Q: How dirty/muddy/filthy, etc. do you get? i.e. how many changes of closes do I need to bring?

A: I usually take 3-4 pairs of slacks and shirts with me. Remember we need to travel light. Try to keep your goods down to one
suitcase. We'll be traveling from one location to another EVERY day and we'll have to lug our luggage everywhere we go. I
guess that's why they call it luggage! Some days we get filthy dirty - especially if it rains and we go into the bush. We'll all be
cleaning our clothes at the hotel sink at night and letting them air dry overnight. There are no laundromats or clothes washers
- unless you count the people down at the streams. Since we're not bringing a change of clothes for every day, we'll be
cleaning our clothes in the sink on occasion. Don't worry, if you start to stink, I'll let you know! Of course, I may not be able to
smell you over my own perfume!
I always keep a clean set of clothes for the trip home and the rare times we go out to a nice place to eat in the evening.
I also bring a change of socks for every day and throw them away each night. It's my fetish to have clean feet.
Q: What kind of suitcase should I bring? Should I bring a Backpack?

A: I like to bring a medium size duffel bag for my cloths and toiletries. I've brought hard suitcases, soft ones, large ones and
small ones. I've just found that for myself a medium size duffel bag works just fine. I also fold up another medium size duffel
bag inside the one I bring - just in case I find something I want to bring back.
I also carry a fanny pack for my batteries, film and small camera and then a backpack for larger items I might want to take along
in the car or in the field.
Things I carry in my back pack include, snacks, GPS, video camera, plastic trash bags and baggies to keep things dry, note
pad and pencil, toilet paper (for those unexpected moments in the bush), hat, sunglasses and water.
Q: Should I bring sunscreen?

A: Yes. Even I can get sunburned on these trips. Being on the EQUATOR, the intensity of the sun is always great. A hat will
help with blocking the sun
too .
Q: What kind of power converter should I bring?

A: None. When I first traveled to South America, I brought all kinds of converters and attachments and found that our plugs fit in
the outlets in all the hotels and places we visited. You may find the electrical standards aren't quite up to "code" - since they
have no code, which makes for interesting conversation when you see light bulbs dangling from loose wires over your bed at
night. Hey, at least there is electric in some of these places!!!
Q: My Doctor needs to know if the malaria is in the are where we will be traveling. Are strains resistant to chloroquine? Do you
know, or can you get this information for me?

A: There are several different kinds of malaria. The medications we get from our doctors will only prevent one or two of them. To
make matters worse, some are now resistant to some of the medications we used to take - like chloroquine. Fortunately, we
rarely travel in malaria infested areas.  Personally, I no longer guard against malaria.  
Q: What about Hepatitis or Yellow Fever?

A: Check out this web site.  It will answer a lot of your questions about traveling
to Ecuador: http://www.
Traveling to Ecuador
Q: What can you tell us about bringing back orchids or plants in general?

A: If you want to bring plants back to the United States, first you need to get an import permit through the department of
Agriculture.  It's free, but you need to fill out the forms and get them in long before you leave.  The Dept. Of Ag. will send you
shipping labels with your import permit number on them.  You then use this shipping label to get your plants into the country.  You
will also receive information on what plants you can and can not bring into the country.

The plants you bring into the country must go through inspection at the department of Ag. station at the airport.  Not all airports
have inspection stations.  Miami and New York are the only two on the east coast.  You must plan your arrival into these airports
when the Dept. Of Ag. inspection stations are open.  Otherwise you must return to the airport to pick up your plants and have them
inspected.  

The United States requires that the exporting country inspect the plants before they leave the country and the person exporting
the plants have an exporters permit.  Pepe has an exporters permit and he has their "Dept. Of Ag." inspect the plants for shipping.  
A photo sanitary certificate is then issued to insure the plants are free of bugs and disease.

All this takes time and a lot of effort on our part.  So, what I do is, purchase the plants I want from Pepe and ask Pepe to bring the
plants to the US on his next visit here and then just ship them to me.  It's easier for me and I don't have to worry about getting them
through the airport and the Dept. Of Ag.  

I know Pepe deals with Cycads, Gesnerads, and orchids and can probably help us with getting plants back to the U.S.  
Some Ecuadorian plants are still protected by the government and cannot be brought into the U.S.  We must respect the laws and
purchase only those plants we can bring back.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the total cost of this trip?

A: Ecuagenera charges $150.00 per day  starting the day after our arrival, up until the day of our departure.
This $150.00/day fee included our hotel (two per room), transportation and food.
Each explorer is responsible for their first night's hotel room which is usually around $50.00.

Each explorer is also responsible for their flights to and from Ecuador.

You'll want to bring spending money if you want to purchase orchids, souvenirs or extra personal items
along the way.
Bring snacks!  you may want to munch between meals and you might not like what is served!  We don't
always have a choice of what we eat - depending on where we are.
Q: What kind of foot wear do we need?

A: Bring comfortable shoes to walk and
hike in.  I bring tennis shoes.  When we
get to Ecuador, we can purchase rubber
boots for the wet areas.  These cost about
$7.00 so they're not worth packing.  These
boots cover your stocking feet OR shoes
if you have small feet.  If you have big feet
like me, you will have to take your shoes
off and go with stocking feet inside the
boot. The boots are all rubber and go up
the calf to almost the knee. They're
flexible, so it makes climbing in them easy
and they do keep your feet dry (Except for
the sweat, of course).
On our most recent trip, we had a couple
'Big Foots' with us that could not be fit
with any of these boots, so if you have big
feet, you might want to pack something
for wet areas.
Q: Do we need to bring Anaconda anti-venom, or will we not be hiking near rivers?

A: Anaconda's are not venomous.
 I only wish we could see one!  I love snakes!!  Hate spiders.
Sometimes we hike around rivers - some of the best orchids are found there!  I've never even
seen a snake in Ecuador.  I think they are more afraid of us than we are of them.