Have you ever wanted to explore the Amazon rainforest, learn from experts about tropical ecology, or experience the beauty of the Andes mountains? How about all three? Well now is your chance to experience all of that and more! We invite you to join the 2019 SAVE THE FROGS! Eastern Ecuador Ecotour, which will take place March 10th to 17th, 2019.
This brand new SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour will encompass the Amazon rainforest and the cloud forests of the Sumaco volcano, with an abundance of opportunities to find and photograph amphibians. Ecuador has an incredible array of biodiversity, landscapes and ecosystems, and is home to 617 known amphibian species, all within a very small geographical area. There are lots of frogs to be found, making Ecuador a perfect place for a SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour.
Please complete the expression of interest form at the bottom of this page if you would would like to join the tour. If you have questions, please email us at email@example.com or call 415-878-6525 and leave a message. We will get back to you as soon as possible!
Please note that this Eastern Ecuador Ecotour is immediately followed by the SAVE THE FROGS! Central Ecuador Ecotour and we encourage you to take part in both.
The SAVE THE FROGS! Eastern Ecuador Ecotour will truly be an experience of a lifetime. We carefully chose locations that are amazing, unique and thoroughly unforgettable, that offer the best in travel, wildlife, culture and education.
In 2016, 2017 and 2018, we led SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotours to other regions of the country, and they were huge successes. By popular demand from ecotourists hoping to return to Ecuador for more amphibious adventures, we created this brand new tour. We aim to make the 2019 SAVE THE FROGS! Eastern Ecuador Ecotour an equally amazing experience. We know that it will be incredible based on our years of experience in the country, and our increased knowledge of the country’s wildlife hotspots. This ecotour has been designed to be fun, safe and intellectually stimulating for all travelers enthusiastic about amphibians and tropical wildlife.
The ecotour has a frog focus, but is much more than just frogs. We will be in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions and will have ample opportunity to photograph birds, monkeys and reptiles; we will be led by a variety of guides with a wide range of knowledge on Ecuador’s native flora and fauna.
There will be lots of excitement through each place we visit as we learn about ecology, conservation, and environmental protection. And with a group of SAVE THE FROGS! participants and your tour leaders, there will certainly be lots of smiles, laughs, and learning going around.
We hope to see you in Ecuador!
- Search for poison dart frogs, monkeys, parrots, toucans and more in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
- Travel on a boat to our remote ecolodge surrounded by dense jungles
- Join a community of passionate, dedicated frog lovers for the experience of a lifetime
- Learn all about amphibians, tropical rainforests, environmental conservation and how ecotourism benefits the Ecuadorian flora and fauna.
- Spend time in beautiful natural areas with incredibly knowledgeable local guides.
- Your participation directly funds SAVE THE FROGS! worldwide amphibian conservation efforts and supports local communities in Ecuador that are dedicated to land and wildlife protection.
We will visit a variety of Ecuadorian ecosystems and stay in very pleasant ecolodges, as detailed below.
Our trip begins and ends in Quito, Ecuador. Upon arriving at the Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO), we will transport you to the Rukka Lodge in Tumbaco, on the outskirts of the city and only a short drive from the airport. We will spend the afternoon of March 10th, 2019 relaxing and meeting our fellow ecotourists. The hotel gardens are a great place to read a book or use wifi before we head into the remoteness of the jungle, and it a short walk to the town if you need to find a grocery store, pharmacy or buy any last-minute items.
On the morning of March 11th, 2019, we will return to the Quito airport and fly 45 minutes east, crossing the eastern Andes and descending into the Amazon Basin at the town of Coca (Francisco de Orellana), which is situated at the junction of the Coca, Payamino, and Napo Rivers.
We will take motorized canoes an hour or so down the Napo River, delighting in the jungle views and sporadic animal sightings. At last we will arrive at the beautiful Yarina Lodge, one of the best places to view wildlife in Ecuador. Yarina is a privately owned 550-hectare rainforest reserve located near the world famous Yasuni National Park.
We will spend three nights at this wonderland for wildlife! Located in Ecuador’s Oriente (Eastern region), Yarina is a true tropical paradise, with thousands of species of orchid, sloths, monkeys, macaws, and even pink river dolphins. Yarina Lodge also serves as home to the Arcadia Rescue Center, which supports the conservation and rescue of native wildlife in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
By day, we will hike the surroundings with our local guides, learning about the rainforest, wildlife and the indigenous tribes that have lived in the area for thousands of years. At night we will go out into the rainforest to look for frogs! And undoubtedly we will find many, as eastern Ecuador is one of the world’s most biodiverse amphibian hotspots.
The Yarina Lodge is an aesthetically pleasing, relaxing and comfortable jungle retreat with excellent Ecuadorian food, including a variety of fresh tropical fruits. As on all SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotours, we do our best to accomplish a range of dietary preferences, so rest assured we have you covered.
Here are some more in-depth details about our time in the Amazon:
March 11th, 2019:
Once we arrive at the hotel we will settle down and have our lunch to recover energy. On our first afternoon we will visit the Socali Trail, set in a variety of jungle terrains, including primary (virgin) forest. After the activities we will return to the lodge for dinner and then enjoy our first night of Amazonian frogwatching!
March 12th, 2019:
In the morning, we will take the Toucan path to one of the highest observation towers in the Amazon. We will take our time observing a wide variety of canopy birds and then return to the lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon, we will visit the path of the Caymans, where we will have the opportunity to learn from our local guides about the use of some plants within the indigenous culture. We will able to delight ourselves with the sounds of birds, monkeys, insects and other animals and take boat tours of the river and lagoon.
After dinner, we will don our headlights and search for nocturnal fauna. If we are lucky, we will see caimans in the lagoon, and of course, lots of frogs.
March 13th, 2019:
After breakfast we will take a canoe upstream into the jungle, and look for butterflies, orchids, amphibians, and all kinds of fauna and flora on the Dos Ramas trail. Here we will take a short walk to learn more about medicinal plants, birds and animals. Then we will return to the lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon, we will enjoy ourselves the shores of the mighty Napo River, with an afternoon of swimming and knowledge of the Napo River banks and its indigenous inhabitants. At night, we will take a walk to see amphibians in the forest.
March 14th, 2019:
After breakfast, we will say goodbye to the deep Amazon and return by boat to Coca.
From Coca, we will board a comfortable private bus and head an hour and a half west, climbing into the Andes and arriving at the Wildsumaco Lodge, where we will spend the nights of March 14th and 15th, 2019. Located at 1,480m (4,900 ft) on the slopes of Volcan Sumaco (3,730 m; 12,250 ft), the lodge has both a pleasant temperature and amazing views.
The lodge was created by conservationists from Sweden and the USA to protect the surrounding forest from logging. While well-known to the birding community for the incredible birdwatching opportunities, Wildsumaco is an equally excellent place for amphibians and we are certain to find an entirely new assemblage of amphibians here compared with the Amazon.
As always on SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotours, we will spend our days hiking, relaxing, finding wildlife and discussing conservation issues, and our nights will be filled with frogwatching.
Due to its proximity to the rugged Andean foothills and the Amazon rainforest, Wildsumaco is one of the best places in Ecuador for bird watching. It has a wonderful mix of cloud forest species and Amazonian birds that share an exuberant subtropical forest.
On clear days, its panoramic views can privilege us with landscapes that go beyond the Pucuno river valley, to the distant snowy summits of the Antisana, El Altar and Tungurahua volcanoes. To the north you can often see the Sumaco volcano peeking through the clouds.
Here are some more in-depth details about our time at Sumaco:
March 14th, 2019:
Once we arrive at the lodge, we will have lunch and settle into our rooms. After a welcome speech and introduction to the place, we will take a walk around the reserve. After dinner we will go in search of amphibians and other creatures of the night.
March 15th, 2019:
We will get up early in the morning to accompany the birds at sunrise. After breakfast, we can relax and have a discussion on SAVE THE FROGS! amphibian conservation efforts and ways to get involved beyond the ecotour. After lunch we will have a talk about the frogs and the species of the Sumaco region. We will also have time to take photographs, because thanks to its variety of fauna and flora and beautiful landscapes, this is a place that deserves to be stored in our camera memories. After dinner we will do a night walk.
March 16th, 2019:
After breakfast we will take a walk to enjoy the forest one last time. After lunch, we will bid farewell to Sumaco and head to Quito, the country’s capital.
Return To Quito
After lunch on March 16th, we will head to the historic center of Quito and stay the night at Casa Gardenia, our favorite hotel in the city. We will be able to explore the Centro Historico (the old part of Quito), which was declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity thanks to it vwell preserved architectural beauty.
At night we will enjoy our last dinner together, accompanied by laughs and memories of the trip. We will have dinner high above the city at Pim’s Panecillo, which boasts not only excellent food, but an incredible panoramic view of the city.
On the morning of March 17th, 2019, we will arrange transportation for you to the airport (UIO) if you are leaving, and say our goodbyes!
If you are taking part in our SAVE THE FROGS! Central Ecuador Ecotour, which begins the morning of March 17th, you will be right where you need to be to start that leg of your journey.
Our group will consist of up to 15 participants, one tour leader and an amphibian guide. During hikes, we will split into smaller groups.
Meet Your Tour Leader
Hi, my name is Dr. Kerry Kriger and I am the Founder & Executive Director of SAVE THE FROGS!. I am an amphibian biologist and have helped coordinate over 2,000 educational events in 60+ countries to raise awareness of the threats amphibians face and ways people can help. I have also traveled to 60+ countries, including every country in Central and South America. My first visit to Ecuador was in 2015 to organize the first SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour, and I returned in 2016 and 2018 to lead the ecotours. Ecuador has incredible wildlife, beaches, rainforest and volcanoes and I am very excited to introduce you to Ecuador’s amphibians as well as the country’s rich culture. Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet and a SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour is something you will remember for the rest of your life. I look forward to frogging Ecuador with you!
Meet Your Your Amphibian Guide
Amphibian biologist Jaime Culebras will join us as our Amphibian Guide and be providing in-depth knowledge of Ecuador’s amazing amphibians as well as photography advice and a few laughs.
Photos & Stories From Past Years’ Tours
Please take a look at photos and read stories from our past SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotours to inspire you and give you a good idea of what you can expect on your tour:
- Photos from the 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour
- Photos from the 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour
- Read Stephanie Steelman’s account of her Ecuador Ecotour
- Read George Quiroga’s account of his Ecuador Ecotour
“I can honestly say it was the best trip of my life (and I’ve travelled a lot!)”
– Melissa Steele-Ogus, 2017 Ecuador Ecotour Participant
Prepare For Your Ecuador Ecotour
Traveling in Ecuador may be a different experience than what you are accustomed to, so we wrote this article with Ecuador travel tips! Please read it so you are well-prepared for your adventure in Ecuador.
Are you ready to join SAVE THE FROGS! in Ecuador? Fabulous!
The 2019 SAVE THE FROGS! Eastern Ecuador Ecotour pricing is as follows:
- Base cost for one frog enthusiast: $2,795
- Base cost for a party of two: $5,345
- Base cost for a group of three: $7,875
- Base cost for a group of four: $10,375
- Student Discount: Full-time students receive a $100 discount.
- Members Discount: SAVE THE FROGS! Members receive a $100 discount.
- If you are traveling alone and want a private room at additional cost, contact us to determine availability; otherwise we will pair you with a roommate at no additional cost.
All proceeds support SAVE THE FROGS! worldwide amphibian conservation efforts, enabling us to protect amphibians and promote a society that respects and appreciates wildlife and nature.
Your ecotour payment will cover:
- All lodging
- All meals
- In-country transportation and entrance to parks and reserves
- World-class tour guides and their scientific expertise
It is your responsibility to pay your own costs of:
- Airfare to and from Ecuador (the tour begins and ends at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport: UIO)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Travel insurance
- Optional adventure tourism activities
- Note again that you will be required to pay your own airfare to and from Ecuador.
Payment options & securing your space on the tour
- To secure your space on the tour, you can pay a $1,000 per person non-refundable deposit if you prefer not to pay in full all at once.
- Full payment is due by February 1st, 2019.
- Failure to pay in full by February 1st, 2019 may result in forfeiture of your deposit money and your space on the ecotour.
- We accept checks and credit cards.
- To cancel your tour, you must notify us directly.
- If you cancel on or prior to February 1st, your entire trip will be refunded, minus your deposit (as deposits are non-refundable).
- If you cancel after February 1st, you forfeit your entire trip fee.
- As such, we strongly recommend all ecotourists purchase travel insurance immediately after signing up for the tour, as such insurance generally covers unforeseen events that lead to cancellations.
Terms & Conditions
In order to take part on this trip, you will be required to sign a liability waiver acknowledging the inherent risks of ecotourism in Ecuador, and legally releasing SAVE THE FROGS! and affiliated trip operators and personnel from legal damages and consequences. Please click here for our full ecotour terms and conditions.
If you would like to join the SAVE THE FROGS! Eastern Ecuador Ecotour and have the trip of your lifetime, then you are in the right place! Please take a few moments to complete the Expression of Interest Form below, and we will be in touch with you soon to answer all your questions and help you register. We are looking forward to finding frogs and enjoying Ecuador’s spectacular scenery with you!
On the morning of March 17th, we will lead a small group (5 participants, one leader and one amphibian guide) on a separate five day tour of central Ecuador (the inaugural SAVE THE FROGS! Central Ecuador Ecotour). We welcome you to join us as we visit new ecosystems, find a lot more frogs and hike around Laguna Quilatoa, one of South America’s most stunning alpine lakes.
Thanks for your interest in SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotours and we hope to see you in Ecuador soon!