3 nights and 4 days
Boat transfers and walking
Quito & Coca, Ecuador
From the capital city of Quito, a 30 minute flight will bring you over the Eastern Andes mountain range to the city of Coca. Known as the “Gateway to the Amazon” since Francisco de Orellana’s expedition here in 1541, it is conveniently located at the confluence of the Coca River and the Napo River.
A modern covered motorboat will take you on a comfortable 2.5 hour ride from the port of La Misión to the Wildlife Center welcome station in Yasuní National Park. From there, we transfer to dugout canoes operated by expert guides in order to quietly paddle up the Añangu Creek. This peaceful leg of the trip will lead us through undisturbed habitat which allows guests their first glimpses of incredible wildlife like the Hoatzin. As we enter Añangu Lake and approach the ecolodge, be prepared to be struck with awe as you soak up the magical vista!
There are so many incredible creatures pre-dating human history who call this rainforest home. Whether you are an avid birdwatcher with many more feathered wonders left on your wish list or are hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the majestic cats who slink down to the river for a drink, this is the place for you.
It would be impossible to see everything there is to be seen here in the span of even one lifetime alone! The local Kichwa people have belonged to this territory for upwards of 500 years, and know the jungle’s secrets like the back of their hands. Let the hospitality of your new-found friends open your eyes to the wonders of life in the old-growth rainforest without sacrificing any of the pleasures of modern life and luxury.
Departing from Quito, a 30 minute flight to Coca will bring you over the eastern Andes mountain range. After landing during the mid-morning, a 5 min transfer will take you to “La Mision” Port, where you will embark on a comfortable covered motor-boat. Here we will ride along the Napo River for about 2 hours while enjoying a box lunch and coffee, which is provided en route.
Along the way, you will have opportunities to spot birds like herons, kingfishers, and others. After arriving at Wildlife Center’s entry dock, we disembark for a short break and to visit the restroom. Next, we take you on a majestic and peaceful 2 hour paddle canoe ride surrounded by trees and wildlife, paddling along a narrow creek that connects to the lake where the lodge is located.
There will be chances to see some species of monkeys as well as large birds like toucans, parrots, or even macaws. A late afternoon arrival to the Wildlife ecolodge with an overwhelming view of the Añangu Lake will be accompanied by a welcome drink followed by a briefing from the local manager.
Wake up for an early breakfast and an early start to reach the most accessible parrot clay licks in Ecuador, about 1 hour away from the lodge. Guests reach this destination just before parrot activity kicks off at the clay lick between 7:30 to 8:30am to ensure the best viewing experience. A total of 11 species of parrots, parakeets, and macaws can be seen on a daily basis. Many other animals also visit on a less frequent basis.
Later, hike along a forest trail to visit the Kichwa Community of Añangu and share time with a family on one of their many activities. Enjoy lunch at a Cultural Center, where you share with people of the Kichwa community.
Then return to the creek and hike through a Terra Firme Forest for about 30 minutes until we arrive at the second parrot clay lick. If the weather conditions permit, we will be able to find different species of parrots, parakeets, and even macaws.
When you arrive back at the lodge during the late afternoon or early evening, a delicious dinner will be awaiting you.
After another early breakfast, we leave the lodge to experience an amazing view of the rainforest from a 36 meter tall canopy tower, a great way to see the hustle and bustle of life above ground-level. This is the second tower at the Napo Wildlife Center, located about 30 minutes from the lodge deep within the Terra Firme forest. As you ascend the 12-floor tower, you pass through different levels of the forest and emerge at the top of a huge Ceiba tree.
Flocks of colorful tanagers pass right through the canopy of the tree. Blue-and-yellow macaws fly past while, in nearby trees, adorable spider monkeys search for fruit. Two species of large toucans call in the early mornings and afternoons, and the life of the forest canopy is laid out before you. Birds that are virtually impossible to see from the forest floor far below are suddenly right beside you, usually oblivious to your presence. The canopy tower opens a whole new world to guests of the ecolodge.
Lunch is served at the lodge. Your afternoon can include discovering another Terra Firme trail, where we hike along primary forest to see the forest interior, possibilities of finding lizards, colorful manakins, or the unique and endemic Golden-mantled tamarin monkey. After the hike, explore the lake and creeks in a dugout canoe and enjoy a likely chance meeting with our local Giant otter family on the way.
Your last day will entail an early departure and final 2 hour excursion canoeing back to the Napo River. The creek may reveal new sights of giant otters, monk saki monkeys, and rare birds along the way. Once we have reached the river, you will transfer to the motorized canoe to return the way you came. You will arrive in Coca after an approximately 2 hour boat ride in order to check-in for your Coca – Quito flight.
Precise schedule to be announced according to departure details and arrangements.