Day 1 - Quito / Amazon Jungle
Our joining hotel for this short break is the Cafe Cultura (please see the address below in joining point). We can assist you with booking extra accommodation at our hotel.
Alternatively if you wish to stay at a hotel of your choice in Quito please ensure you give your booking agent the details of the hotel at least 15 days prior to this trip's starting day so the morning pick up can be arranged from there.
The evening before this trip starts you will be met at your hotel by your Intrepid representative by 6pm. Your Intrepid representative will provide you all vouchers and extra information you will need for the coming 5 days. If you arrive after 6pm, this information will be left in an envelope at the hotel's front desk. If you have any questions in this regard, please contact the emergency number provided in this Trip Dossier.
At 7.00 in the morning of day 1 of this trip you will be met by your transfer driver in Hotel Cafe Cultura or the lobby of your hotel (if advised previously) and you will be driven to the airport.
The flight over the Andes to the river port town of Puerto Francisco de Orellana, (or Coca) will take approximately 45 minutes. Here, a local guide will meet you and transfer you to the town docks, where a covered motorized canoe will take you on a two-hour journey down the Napo River to the Sacha Lodge (or alternative Napo Lodge - refer to "Other Information" for more details).
The Napo River is the largest river in Ecuadorian Amazonia and as you cruise along the water it is easy to spot a number of shore birds including herons, kingfishers, spoonbills and ospreys. Upon arrival at Sacha Lodge’s 2000-hectare private reserve, you will walk along a raised boardwalk (approx 30 minutes) through dense forest to Pilchicocha Lake, where dugout canoes await to take you to the lodge.
We arrive at Sacha lodge in the afternoon around 4pm.
It is not unusual to see several species of monkeys and tropical birds along the way, including the ancient looking Hoatzin! The Hoatzin, one of the strangest living birds, is considered by many as a link with the first known bird, Archaeopteryx, that became extinct millions of years ago. There is time this afternoon to take a walk, or swim, or to explore the surrounding jungle and its wildlife.
After dinner tonight you may want to accompany your naturlaist guide into the jungle for a night walk or perhaps a canoe ride on
the lake to view the spectacled and black caimans with their glowing orange eyes as you silently paddle across the lake to get a closer view.
Day 2 - Amazon Jungle Lodge
Begin morning activity between 6:00 and 7:00.Begin walking on trail Liana Chica and arrive at the canopy walk, for spectacular views of the
rainforest canopy and the many different species of vibrantly colored birds.
Designed to be a self-standing rigid suspension canopy walk, it is one of only a few in the world!
Located within Sacha´s private reserve, 2 miles from the shores of the Rio Napo and 1 mile from the lodge, the bird walk gives guests the opportunity
to get an up close and personal view of the rainforest canopy.Two of the three towers have observation decks every 12 meters making towers accessible for everyone. The canopy walkway is at 36 meters high and 275 meters long, giving guests a “birds eye view” of all the wonders and beauty the
tropical rainforest has to offer.The canopy walk is designed as a sturdy walkway enabling guests to casually move along while enjoying the spectacular views.
After the canopy walk, Liana Grande through terra firma and igapo forest habitats where native guides will explain many different species
of medicinal plants that have been being used in their culture for hundreds of years. Liana Grande will turn into the trail Higueron,
which will take you through pristine primary forest with huge Kapok and Fig trees towering hundreds of feet above your head. After lunch, you may choose to take a leisurely hike along the Rio Napo, or choose a little more challenging hike on the trail Leoncillo to try and spot the elusive dusky titi monkey. Either way the trails will lead you back to the main boardwalk for your final hike and canoe ride back to the lodge.
Day 3 - Amazon Jungle Lodge
Leaving the lodge after breakfast, you begin your hike on trail Lagartococha. This trail offers you the chance to learn more about the native people and their relationship with the forest. Learn about the trees where native people believe the spirits of their ancestors live, and the mysterious “dwende” or devil-man of the forest. After arriving at lake Lagartococha, take a tranquil canoe ride through a natural swamp, which is the home of anacondas, caimans, and capybaras. After the canoe ride, a walk on the other side of Largatococha may give you the opportunity to spot capuchin or squirrel monkeys playfully jumping through the trees. Return from the walk or canoe ride and head back to the lodge for a refreshing dip in the lake, or a nice relaxing nap in your personal hammock on your private balcony. After lunch, your native guide will teach you how to fish for the infamous razor-toothed piranha. Keep in mind that piranhas will never attack a person and swimming at the same time is perfectly safe and fun!
In the afternoon you will begin what many think is the best trail at Sacha, a silent canoe ride through the flooded Amazonian forest. Where you have a
good chance of being surrounded by troops of squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys. Keep your eyes peeled for the shy and elusive river otter as well as the incredibly well camouflaged three-toed sloth! After your eye-popping ride through the flooded forest, you will arrive at Sacha´s135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient Kapok tree. Get close up views of vibrantly colored birds through Sacha´s powerful scopes, and watch the sun set with an amazing view of Mount Sumaco, a volcano, and possibly a view of the snow-covered
caps of the Andes! Leaving the tower just before or after sunset will give you an experience not soon forgotten. A canoe ride back through the flooded forest at night will be an awe-inspiring experience. Listen to the symphony of frogs and insects as you navigate through the narrow flooded forest trail, keeping your eyes open for caimans. Watch the several species of bats flying over your heads and listen to the many species of nocturnal birds making their eerie nighttime calls. Finally, after your mesmerizing canoe trip through the Amazon, you will arrive back at lake Pilchicocha and the welcoming lights of Sacha lodge.
Day 4 - Amazon Jungle lodge
A chance to view four different species of parrots at the same time is something that should not be missed. Sacha is close enough to Yasuni National
Park that a thirty minute motorized canoe ride down the Napo to the parrot lick is well worth it. Leaving at six in the morning from Sacha and
arriving at the lick around 7:30 will give you plenty of time to get close up views of the parrots eating the clay to neutralize the acids
which they get from eating their many different types of fruits and leaves. Arriving back at the lodge around 11am or so gives you plenty of time to swim or relax before lunch is served. Visit the butterfly house once again to photograph the beautifully colored
butterflies. For your afternoon activity, Pantano is the trail to take. Pantano offers you several different types of rainforest habitats. From secondary to primary forests as well as flooded forest and swampy areas. An excellent trail for monkeys and birds in the afternoon, your naturalist and native guides will intrigue you with their knowledge of the jungle and its inhabitants as well as provide you with an everlasting experience and memory of the neotropical rainforest.
Day 5 - Quito
You are transferred by boat back to Coca for your flight to Quito, where your trip ends upon arrival at Quito Airport. Normally flights arrive back in Quito at around 1pm; however, there is always a likelihood of your flight being delayed. This being the case you may wish to book an additional night's accommodation in Quito and also a transfer from airport to hotel. These should be booked at the same time you book your holiday. If you are planning to depart Quito today, we advise that you do not book to depart until at least after 4pm (16:00 hrs)
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