Nature + Culture Tour

4 days Starting Mondays and Fridays
Price: $720 per person

Limited to 8 persons (available also as a private tour)

DESCRIPTION

For most, the Amazon rainforest is just something they’ve heard about or seen in the news. Come experience this amazing region, with its remarkable beauty and diversity of life. Our tour will take you deep into the jungle, where you’ll learn about its unique flora and fauna, natural history, and the cultural traditions of its people, while gaining an understanding of the importance of protecting the remarkable biodiversity it holds.

TRIP CONSIDERATIONS:

Activity level: easy – relaxed
Focus: wildlife and culture
Tour type: classic – naturalist

       

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Itinerary (sample)

The times and length of the hikes are flexible and defined by the guide the day before. The guide may modify the plan on any particular day based on weather, wildlife activity, recent sighting information, and other factors.

Day 1: Arrival at Mandari Panga

Upon arrival in Coca, you’ll be met by your local guide. Depending on your time of arrival, you’ll have a chance for breakfast (not included) at "Maitos del Yasuní" a typical restaurant created by the association Challuwa Mikuna to benefit indigenous women.
We'll then begin a journey of about 90 minutes in land transportation and another hour and a half in a motorized canoe along the Tiputini river. When we arrive at the camp, you will have time to get to know the facilities and settle into your tent. Enjoy a welcome drink; then a delicious lunch will be served in the main house.
In the afternoon, we'll cross to the other side of the Tipuitini River for a walk of approximately 2 hours in the Ceibo trail. We will be back at the campsite.
After a delicious dinner at our campsite, we can participate in a night hike through the jungle. This unique experience allows us to observe the nocturnal creatures of the Amazon, including frogs, snakes, and other wildlife that only emerge after dark. With the help of our guide and a flashlight, we'll walk along the trail, listening to the sounds of the jungle.

Day 2: Spider monkey trail and cultural activities

Wake up to the sounds of exotic birds, enjoy a hearty breakfast and prepare for canoeing downriver the Tiputini River, followed by a hike back to the lodge on the Spider Monkey Trail. Spot colorful birds, playful monkeys and even a sloth hanging lazily from a tree branch while canoeing with the motor off. Hike through dense vegetation, crossing streams and small waterfalls, learning fascinating facts about the flora and fauna. Return to the lodge feeling exhilarated and invigorated, reflecting on the incredible adventure in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

After our morning of adventure and exploration, we'll return to the campsite for a delicious lunch. Following our meal, we'll have some time to rest and recharge for the afternoon's activities.
Later in the day, we'll have the opportunity to learn about the local culture through engaging and interactive cultural activities. Weaving is an integral part of the indigenous culture in the Amazon, and we'll have the chance to create a small piece of woven fabric using traditional techniques. In addition to weaving, we'll also have the opportunity to make handcrafts using natural materials found in the surrounding jungle. We'll learn about the importance of sustainability and how the area's indigenous people have lived in harmony with the environment for centuries.

Finally, we'll learn about the process of making chocolate from cacao seeds, a beloved treat people worldwide enjoy. We'll discover the traditional methods the indigenous people use to prepare the cacao and have the opportunity to taste the delicious finished product. These cultural activities offer a unique and authentic perspective on life in the Amazon and will surely be a highlight of our trip.

After a delicious dinner at our campsite, we can hike through the jungle for a night. This unique experience allows us to observe the nocturnal creatures of the Amazon, including frogs, snakes, and other wildlife that only emerge after dark. With the help of our guide and a flashlight, we'll walk along the trail, listening to the sounds of the jungle.

Day 3: Huangana trail and the Casa de la Abuela

After an early breakfast (6:30), we will cross to the other side of the Tiputini river in a traditional canoe and start a walk of approximately 3 hours along a loop trail passing through spectacular virgin jungle. We'll arrive at the lagoon of the anacondas where, with luck, you will be able to see this reptile so characteristic of the area.
We'll return to camp for lunch, and you'll have time to relax in your hammock or tent, walk around the campsite and even cool down with a swim in a tranquil tributary of the Tiputini river.

In the evening, we'll take our canoe to La Casa de la Abuela, the home of the community's founder. Situated on a 50-meter-high hill, this traditional home offers an incredible view of the surrounding area and is considered the Harpy Eagle's nest of the region. Here, we'll learn about the way of life in the jungle and the community's history and traditions, including how to make the traditional drink, chicha. We'll witness the incredible sunset, and we will hike our way back to our campsite.
After a delicious dinner at our campsite, we can participate in a night hike on the Toucan trail through the jungle. This unique experience allows us to observe the nocturnal creatures of the Amazon, including frogs, snakes, and other wildlife that only emerge after dark. With the help of our guide and a flashlight, we'll walk along the trail, listening to the sounds of the jungle.

Day 4: Return to Coca

Breakfast will be served early in the morning. We'll begin our trip in our motorized canoe for about an hour and a half; during the relaxing trip, you can say goodbye to the beauty of the Amazon rainforest. We'll then be met at the shores of the river and travel overland for about an hour and a half back to Coca, where you'll be dropped off at the airport or bus terminal for your return to Quito or travel to your next destination.

Included:

  • Transportation Coca – Mandari Panga – Coca
  • Bilingual and native guide
  • Accommodation in tents complete with mattress and bedding
  • Use of rubber boots for hikes, life jacket for canoe travel
  • Three meals a day (starting with lunch on the first day through breakfast on the final day)
  • Purified water

Not included: 

  • Transportation Quito – Coca – Quito
  • Additional beverages and snacks; extra meals in Coca before and after the tour
  • Rain ponchos (can be purchased in Coca before the tour if needed; highly recommended for adequate protection from heavy Amazon rains)
  • Tips
  • Personal Expenses
  • Travel insurance

PACKING LIST (looking for our recommendations?): 

  • ORIGINAL PASSPORT (in waterproof plastic bag) 
  • Fast drying, lightweight clothing including long sleeve shirts and pants
  • A light jacket for colder nights
  • Waterproof jacket or rain poncho 
  • Sandals or walking shoes
  • Thick, absorbent hiking type socks
  • Hat or cap
  • Sunglasses, sunblock and repellent (no spray)
  • Water bottle 
  • One small (waterproof recommended) daypack
  • Flashlight or headlamp with spare batteries
  • Plastic bags to protect electronic equipment
  • Camera and Binoculars
  • Swimming suit

    Other Information

    CLIMATE:
    The Amazon Rainforest is characterized by rain, heat and more rain and heat (usually 72°-90°F, 22°-32°C), providing the perfect environment for plants and wildlife! The Amazon is always humid with generous amounts of rain occurring year-round. Both the rainy and “rainier” seasons are great times for an Amazon tour.

    Sunshine and rain showers during the day and slightly chilly temperatures at night are a rule of thumb to go by on Amazon rainforest tours.

    December and January are the driest months with February and March being a shoulder that leads to the months with the heaviest rainfall.

    April, May, June and July see the most precipitation in the Ecuador Amazon Basin. These months coincide with the wet season in the rest of the country. Rainfall in the Andes spills over into the Ecuador Amazon Basin-raising water levels of the Napo River and its tributaries. 

    August through December see a decline in the amount of rain that falls each month. The average temperature in the jungle remains around 25°C (77°F) year-round, but during the dry season, daytime temperatures can reach 40°C (104°F).

    ELECTRICITY:
    There is limited electricity at the camp; there is a charging station for electronics which functions from 6 pm to 10 pm. There is electric lighting at the camp during these hours.

    LUGGAGE:
    There is no luggage limit weight that you can bring to the campsite, but we recommend to bring only the necessary. If you have big luggage you might leave in Quito or we can hold it in Coca for you.

    VACCINATIONS AND HEALTH TIPS:
    Full Covid-19 (or a negative PCR test) and yellow fever vaccination are required to enter the Yasuni National Park.

    Yellow fever and Malaria are the usual concern of our visitors. We haven’t had any cases at our campsite, but it is always recommendable to have a shot and bring medication for this, as well as a type of anti-biotic for Traveler’s diarrhea (TD).

    Consult your doctor for the most current recommended health precautions for your time visiting the Amazon rainforest. The US Center for Disease Control is an excellent source for detailed information on preventing travel-related illnesses.

    TRAVEL TO AND FROM COCA

    • On the first day of the tour, passengers are picked up in Coca (airport, bus station or hotel) in the morning approximately at 10 AM.
    • At the end of the tour, passengers will be in Coca by about 10 AM, and can take a flight or bus to their next destination. This may change upon flight availability.
    • To get to Coca, there are currently flights departing from Quito on our operation days. There are currently 2 airlines flying this route, please ask us for options. If there are no early flights, passengers traveling to Coca should arrive the day before the tour. Exceptions can be made if necessary, please contact us. Regular bus service to/from Coca is also available, the trip is about 7 hours.
    • Passengers beginning their tour in the morning will have the option to stop at a local restaurant for breakfast (not included), this restaurant is operated by a Kichwa women’s association to benefit community conservation projects.
    • For those traveling by bus, there are day and evening buses as well as overnight buses departing at 11 PM or 11:30 PM.
    • We can assist with purchasing flight or bus tickets.

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