Amazon Jungle Experience
The Napo Wildlife Center is the only facility of its kind located within the vibrant heart of one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on our planet: Ecuador's Yasuní National Park. Spanning nearly 2.5 million acres of lush Amazonian rainforest the region is sacred to the local communities (the word Yasuní meaning "sacred land") and recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This is a place that in a single hectare contains more living organisms than the entire European continent; a protected tract of land, in which more than a third of all Amazonian mammals are found, including a staggering 60% of all new world wild cats; a tropical garden where only a handful of trees holds as many insect species as the entire United States of America. This is a mesmerizing place unlike any other!
Napo Wildlife Center offers Premium 4, 5, 6 or 7 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 bi-lingual naturalist guide. Group sizes are small - typically no more than 10 - so that you may experience the most the jungle has to offer, by day and also by night.
For the keen birder there is an add-on option of booking a private birding guide for the duration of your stay. The Birding program focuses on the incredible 610 bird species that have been seen in the Yasuní National Park. The birding program won't shortchange the other wildlife, but the primary aim is an intense schedule and activities to get you were the birds are, whether by hiking, canopy towers, or small boat!
Optionally Napo Wildlife Center offers an Adventure & Cultural program which spends one night at the Napo Cultural Center for additional insights into the Añangu Kichwa community, and their way of life, history, and traditions, and the remaining nights at the Napo Wildlife Center. Again you'll get a very healthy dose of nature and wildlife, but with a couple of additional cultural visits as well.
Itineraries in general are created with an eye toward maximum wildlife viewing and wilderness enjoyment, cultural interaction with the local people, and the most possible time in the richest rain forest in Ecuador: the Yasuni National Park.
Day 1∙ Quito – Napo Wildlife Center
This morning transfer to the Quito airport for a 40-minute flight over the Andes to the Amazon Basin jungle frontier town of Coca. On arrival you will be met by the Napo Wildlife Center staff and transferred a short distance to the river dock. Here the adventure begins with a Napo Wildlife Center private motorized canoe ride downstream towards the Amazon, on her largest tributary, the Napo River. Enjoy a box lunch as you watch the passing scenery and birdlife. After roughly 2 hours we reach the Napo Wildlife Center welcoming area, where the natives of Kichwa Anangu Community live. From there, we will take a peaceful dugout-canoe along a narrow creek that will lead us to our magical destination, the Napo Wildlife Center, located on the banks of the Anangu Lake (home to different fish species, caimans and the endemic Giant Otters).
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 ∙ Napo Wildlife Center
Three full days of active guided exploration in and around the Yasuní National Park...
Visit the Canopy Tower, a 30 minute walk from the lodge, in the heart of the forest. This 36 meters wooden platform offers you a 360 degrees view of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. This is a great opportunity to get a close look at colorful birds such macaws and toucans, and even some monkey species as the Spider and Howler Monkeys feed here on fruits they found on the nearby trees.
Go for a hike through the marvelous terra-firme forest - you will be amazed at the beautiful flora you will find on the trail; vines, ancient trees, orchids, and bromeliads stand out in this natural garden.
Explore the forest trails to search for more wildlife species such as monkeys, birds, rare insects, reptiles, mammals, etc. The Yasuní National Park is one of the most diverse areas in the World, so you never know which jungle creature will show up! But what we can assure you is that there is a lot to see!
Float along the surrounding creeks and lagoon; maybe you'll run into a Giant otter family, caimans, turtles, fish...
Visit one or more of the parrot clay licks. The most accessible is about an hour from the lodge. Here hundreds of parrots such as the Amazon-Mealy and the blue-headed Parrot; parakeets and macaws feed with the minerals and salts the soil contains.
Spend time with local people of the Kichwa Anangu community, learning about their daily life activities, routines and ancestral customs and traditions. At the Interpretative Centre women of the community welcome guests with dances and typical rituals and typical drinks as “chicha”.
Day 5 ∙ Napo Wildlife Center – Quito
Early this morning we reverse our steps, returning to Coca and Quito via dugout canoe, motorized longboat and 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 Napo Wildlife Center package.
The Napo Wildlife Center programs lengths are flexible, although we suggest this 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
Napo Wildlife Center accommodates up to 50 guests, in beautiful native-themed cabins in 2 categories. All cabins are comfortable, with outside decks surrounded by beautifully groomed natural gardens, mosquito nets over beds, fans, private facilities, security boxes, hot showers, 24 hour electricity (110v) and more.
The main hall is the heart of the lodge, with several social areas including the fully-stocked bar, library, restaurant, and ecological tower. The restaurant offers a medley of gourmet cuisine - a combination of local and international fare - with a wonderful variety of exotic fruits and organic products. Breakfasts and dinner are buffets, including local specialties. Lunch is offered from a menu, including an appetizer, main course, dessert and soft drink. Purified drinking water is available in the restaurant as well as provided in carafes in the cabins & suites.
There are 12 comfortable Standard Cabins of roughly 550 square feet (52 square meters), all with. Each has a king bed and a twin bed, deck overlooking the forest, and private facilities.
There are 8 new Suites; 4 panoramic suites for 2 guests each (550 square feet), and 4 interconnected family suites (650 square feet) - all located on the shores of the lagoon with wonderful views of Añangucocha. The water-side decks have comfortable seats and a hammock while the rear decks have spectacular forest views. Suites have a mini bar stocked with local snacks and drinks.
The 4 Panoramic Suites each have a 2-person Jacuzzi, and a panoramic/glass floor in the living room affording a unique look down to the lagoon below! 4 Interconnected Family Suites offer privacy while also being connected via the rear balcony. One suite in each set of two offers a 4-person Jacuzzi on the deck, while the adjoining suite has a second bedroom with a twin bed.
2019 Rates, Inclusions & Options
The Napo Wildlife Center experience includes: porterage of 2 pieces of luggage per person, accommodations at the lodge (single & double/triple 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. Entrance fees to the Yasuni National Park and parrot claylicks are included. Waterproof ponchos and rubber boots are available for loan at the lodge.
Standard Cabins (per person):
4-day / 3-night: $1,332 double or triple occupancy, or $2,112 single occupancy
5-day / 4-night: $1,632 double or triple occupancy, or $2,562 single occupancy
Panoramic Suites (per person):
4-day / 3-night: $1,575 double or triple occupancy, or $2,475 single occupancy
5-day / 4-night: $1,950 double or triple occupancy, or $3,036 single occupancy
Quito/Coca round trip flights are an additional $256 per person (subject to change).
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 if accommodated in the parent's room.
The Napo Wildlife Center experience does not include sodas or alcoholic beverages, WiFi (available at a small fee), or gratuities to the guides and staff ($20-$25 per day, per guest, suggested).
The Birding Program is available only with a private birding guide. The additional cost for this is $130 per day for the duration of your stay (total cost for your group, rather than per person).
Both the Premium and Adventure & Culture programs are offered on small group basis - typically 10 or fewer participants with each guiding team. If you prefer a private Naturalist Guide, affording you more flexibility and a more intimate experience with the nature, there is the option of a private Naturalist Guide. The cost adder for a private guide is $100 per day, for the duration of your stay (total cost for your group, rather than per person)
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 Napo Wildlife Center 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 (22 pounds / 10 kg maximum). 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.
For your enjoyment and comfort please plan ahead for the arrival and departure longboats; wear sunscreen and insect repellent, and have your hat and binoculars handy (your luggage is transferred with you, but will be inaccessible during the longboat voyage on the river).
all photos on this page courtesy Napo Wildlife Center