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