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™, including the OCA reserves. Over the past 15+ years we have organized trips to Mexico (Chiapas), Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, southern China (Guang Xi, Yunnan), western China (northern Yunnan, Sichuan), Thailand, Papua New Guinea, France, Greece, and Madagascar. These trips are a lot of fun, and you will come home with many wonderful orchid photos. They 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. Orchids in the Wild™ tours take you to places you would never see otherwise.


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 2023

Sicily April 10-19 – terrestrial orchids, archeology and great food. This is a new tour. Our guide will be Jon Dunn, an experienced guide in Mediterranean orchid tours. Maximum tour size is 10.

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Brazil May 8-17 and May 19-29 – two separate tours. This is the only way to see the Amazon, on a cruise boat designed for seeing nature. En suite air conditioned staterooms, wonderful meals, and even ORCHIDS!!! Motorized canoes take you within arm’s reach of many species for easy photography. No hiking, no transferring to a new hotel, no bus travel, just relaxing cruising. Each tour accommodates a maximum of 17 travelers and the tour leader. 

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Native Orchids of Ohio May 14-May 25 – Lots of slipper orchids (e.g. Cypripedium acaule, Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens, Cypripedium kentuckiense, Cypripedium candidum, Cypripedium parviflorum var. makasin, Cypripedium pubescens) and other great terrestrials (e.g. Galearis spectabilis, Isotria verticillata, Spiranthes lucida, Arethus bulbosa). We will visit various reserves, state parks and other conservancies in Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and New York State, and also include some important scenic cultural sites (Serpend Mound, Kelly’s Island, Marblehead Lighthouse, Niagara Falls, and if time allows, the Botanic Garden in Buffalo). We will be doing this trip in partnership with a local native orchid group from Ohio. Maximum tour size 7, due to the very sensitive sites we will visit.

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Madagascar Sept 21 TO Oct 13 – Led by Johan and Clare Hermans, we will visit most of the areas in the 2019 trip, plus a few new ones. The timing is a little different, so we may see things a we did not see on the trip in 2019. Johan and Clare are the authorities on Madagascar Orchids. There are lots of photos and other information on our previous trips page about this tour, please check it out! Maximum tour size 10. The tour is taken in four wheel drives due to the very rough roads and terrain in Madagascar, and no opportunities to expand the tour.

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Orchids of the Cape (South Africa) December 1-13 – This is a totally new tour, and information and photos will be posted very soon.  We have created a bespoke tour with Greenwings, and this promises to be a great trip. Maximum tour size 8, including 1 OCA leader.

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All of our tours fill up quickly. The size of each tour is limited anywhere from 7-15 participants. To make sure you are on our list of participants, please contact Mary Gerritsen.

And the best way to ensure your place on a trip is to pay our refundable deposit of $1000 (refundable up to a predetermined date when we have to make deposits to our tour operators). If you pay your deposit you will be on our tour list! All participants will receive further information about insurance, costs etc. All of our participants are required to have their own travel medical insurance, and in these days, even post covid, we recommend a travel insurance cancellation policy. Our tour costs do not include round trip air fare to and from the site of the tour, and do not include alcohol, beverages, or tips. Otherwise, costs are inclusive of hotels, meals, transportation, guides. For the most part, unless otherwise specified, hotel accommodation for the day before or after tours is not included, but we can work with participants to suggest hotels etc.Let us know what tours you would like to participate in. At least initially our tours are first open to our members, previous tour participants, and donors, but after the first announcement, they are open to all anyone!

Please contact Mary

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