AMAZON RAINFOREST TOURS
WHY IS ECUADOR THE BEST PLACE TO SEE THE AMAZON?
The Amazon Basin extends all the way from Venezuela down to Bolivia; covering 8 different countries. With so many options to visit, we have more than one reason to make you decide for Ecuador.
Unrivaled Biodiveristy: Yasuni National Park lays in the heart of Ecuador's Amazon and it's home to 596 bird species, 262 amphibian and reptile species, 173 mammal species and over 4000 species of vascular plants. In spite of covering less than 1% of the Amazon Basin, The Yasuni National Park has been called the most biologically diverse spot on the earth for reaching peak levels of biodiversity in the Western Hemisphere.
Yet, why is this unprecedented biodiversity per-square-mile not possible in any of the neighbor countries? Here's why: It is scientifically proven that biological richness is dramatically higher in countries crossed by the equator line. Second, the elevation variation provided by the Andes mountain range conceives numerous microclimates and climate zones where numerous and different species thrive at each zone or elevation. Putting these two factors toghether we have that Ecuador's Amazon is the only region in South America to be crossed by the equator line and the Andes mountain range at the same time, hence it's unparalleled biodiversity.
Safety: After being declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1989 by UNESCO, Yasuni National Park and the areas surrounding it, became one of the safest touristic areas in the Amazon Basin.
Infraestructure and Sustainability: Ecuador's Amazon is well-known for it's award-winning sustainable amazon lodges, operated almost entirely by indigenous communitites. The lodges, although they offer some of the most luxurious accommodations in the Amazon, where designed following the most rigorous ecological practices. Through eco-tourism, these communities have adopted sustainable practices to actively protect extensive portions of virgin tropical forests.
SUGGESTED PROGRAM AND ITINERARY
We have carefully put together the following itinerary for nature lovers of all ages. This itinerary is not meant for birdwatchers looking to have birds as a primary focus. If you are looking for a birdwatching tour in the Amazon, please click HERE to check-out our superb birdwatching tours options.
DAY 1: After a 35-to-40 minute flight from Quito to Coca airport, your journey begins once you board our comfortable canoe from Coca's pier. From here, we begin our tour with a 2 hour boat trip up the impressive Napo River, the largest Ecuadorian affluent of the Amazon river. During the boat trip, you will get a taste of the Amazon; indigenous communitites will wave at you from the river's bank, and flocks of macaws, egrets, kingfishers and other colorful birds will fly over. The boat trip will be accompanied by a delicious packed lunch.
The canoe trip is followed by a 15 minute walk through our beautiful flooded forest which takes us to the pier of our Amazon Oxbow lake. From here, we embark in a final 20 minute paddle canoe across the calm waters of our lake. Refreshing cold drinks and snacks will be available upon arrival to the lodge. After settling down in your cabin you will have some time to explore the surroundings.
After lunch your guide will take you on a canoe ride to look out for primates, caimans, birds, unique flora, and with some luck an anaconda! After our hike, we are awaited with delicious national and international cuisine both for vegetarians and vegans.
DAY 2: After breakfast, your guide will take you to one of the most anticipated attractions of the Amazon, the observation or canopy tower. Raising at 36 meters (108 feet), our observation tower offers you the oportunity to observe numerous bird and unique animals species that would otherwise be nearly impossible to appreciate from the understory. Toucans, tanagers, macaws, trogons, honeycreepers, monkeys, sloths and other species can be seen using your binoculars or the guide's telescope. After the tower, we will continue looking for wildlife in the nearby trails.
After lunch you can enjoy the amazon's breeze relaxing on the hammocks or you can join your guide to bird-watch from the dinning hall. At around 3PM, you will hike some of the trails inside the majestic terra-firme forest. Your guide will talk about the jungle's natural history as you walk the forest covered in orchids, bromeliads, vines, strangler figs and millenary kapok/ceiba trees. Dinner in the lodge.
After dinner join your guide on a night-expedition exploring our black-water Oxbow Lake. Enjoy the wild voices of frogs and insects as your guide looks out for nocturnal species including the legendary 6 meter (18ft) long black caiman.
DAY 3: After breakfast, short boat ride down the Napo River to visit the iconic parrot-clay lick at Yasuni National Park. Hundreds of parrots of multiple species will welcome us with their breath-taking colors. Next, we hike inside the park's terra firme trails which are home to golden-mantled tamarins, spider monkeys, blue-and-yellow macaws, and with some luck collared and white-lipped pecaries
Lunch in a traditional Community Center where you will visit a native house to experience the taste of the food, drinks and customs of a Kichwa family.
Late afternoon transfer back to the lodge. After dinner join your guide in another night walk primarily focused on insects, spiders and frogs.
DAY 4: After breakfast, enjoy the last visit to the rainforest before boat ride back to Coca airport and flight back to Quito.
YOU WANT MORE?
For a more complete and diverse experience in Ecuador, this itinerary can be combined with any of the following tours: