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! Classic Ecuador Ecotour will take place June 5th to 15th, 2019.
The SAVE THE FROGS! Classic Ecuador Ecotour will bring us to some of our all-time favorite destinations in the Amazon rainforest, the cloud forests of Mindo and the Andes mountains. As on all our ecotours, we will have 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!
We hope to see you in Ecuador!
“We never would have imagined the powerful connections we made with both the group and the amazing country of Ecuador and it’s beautiful people. We are forever grateful for your friendship. We are forever changed by our experiences. We will see both you and Ecuador again.”
— Kelly Geer, Participant of the 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour
The SAVE THE FROGS! Classic 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 ran this ecotour and they were all huge successes. Each year, we refine the tour to ensure it continues to delight and inspire. We aim to make the 2019 SAVE THE FROGS! Classic Ecuador Ecotour an incredible experience for all involved.
This ecotour has been designed to be fun, safe and intellectually stimulating for all travelers enthusiastic about amphibians and tropical wildlife. 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.
The ecotour has a frog focus, but is much more than just frogs. We will visit the Amazon rainforest; the thermal pools of Papallacta, the cloud forests of Mindo; and will get to explore the historic center of old town Quito. We can’t wait to see you in Ecuador!
“I can honestly say it was the best trip of my life (and I’ve travelled a lot!)”
– Melissa Steele-Ogus, 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour Participant
- Experience the remote Amazon rainforests and learn about the indigenous tribes that inhabit the region.
- Search for glass frogs, tree frogs, monkeys and toucans in some of the world’s most biodiverse habitats.
- Soak in the rejuvenating thermal pools of Papallacta, with the Andes mountains soaring above.
- Join a community of passionate, dedicated frog lovers for the experience of a lifetime
- Learn all about amphibians, tropical forests, environmental conservation and how ecotourism directly benefits the Ecuadorian flora and fauna.
- 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.
“The Save The Frogs Ecotour was a life changing experience for me. It’s one of the most magical things that I’ve ever experienced.“
— Stephanie Steelman, 2017 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour Participant
We will visit a variety of Ecuadorian ecosystems and stay in very pleasant ecolodges and biological stations, detailed below.
A glass frog from Mindo, home to more species of glass frogs than anywhere on the planet!
The SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour officially begins at 6pm on June 5th, 2019 at the Rukka Lodge. This relaxing lodge is located in Tumbaco, on the outskirts of Quito, not far from the airport. We will spend one night here to have dinner, meet the group, and go over expectations and logistics for our tour. If you need transportation from the Quito airport (UIO) on June 4th or 5th, 2019, we will arrange that.
The Suchipakari Jungle Lodge will provide you with an amazing introduction to the Ecuadorian Amazon. Suchipakari is located along the Pusuno River, a tributary of the Napo River, which eventually leads to the mighty Amazon! The lodge is tucked away to provide a beautiful and secluded experience – we will need to walk about 15 minutes from the carpark to get to the lodge (we can assist you with your luggage!). We will spend the nights of June 6th and 7th, 2019 here.
Suchipakari sits in the middle of the lush green forests, wild jungle, and flowing rivers. We will stay at Suchipakari Jungle Lodge for two nights in their remodeled rooms and cabins, to offer you a comfortable stay while also feeling close to nature. Suchipakari offers a diverse experience exploring rivers, waterfalls, jungle, and of course plenty of opportunities to see wild frogs in their native habitat! The lodge offers a pool, a beautiful dining area where the calls of frogs will make your dinner memorable, and many activities in and around the property. Suchipakari is a favorite SAVE THE FROGS! location and we are sure you will enjoy your stay.
“It has been a wonderful trip of beautiful scenery, spectacular wildlife, new friendships, rich history, wonderful food, amazing experiences, and boundless new knowledge.”
— George Quiroga, Photographer & Participant on the 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour
The jungle stream at Suchipakari, our destination in the Amazon. Is it lush enough for you?
Suchipakari is a fantastic introduction to the amazing biodiversity of the Amazon!
From Suchipakari, we will take a boat downriver to visit Amazoonico, a native wildlife rehabilitation center set amidst the rainforest. Don’t be surprised if you come across of troop of squirrel monkeys feeding in the trees overhead.
We are excited to announce that this year’s Ecuador Ecotour group will be returning for two nights to the unique Anaconda Lodge (June 8th and 9th, 2019). Located on Anaconda Island in the heart of the rainforest, the Anaconda Lodge has much to offer. Anaconda Lodge is like nowhere else, not just based on its location – a half hour boat ride down the Napo River – but also its history and how it has integrated into the local community and supported the local people. We will tour a local village, have indigenous guides, and find a multitude of frogs on site. There is no more of an authentic stay within the Ecuadorian Amazon. If we are lucky, we may even find the caecilians (a rarely seen, limbless amphibian that lives underground) — as our 2017 group did.
Views from Anaconda Island, Ecuadorian Amazon
We always find much more than just amphibians. Keep your eye open for lizards, raptors, butterflies, monkeys and more.
Papallacta is a luxurious getaway in the paramo ecosystem of the mid-altitude Andes. We will stop at Papallacta for the night of June 10th, 2019, to rejuvenate in the famous thermal hot springs after four nights exploring the Amazon. You will have elegant cabins, delicious food, and 24-hour access to private mineral pools. Apart from its relaxing hot springs, we will be surrounded by the incredible Cayambe-Coca National Park. We will have the opportunity to hike and explore the high elevation ecosystem, as well as listen to a presentation from a local park guide and eat amazing food.
— Shenandoah Marr, 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotourist, while soaking in the Papallacta thermal pools
These thermal pools will feel amazing after four nights in the Amazon!
To continue our frogging explorations our group will head to the town of Mindo. Located in the famous Ecuadorian cloud forest ecosystem, Mindo has a unique history of conservation, sustainable tourism, and species preservation. We will stay in Mindo for three nights (June 11, 12, 13) at the Casa Divina Lodge, a natural lodge symbiotic with the local environment. The owners Molly and Efrain ensure not only a comfortable stay relaxing to the sounds and sights of nature, but also direct conservation by using local, organic ingredients, hiring native guides, and giving presentations to all visiting groups. There are hiking trails, lounging areas, beautiful accommodations, and plenty of wildlife sighting, including frogs near your cabin! We will also have the opportunity to explore different activities within the community of Mindo, such as zip lining, birding and learning how chocolate is made.
“This was the crown jewel of the trip in every way. Outstanding accommodations, wonderful setting, spectacular surrounding scenery, great little town, the absolute best staff, wonderful guides, great food and activities.”
— 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotourist Mike Horton on Casa Divina
Casa Divina: our home in the cloud forest for three nights
There are many frogs living on the Casa Divina property, and we will also explore the frog fauna at nearby nature reserves.
During the day, you will be able to hike to this beautiful waterfall.
We will spend our final night of the ecotour (June 14th, 2019) in the capital city of Quito. You will have the opportunity to take a walking tour of the Centro Historico (the old part of Quito), which was declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity thanks to its well preserved architectural beauty. You will be able to shop in local artisanal markets to bring home souvenirs.
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 June 15th, 2019, we will have breakfast and depart with wonderful frog-filled memories of Ecuador!
Centro Historico in Quito
After the tour ends:
If you are staying after the tour, your tour leader Chelsea Carson can likely accompany you up the Teleferico (the world’s highest operating cable car) for a hike high above the city on the afternoon of June 15th. SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger enjoys this hike so much, he has done it four times!
Cotopaxi at sunset, view from above the Teleferico
Rucu Pichincha (4,794m above sea level), the extinct volcano above Quito.
It may be a major city, but Quito does have frogs! We found this frog calling below the Teleferico during the 2016 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour.
Our group will consist of up to 15 participants, one SAVE THE FROGS! Tour Leader and one Amphibian Guide. We split into multiple groups whenever possible when we are searching for wildlife or going on hikes.
Who comes on a SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour? All types of nature enthusiasts and travelers! We’ve had professional biologists and people with no experience in environmental fields; kids as young as 9; adult kids with 83 years of life experience; people from the USA, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK and elsewhere. If you love frogs and exploring new places, you will love the SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour!
Meet Your Tour Leader
“Hello fellow SAVE THE FROGS! friends, my name is Chelsea Carson, and I am looking forward to being your Tour Leader on the SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour. I am a conservation biologist with a speciality in herpetology and community service outreach. I recently completed a Fulbright grant researching the effects of land uses on Ecuador’s amphibian populations. Since I first visited South America in 2014 I have been in love with the ecosystems, culture, and wildlife. Originally coming to study ecology and conservation, I have focused on amphibian biology and have spent over a year and a half living in South America. With these experiences I have grown to respect and cherish the beautiful ecosystems that this continent has to offer.
I have volunteered for SAVE THE FROGS! since 2013, organizing and conducting a variety of events to increase the knowledge of local issues affecting amphibians. In 2016 and 2017 I co-led the SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotours. Our groups of frog enthusiasts had an amazing time exploring the cloudforests, jungle, and Andes. In September 2017, I traveled through Ghana for 17 days as a member of the SAVE THE FROGS! Ghana Expedition, educating university students and children about the value of amphibians and how to work with local communities to achieve conservation success. In November 2016, I led the inaugural SAVE THE FROGS! Peru Ecotour, taking our group to the Peruvian Amazon and cloud forests as well as Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley.
I look forward to finding frogs with you in Ecuador!”
SAVE THE FROGS! South America Coordinator Chelsea Carson has been organizing and leading SAVE THE FROGS! events since 2013. On top of being fun to travel with, she has lots of experience in ecology, amphibian conservation, wilderness medicine, Ecuadorian travel, yoga instruction and an array of other skills that will ensure you the highest likelihood of having a safe, enjoyable and throughly unforgettable ecotour.
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. Jaime has accompanied us on every SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour since 2016!
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
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.
“I work in ecotourism and would love to do an ecotour in a different ecosystem and photograph frogs, turtles, sloths, plants, landscapes, etc. I think it’s important to choose tours that are ecologically conscious and responsible and SAVE THE FROGS! sounds like a great option.”
— Sara G., Ecology teacher, Chile
We will probably see some snakes in Ecuador…that’s one reason we start the tour with a safety discussion! A bit of preparation goes a long way to ensuring you have a safe and pleasant ecotour.
Monkey Frog photo by Katie O’Donnell, who participated in the SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador and Peru Ecotours.
Are you ready to join SAVE THE FROGS! Classic Ecuador Ecotour? Fabulous!
The 2019 SAVE THE FROGS! Classic Ecuador Ecotour pricing is as follows:
- Base cost for one frog enthusiast: $3,495
- Base cost for a party of two: $6,745
- Base cost for a group of three: $9,945
- Base cost for a group of four: $12,985
- 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 April 5th, 2019.
- Failure to pay in full by April 5th, 2019 may result in forfeiture of your deposit money and your space on the ecotour.
- We accept checks and credit cards.
Photo of Epipedobates bilinguis by Dr. Kaya Klop-Toker
- To cancel your tour, you must notify us directly.
- If you cancel on or prior to April 5th, your entire trip will be refunded, minus your deposit (as deposits are non-refundable).
- If you cancel after April 5th, 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.
Sunset above Quito, with Cotopaxi in the background
If you would like to join the SAVE THE FROGS! Classic 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!
Photo of Pristimantis ornatissimus by Jaime Culebras, who will be joining our group in the Amazon to share his amphibian and photographic expertise.
Thanks for your interest in SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotours and we hope to see you in Ecuador soon!