We are happy to offer many different tours and activities for anyone who wants to immerse into the beautiful forest and nature of coastal Ecuador, for families who want to share unforgettable moments, or for visitors who want to experience what sustainable life in a farm is.
Farm to table experience (1 day)
Harvest, prepare, enjoy!
At Rio Muchacho we eat what we grow and we grow what the land is happy to provide. We believe that good farming and good eating go hand in hand. Over the years we’ve developed a unique menu based on a blend of Permaculture and local food traditions. Each day, our cook Ysela skillfully combines what the farm and gardens produce, filling our bellies with an abundance of natural goodness and flavor.
Join us to share our integrated experience of farm to table cuisine – you’ll be part of the whole process, from harvest to preparation to sitting down together and enjoying a delicious meal made with from creatively combined distinctive ingredients.
The Rio Muchacho Permaculture farm to table experience
The experience starts with a freshly squeezed juice, served in cups we’ve made from the hard shells of Mate, a local fruit.
Refreshed and ready for action, it’s time for a rambling harvest in the extensive vegetable garden, food forests and farmyard. Gumboots provided!
Back in the kitchen, Ysela will guide you into transforming your harvest into a scrumptious lunch.
By now you will have worked up quite an appetite – time to sit down and enjoy the gifts of the land that you’ve brought to the table. Food is served in clay bowls and eaten with spoons made from mate shells.
After the main course, you are back in the kitchen to prepare a chocolate dessert and a steaming cup of coffee – but first the cocoa and coffee beans need roasting and grinding!
A take-home packet of your freshly ground cocoa will remind you of your Rio Muchacho Permaculture farm to table experience.
- Rich veggie soup with local cheese and cream
- Tasty ginger oat cakes, wing bean and cherry tomato salad with arugula pesto dressing, beans, rice and ground sesame seed to sprinkle.
Unusual food grown at Rio Muchacho:
- Wing bean (bean flower and leaf)
- Lufa (just the young ones and the flowers)
- Okra (very unusual for Ecuador)
- Wrinkled mini sweet peppers. (more abundant than bell peppers).
- Semi wild tomatoes.. they taste like tomatoes should taste!
Indigenous food grown at Rio Muchacho:
- Jack beans (eaten when small)
- Sacha inchi (bush peanuts) good for nibbling on but best used for cooking oil.
- Lima beans(fresh not dry-simply luscious)
- Achocha (a hollow fruit like peppers)
- Bread fruit (a tasty seed somewhat like a chestnut)
- Jicima (also known as apple of the earth, because that is what it tastes like!)
Multi-day program (1 to 4 days)
The most popular tour option offered by the farm is the 3-day tour, which offers a perfect blend of the three main aspects of a visit to Río Muchacho: agro-ecology, adventure and cultural learning. Do the 3-day tour or choose any day or combination of days for the 1 to 2 day tours.
Day 1 - Agro-ecology & Permaculture
- Travel through beautiful scenery to the farm
- Arrival and refreshment
- Tour of the farm to see the recycling systems and tropical crops eg. yuca, turmeric, sesame, coffee, passion fruit, cocoa, banana, ginger, jicama, and more. Explanation of permaculture and organic agriculture practices.
- Enjoy a "farm to table" lunch experience
- Hike to the giant tree, a 130-year-old strangler fig tree
- Make rings from tagua, a local palm seed (also called as vegetable ivory)
- Make chocolate - from the bean to the cup!
Day 2 - Horse-back riding excursion to the monkey forest and waterfall
- Harvest fruit and vegetables for your lunch.
- Prepare the banana leaf over an open fire, then cut to size to wrap your tonga (a very tasty traditional packed lunch made with rice, vegetables, egg and peanut.
- Horse trek to the humid forest where there are howler monkeys (Part of which was previously used to grow shade coffee).
- Enjoy the lunch you prepared earlier in the day.
- Swim in the waterfall pool.
- Return and free time to relax
Day 3 - Cultural day
- Milk cows and make flavoured cheese (seasonal).
- Roast and grind coffee over an open fire.
- Prepare a local treat in the wood oven.
- Make your own cups and spoons from gourd.
- Fish river shrimp.
- Cut palm seeds & tagua to make rings & pendants.
- Apply local medicinal clay face mask from the farm.
- Enjoy all the tasty treats you have made during the day!
Bird watching is good on the trail and at the farm; the most commonly seen species are mot mot, kingfishers, woodpeckers, caciques, herons and parrots.
We recommend the 3 day tour at Río Muchacho to be able to do as many activities as possible or if you would like, you may add days onto your stay in order to spend longer time at the farm and learn more about aspects of the local culture which interest you – or simply to rest in a peaceful place with hammocks under palm trees!
Feel free to get more of a farm experience and help feed the animals at 6:15am!
The following are several options you may wish to consider for spending extra days at the farm, at the end of your tours:
- Take an extra “cultural” day helping, learning and sharing with the women in the kitchen (Additional $30 per person including 3 meals).
- Just stay on extra days to spend relaxing time in the farm and to enjoy the environment (Additional $25 per person including 3 meals). Check out our self-guided tours information for more details.
Custom made tours
We can custom make programs for all tourists and students of: Agroecology, human ecology, gastronomy, environment, ecotourism, sustainability etc.
Our programs are creatively combined according to your needs with the following components:
- Activities linked to the multi day tours
- Crafts with vegetable ivory, Mate or Palm seed
- Chocolate making
- Coffee roasting and drinking
- Preparation of local treat in wood oven
- Clay face mask (Baño negro)
- Milking the cow and making cheese (seasonal)
- Making a tonga (traditional food)
- Farm tours
- Lookout walk
- Shrimp fishing
- Horse riding
- Hike to giant tree
- Beach and free-time
- Permaculture and ecology education programs
- Spanish classes with qualified teachers
- Classes on your area of interest.
- We have an extensive sustainability library
- Working with local schools (activities depending on the skills of the volunteers)
- Arts and crafts
- Playground construction
- English teaching
- Sports and games etc
- Permaculture projects on the farm and in the community
Contact us if you are looking for a rich, unique experience for your group or family! Price is dependent on activities and length of stay.