Immerse yourself in the essence of Amazonia with this astounding trip to the heart of the World’s biggest and most wildlife-rich rainforest. A taste of Ecuadorian culture awaits . You fly east over the Andean peaks and down into the vast rainforest of the Amazon Basin. Your Amazon adventure will start at the spectacular Sacha Lodge where you can scan the tree tops from the impressive canopy walkway, explore waterways by dugout canoe and admire characteristic birds such as the unique Hoatzin. The second half of your holiday will be based from Napo Wildlife Centre by the edge of a lake in Yasuni National Park, where Giant Otters and Anacondas frequent. A canopy tower gives you amazing views of the area’s impressive range of wildlife. Look for the iconic Golden-mantled Tamarin and the legendary Harpy Eagle is possible.
There are many ways to extend this tour, including days in the Tandayapa Valley and visits to Milpe, Rio Silanche and the famous Paz de las Aves Reserve (for Cock-of-the-Rock and antipittas), so please contact us for details.
Itinerary and price
Day 1: Flight to Quito to be organised by you.
For help with your flight arrangements and to receive a no obligation quote, you can complete the enquiry form on our website or call 0800 280 8947 to speak to a flight advisor at StudentUniverse (in partnership with Gapyear.com), part of the Flight Centre Travel Group, a leading retailer of airfares and worldwide flights.
Meals: Payable directly today
Some flights departing the UK earlier in the morning arrive in Quito late afternoon/evening. For help with your flight arrangements and to receive a no obligation quote, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, use the enquiry form on our website or call 0800 280 8947 to speak to a flight advisor at Gapyear.com, part of the Flight Centre Travel Group, a leading retailer of airfares and worldwide flights.
Your driver will be outside Quito airport (look for your name on a placard) to welcome you and transfer you to Hotel Casa Aliso. Relax for the remainder of the day. There are a couple of good restaurants within walking distance if you arrive in time to take dinner (payable directly this evening).
Note: Quito is located at 3,000 metres at high altitude in the Andes. To avoid any symptoms of altitude sickness and prepare for the following day we advise as early a night as possible with plenty of sleep AND avoid alcohol until you reach the Amazon.
Day 2: Quito – Coca – Sacha Lodge (along the Napo River)
Meals: Breakfast at Casa Aliso, lunch in Coca and dinner at Sacha Lodge
Today at around 0830 hours (to be confirmed with Casa Aliso staff) you will be taken to the airport for an internal flight (excluded from the price) usually departing Quito at around 1100 hours (to be confirmed) and arriving in Coca, the gateway to the Ecuadorian Amazon, at around 1130 hours. On arrival (around lunch time) you (and the other Sacha guests arriving on the same flight) will collect your luggage and you’ll find a representative from Sacha Lodge will welcome you and arrange the transfer for lunch in Coca town. Everyone will then board a high-powered motorised canoe and your journey along the Napo River will begin, followed by a short stroll along a boardwalk and the final part of the journey by dugout canoe. If you are lucky Red Howler Monkey, Great or Common Potoo and Hoatzin may put in an appearance before you reach Sacha Lodge! Your luggage will arrive as if by magic at the lodge and staff will explain the plan for the next few days, you’ll check-in to your cabin and meet your guide for a late afternoon journey by dugout canoe along some of the Amazonian channels or a walk along rainforest trails.
Days 3, 4 and 5: Sacha Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
The wildlife around Sacha is extremely diverse and experienced guides will help point out many characteristic species of the area. Over these days explore trails on foot, channels by dugout canoe, birdwatch from the top of a canopy tower and walk through the tree tops along the impressive canopy walkway. You are likely to see Many-banded Aracari, Spangled Cotinga, Blue-and-Yellow Macaw, Golden-collared Toucanet, Green-and-Gold and Opal-rumped Tanagers at eye level from the canopy walk way and towers. On forest walks mammals may include Squirrel Monkey, Pygmy Marmoset, White-fronted Capuchin and Night Monkey. Nights at Sacha Lodge. (Note: Please mention to your guide that you plan to visit the Parrot clay lick from Napo Wildlife Centre and that way you won’t do it twice! If you were to visit twice I suspect you wouldn’t be disappointed but visiting the clay licks from Sacha incurs an entrance fee of approx. $22.00 per person (free while you are staying at Napo Wildlife Centre).
Day 6: Sacha – Napo (Yasuni National Park)
Meals: Breakfast at Sacha, lunch and dinner at Napo
Today you will leave Sacha in the morning for a stay at Napo Wildlife Centre where you will explore the Yasuni National Park. You’ll head back along the channels and boardwalk to the arrival point on the Napo River. From here a motorised canoe from Napo Wildlife Centre will arrive to collect you from Sacha dock (expect it to be around 1000 hours to be confirmed and coordinated between Sacha and Napo staff) and take you on the relatively short journey across the Napo River where your extended adventure awaits. In the company of an experienced Napo Wildlife Centre guide you may visit the parrot clay lick where it is possible (with a bit of luck) to see hundreds of Cobalt-winged Parakeets, Mealy Amazons and sometimes Orange-cheeked Parrots, or this might be best done at a different time of day during your stay. All will be explained to make the most of your stay here and the order of activities may vary. You are bound to enjoy the journey along different channels, watching for Anaconda, Red and Green Macaw and very occasionally Giant Otter.
Days 7, 8 and 9: Napo Wildlife Centre area (Yasuni National Park)
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
If you haven’t already visited the Parrot clay lick, you’ll do so on one of these days. Occasionally the larger Macaws can visit, including Scarlet Macaw, but the number of species and number of individual birds varies depending on weather, time of year and, of course, that little bit of luck. You’ll explore trails on foot and channels by dugout canoe. From the Napo Wildlife Centre canopy tower you might see Green-and-Gold Tanager, Gilded Barbet, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Channel-billed Toucan, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Golden-collared Toucanet, Blue Dacnis, Paradise Tanager and even Harpy Eagle if you are very lucky. A couple of other species of monkey can be seen here too, Golden-mantled Tamarin and Dusky Titi. Hopefully there will be a slide show about the mammals that have been recorded during monitoring with camera traps. You’ll be absolutely amazed at the diversity, though many of these species are highly nocturnal and difficult to see.
Day 10: Napo – Coca – Quito
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Today your journey back to Coca and Quito from Napo Lodge will begin (time and flights details to be supplied), returning the way you arrived via the channels, boardwalk, Napo River and a flight departing Coca for Quito. Your driver will be outside Quito airport (look for your name on a placard). Night at Casa Aliso.
Day 11: Quito
A transfer to the airport today is included in the price.
Note: You can if you wish extend your experience so please contact us and we can offer some suggestions.
Extra note: If you require an extra night in Quito to link with your international flight please enquire and we can provide a supplement.
Per person price: $2970 valid till end December 2016.
Single room supplement: $1590 valid till end December 2016.
Accommodation as specified
All land/boat transfers
Meals as mentioned above
All entrance fees (provided you visit the parrot clay licks from Napo Wildlife Centre – Note: If you wish to visit the parrot clay licks from Sacha Lodge as well you would have to pay entrance fee directly of approx. $22 per person)
Experienced guides throughout and in the Amazon you’ll have a native guide and a bilingual guide (max. group size is officially 6 at Sacha and 8 at Napo)
Bird checklist, pre-travel and top tips for travel advice
Internal flight (expect approx. US $200 for the return flight)
All drinks, though filtered water should be available in the Amazon
Phone calls, laundry and anything else of personal nature
Entrance fee for Yasuni NP if visiting from Sacha US $22 (included if visit from Napo Wildlife Centre) and entrance fee of US $5 for Sani Warmi local community project (optional visit) paid locally. Both entrance fees are per person