Policies and Respect for the Natural Environment

Policies and respect for nature.

rules and regulations

Our company has taken responsibility for protecting nature and respecting the environment, we expect our clients and visitors to be equally respectful. These prolonged policies have helped create an environment where wildlife does not feel threatened and by inspiring confidence allows us to continue making quality and meaningful observations in our reserve. This also applies to the other reserves which we may visit.

  1. Under no circumstances attempt to touch insects, snakes, frogs, birds or other creatures. If you observe a problem alert your guide, who has specialized training and may on occasion have to assist.
  2. Rules may vary slightly from one reserve or lodge to another, your guide will advise you if there are differences.
  3. Do not leave the designated paths they have been constructed to give access to many different areas within the reserve, they are not random. Stepping off a trail could crush small ground or underground living creatures. The scent of humans is perceived by sensitive wildlife, which has become accustomed to notice human presence in certain areas and not others.
  4. Herbarium and other collecting is not permitted. While specialized scientific permits are available from Ecuadorian government offices, the procedure is tedious, long and rigorous. Permits do not extend to collecting in private lands or reserves. Penalties for trafficking plants and wildlife are severe.

Recommendations and regulations.

Travellers all want to see and photograph, this amazingly diverse country. To take a portfolio of wonderful images and memories is the aim of most of our visitors. Birds, Orchids, Snakes, Frogs, Toads and Insects offer such unparalleled diversity that it is hard to fail. However there are risks and going home safe and sound with a great collection of images means minimizing risks and maximizing opportunities. Here are some important details…

  1. Guides, tour leaders and other staff are trained to work in their chosen environment. They understand where they are and it is important that, you the visitor, follow instructions.
  2. Your health and fitness will affect your experience while on visits. Not all observations are made from easy trails in ideal climatic conditions. Some hikes can be long and arduous through rough terrain. Being fit and in good health before you arrive is optimum to your experience.
  3. Eating on the street and drinking questionable water have ended many potentially great trips. Don’t risk it, away from the lodges eat safely, choose foods which have been well cooked and are served hot, fruits and vegetables which can be cooked or peeled. Avoid fresh salads, raw seafoods, untreated water or tap water. When possible wash your hands or use sanitizers, these are the best ways to avoid diarrhea, worms, parasites and other intestinal diseases.
  4. Please advise us if you have any dietary restrictions or allergies.
  5. Check on vaccinations; most tropical visitors are advised to get yellow fever (good for a lifetime), tetanus (2 years) and hepatitis. Ecuador does not currently require all these for tourist entry, just for certain areas such as the Yasuni National Park.
  6. Flying insects such as sandflies, mosquitos and reduvilid bugs can transmit a variety of diseases like chagas, chikungunya, dengue, leishmaniasis, malaria and zika. Avoid exposure by using insect repellents, mosquito nets and cover up. Specially treated repellent fabric clothing is frequently sold at quality outfitters. For preventative malarial prophylaxis consult your medical centre or physician. Insect vectors rarely thrive above 1000 meters and don’t survive above 2000 meters, be aware of your itinerary and the altitudes you will be at.
  7. Photo Safaris by their very nature come into close contact with insects, birds and other animals. Safe interaction requires observation of basic respect, keep a safe distance, do not attempt to touch and do treat them as potentially harmful. Many insects, caterpillars, amphibians and reptiles have defense mechanisms which can cause pain and harmful reactions. Stay on paths and trails, take only photos and memories.
  8. Photo safaris are not like visiting the zoo, flora and fauna live in balance with nature. What you will see depends upon local climatic conditions, time of year and moon phases. No one species can be 100% guaranteed, but opportunities increase by choosing your season. Orchids flower at the end of rainy seasons, most birds reproduce in fruiting seasons, courtship displays begin with potential food abundance. Insects, reptiles and other herps like the rainy seasons and of course night walks can be greatly enhanced by the full moon.
  9. Most accidents can be avoided by using common sense, watch where you step, use knee high rubber boots (protection from mud, dust, snake bite and sandflies), carry insect repellent and safe water, use a hat; straps, handles and tapes should not be flapping loose. For night walks headlamps leave your hands free, do not sit on random logs or stumps. Ask your guide before swimming in jungle rivers or lakes where caiman, anacondas, electric eels and piranha could be an issue.
  10. While on tour at reserves or lodges theft is unlikely, however if you are at bus stations, busy markets or on crowded streets be vigilant. Do not show or display expensive equipment or jewelry (this is advertising to a thief). Don’t carry all your valuables in one place, keep some small bills or change in various pockets, the loss of $5 US is better than a wallet full of cash and cards.
  11. Travel insurance brings peace of mind in many situations, coverage for you and your personal belongings, against loss or damage, and of course medical coverage is advised. Medical care in major cities is of high standard but many rural areas have few facilities. Most doctors and hospitals will require cash or card payments and will provide receipts which you can present to your insurance for reimbursement. Choose your insurance coverage with tropical travel in mind.
  12. Non prescription drugs are not permitted on our tours, workshops, expeditions or other visits. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed at scientific stations, though most lodges will have a bar and may serve drinks with meals. Smoking in reserves and natural areas is inappropriate, though some lodges and public places do have designated smoking areas.