This is a very personal experience with the rainforest and with the Huaorani tribe. You will stay in a small and traditionally-built lodge which only accommodated up to 10 people per visit and is designed to function in harmony with the surroundings, while providing comfort (private bathrooms, drinking water, solar powered electricity, environmentally soaps and shampoos and fresh food prepared by local chefs).
The Huaorani are a remote tribe who resisted contact with the outside world up until 1956. Getting to the lodge is an adventure in itself. Taking part in this adventure will contribute directly to conservation work in the area, local community projects and help preserve Huaorani culture. The lodge is run by the Huaorani community and you will learn about their way of life and survival skills, as well as the local flora and fauna, such as monkeys, toucans, macaws and more.
At TerraDiversa, we recommend five day excursions into the rainforest for first time visitors to give you enough time to really experience the jungle, as the first and last days will be taken up mostly by travel.
This tour includes
· Accommodation (last night at campsite)
· All meals
· Unlimited water, tea and coffee
· All activities in itinerary
· Local Huaorani guide
· Bilingual naturalist guide (English/Spanish)
· Use of rubber boots (check maximum sizes)
· Biodegradable soap & shampoo
This tour does not include
· Transportation package $250 (pick up in Quito, overland drive to Shell, flight on chartered light aircraft to lodge, motor canoe ride and return trip as far as Coca)
· Return flight from Coca to Quito $116
· Airport tax Shell $20
· Entrance fee to Huaorani Territory $20
· Beverages (neither alcoholic nor non-alcoholic)
· Tips and gratuities
· Optional extras
· Personal expenses
· Any other service not mentioned herein
Day 1 - Quito - Shell Mera - Quehueri'ono - Lodge
Just reaching the ecolodge is an adventure in itself. You’ll leave Quito in an overland journey passing snow covered volcanoes, driving down through lush cloud forest before reaching the town of Shell Mera to board a small aircraft which will fly over the rainforest to reach the grass airstrip at the Huaorani village of Quehueri’ono in the central Amazon, before heading downriver in a dugout canoe and arriving at Huaorani Ecolodge. Meals included: -/L/D
Day 2 - Traditional hunting & community visit
Long nature hike into the rainforest with Huaorani guide to teach you the secrets of rainforest survival (no animals will be killed!). You’ll learn to set traps, make fire without marches, build shelter, use a blowgun, practice using a machete and catch fish in small creeks. You will also learn about edible insects, medicinal plants and sourcing clay for pottery. You’ll also have a chance to take a swim in fresh river water. Hearty lunch with the community followed by an afternoon informal visit with the community. Visit to Bi-cultural Ecology Education project to learn about manioc harvesting. You might even play some ecua-volley. Return to lodge by canoe to relax, have dinner and enjoy short talk. Optional night hike. Meals included: B/L/D
Day 3 - Day of hiking & animal watching
3-hour hike through terra firme (never flooded) and varzeas (occasionally-flooded forest) following the Heliconia swamp to the summit of a small hill with a giant crib tree. You’ll also visit a lead-cutter ant metropolis on the edge of a small lake, and come back to the lodge by canoe. Lunch at the lodge before taking canoe downstream to another lake before visiting the amazing Hoatzin (a type of bird), anacondas, capybaras and caimans. On your way back you’ll climb a hill near the lodge to visit a salt-clay lick where animals usually gather to feed. Night walk to see nocturnal animals. Meals included: B/L/D
Day 4 - Canoe down Shiripuno River - Apaika - Nenquepare
Early morning start to canoe down the Shiripuno River (or kayak for an additional fee) to do a spot of bird-watching. Visit to Apaika community inside the Yame Reserve which is a 55,000 hectare protected area managed by the Huaorani Association. Quick snack and visit to Apaika mini interpretation center to learn about Yasuní National Park. You’ll join the community in daily activities and share their history, myths and magic, before heading a couple of hours down river to the Huaorani village of Nenquepare to spend the night camping out on the Shiripuno River. Meals included: B/L/D
Day 5 - Waterfall dip & tour of oil impact & departure
Hike community trail to visit impressive waterfall and take a dip in the energizing waters before beginning your return journey downstream by canoe. You will be given a tour of how the oil industry is impacting the Huaorani lands. 2-hour overland journey down Auca road to reach Coca to catch afternoon flight back to Quito. Meals included: B/-/-
Please read the packing tips included in our Amazon travel guide
for more information. Some lodges provide certain equipment as part of the price. Please check when you make your reservation.
*National: Anyone with an Ecuadorian Cédula is entitled to national rates. The national rates above include Value Added Tax (V.A.T. 12%) which is required from all nationals.
This itinerary is designed to give you an idea of the available options for travel in the Amazon. But keep in mind:
- We can tailor this trip to suit your needs, tastes, time frame and budget
- Every aspect of the itinerary can be modified, from the accommodation to the activities
- Please read our Amazon Travel Guide for advice on planning the perfect trip