Departures: Every day (minimum 2 passengers)
The region of Tena is the entrance to the Amazon basin, located in the Eastern part of Ecuador “El Oriente”, the area a place of unparalleled biodiversity. It holds an astounding amount of wildlife and flora: home to 50% of Ecuador’s mammals, 5% of earth’s plant species and prolific birdlife. It is the most accessible part to reach the jungle, with more than 500 bird species, big cats, butterflies, monkeys, fish, snakes and insects.
The natural sanctuary of the lodge offers an undisturbed world where guests can escape from noise, pollution and stress imposed by larger cities. In addition, the lodge feels authentic, airy and comfortable with its high walls and ceilings. The architecture helps to keep the lodge and the rooms climatized without the need of air- conditioning. In total there are 19 private rooms of varying sleeping configurations and several public gathering spots, including the spacious dining room, an open-air bar and a majestic pool. The open-air bar offers fresh squeezed juices, soft drinks, beers and cocktails, or a chilled glass of white wine. Enjoy a drink at night overlooking the river and the pool!
You start your trip to the lodge at the Arajuno Bridge around 3 pm, where you will take a motorized canoe going upstream for 20 minutes to begin our great experience in the tropical forest. On this ride you can appreciate the magic and beauty of the Amazon rainforest driving along a zigzag river that flows in the jungle like a giant snake, considered the vein system of the Pacha Mama (mother Earth). Once you arrive, the resident manager will greet you with a delicious welcome drink. From there you will continue to relax in the bar area with a snack and a short briefing will be held with general information about the lodge and activities, provided by one of our naturalist guides.
Before dinner you can join the optional night walk. A flashlight and camera are the most important tools on this night excursion, which allows guests to hear the nocturnal sounds and to look for fishing bats, owls, a variety of insects, tarantulas, toads and frogs, and possibly snakes. If the sky is clear, you might have the chance to do some stargazing.
Day 2: Cultural encounter
If the climate it permits you will have an early morning activity today. Bird lovers can take a canoe ride for 15 minutes upstream to enjoy the parrot clay lick (saladero). Here you can appreciate a unique site where parrots and parakeets gather in order to obtain the minerals that will help them to digest the fruits or seeds they have consumed. Hundreds of parrots and parakeets will approach the treetops and later will come down to the clay bank to eat this soil rich in minerals. It is essential to have binoculars to enjoy it.
After a scrumptious breakfast you will head out for a hike through the primary and secondary rainforest. Our expert naturalists teach you about the ecology and flora and fauna of the rainforest along the trail. You will observe a great variety of insects, a diversity of birds flying around us and with some luck reptiles or monkeys. This activity takes about 2 ½ -3hours. You will then return to the lodge for lunch and a siesta.
In the afternoon it is time to enjoy a cultural activity. An Amazonian Kichwa community will receive us and we learn about their way of life and the interaction they have with the forest. This encounter is going to show you that part of the Amazonia that you do not find on the maps: the Amazon people. Part of our visit to the community involves the demonstration of the famous chicha, a fermented yuca drink that has become part of their festivals and daily use. We will take part in the preparation of this beverage and also try some of the local cuisine. We finish the visit with a traditional dance performed by the kids in this community and you also have some time to buy some handicrafts, made by the indigenous. This little business is to support the indigenous people in their daily life. Before dinner at the lodge there will be an optional artisanal chocolate workshop held.
Day 3: Return to Tena
After breakfast you will check out and take the motorized canoe ride for 20 minutes to return to the Arajuno Bridge in Tena.
In the 4 days 3 nights tour, a visit to Isla Anaconda and AmaZOOnico are scheduled for day 3. After a delicious breakfast buffet, you will take a 40 min canoe ride downriver to visit Isla Anaconda. Here you can observe the prehistoric bird hoatzin, woolly monkeys, squirrel monkeys, just to mention a few. You also visit a family in one of the indigenous communities to learn about their farming habits, medicinal plants, as well as the ancestral way of hunting with blowguns (cerbatana) and handmade traps in the forest. On this trip a box lunch will be provided. After lunch you will go to AmaZOOnico, which is sheltering a number of different jungle animals, some in danger of extinction. AmaZOOnico is not a zoo but a rescue center for animals of the Amazon in Ecuador. Here you can observe a wide variety of monkeys, macaws, ocelots, capybara, toucans, parrots and much more animals in their natural habitat at close range. After this visit you will return to the lodge for dinner.
- Accommodation in double-occupancy room with private bathroom
- Meals from dinner on the first day until breakfast on the last day
- Activities as described in the itinerary
- Spanish speaking naturalist guide (English, French or German speaking guide available at an extra cost)
- River transportation from/to Arajuno Bridge
- Life jacket, rain coat, rubber boots (size 36 to 44)
- Rubber tubes for tubing
- Water, coffee and tea
- Transportation Quito – Arajuno Bridge (Tena) – Quito
- Community entrance fee ($5 p.p.)
- Artisanal chocolate workshop ($1 p.p.)
- Entrance AmaZOOnico ($4 p.p.) – only in the 4D/3N tour
- Pottery demonstration ($1 p.p.) – only in the 4D/3N tour
- Visit of Isla Anaconda ($1 p.p.) – only in the 4D/3N tour
- Other drinks and alcoholic beverages
- Personal expenses
- Sun screen, sunglasses
- Cap or lightweight scarf
- Long-sleeve shirts and long pants (quick-drying)
- Sandals and sneakers
- Bathing suit and towel
- Insect repellent
- Plastic (zip-lock) bags for your camera etc
3D/2N USD $205 p.p.
4D/3N USD $307 p.p.