Ecuador Amazon Extension
|Resort:||Ecuador Amazon Extension|
|Destination:||Ecuador, Latin America|
Spend four days in the depths of the Ecuadorian Amazon learning more about its unique flora and fauna. Sleeping in a community-run lodge within the remote area of the Yasuni National Park, immerse yourself in the rainforest as you explore on foot, by canoe and from treetop towers. The profits from the lodge go to the local Quichua community, home to the local staff and guides, making it the perfect place from which to discover this wild area, home to 550 species of tropical birds, 13 species of monkeys and 1000 species of butterflies.
Day 1 Join trip at Quito Airport; Fly to Coca and transfer to the Amazon lodge
The Amazon basin is the most bio-diverse environment in the world, covering two-fifths of South America across the majority of its countries, including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Venezuela. Most of the basin is covered by forest, the largest rainforest in the world.
This un-escorted Amazon extension starts at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre Airport (Airport code: UIO) at 9am. Flight times from Quito to Coca may change, and if there is any change from the 9am meeting time, we will advise you at approximately 1 month prior to departure. Upon arrival at Quito Airport, you will be met by a representative from the Napo Cultural Centre, who will have your boarding passes ready for your flight.
After a short 45 minute flight, we land in Coca and are met again by another representative from the lodge. we will then begin your adventurous journey to our Amazon lodge, located within the Yasuni National Park, on the banks of the Napo River. We travel along the Napo River by motorised canoe (approximately 2.5 hours). Then, we have a short walk through flooded forest (the trails are lined with wooden planks) to arrive at our Amazon lodge. During the journey we will get a taste of the Amazon, passing local communities and spotting birds such as herons, egrets and vultures.
Late afternoon, we take a short walk on the nearby trails or a canoe ride to spot monkeys, birds, black caiman and local flora – cedar trees, orchids and bromeliads.
Day 2 Bird watching and visit Quichua interpretation centre
After breakfast we paddle across the Napo River for approximately 30 minutes to visit a well-frequented parrot clay lick, bringing us face to face with up to 11 species of parrots (including parrotlets and macaws) depending on the season and weather conditions. We end this morning with a visit to the fascinating Interpretation Centre ‘Kuri Muyu’. The women of the local indigenous community manage the centre, and it gives us the chance to understand the Quichua culture, crafts, and traditions, which is sadly diminishing across much of Ecuador and survives mainly in small pockets of communities like Napo.
After lunch and time to relax at our lodge, we head out to paddle across the river again, towards the Igapo forest. Here, we take a short walk along forest trails to reach the 35-metre high observation tower, where we spend a couple of hours spotting creatures in the jungle canopy including birds, howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, toucans, parrots and sloths. A motorized canoe takes us back to the lodge.
Day 3 Walk the nature trails of the forest, spot nocturnal wildlife
Rising with the sounds of the forest, we head out towards the local ‘Mama Cuna’ nature trail, where we walk for around 2 hours, primarily concentrating on the forest fauna, including ceiba trees, strangler vines and bamboo cane, as well as many other vines and shrubs endemic to Yasuni. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about the worldview and herbal medicine use of the Quichua culture – the forest literally provides everything that they need, and is an amazing place to see ecotourism in action.
In the late afternoon we grab a canoe and paddle down towards the Anagu lake, where night caimans and other evening creatures await us. Here, the sounds of the jungle really come out as the sun sets and night takes over. Watch out for the red eyes in the darkness! After around 2 hours on the lake, we go back to the lodge in motorised canoes for our evening meal.
Day 4 Learn about the Quichua dream ritual; canoe & flight to Quito where the trip ends
This morning we rise just after dawn for our final morning here in the Yasuni National Park. The ancient customs surrounding the Guayusa plant have survived for many years among these people, and this morning we use the Guayusa leaves to make a morning tea. Traditionally the Jivaro people leaving in this area rise early, make a fire, boil the leaves and drink the tea while telling stories, myths and dreams, and we will have the opportunity to ask the community to interpret the meanings of our dreams.
After this stimulating morning, we head back to the lodge for breakfast before leaving the forest for good, heading back to Coca and then flying to Quito.
We will arrive at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre airport (airport code: UIO) at approximately 14.00pm. The domestic flight times may change, and as with your joining time we will confirm this at approximately 1 month prior to departure.
If you are booking your own flights, you should ensure that they depart from Quito no earlier than 5pm. We can organise additional accommodation in Quito if this is required.