TRAVEL: Meet Nakku villagers on the Amazon Andean Relief Ride.
TRAVEL: Meet Nakku villagers on the Amazon Andean Relief Ride. The Classic Safari Company

Out of the ordinary travel: Amazon Andean relief ride

THE Amazon Andean Relief Ride combines humanitarian aid to local people in remote regions of the Andes and the Amazon with a remarkable and utterly unique horseback travel experience.

The tour dates for 2018 are yet to be confirmed, but tour operator The Classic Safari Company said with one two or three of these tours possible in the months around August, listing your interest now is a wise move.

The tour starts in Quito where you spend your first night in a boutique hotel.

You'll ride past hamlets of Adobe huts and through patchworks of Quinoa and Maze fields onto the slopes of the now extinct and sacred Imbabura Volcano, visit local markets, stay in traditional haciendas, take in scenery of the 'Land of Lakes' and reach altitudes of 12,000ft where condor, caracaras and eagle sighting are common.

On your fourth day you arrive at the remote kichua village of Piñan located on an Andean plateau. Working in conjunction with the Ecuadorian Red Cross you will assist with a two-day medical camp, offering gynaecology, dentistry and CPR/emergency medical training to the village, which is so remote it only receives one day of general medical care a year from the government.

From here you will ride out of Piñan valley and down the mountainside into tropical cloud forest, boasting mountain bamboo, passion fruit and coffee trees and a vastly different landscape to the rugged paramo.

You'll sample the Intag area's famous coffee and stay in the Riyo Lindo Coffee Plantation's luxurious lodge before a short flight in a light aircraft the following day, taking you into the jungle.

Deep in the Amazon rainforest, you will spend five days with the Sàpara people, an indigenous tribe renowned for their encyclopaedic plant knowledge and healing abilities.

There you will have the opportunity to canoe down the headwaters of the Amazon river and hike through the jungle with the Sàpara tribe, gaining first-hand knowledge of the importance and value of their environment.

You'll be part of the team delivering medical assistance to the tribe, and then assist in a project to deliver clean water to the Sàpara school.

The two-part journey not only offers vast diversity, immense scenery, fantastic horses, stunning natural beauty and rich cultural integration, it also offers the unique opportunity to deliver genuine assistance and be part of this heartfelt, purposeful programme.

To experience it first-hand makes for a profound and eye-opening journey - something truly special.

Key facts

  • 12 nights - seven days in the Andes, five days of riding, five days in the Amazon
  • Guide price: $US6950 based on ten riders. Pricing may vary with group size and single supplements apply.
  • Group size: min 6, max 11 pax.
  • 4-6 hours riding per day.
  • Novice riders and non-riders welcome.

For more tour details, go to or ring 02 9327 0666.

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