Orchids in the Wild™ Ecotours

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An orchid blooming in its native habitat is one of the miracles of the natural world that every orchid lover should see at least once.

The OCA offers trips to see “Orchids in the Wild” in orchid rich environments all over the world, including here in North America . Over the past 15+ years we have organized trips to Mexico (Chiapas), Brazil (Atlantic Rain Forest, Minas Gerias, Rio Negro, Serra Bonito, Bahia, Espirito Santo), Ecuador (multiple trips), Colombia (multiple trips), southern China (Guang Xi, Yunnan), western China (northern Yunnan, Sichuan), Thailand, Papua New Guinea, France, Sicily, Crete, Mainland Greece, Switzerland, Cape of South Africa, Madagascar (multiple trips) and the Ohio Valley (USA). These trips are a lot of fun, and you will come home with many wonderful orchid, scenery and cultural photos and likely many new friends. The tour groups are small, and are often a mix of orchid experts and newbies. For some it is their first trip outside of the USA. For others, it is the first time they have ever seen an orchid growing in the wild. Our trips are also very educational: once you see how orchids grow in nature, you will be better able to provide the conditions that will make them thrive for you. After you have seen habitat destruction first hand, you will also appreciate how important it is to preserve the remaining primary forests. Orchids in the Wild tours take you to places you would never see otherwise. Our tours are led by experts on the orchids of the region who know where, and when to find the orchids. The tours vary in degree of physical difficulty, discussed in the description of each tour. We can also design small group custom tours, see Bespoke Orchid Tours.

Our line-up of organized tours for 2024 is given below.


Bespoke Orchid Tours

This is a new concept for the OCA, targeted to our members and their friends who would like a small, private, personalized tour. The ideal size of these small tours would typically be less than 6 participants.  If you are interested in something like this please contact Mary Gerritsen (mary@orchidconservationalliance.org) with details about the country or region you would like to visit, orchids you would like to see, reserves and nurseries you would like to visit. Mary will follow up with further questions to determine feasibility and pricing. The purpose of the bespoke trips is to create a highly personalized adventure. Note that these bespoke tours will be more expensive than our group tours, but offer the flexibility of selecting the dates, sites visited, participants, class of accommodation and transportation (depending on what is available) and personalized oversight of the itinerary.  The spectrum of places to visit and orchids to see is essentially unlimited, so let us know what you are interested in!

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Orchids in the Wild tours for 2024

March 20-30 Orchids of Rhodes

Terrestrial Orchids, Spring flowers, Historic sites. Our tour guide will be Jon Dunn, an expert on the island of Rhodes and its vegetation. Maximum tour size 10. Tour Leaders Jon Dunn and Sara Cuttle

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April 15-28 Orchids of Nepal

Enjoy an orchid centric tour to Nepal. We will take in the highlights of Kathmandu, the beautiful scenery of the Himalayas, and the natural beauty of Pokhara Lake. We will visit several Orchid Conservation projects, wild orchid populations, multiple UNESCO-listed heritage sites, ancient temples, handicrafts, and comfortable ground transportation. The tour also includes two internal flights, and a cable car ride to the Chandragiri Hill resort, a homestay in a local village and a “glamping” stay at a conservation site in Gorka.

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May 27-June 8 Orchids of Spain

This tour of northern Spain features swathes of verdant pastures and hay meadows, rocky bluffs, and the limestone scenery of the Picos de Europa. A plethora of terrestrial orchids, spring flowers and lots of butterflies. Maximum tour size 10. Tour leaders Teresa Farino and Judith Rapacz-Hasler.

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May  31-June 10. Brazil: Orchids of the Rio Negro

This is the only way to view the orchids of the Amazon, on a cruise aboard a riverboat designed for seeing nature. Air conditioned staterooms with en suite bathrooms, wonderful meals, and orchids, plus peace and quiet! Motorized canoes take you to within arm’s reach of many orchids for easy photography. Almost no hiking, and no transferring to new hotels or traveling by bus. Just relaxed cruising. Tour accommodates a maximum of 17 travelers and the tour leaders, Peter Tobias and Gilberto Castro.

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July 13-21 Orchids of Newfoundland

Experience the fabulous scenery of Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, along with the amazing orchid flora of Newfoundland, Canada. Enjoy the serpentine barrens, moonscapes and a fantastic display of alpine flowers, as well as ancient Native American and early Viking sites. Maximum tour size 10. Tour Leader Todd Boland.

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September 5-16 Brazil: Orchids of the Atlantic Rainforest

Based at REGUA (www.regua.org), northeast of Rio de Janeiro, we will explore orchid-rich areas from the coastal habitat of Cattleya intermedia to the high mountain habitat of Cattleya (Sophronitis) coccinea. We will get a behind-the-scenes tour of the world-famous Rio Botanical Garden and spend several days in the forest highlands, visiting the Araça project (www.araca-project.org) in Macaé de Cima. A total of 12 people can be accommodated on this trip.

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October 1-October 14 Orchids of Yunnan

This botanical study tour through southern and southeast Yunnan offers the opportunity to see a variety of orchid species, including Bulbophyllum, Holcoglossum, Paphiopedilum, Pleione, and Vanda. We will also enjoy the rich ethnic diversity of this part of Yunnan. Maximum tour size 11. Leaders Wenqing Perner and Hong Jiang.

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October  31 – November 21, 2024 Orchids of Madagascar

Led by Johan and Clare Hermans, we will visit some areas not previously visited on our 2019 and 2023 tours. Additionally, we will be traveling somewhat later in the season, so we should see species in flower that were not seen on previous tours. We are still finalizing the itinerary and pricing, and will have information up soon.

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