Frequently Asked Questions

Apparently the minimum number of participants for your tours is two, but I am travelling alone. Can I go on your tours anyway?

If we have a confirmed group going on the same tour on the same day, we maybe can add you to that group and you pay the normal tour price for groups of 2-4 participants. If there are no other people for that day, we still could do the tour for you alone, but in that case you need to ask us for a costing first.

 

What are the indigenous communities like and what services can I expect?

Although the communities are in rural areas and standards of living are considerably lower than those in the city or in western countries, all communities in our network have basic services like running water, electricity, and cell phone coverage. There are also little shops selling everyday goods, and some communities even offer public internet facilities. The communities have between 500 and 2000 inhabitants, they are fairly close to the towns of Cotacachi and Otavalo, and some can be reached by public transport. There are NO banks or ATMs in the communities, only in the nearby towns of Otavalo and Cotacachi. The same is true for medical services like physicians, hospitals and farmacies.

 

What are the guest rooms like and what about food?

The guest rooms are simple, yet comfortable, and you will have your own private bathroom with hot water. Most rooms also feature an open chimney when nights get a bit cool. Bedding usually consists of one queen size double bed and one single bed per room. Some families have one guest room, whereas other families have 2 or 3 rooms to accommodate families and small groups.

Meals generally are eaten together with the host family, and although there is no menu to choose from, your host family will provide a healthy and varied diet for you. You also can use their kitchen in case you want to cook something for yourself (and maybe your host family).

 

I´m Vegetarian, Vegan, have certain food allergies and/or can´t eat certain meals due to religious reasons. Is that a problem?

Not at all. All the host families in our network have been trained to provide for any type of food restrictions. Just let us know in advance so that we can tell your host family in time.

 

How about language? My Spanish really isn´t that great. How do I communicate with my host family? And do your guides speak English?

All our host families speak Spanish and the native Kichua language. Some families also speak some English, especially their kids. Although at times you may encounter a certain language barrier in case you don´t speak any Spanish, you will be surprised how much one can say by nonverbal communication.

Some of our guides speak English, but you should let us know some days prior to your tour if you need an English-speaking guide so that we can schedule one accordingly.

 

I´m travelling with kids and want to stay with a host family that has kids in the same age range. Is that possible?

Of course. Just let us know in advance and we will find the perfect family for you.

 

Do the host families expect gifts or tips?

No. But if you were happy with your experience, of course you can leave a tip with your family. You also can bring gifts, but we strongly advise against any sort of sweets and toys with a questionable educational value. If you want to bring a gift, but are not sure which one, you always could ask us for recommendations.

 

I want to stay in an indigenous community, but also would like to go on some of your day tours. Can I be picked up and dropped off at my host family´s place?

Yes, of course. If you are staying with one of the families in the Runa Tupari network, we will pick you up and drop you off after your day tour. If you are staying in any other accommodation in the surroundings of Otavalo or Cotacachi, this applies as well, but may imply some surcharge depending on distance.

 

I just arrived in Ecuador and haven´t spent much time yet in the highlands. Will I get altitude-sick when I go on one of your tours?

Otavalo and Cotacachi both are at an altitude of app. 2.500m (8.200ft). Although you will feel the altitude when exercising for example, most people are absolutely fine during everyday activities. In case you are planning to hike in altitudes of 4.000m (13.100ft) and above, you should acclimatize for a couple of days and do some hikes at lower altitudes beforehand.

 

If you have any further questions, please let us know!

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How to find us

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Tel/Fax: (+593) 06 2922320
Mobile: (+593) 09 99590646