An Ecuadorian Rain Forest Adventure into Earth's Greatest Ecosystem—the Amazon Basin
NAPO WILDLIFE CENTER ITINERARY
Day 1: Quito / Coca / Napo
Depart Quito this morning on a short flight over the Andes to the town of Coca on the Napo River where you board a motorized canoe for the 2.5-hour trip downriver. The Napo, Ecuador's major river, runs 550 miles from its source in the volcanic highlands to its intersection with the Amazon. Packed lunches are provided for your river journey. Within two hours you arrive at the boundary of Napo Wildlife Center, where you switch to smaller dugout canoes. Local guides paddle you quietly up the blackwater Añangu Creek to the lodge, surrounded by jungle wildlife. You may catch glimpses of 150-pound giant otters fishing along the shore, kingfishers perched in the overhanging branches, hawks soaring overhead, or any of 11 species of monkeys swinging through the trees in search of tropical fruits.
The lodge, tucked deep within the rain forest, is owned and operated by the local Añangu indigenous community as a venture that will allow them to share the wonders of the rain forest with visitors while at the same time preserving the environment upon which their sustenance and cultural integrity relies. The project is impressive in its comforts and commitment to sustainability. Each of the 16 cabanas has a shaded porch, private bathroom with on-demand hot water, electric lights, screened windows and mosquito nets. At dinner this evening, learn about the center's efforts to preserve the land and the traditions of the local Añangu people.
Days 2-4: Exploring the Rain Forest
From its location inside Yasuni National Park, the lodge offers adventures for travelers of all physical abilities. Spot toucans and scarlet macaws from well-maintained trails and boardwalks, watch as flocks of colorful tanagers fly by at eye level, and search for the three-toed sloth from atop a 120-foot canopy tower. Survey the shores of the lake for glowworms and the twinkling eyes of black caiman on a moonlight canoe trip. From accessible blinds, watch as thousands of brilliant parrots and parakeets flock to the nearby licks to eat clay that aids in their digestion of toxic seeds, squawking in a noisy frenzy. While rare, you may even spy a jaguar or a puma moving stealthily through the forest. Exceptional lodge guides, fluent in both English and Spanish, will share all they know about the amazing wealth of flora and fauna you encounter on your excursions. Native Quichua guides, who also accompany each day's activities, enjoy sharing stories of the rain forest spirits and illustrating how they make use of natural resources in their everyday lives. Each evening, you return to the comfort of your jungle ecolodge for fine meals featuring local fruit and fresh-baked bread.
Day 5: Coca / Quito / Depart
After breakfast, enjoy a last canoe excursion downstream to the Napo River as the rain forest awakens and the wildlife becomes active for another day. At the rivers' confluence, board the motorized canoe and cruise upstream to Coca for the return flight to Quito.
The itinerary and activities for this extension are as described above; however, guests will return to Quito on Day 4.
Please Note: This itinerary is meant as a guideline only. While it represents a typical experience at the lodge, actual activities may vary according to season, weather and the daily agenda of offerings.