How do I get there?
You will be flying into Quito, Ecuador arriving on Saturday. Cheryl will meet you at the airport. We will stay in Quito the first night which is included in your registration. In our experience, flights from U.S. and Canada vary from $800 to $1,200 based on where you originate. On-line travel sites give great prices if you have the patience to check several times over a week or two. You can trust the South American Airlines such as Copa and Taca. They are safe, efficient and still include FULL meals on each flight with a glass of wine included! Once you have your flight arrangements, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Note: Flight Bonus-- A friend of Jim Collins from the blog Richmond Savers has graciously offered to guide each Chautauqua attendee through the process of hacking their travel to Ecuador for little or no cash outlay using points. Not only will this save you ~$500 in airfare (depending on where you're coming from), you'll pick up valuable $$ saving skills for future travel. If you are interested, once you register, send Brad an email with "Chautauqua" in the subject line: email@example.com.
What time should I arrive/leave?
The Chautauqua includes all meals beginning with dinner/snack on Saturday evening and ending with lunch on the last day. Most flights arrive late evening and depart late evening or after midnight. We realize many want to use frequent flyer miles for their flight and may arrive at odd hours. We will do our best to accommodate you for transportation within a reasonable time of the beginning and end of the Retreat.
We will check out of the resort after breakfast on Saturday and we will all head to Quito. At this point you have some options. If you have an early flight, we will get you to the airport. If your flight leaves in the evening, you can join our add-on Quito Cable Car ride. You may want to stay and travel more in Ecuador and leave from Quito to do that. You might want to join us on a Galapagos trip after the Chautauqua. If you have an early flight, we will get you to the airport.
What type of people attend?
We have had people from all walks of life attend and all have had one big thing in common: They are seeking to lead a different life. Many have said they found their tribe at the Chautauqua and have made life long friends. People have come from as far away as South Africa, Scotland, Australia and the United Kingdom with the majority arriving from the U.S. and Canada. We have woman and men who have traveled alone along with couples and friends. Now we are just waiting for YOU!
Can children attend?
Sorry, at this time we are unable to accommodate anyone under the age of 18.
Do I need a Visa to enter Ecuador?
American Citizens do not need a Visa prior to arriving in Ecuador. Your passport will be stamped with a 90 day Tourism Visa on arrival at the airport. Citizens arriving from other countries should check on-line for your Visa requirements.
Do I need any vaccines before coming?
You will not be in a malaria region, but check with your physician or on-line if you have any doubts. You may want to pack anti-diarrhea medicine just in case, because intestinal issues can always be a problem when traveling to a new country. Bottled water will always be on hand.
What are the room arrangements?
Couples and friends traveling together will share a room with private bath. Individuals traveling alone will have their own room with private bath.
What is NOT included in the price?
Your retreat fee covers everything from 6 p.m. Saturday the day of arrival until noon on the day of departure. Alcoholic beverages, gifts, or other personal expenses are not included in the price. The Quito Cable Car tour and the Galapagos tour is extra. You are also encouraged to purchase your own trip insurance at www.insuremytrip.com.
What clothing should I bring?
The weather will vary. Quito has cooler temps at night and can get down into the low 50’s because of the higher altitude (9,200 feet). (If you go on the cable car the last day, you WILL want a jacket because we go up to 13,200 feet.) The temperatures at the resort will be in the high 70's into the 80's during the day and down to 60 at night. You will need a bathing suit if you want to swim or relax in the jacuzzi. Dress casual. Bring a rain jacket and hiking shoes or boots.
What else should I bring?
SUNSCREEN! You will be on the equator and the sun is very intense. A hat and a light long sleeve shirt would also be good protection. A camera!! Ecuador has amazing views around every corner that you won’t want to miss. Extra money for gifts and other personal needs. Bring cash. Small bills are preferable because for some odd reason, Ecuadorians never have change. Make sure the that bills are in good condition because bills that are torn, stained or written on may not be accepted. Credit cards are frequently not accepted, especially in smaller establishments. Travelers checks are not accepted at most places.
While we are doing everything in our power to make this a very special and wonderful experience for all attendees, these are a few things you might want to consider before you sign up.
- As wonderful as we think Ecuador is, it is important to remember that this is a 3rd world country. This means things don’t always go smoothly or as planned. If you find the unexpected upsetting or unacceptable this is not the Event for you. If, on the other hand, you see such things as part of the adventure, you’ll fit right in.
- This is a Spanish speaking country. If your reaction to this is “Well, duh!” you’ll fit right in. But we’ve heard enough North Americans complain about this to include it. BTW, you don’t have to speak any Spanish. The Chautauqua will be conducted in English and when we roam around, we’ll have bilingual folks to smooth the way. If you do speak a bit a Spanish that’s great. You’ll find a warm response from the local people when you try.
- Refunds. You will be asked to pay for your trip in three installments, beginning with $500 deposit due with your registration. We are a small company and the success of this Chautauqua depends on people being seriously committed when they sign up. That said, should events beyond your control force you to cancel prior to July 15th, we will refund your money minus a $50 registration fee. If you cancel after July 15th your will forfeit your $500 deposit unless we find a replacement for your spot.