Orchid Trips

The OCA sponsors Orchids in the Wild® trips to show orchids in their native habitats, show the need for conservation, and to raise money for our conservation projects. Our trips are never more than 15 people, are hosted by local orchid knowledgeable guides, and are accompanied by an OCA director. Many of the past trips are detailed in our newsletters.

To reserve a spot on any of our trips please send a check for $500 per traveler made out to the Orchid Conservation Alliance to us at OCA, 564 Arden Drive, Encinitas, CA 92024. Payments, especially international payments, can also be made by wire transfer; please contact us for transfer details. Your $500 deposit holds your place on a trip. Full payment for the trips are due three months before the trip begins. Deposits and payments are refundable if we can fill your spot on the trip with another traveler. Any trip may be canceled, with full refunds made, before full payment due dates if the required minimum number of registrants has not been met.

2018 Upcoming Trips


Chiapas, Mexico: April 12-27

The trip starts by everyone meeting in the city of Villahermosa, Tabasco (Flight suggestions to come later), on April 12, 2018 from where we will travel by bus, boat, plane, and donkey(!) to various reserves, parks and other areas in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. We will visit ancient Mayan ruins, areas with gorgeous lakes and waterfalls, and unspoiled primary subtropical and tropical forests. You can expect to see a rich assortment of Mexican orchids, as well as other flora and fauna. At the end of the trip departures will be made from Tuxtla Gutierrez. We expect this trip to fill up quickly, so send in your $500 deposit as soon as possible. Deposits are fully refundable up to three months before the trip, when full payment is required; in this case that is January 12, 2018. The total number of participants is strictly limited to 14 due to lodging limitations in the reserves we are visiting. The price for single occupancy is $3500 and the price per person for double occupancy is $3000. Note that the deposit is credited to these trip prices. A complete itinerary can be downloaded here. Update: As of 12/4 the trip roster is full, but we can add your name to the waiting list if you desire.


Northwest Yunnan, China: May 20 – June 2

The mountains of northwest Yunnan are our destination. We will travel within Xangeri-La, and the autonomous prefectures of Lijang Naxi and Deqin Tibet to see some of the most spectacular nature of the northern hemisphere. The abundant majestic mountain ranges harbor a unique wildlife, such as the golden snub-nosed monkey, have spectacular lime stone travertine formations and are the home of Naxi, Tibetan, and Lili ethnic groups with their colorful cultures. The highlight of the tour will be to experience the richest temperate flora in Asia! Southwest China is the global center of several genera of high horticultural significance, such as many alpine plants and Cypripedium. We expect to see Cyp. tibeticum, yunnanense, flavum, guttatum,plectrochilum, and farreri among many other orchids. The maximum number of participants is limited to 15. The price of this trip is $4495 for single occupancy while the cost per person for double occupancy is $3900.The complete itinerary for the trip can be downloaded here. American citizens, and possibly others, should note that a Chinese visa is required for entry into China. One source for visa information is Chinese Visa.


Colombia: November

The spectacular orchids of the northern Andes will be the focus of this trip, which will include a visit to a new OCA supported reserve near Medellin. Details to come.

2019 Potential Trips

We are investigating trips to Madagascar, to Yunnan, China, with an itinerary to focus on epiphytes rather than terrestrials, to a cruise on the Rio Negro, Brazil, to Peru, and to Costa Rica for 2019. Timing, costs, and itineraries of these potential trips are still uncertain. Let us know if you are interested in any of these and also if you have other destinations which you would like to visit for their orchid offerings.

In addition, we are considering a Reserve Grand Tour, that would visit reserves we have supported in Brazil, Ecuador, and Colombia. Because of the air travel that would be required this would probably be more expensive than the Orchids in the Wild tours we have hosted in the past. Please let us know if you are interested in such a tour, which could be personalized for your particular interests.

Past Trips

2017 Trips — To Be Posted

Spring 2016 — Orchids of France

A fantastic trip led by Nancy Benay.

Summer 2015 — Botanical Illustration on the Brazilian Amazon

Brazilian botanical artist Dulce Nascimento and American print artist and illustrator Kathi McCord led us on a ten day trip aboard the Amazon riverboat ‘Otter’.

Spring 2015 — Orchids of Thailand

Peter Williams of Mae Tang Tours led the OCA group through temples, markets, orchid farms, wildlife sanctuaries, and mountain excursions for 15 amazing days.