you and fellow travelers through a traditional cleansing ceremony.

ACTIVITY #3

Shaman ceremony

Take time to reflect on your experiences in the jungle with an experience that takes you deep into local culture and traditions. Be invited to the home of a local shaman, who will guide you and fellow travelers through a traditional cleansing ceremony.

ACTIVITY #4

Be part of a community project

Have the opportunity to give back directly to the places you’re visiting—we can arrange for you to spend time contributing to a local project with our charity partner, WE Charity, such as helping build a school or medical clinic.

ACTIVITY #4

Be part of a community project

Have the opportunity to give back directly to the places you’re visiting—we can arrange for you to spend time contributing to a local project with our charity partner, WE Charity, such as helping build a school or medical clinic.

Getting there

Start your journey in Ecuador’s historic capital city of Quito, perched in the Andean foothills. Meet our team and be transported to Minga Lodge in the Amazon basin, arriving at the lodge via motorized canoe.

Extension #1

The Andes

3 nights from $1,795 USD per person, based on double occupancy.

Surrounded by volcanoes and slope-side villages, Otavalo’s rich farming history is complemented by its well-known market, a kaleidoscope of bold color from textiles, handicrafts, jewelry and more. Explore its many vendors in an area that predates the Incan period, where traders once roamed. Trek up Cotopaxi, the second-highest volcano in the country, bordered by pristine forests and exotic fauna.

Enquire Now
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Extension #1

The Andes

3 nights from $1,795 USD per person, based on double occupancy.

Surrounded by volcanoes and slope-side villages, Otavalo’s rich farming history is complemented by its well-known market, a kaleidoscope of bold color from textiles, handicrafts, jewelry and more. Explore its many vendors in an area that predates the Incan period, where traders once roamed. Trek up Cotopaxi, the second-highest volcano in the country, bordered by pristine forests and exotic fauna.

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Enquire Now
Extension #2

Galapagos

3 nights from $3,395 USD per person, including round-trip flight, based on double occupancy.

Whether by land or sea, experience this paradise at your comfort level. Weave through volcanic islands by yacht to see exotic species once studied by Charles Darwin—keep an eye out for tortoises, penguins and other birds and sea life. Or embark on daily excursions to surrounding islands from your comfortable boutique hotel on Santa Cruz Island, home to the Charles Darwin Research Station. The highlands of Santa Cruz also boast vibrant flora and famous lava tunnels.

Enquire Now
Extension #2

Galapagos

3 nights from $3,395 USD per person, including round-trip flight, based on double occupancy.

Whether by land or sea, experience this paradise at your comfort level. Weave through volcanic islands by yacht to see exotic species once studied by Charles Darwin—keep an eye out for tortoises, penguins and other birds and sea life. Or embark on daily excursions to surrounding islands from your comfortable boutique hotel on Santa Cruz Island, home to the Charles Darwin Research Station. The highlands of Santa Cruz also boast vibrant flora and famous lava tunnels.

Enquire Now
Extension #3

Machu Picchu

5 nights from $2,295 USD per person, including local flights from Quito to Cusco and Cusco to Lima.

Roam the complex maze of intricate stone palaces, temples and homes that create this archaeological phenomenon. The ruins of Machu Picchu sit perched on a ridge 2,000-feet high, where you’ll capture stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. A must-see for any traveler, this 500-year-old site provides an incredible experience of human history fused with nature.

Enquire Now
Extension #3

Machu Picchu

5 nights from $2,295 USD per person, including local flights from Quito to Cusco and Cusco to Lima.

Roam the complex maze of intricate stone palaces, temples and homes that create this archaeological phenomenon. The ruins of Machu Picchu sit perched on a ridge 2,000-feet high, where you’ll capture stunning views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. A must-see for any traveler, this 500-year-old site provides an incredible experience of human history fused with nature.

Enquire Now