Amazon Jungle Experience
The La Selva Amazon Eco-lodge offers excellent 4 and 5 day itineraries that blend the best of guided trail walks and canoe excursions to offer a well-rounded experience in the jungle. Twice-daily (or more) outings are led by a guiding team with a local native tracker and a naturalist guide. Group sizes are small - typically no more than 8 - so that you may experience the most the jungle has to offer, by day and also by night. Explore the virgin forest while following rough trails and animal tracks. Glide silently down hidden waterways under the overhanging forest. Enjoy the antics of monkeys in the trees, and look for sloths, tapir, deer, caiman, frogs & snakes. Fish for piranha in a stream. Sample lemon ants (a local delicacy, really). Learn about the medicinal properties of the local flora while marveling at the exuberance and variety of life.
If you're a birder you are in for a treat with perhaps the highest list in the Neotropics. They have specialized programs and excellent birding guides at no additional cost. You don’t have to be a birder (or keep a birder’s schedule) to appreciate the birds of the area though - macaws, toucans, parrots, herons and hoatzins are among the many species that can be seen from the lodge balconies.
Additional highlights include a 120-foot observation tower affording you a birds-eye view of the surrounding jungle.
Day 1∙ Quito – La Selva Amazon Eco-lodge
This morning transfer to the Quito airport for a 40-minute flight over the Andes to the Amazon Basin jungle frontier town of Coca. Following a quick mini-van transfer to the river port, you will begin a 60-mile – 2.5-hour - motorized long-boat excursion down the Napo River (picnic lunch en route). The journey is half the fun as the farther downriver, and away from civilization, you travel the more the riverbanks and surrounding forest come alive. On arrival at the La Selva river dock a winding split bamboo elevated boardwalk leads you well inland to the serene Lake Garzacocha. Here, deep in the primary forest the La Selva Lodge is in sight, just across the lake and a short dugout canoe ride away...
After a welcome drink and snack you will have a bit of time to settle into your cabin before an orientation by the naturalist guides. The guides will coordinate with the group to select excursions and activities throughout your visit to suit any special interests you might have. Similar to Galápagos there are typically morning and afternoon outings, plus the occasional nighttime foray. This afternoon enjoy your first outing into the surrounding jungle! [L,D]
Days 2, 3 & 4 ∙ La Selva Amazon Eco-lodge
Three full days of active guided exploration in and around the Yasuni National Park and La Selva forests, streams & lakes. [B,L,D daily]
Day 5 ∙ La Selva Amazon Eco-lodge – Quito
Early this morning begin the return journey to Coca via longboat, and Quito via plane. Upon your mid-day arrival in Quito you will be met and transferred to the Hotel Mercure Alameda Quito. Remainder of day at leisure in Quito. Overnight Quito. [B] Lunch & dinner on your own. Overnight at Hotel Mercure Alameda - hotel not included in La Selva package.
The La Selva Amazon Eco-lodge programs lengths are flexible, although we suggest the 5-day/4-night itinerary to give you adequate time in the jungle – shorter and longer stays are also possible (the only restricting factor is that there are no flights to/from Coca on Sundays). Like the Galapagos, you have traveled a long distance to experience the Amazon Basin, so don't cut the experience short if you have the time.
ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE LODGE
La Selva accommodates up to 50 guests, in beautiful native-themed cabins in 3 categories. All cabins are comfortable, with outside decks, mosquito nets over beds, fans, private facilities, and hot showers. Elevated boardwalks wind through the forest and clearings and interconnect the cabins, central lodge building (bar & library), dining room, and docks. Individual cabin decks and balconies provide a wonderful place to relax and observe the passing wildlife.
The lake-view dining room serves delightful meals featuring the freshest ingredients, including locally-grown organic ingredients prepared by a French chef. Electricity, available 24 hours a day, is provided by solar panels and generator, with battery storage.
Four individual Family Cabins are the largest, at nearly 600 square feet (56 square meters). These cabins have larger windows, tile floors, and two rooms affording more privacy. Each cabin has a double bed, plus two twin beds. Views are mostly to the forest.
There are 12 new Superior Suites. A bit smaller than the Family cabins in size, these deluxe partial lake-view suites are located in quad-plex bungalows. Rooms are light and airy with all upgraded finishes, linens and amenities. Each suite has either a King bed or two Twins, plus a sofa bed.
Three Scenic Suites are located on the ground floor of the main lodge building (reception, restaurant and lounge), with some of the best lake views at La Selva. Suites are similar to the Superior Suites and have either a King bed or two Doubles, upgraded linens and amenities.
2019 Rates, Inclusions & Options
The La Selva Lodge experience includes: porterage of 2 pieces of luggage per person, accommodations at the lodge (single & double cabins), all meals beginning with lunch on your arrival day through breakfast on your departure day (including coffee, tea and water, plus fresh juices at breakfast), daily guided excursions, whether on foot, by dugout canoe, or longboat.
4-day / 3-night per person, double occupancy $1,280, or $1,664 single occupancy
5-day / 4-night per person, double occupancy $1,590, or $2,067 single occupancy
Quito/Coca round trip flights (subject to change) $220
Quito hotel/airport private round trip transfers: $100 total for any number of participants.
All rates are per person. Children under 12 receive a 30% discount off the standard rates.
The La Selva Lodge experience does not include the Yasuni National Park Entrance fee ($25 per person, paid locally), sodas or alcoholic beverages, or gratuities to the guides and staff ($20-$25 per day, per guest, suggested).
Several locally-booked upgrades are available to enhance your stay, including spa services, a dock-side breakfast, or dock-side candlelight dinner.
For the serious birder we can always request a native tracker birding guide at no additional charge. While the native tracker birding guides speak limited English, they will keep a birder schedule and help you find the highest number of birds! English-speaking private birding guides are available for the duration of your visit at an additional fee (must be scheduled in advance).
While outings are typically in small groups (usually fewer than 10 participants), it is possible to book a private English-speaking Naturalist Guide for the duration of your stay if you prefer (private guides must be scheduled in advance of your stay; rates upon request).
Ease the tensions of travel with a therapeutic massage or spa treatment in the Butterfly Spa, or loosen up with a yoga session overlooking the lake.
We request a $500 deposit per person to confirm your stay, based on availability. The balance is due 75 days prior to travel. Please note that rates and airfare are subject to change.
Your Quito/Coca flight tickets will be booked for you by the La Selva staff, and held for you in Quito. Baggage restrictions are one checked bag (44 pounds / 20 Kg maximum) per person, plus one smaller carry-on. Any additional luggage may be stored in Quito at the Hotel Mercure Alameda (there is no charge for this service).
Flights depart Quito for the 30 minute flight to Coca between 9 and 10am. Returning flights arrive Quito just before noon. There are no flights on Sundays.
For your enjoyment and comfort please plan ahead for the arrival and departure longboats; wear sunscreen and insect repellent, have your hat and binoculars, and have a poncho and trash bag handy (to cover you and your bag respectively in case of sudden rain!).
all photos on this page courtesy La Selva Amazon Eco-Lodge