We advise participants to be most vigilant about safety concerns during the arrival and the departure parts of their trip. We want you to concentrate on making sure all their valuables are safe while you deal with moving from one place to the other.
To accommodate Cachamsi participants, we offer private, comfortable transportation by experienced drivers from Quito/Guayaquil to Riobamba on arrival and departure. After you have lived in Ecuador for a while, you may find that cabbies charge anywhere from $60-$110 for a trip from Quito to Riobamba depending on the type of car/cab, if they stop at touristy destinations along the way, are contracted with a tour agency, etc. Many of these are fine alternatives, but for our private transportation, we have established ties with safe drivers who operate safe vehicles. It is very common for cabbies to speed and pass on curves (which is especially dangerous on the thin roads in the Andes), but we have given strict instructions to our drivers not to do this, and to drive safely above all else - and we tell our students to report to Dr. Duchicela if they feel the driver was going too fast or taking unsafe turns.
Buses are also available from Quito/Guayaquil to Riobamba and cost anywhere from $4-$10. However, they can sometimes get pretty crowded, and traveling with lots of luggage on a bus can be a pain. They are better suited for a weekend trip to the beach, when you only have a small suitcase or backpack. Please note that in the past, students have lost/had stolen their backpacks, cameras, and passports on buses.
Usually, participants arrive in Quito on a Saturday (Places of lodging near the new airport and
Quito city). You will email Pablo Martínez (firstname.lastname@example.org, cc:email@example.com)
with info on when your flight arrives and where you are staying so our driver
may pick you up from your hotel on Sunday. The ride from Quito to Riobamba takes
about four hours, and the driver usually leaves around 09 am on Sunday. If you
arrive into the airport on Sunday, try to make your flight reservations
accordingly so that you arrive before 08 am.
At the end of the program, the participants leave late Friday morning for Quito. Our driver will take them to the hotel of their choice. Usually the participants will depart back to the US that Saturday or Sunday.
The program will provide round trip private transportation when traveling from Riobamba to the communities of Cacha.
Other points in regards to travel:
- -We do not not advise long bus rides or trips at night.
- -If possible, arrive at the international airport in Quito. The trip from Quito to Riobamba is quicker than it is from Guayaquil, and the road is in better condition.
- -If flying into Guayaquil, past participants have found it more comfortable to spend a night in Guayaquil before taking off for Riobamba, simply because the bus ride can be up to 7 hours.
There are a great many places to explore in Ecuador, from Galapagos to the highlands to the Amazon. Many students organize impromptu weekend trips on their own. There are number of hiking trails around the communities of Cacha. Some decide to go to the coast for a few days, others go biking or rafting in Los Banos. A particular favorite is the cloud forest of Mindo. Cinto Cloud Forest is a trusted lodge and retreat in Mindo that offers beautiful amenities, wildlife walks and hiking.
Cinto Cloud Forest: www.cintocloudforest.com