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Amazon Lodge Extension

An Ecuadorian Rain Forest Adventure into our Planet's Greatest Ecosystem – the Amazon Basin!

Day 1: Quito / Coca / La Selva Jungle Lodge
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 we 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 our takeout point, guides assist with luggage while we take a short walk through the forest to reach Lake Garzacocha – “the Heron’s Lagoon,”where a waiting boat whisks us across to the main dock at La Selva. A refreshing cocktail awaits on arrival, which we enjoy during a short briefing on the lodge and activities to come. This afternoon, as we take a short introductory nature walk accompanied by both native and naturalist guides, we begin to learn about the flora and fauna of the rain forest, astounded at the incredible biodiversity. Just before dinner we'll take another walk, this time as dusk transforms the forest into a mystical realm of sounds. With flashlights in hand, we’ll get a fascinating perspective on the myriad amphibians, reptiles, insects, night birds and nocturnal mammals, then return to the lodge for dinner. 

Day 2: Exploring the Rain Forest on Foot & By Canoe
Rise with the sun this morning, in time for an early-morning medical botany hike along the Chaguamango Trail that leads from the lodge to the lake. Our guides reveal an impressive array of medicinal plants used by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin to cure a host of ailments. As we return to the lodge by traditional dugout canoe, we may spy groups of squirrel monkeys approaching the water.  After lunch and an afternoon siesta, another nature hike is in store with a loop walk on the Charapa Trail. Along the way we’ll look for different mammals, monkeys and birds that come near the lakeshore in the afternoon to search for food. As the sun sets, we cross the lake once more by canoe to reach the lodge. Once night descends, return to the canoes for a magical paddle through the darkness. With the help of a powerful spotlight, our guides scout the shores of the lagoon looking for caiman, boas, bats, owls, night mammals and other nocturnal wildlife. If the sky is clear, we’ll also have the chance to do some stargazing. Dinner awaits at the lodge following our intriguing excursion.

Day 3: Parrot Lick / Butterfly Farm
Another early morning ensures a full day amid the wonders of the rain forest. Today we’ll spend time in the most biologically diverse spot on earth, Yasuni National Park. We reach the park via a 20-minute dugout canoe ride, followed by a 15-minute walk to the Napo River. From here we 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, which is 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 to capture it.

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

Enjoy another afternoon siesta before a guided tour of the lodge’s butterfly farm, where we’ll learn all about butterfly biology and perhaps witness the amazing process of metamorphosis before our eyes. Be sure to bring your camera—close-up shots of colorful butterflies are practically assured. Our adventure continues with a chance to fish for piranhas in Garzacocha Lake. Fishing lines are provided by our native guide, for whom this local fish is an important food staple. Depending on the size of the fish caught, we sometimes put it back in the water, or, if it’s big enough, the lodge chef will be happy to cook it up for you for a tasty dinner just like the locals eat. After dinner, enjoy another naturalist lecture and briefing about tomorrow’s departure for Coca and Quito.

Day 4: Coca / Quito / Home
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, our representative escorts you to the airport and helps with your checked luggage and boarding passes.

Please note: This itinerary may vary slightly due to weather conditions, to maximize wildlife sightings depending on the reports of our naturalist guides, and to accommodate your personal interests.

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