Explore the beautiful Ecuadorian Amazon, staying in an eco-lodge.
Discover the secrets of the Ecuadorian Amazon on this breathtaking tour into the heart of the jungle. Meet indigenous families to learn the jungle’s cultural traditions, and take guided walks to discover the abundant plant and animal life that call this part of the Amazon home. Awake to the exotic sound of birdcalls and discover the thrill of sleeping in this secluded spot deep in the Ecuadorian jungle.
Why you’ll love this trip
- This trip takes you to the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin. Set in the remote rainforest, Sacha Lodge is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers
- Caiman, otters, sloths, hoatzin, monkeys, capybaras, anacondas… the Amazon is home to some of the most diverse wildlife on Earth
- As well as comfortable accommodation and luxurious meals, your expert guides will enhance your experience with their unique knowledge of the Amazon
- Explore the rainforest on various jungle treks, canopy walks and dugout canoe safaris, or relax in a hammock at the lodge. It’s up to you to customise how active you’d like this trip to be
Day 1: Quito / Amazon Jungle
At 7 am on Day 1 of this trip, you’ll be met by your transfer driver in the lobby of your hotel, who will then drive you to the airport. The flight over the Andes to the river port town of Puerto Francisco de Orellana, (or Coca) will take approximately 45 minutes. Here, a local guide will meet you and transfer you to the town docks, where a covered motorized canoe will take you on a two-hour journey down the Napo River to the Sacha Lodge (or alternative Napo Lodge – refer to “Other Information” for more details).
The Napo River is the largest river in Ecuadorian Amazonia and as you cruise along the water it is easy to spot a number of shore birds including herons, kingfishers, spoonbills and ospreys. Upon arrival at Sacha Lodge’s 2000-hectare private reserve, you will walk along a raised boardwalk (approx 30 minutes) through dense forest to Pilchicocha Lake, where dugout canoes await to take you to the lodge.
We arrive at Sacha lodge in the afternoon around 4pm.
It is not unusual to see several species of monkeys and tropical birds along the way, including the ancient looking Hoatzin! The Hoatzin, one of the strangest living birds, is considered by many as a link with the first known bird, Archaeopteryx, that became extinct millions of years ago. There is time this afternoon to take a walk, or swim, or to explore the surrounding jungle and its wildlife.
After dinner tonight you may want to accompany your naturlaist guide into the jungle for a night walk or perhaps a canoe ride on
the lake to view the spectacled and black caimans with their glowing orange eyes as you silently paddle across the lake to get a closer view.
Day 2: Amazon Jungle Lodge
rainforest canopy and the many different species of vibrantly colored birds.
Designed to be a self-standing rigid suspension canopy walk, it is one of only a few in the world!
Located within Sacha´s private reserve, 2 miles from the shores of the Rio Napo and 1 mile from the lodge, the bird walk gives guests the opportunity
to get an up close and personal view of the rainforest canopy.Two of the three towers have observation decks every 12 meters making towers accessible for everyone. The canopy walkway is at 36 meters high and 275 meters long, giving guests a “birds eye view” of all the wonders and beauty the
tropical rainforest has to offer.The canopy walk is designed as a sturdy walkway enabling guests to casually move along while enjoying the spectacular views.
After the canopy walk, Liana Grande through terra firma and igapo forest habitats where native guides will explain many different species
of medicinal plants that have been being used in their culture for hundreds of years. Liana Grande will turn into the trail Higueron,
which will take you through pristine primary forest with huge Kapok and Fig trees towering hundreds of feet above your head. After lunch, you may choose to take a leisurely hike along the Rio Napo, or choose a little more challenging hike on the trail Leoncillo to try and spot the elusive dusky titi monkey. Either way the trails will lead you back to the main boardwalk for your final hike and canoe ride back to the lodge.
Day 3: Amazon Jungle Lodge
In the afternoon you will begin what many think is the best trail at Sacha, a silent canoe ride through the flooded Amazonian forest. Where you have a
good chance of being surrounded by troops of squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys. Keep your eyes peeled for the shy and elusive river otter as well as the incredibly well camouflaged three-toed sloth! After your eye-popping ride through the flooded forest, you will arrive at Sacha´s135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient Kapok tree. Get close up views of vibrantly colored birds through Sacha´s powerful scopes, and watch the sun set with an amazing view of Mount Sumaco, a volcano, and possibly a view of the snow-covered
caps of the Andes! Leaving the tower just before or after sunset will give you an experience not soon forgotten. A canoe ride back through the flooded forest at night will be an awe-inspiring experience. Listen to the symphony of frogs and insects as you navigate through the narrow flooded forest trail, keeping your eyes open for caimans. Watch the several species of bats flying over your heads and listen to the many species of nocturnal birds making their eerie nighttime calls. Finally, after your mesmerizing canoe trip through the Amazon, you will arrive back at lake Pilchicocha and the welcoming lights of Sacha lodge.
Day 4: Quito
Normally flights arrive back in Quito at around 2 pm; however, there is always a likelihood of your flight being delayed. This being the case you may wish to book an additional night’s accommodation in Quito and also a transfer from airport to hotel at an additional cost. These should be booked at the same time you book your holiday.
If you are planning to depart Quito today, we advise that you do not book to depart until at least after 6 pm (18:00 hrs).
After the trip: Your feedback is important to us. We have made many trip changes over the years based on past traveller feedback. So if you want to tell us anything, from how great the service was at a particular hotel or how delicious an included meal was or if you have any improvement suggestions then please go to www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback.
INT – GGHN
Images courtesy of Intrepid Group