5 Day Kayak Itinerary
Upon arrival in Coca (bus terminal or airport), you will be picked up by your local guide who will take you to "Maitos del Yasuní", a typical restaurant created by the association Challuwa Mikuna to benefit indigenous women, where you can enjoy a delicious traditional breakfast (not included).
You’ll then begin your journey of about an hour 40 minutes in land transport to the entrance of the Yasuni National Park and the Tiputini river, where kayaks and equipment will be ready to begin our adventure. During the first part of our journey, we’ll row along the majestic Tiputini surrounded by nature and wildlife, with the Yasuni National Park on our right. Along the way we’ll have the opportunity to observe a variety of birds and animal life, possibly including the Russet backed oropendola, caciques, hoatzins, guacamayos, toucans, kingfishers, parrots, monkeys, snakes and more.
We’ll stop along the river for a lunch, then continue to a small basic campsite nestled in the jungle along the river where we’ll have a chance to relax a bit, then we’ll have a delicious welcome dinner in the home of a local kichwa family. We’ll spend our first night at this campsite.
After a delicious breakfast, we’ll pass through a part of the community of Mandari Panga where we can observe some small farms of yuca, plantain, coffee, cocoa, and other edible and medicinal plants. After our visit, we’ll walk along a community trail through the forest for about 40 minutes, crossing the small Rumi Yacu (“River of rocks”) and arriving at a spectacular parrot clay lick, a rock and clay wall with a high concentration of minerals where a number of parrots, parrakeets, and papagayos come to lick the clay to detoxify and clean their systems of the toxins accumulated in their normal diets and to help with digestion. Other wildlife can often be seen here as well, this is an impressive attraction offering a close up view of many beautiful bird species, these “saladeros” are not easy to find and do not exist in all of the Amazon region.
After this spectacle, we’ll continue our journey in kayaks along the Rumi Yacu river to the Tiputini, and continue deeper into the jungle with the opportunity to observe many distinct species of animals such as species of monkey, capybaras, and other mammals, plus a great variety of birds such as herons, flycatchers, woodpeckers, wild turkeys, and falcons.
We’ll enjoy a lunch along the way, arriving at the Mandari Panga camp along the banks of the Tiputini and Yutzo rivers in the afternoon, when we’ll settle in to our comfortable tents. Our chef will prepare a delicious dinner, and afterwards we’ll finish the day with a marvelous night walk of about an hour to enjoy the immense variety of creatures that are active at night, possibly including snakes.
After an early breakfast, we’ll take our kayaks along the Tiputini until we arrive at the entrance for Amarun Cocha, Lake of the Anaconda in the local kichwa language. Our journey will be about 3 and a half hours, passing through pristine jungle along the way. This is a small blackwater lagoon in the heart of the pristine rainforest of Yasuni, and is home to the largest snake on the planet, the anaconda. With luck we might see this amazing creature while enjoying the stunning scenery of this region of flooded forest, where we might also see the legendary piranhas, caymans, boas and more. We’ll return to our camp in motorized canoe where a delicious lunch will be waiting for us, and after some time to relax we’ll depart to try our luck with fishing for piranhas and other species of fish with the chance to spot other wildlife along the way. We’ll return to camp at sunset, with the chance to experience the amazing night sky of the Amazon from the river and we may spot other wildlife active at night, such as capybaras, pacas, frogs, and possibly caymans. Our chef will have a delicious dinner ready for us when we return to camp.
After breakfast, we’ll begin a hike of about 4-5 hours through the primary forest of Yasuni National Park along a trail called the Huangana (the white lipped peccary in Kichwa). With luck we may encounter peccaries, large monkeys or other wildlife along the way. We’ll also learn about the rich flora and fauna of the zone and some of the medicinal plants of the region. We’ll return to camp for lunch, and then we’ll navigate in our motorized canoe for about 15 minutes upriver to visit the home of the founder of the community, the Casa de la Abuela. Considered the Harp Eagle’s nest of the area, this traditional home is situated on a 50 meter high hill with an incredible view of the surroundings. Here we’ll learn about the way of life in the jungle, and the history and traditions of the community. We’ll learn how the traditional drink, chicha, is made, and we’ll also learn how chocolate is made from the harvest of cacao. At the end of the day, we’ll enjoy the sunset from this incredible viewpoint with the spectacular radiant colors of the Amazon. Return to camp for dinner.
After our final breakfast in the Amazon, we’ll travel upriver in our motorized canoe for about an hour and a half to reach the Pindo bridge, where our transportation will be waiting to take us back to Coca (about an hour and 40 minutes). We’ll drop you off at the airport or bus station to return to Quito or continue on your journey.