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Amazon Lodge Extension

An Ecuadorian Rain Forest Adventure into Earth's Greatest Ecosystem — the Amazon Basin!

Day 1: Quito / Coca / La Selva
A transfer is provided to Quito International Airport where you are met by a representative of La Selva Jungle Lodge who will assist with the check-in process for your flight to Coca. Though it's just a 30-minute journey, your flight over the Andes conveys you to an entirely different world, offering an aerial view of the Amazon rain forest stretching to the horizon. Once you land in the jungle town of Coca, a lodge representative arranges a private transfer to the city dock on the Napo River. The adventure begins as you board a covered motorized canoe for the 2.5-hour journey downriver, with a box lunch provided. The Napo River is a major tributary of the Amazon, and its milk-chocolate color attests to the heavy silt load it carries, flanked by verdant rain forest on either shore.

At your takeout point, guides assist with luggage while you take a short walk through the forest to reach Lake Garzacocha – 'the Heron's Lagoon' – where a waiting boat whisks you across to the main dock at La Selva. A refreshing cocktail awaits on arrival, which you enjoy during a short briefing on the lodge and activities to come. This afternoon, on a short introductory nature walk accompanied by both native and naturalist guides, you'll begin to learn about the flora and fauna of the rain forest, astounded at the incredible biodiversity.

Days 2 - 4: Exploring the Rain Forest
Spend three full days on guided excursions into the wonders of the Amazon rain forest, traveling on foot, by dugout canoe, and motorized skiff. While the specifics of your visit may differ based on the number of guests at the lodge, weather and the specific seasons of the year, you can anticipate daily itineraries such as these:

Hiking & Canoeing
Rise with the sun in time for an early-morning medical botany hike along the Chaguamango Trail that leads from the lodge to the lake. Your guide reveals an impressive array of medicinal plants used by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin to cure a host of ailments. As you return to the lodge by traditional dugout canoe, you may spy groups of squirrel monkeys approaching the water. After lunch and an afternoon siesta, you take a loop walk on the Charapa Trail. Along the way you'll look for different mammals, monkeys and birds that come near the lakeshore in the afternoon to search for food. As the sun sets, you cross the lake once more by canoe to reach the lodge, where dinner awaits.

Once night descends, return to the canoes for a magical paddle through the darkness. With the help of a powerful spotlight, your guides scout the shores of the lagoon looking for caiman, boas, bats, owls, night mammals and other nocturnal wildlife. If the sky is clear, you'll also have the chance to do some stargazing.

Parrot Lick / Village Visit
Spend a day in the most biologically diverse spot on earth, Yasuni National Park. You reach the park via a 20-minute dugout canoe ride, followed by a 15-minute walk to the Napo River. From here you make a short journey by motorized canoe to see one of the world's most amazing wildlife displays, a parrot clay lick. Hundreds of bright green parrots and parakeets flock to the treetops, then fly down to a clay bank to eat the soil, rich in minerals they need to help digest the fruits and seeds they consume daily. It is essential to have binoculars to enjoy the sight fully, as well as a camera with video to capture it.

Your naturalist guide helps you identify the different species of parrots and parakeets while providing all sorts of interesting information about the habits and behavior of these birds. You'll return to the motorized canoe for more birdwatching along the riverbanks. Later, stop to visit a local Amazonian Quichua family living on the river. Your hosts receive you in their home and share aspects of their daily lives and customs in an authentic cultural encounter. You return to the lodge via motorized canoe, paddled canoe and on foot.

Butterfly Farm / Observation Tower / Night Walk
Enjoy a guided tour of the lodge's butterfly farm, where you'll learn all about butterfly biology and perhaps witness the amazing process of metamorphosis before your eyes. Be sure to bring your camera – close-up shots of colorful butterflies are practically assured. After lunch at the lodge, you set out on a 20-minute walk to the Observation Tower, ascending 120 feet to a platform offering 360-degree views of the tropical rain forest canopy. Your guide brings a telescope that allows you to see birds in the canopy, and possibly monkeys and sloths. And even if you can't see them, you may hear the mysterious drone of troops of howler monkeys as they call out from the trees.

As dusk falls, you'll take another walk, this time as twilight transforms the forest into a mystical realm of sounds. With flashlights in hand you get a fascinating perspective on the myriad amphibians, reptiles, insects, night birds and nocturnal mammals, then return to the lodge for dinner. After dinner, enjoy another naturalist lecture and briefing about tomorrow's departure for Coca and Quito.

Day 5: Coca / Quito
An early wake-up call rouses you for a final breakfast amid the rain forest prior to departing the lodge. The lodge staff assists with your checked luggage, getting it into a freight canoe to transport it back to Coca while you ride upstream in our motorized canoe. On arrival in Coca, your representative escorts you to the airport and helps with your checked luggage and boarding passes.

4-Day Extension
The itinerary and activities for this extension are as described above; however, guests will return to Quito on Day 4.

Physical Rating: Easy / Moderate

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