Tourism and homestay

 

We offer tourists the possibility to visit Chinimp Tuna Station. In the forest and Copataza River you can explore and learn about the forest, flora and fauna as well as traditional use of plants, medicine and hunting techniques. You will be accommodated in the community which provides an excellent opportunity to learn about Quichua and Shuar culture.

 

We offer both short and long term visits for individuals and groups. Home stays with Shuar families can also be arranged for visitors who want to stay longer and getting to know more about everyday life for the Shuar people. Our guides are always locals from the community and they know the forest, plants and animals very well as well of the use of the medicinal plants.

 

The station can be visited by anybody that is able to cope with rustic living conditions, basic food and has common sense sensitivity to respecting the family and other members of the community. Some activities, such as longer treks into the forest interior require the visitor to be in good physical condition. If you have specific enquiries or requirements then these are best discussed before arrival, so that appropriate preparation can be made by you or the Chinimp Tuna Station.

 

Although there will often be a volunteer at the Station who may be able to assist communication, and some members of the family speak some English, basic Spanish language skills will greatly enhance your experience.

 

For visitors who wish to spent more time in the community than the normal tourist we offer the opportunity to stay with a Kichwa family for up to a month (possibly more). This type of stay is for visitors who want to unwind, read or write in a relaxed environment, while having the opportunity to participate in the daily activities of a Kichwa family, thus learning about life in this beautiful area of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

 

 

Activities

 

  • Jungle walks with a native guide who will explain about the flora, fauna and use of plants, hunting techniques and mythology connected to the plants and animals. 

 

  • Swimming in the Chinimp Tuna waterfall. Waterfalls are sacred places to both Kichwa and Shuar. Waterfalls are powerful places where you can meet the divine force Arutam and the spirit of your forefathers when bathing after fasting. It’s also a great place to cool and relax after a long jungle trek. 

 

  • Observe and attempt traditional crafts including ceramics, traditional knotted bags and baskets (shigra) and traditional adornments made using fibre and brightly colored seeds from the jungle.

 

  • Participate in the community activities such as volleyball, soccer, parties and dancing. 

 

  • Participate in traditions such as drinking Wayusa. Wayusa is a cleansing and slight hallucinogenic tea that you drink in the early hours of dawn to clean your stomach, mind and spirit. Normally the drinking is followed by a shower in the river. 

 

  • Go on the river on an inner tube or wooden raft

 

  • Join a fishing expedition and learn the different traditional techniques used.
  • Swimming in the 'natural pool' at the dam

 

 

Prices

 

The price for normal tourist (<1 week) is 25 USD per day. This covers food, lodging and guides. We charge a discounted rate for tourists/homestays of more than one week. This rate varies according to the activities the visitor wishes to experience. If a tourist visitor wishes to lengthen their stay, or alter their status to work as a volunteer then it may be possible to negotiate this.  

 

Please contact us with any enquiries: info@chinimptuna.com

 

How to get there

 

Location The Chinimp Tuna Station is located in the Pastaza province of the Ecuadorian Amazon. In order to get there, you will need to take a bus to Puyo. From Puyo there are two options. You can take direct buses leaving from the Mariscal terminal (This is not the main terminal where the bus from Quito arrives and is easiest to reach by taxi, which will cost 1 USD). Buses leave daily from 'el Terminal de Centinela del Oriente' at 2 pm and 4.30 pm. It will take about one and a half hours to get there. 

 

The station is located approximately 1 km before arriving at the Chico Copataza community and you will need to tell the driver to drop you of at a little before the 2. bridge (there is a sign saying Proyecto Chinimp Tuna). When you get of the bus you can ask for the Chumapi family. The bus fare from Puyo to the Station is 1.75 USD (Say you’re going to Sucre when they charge).

 

The second option is to take any bus heading towards Macas from the main terminal. Get of at km 38 in the village Simón Bolívar. From there you can it’s another 10 km to Chico Copataza and the Station. You can ask around for cars heading towards Chico Copataza and tell them to drop you of at the 2. bridge. Hiring a car alone costs 10 USD. If you get a hitch, they normally charged according to the number of passengers (10 USD between all passengers). If you can’t find a car, you can sleep for 4 - 5 USD in the Residencial Puerto Azul in Simón Bolívar and wait for the next direct buses. The buses pass the centre of Simón Bolívar. Ask around for help. It’s a small village and everybody will know where to get the bus.

 

What to bring?

 

Essential items

  • Raincoat or poncho
  • Rubber boots (can be purchased in Quito or Puyo)
  • Flashlight with spare batteries
  • Insect repellent (there has been no known cases of malaria in the area but there are many mosquitoes and other biting insects)
  • Water bottle
  • First aid kit- including generous supplies for dressing wounds against infection. Spare supplies will always be welcomed by the community.
  • Sunscreen
  • Work clothes. It is good to have clothes which will never be needed to be clean again. They should be light weight and quick drying, but also sturdy enough to protect you from insects, sun and vegetation.
  • Dry-bag or plastic sealable bags (good for protecting equipment such as a camera or first aid kit from humidity and water)
  • Swim suit

 

Other practical items

  • Mosquito net
  • Sleeping bag (there are blankets)
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
  • Toilet paper
  • Candles
  • Pocket knife
  • Work gloves
  • Sun glasses
  • Cap or hat
  • Sandals or flip-flops
  • Washing soap (Bio-degradable)
  • Plastic bags (for garbage)