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5 Day Adventure Wildlife Tour in the Amazon Jungle, Ecuador

Gaia Amazon Lodge, Km 4 Vía Ahuano-Campanacocha, Ahuano, Napo, Ecuador

Wildlife Tour Ecuador

Ever wondered what the Ecuadorian Amazon is like? With this tour, you'll be able to discover its wonders through several activities such as canoe tour, night walks, forest walks, a visit to an animal rescue center and a butterfly garden, and more. You will discover the rainforest as well as the rivers in it. Book your wildlife tour today!

Key information

  • Private or group safari: group.
  • Children policy: children are allowed under the parent's responsibility from 5 years old at least.
  • Languages: Spanish and Kichwa native speaking guides. English translators are available.

Highlights

  • Night, island, forest, and river walks
  • Visit the animal rescue center Amazoonico
  • See birds, monkeys, reptiles, nocturnal animals, insects, and more
  • Canoe tour of the Napo and Arajuno rivers
  • Learn to build your own raft and sail
  • Daily meals, coffee, water, and tea
  • 4 nights accommodation

Styles


5 activity days in English
The organizer also speaks: Spanish
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
13:00
Check-out Time:
12:00

Facilities

  • Bar
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Terrace

Gaia Amazon Eco-Lodge is an ecological project of unique architecture, a unique combination of local building knowledge with a touch of contemporary comfort. This has been designed airy and bright with the wind running freely in all its areas.

The complex is composed of a main building with social areas and three cabins with two independent rooms each, which allow single, double, triple or quadruple occupancy. All its spaces are authentic and they let you feel in the middle of the forest through which you can find incredible views of the Napo River.

The rooms have been designed thinking of combining the sensation of nature in harmony with comfort. All the facilities were built from ecological materials and sustainable construction methods. These are spacious and bright and are naturally air-conditioned, with high ceilings and large windows.

Each of the cabins has a terrace, a space that complements the rooms and allows you to enjoy the views of the forest and the river while enjoying the different sounds of nature. Thinking of your comfort, all rooms have a large private bathroom with hot water; the windows are covered with screens, allowing insect-free ventilation; and each room has electric lighting and electrical outlets.

Program

Day 1

  • Afternoon: River tour in the Napo and Arajuno rivers by canoe and a short hike in the Bird's Island

Day 2

  • Morning: Visit an indigenous family, ceramic and / or balsa workshops
  • Afternoon: Build your own raft or tubing in the Arajuno River, nocturnal hike

Day 3

  • Morning: Trekking in the primary forest or Río Blanco full day
  • Afternoon: Río Blanco waterfalls or Río Blanco full day; artisanal chocolate preparation

Day 4

  • Morning: Visit the Amazoonico animal rescue center
  • Afternoon: Gold panning

Day 5

  • Morning: Tubing in the Arajuno river or butterfly farm

Note: Activities may vary or be canceled according to weather conditions or other force majeure.

Included excursions

Bird Island

Walking tour of the Island of Birds where you will observe various types of vegetation along the way. There will be a presentation on the various plants and their uses. You may also encounter birds like parakeets, orioles, and partridges, depending on the time of day and year (1 hour approximately).

Visit to an indigenous family

Visit to The Anaconda Island where many Kwichua families live. Here you will become familiar with their customs and traditions. You will have an opportunity to sample chicha (traditional beverage) and cassava, which is a basic feature of the Kwichwa diet. You will also learn about their traditional hunting methods and use of the blowgun. Upon entering the island, you will pass through the margins of a small swamp inhabited by hoatzines (prehistoric birds) and caymans. (2-3 hours approximately).

Canoe trip along the rivers

This trip will introduce you to the natural environment surrounding Gaia, via motorized canoes along the rivers Napo and Arajuno. You will have an opportunity to enjoy the natural scenery, bird and monkey watching on the river banks. Swimming in the river is an option, depending on the weather. ( 2-3 hours approximately).

Trek across the primary forest

This is a mountain hike across the primary forests. You will explore and observe many natural wonders including medicinal plants, insects, and animals. You will also visit Ceibo, the giant tree of the Amazon, ( 2-3 hours approximately).

White River waterfalls

This entails a 35-minute truck ride to the community of Rio Blanco and a 30-minute walk from there to the magnificent waterfalls. You will have ample time to explore and swim in beautiful surroundings where it is common to find fossils and petrified wood. ( 3-4 hours approximately).

Guided night walk

With the aid of flashlights, you will discover the nocturnal world of the forest. You will encounter the symphony of nocturnal birds, colored frogs, insects of all kinds, as well as shrimp in the river, snakes, and many more indigenous creatures. (45 minutes approximately).

Build your own raft

With the assistance of a guide, you will build rafts from logs and take them on the river. You will have the opportunity to relax, take in the scenery, and even swim while navigating along the current. (3 hours approximately).

Artisanal chocolate production

This entails a visit to the cocoa trees surrounding Gaia Lodge, from which some of the choicest fruit is picked for chocolate production. You will be treated to a presentation on the artisan process of making chocolate and also to the chocolate itself. (1 hour approximately).

Hike to Río Blanco

This is a full-day walking excursion through forests in which you will encounter and visit indigenous communities. You will be presented with information on various topics including traditional uses of natural resources and medicinal plants. You will have the opportunity of closely observing many birds, insects, and animals along the way and will visit the Río Blanco Waterfall. Box lunch provided. ( 5-6 hours approximately).

Animal rescue center

Amazoonico is one of the most important and highly regarded conservation projects in the Amazon. The proceeds from visiting here support the maintenance and reintegration of the animals. Among the animals you will see here are alligators, tapirs, ocelots, toucans, anacondas, macaws, and monkeys of various species. ( 2-3 hours approximately).

Tubing on the river

This fun, yet leisurely activity is enhanced by the natural setting of the rain forest. The sound and sight of birds and monkeys while floating down the river make for a truly unique experience. (2 hours approximately).

Artisan ceramic workshop

The art of ceramics is traditional in the Kichwa culture and has been passed down through the generations. You will visit a Kichwan family in the Ahuano village whose source of income is decorative pottery. They will share with you the process of making these beautiful handicrafts. (30 minutes approximately).

Butterfly garden

Visit to the butterfly garden in the village of Ahuano. The garden is a controlled environment featuring an astounding array of plants and flowers and boasts approximately 25 native species of butterflies. There will be a presentation on the entire cycle of the butterfly metamorphosis. (1-2 hours approximately).

Artisanal balsa woodworking

Balsa wood is an important raw material for the indigenous culture. It is widely used for making crafts and decorative figures. You will visit and watch a presentation by a local craftsman who shapes these figures from a single piece of trunk wood, after which he treats and decorates them for sale. (30 minutes approximately).

Gold panning

Gold panning in the rivers of the Amazon is a way of generating income for many local families. You will visit one of the beaches of Río Napo where you will have an opportunity to watch and learn how to wash gold in wooden rafts. ( 1 hour approximately).

Location

The rainforest of the Amazon is a wonder of the world and of the imagination, an ecosystem of unparalleled size and diversity, a place of almost mythical status. Gaia Amazon Eco-Lodge invites you to discover it by navigating its rivers in the form of a snake, walking through the forest in the midst of giant trees, surprising you for its rich flora and unique fauna, listening to its people and learning from its millenary culture.

Gaia Lodge is located in the Ecuadorian Amazon (the Amazon rainforest), one of the most biodiverse ecological zones in the world and with enormous cultural richness. The location of the lodge was carefully chosen to ensure that the guests feel immersed in the natural environment of the rainforest. The facilities, taking care of the integrity of the natural environment, have been designed to offer comfort and an atmosphere of relaxation.

The lodge overlooks the majestic Napo River and is surrounded by a forest of cacao trees. The privileged landscape of the jungle, the river, and the mountain offers the visitors a wide opportunity to enjoy the nuances of the rainforest from dawn to dusk. Gaia is located 4 kilometers east of the town of Ahuano, between the Napo River and the road that goes Campanacocha. You can easily reach both the river by canoe and by vehicle.

Features

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Swimming

General

  • Bar
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • River
  • Terrace

Services

  • Tour assistance

Food

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included. On the first day, you will only have lunch and dinner. On the last day, you will only have breakfast and lunch. The lodge offers free purified water, coffee, and tea.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Shaman’s cleansing ceremony

A shaman or witchdoctor is one of the most important figures in the indigenous communities. He is responsible for healing the sick and protecting them from evil spirits and bad energy. This visit will consist of a spiritual cleansing to promote positive energies and ward off evil spirits. (1 hour approximately).

Bird watching

This activity takes place between 5:00 and 6:00 in the morning or afternoon on the Birds Island. Most of the native birds have their shelters and nesting places on this island, and it is at this time that the birds are waking up or returning for the night. (1-2 hours approximately).

What's included

  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Free purified water, coffee, and tea at the lodge
  • Tours and activities as detailed in the itinerary, with a native guide (Spanish and Kichwa)

What's not included

  • Translator (in case an English translator is required, the cost is 20 USD per day. This rate applies to the entire group or to the individual passenger, as the case may be. This requirement must be reported to the lodge no less than 10 days in advance.)
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Transportation to Gaia
  • Everything not mentioned in the quote

How to get there

Arrival by bus

Public buses from Quito to Tena depart hourly from the South Terminal "Quitumbe". From Tena, there are hourly buses to Punta del Ahuano. From here you will need to cross the river by canoe and travel an additional 10-15 minutes by taxi. The duration of this trip is approximately 5 hours in total. The travel time from downtown Quito to the South Terminal is 1 hour by public bus or 20 minutes by taxi.

Public buses from Baños to Tena depart hourly from the bus terminal. From Tena, there are hourly buses to Punta del Ahuano. From here you will need to cross the river by canoe and travel an additional 10-15 minutes by taxi. The duration of this trip is approximately 5 hours in total.

Public buses from Tena to Punta del Ahuano depart hourly from the Centinela del Tena Bus Terminal. From here you will need to cross the river by canoe and travel an additional 10-15 minutes by taxi. The duration of this trip is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes in total. The last bus departure from Tena to Punta del Ahuano is at 5 p.m. If you miss the last bus, you can still take a taxi from Tena to Punta del Ahuano.

Public transportation fares are: Quito to Tena by bus 8 USD aprox., Baños to Tena by bus 6 USD aprox., Tena to Punta del Ahuano by bus 1.5 USD, Tena to Punta del Ahuano by taxi 15 USD, Punta del Ahuano across the Napo River by canoe 0.25 USD, Punta del Ahuano to Gaia by taxi 4-5 USD.

When you reach the Punta del Ahuano, once you've crossed the RÍo Napo, you have to search a pick-up truck. You should ask about the Gaia Cabins or Cabañas de Agustín in the way Ahuano-Campanacocha. This will take about 15 minutes and cost 5 USD aprox. In Spanish, you can say “Voy a las cabañas Gaia o a las Cabañas de Agustín en la Vía Ahuano-Campanacocha km 4.”

Arrival by shuttle

Semi-private transportation (shuttle) is available from Quito to Punta del Ahuano for 30 USD one way. This includes pick-up from your hostel or hotel in Quito (not from the airport). A Gaia representative will greet you in Punta del Ahuano and bring you to Gaia.

Shuttle schedules for departures from Quito: 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Monday to Friday, and 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday. Departures from Ahuano: 3:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. (Monday to Friday), and 4:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. (Saturdays and Sunday).

Gaia Amazon Eco-Lodge can arrange for you a private transfer from Quito or the airport to Gaia Lodge for 150 USD, it can be arranged in anytime, leaving maximum at 5:00 p.m. from Quito. The private car can take up to 4 persons. The journey take 4 hours aprox. Example: If there are 4 people in the group, the cost is 37.5 USD per person; if there is only one person, the price is 150 USD. Please let Gaia Amazon Eco-Lodge know if you choose this option, and they will assist to you with the reservation of the shuttle.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
5 days / 4 nights
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Pricing information

Kids until 10 years have 30% off.

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