4 days / 5 days
Yasuní Jungle Tour
The Yasuní National Park and Biosphere Reserve is renowned for its great beauty and biodiversity and covers 9,820 square kilometers, or 3,792 square miles. As the most biodiverse place on Earth, Yasuní is home to thousands of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects and is also home to thousands of species of trees and plants. From the lodge you will set out to explore Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest and its people, accompanied by English-speaking naturalist guides and an indigenous guide, whether paddling by canoe, kayaking on the lake, walking along trails, climbing canopy towers, visiting native communities, birdwatching or seeking out incredible wildlife encounters.
The lodge was among the first Amazon rainforest lodges in Ecuador and today is still regarded as the premier eco lodge in the area. Overlooking the glassy waters of lake Garzacocha, the main lodge and restaurant will soon become your favorite place to spot birds and other wildlife, exchange stories with other guests, or relax, cocktail in hand, before enjoying the dishes prepared by the passionate team of chefs. Many of the suites have hot-tubs, rainforest showers and lake views. As the sun sets on another day of adventure and discovery, you’ll be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the rainforest’s creatures, only to awake to bird song and first light painting the lake with pink and purple hues.
Day 1: From the main dock at the Napo river you will embark on a 2- hour motorized canoe ride, heading down river on what will be an unforgettable experience in the primary rainforest of Ecuador. During the journey you get a taste of the Amazon; ancestral communities, birds such as: herons, egrets, vultures, while enjoying delicious packed lunch. You will be dropped off at the lodge’s main dock from where you complete the final leg of the trip to the lodge with a paddle canoe. The manager of the lodge will be waiting for you with a refreshing juice and a snack you will also receive a short briefing with general information about your stay before you settle down in your cabins. In the late afternoon one of the naturalist guides will give you an introduction into the tropical rainforest, the Amazon and tell you more about how the lodge operates. Then it is time to start exploring this incredible place. You will follow the Matapalo trail, during this short walk you will observe many remarkable trees. Such as the famous Strangler fig and Mahogany trees over 400 years old. Your guides will share their wealth of knowledge about the flora and fauna with you. At this time of day, the natural lighting is incredible and it is at this time of day that the diurnal and nocturnal animals begin their daily transitional activities. After the walk you will return to the lodge where you will find some snacks waiting for at the bar before dinner starts. Help yourself to some coffee or tea, or order a cocktail from the bartender.
Day 2: The days start early in the Amazon as the brisk morning hours are when the animals are most active. After breakfast you will experience the life in the Amazon from the tree tops from the 39 meter (120 ft.) observation tower. It is a 20-minute walk to get to the tower. Your naturalist and native guides will help you to spot the colorful birds and maybe even certain primates. Over 565 species of birds have been registered in this area so far, such as macaws, toucans, honeycreepers, tanagers, flycatchers, hummingbirds and with a bit of luck a you might get a close view of howler and squirrel monkeys or sloths resting in the tree tops. The tower gives you a unique perspective, opening up a whole new world of Amazon biodiversity that is often difficult, if not impossible to see from the understory. On the way back to the lodge there is the option of taking the Tucaneta trail where your native Guide can show you the medicinal plants that they still use today and your naturalist guide will teach your more about the ecology and natural history of the Amazon. After lunch you will follow the Charapa trail which leads to the edge of the lagoon. In the mean time you can spot different mammals, monkeys and birds that around this time of day come looking for food at the banks of the lagoon. Enjoy the spectacular sunset before your guides will take you around the lagoon in search of nocturnal animals with the help of a spot light. This is also the perfect moment for star gazing! When you return to the lodge it is time for dinner.
Day 3 After breakfast you will make your way back to the Napo river for a motorized canoe ride to visit the parrot-clay lick at Yasuní National Park for a wonderful view of hundreds of parrots and parakeets that gather here to eat the mineral rich soil, an important part of their diet. Here you will see mealy amazon, yellow-crowned, orange-winged and blue-headed parrots. To really capture this extraordinary moment, binoculars are essential. Afterwards it is time for a visit a part of the Amazon which you will not find on the maps, you will pay a visit to an indigenous Kichwa community. The women will welcome you at their community center to tell you more about the life of the Kichwa´s in the Amazon. You will return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you will follow the Coto trail, this walk will take you from the edge of the Garzacocha lagoon. The conditions to do this hike are exceptional in the afternoon, when the sun light will come from behind which makes for magical views and the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beauty of this amazing forest. During the walk you might encounter groups of the black-mantled tamarin monkeys and if you are lucky even tapirs. Your naturalist guide will tell you about all the different creatures that can be found and your native guide will show you some of the medicinal plants that hey have been using for thousands of years. A canoe ride back to the lodge where you will have dinner makes for a great ending of this day.
Day 4: After breakfast you have time to prepare your luggage for the trip back. The staff of the lodge will help assist you with your luggage. In the motorized canoe you will head up stream, back to Coca. Here representatives of the lodge will take you to the airport and help you with the check in.
In the 5 days / 4 nights tour, the program for day 4 is as follows: Today after breakfast you will venture deep into the wilderness of the Amazon on a 3 – 4 hour walk in the primary rainforest, starting from the main dock back at the Napo river. During the walk there are chances to spot bigger mammals such as peccaries, wild pigs, deer or tapirs. Upon arrival at the lagoon of Mandi Cocha you will enter a fiberglass canoe and paddle through the amazing Igapo Forest. This is a forest that is temporarily flooded with black water. Here you might see different species of birds and maybe even have an encounter with the elusive giant otter. You will return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you will visit the Garzacocha lagoon, one of the most beautiful lagoons in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The chance of spotting different species of monkeys and birds are quite high. Sometimes families of squirrel monkeys join the capuchin monkeys in search of food. Listen to the tremendous calls of the Howler monkeys and enjoy the sight of the smallest monkey in the world, the pigmy marmoset. Overhead there will be flying several species of birds like the hoatzin, toucans or macaws. Before dinner you will venture into the forest for an exciting night walk, to find species of insects, spiders, tarantulas, snakes or colourful frogs. Enjoy the nocturnal sounds of the Amazon. Upon return at the lodge the manager will provide you with all the necessary information about your departure procedure for the next morning.
Note: The lodge reserves the right to change the itinerary at any time due to weather, events out without our control and operational decisions where deemed advisable for the comfort and well-being of the passengers. In this program the exact activities and its order can change depending your guide, the weather, the season and your day of arrival.
Travel style & Departures
This is a Shared Tour / Group Tour. This means that there will be other people on this tour besides yourself (or your travel party). This tour can start on any day of the week, but
Quito Airport (National flight departure area). At the Quito Airport you will be met by a representative of the lodge who will assist you with your check in and will give you a short briefing about the journey which starts with a 35-minute flight from Quito to Coca. Upon arrival another representative of the lodge will be waiting for you and will transfer you by private transportation to the city´s main dock at the Napo river.