On this 6-day journey you start in Quito to take in the fresh mountain air at our charming B&B nestled in the hills. You'll take a short domestic flight the next morning where our local guide will greet you to make your way down the Napo river into the Amazon. The friendly, local staff awaits at our gorgeous, community-run ecolodge. You'll spend the next few days on wildlife hikes, medicinal plant walks, and get to view life from the treetops from the lodge’s 118 ft observation deck. You'll enjoy the trip highlight, a day cooking & crafting day with a local women's cooperative whose work is vital to cultural and environmental preservation. You'll learn about permaculture agriculture in the rainforest and its vital importance in the local ecology. Departures can be any dates Sunday-Friday with no minimum group numbers and children welcome.
Ashley Blake is an avid traveler, cultural consultant and Traverse Journeys founder with a background in tourism, entrepreneurship and project management. She is a fluent Spanish speaker with conversational Portuguese skills and is just starting to study Arabic. Ashley has worked and traveled in 45 countries across Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa including tours she has designed and led in Spain, Germany, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, Morocco, Croatia and China. Ashley is passionate about connection, communication and coordination in order to link others with the opportunities and experiences that promote self-growth and community engagement.
You can arrive any time today at the Quito international airport (UIO) where your driver will meet you as you exit customs. It's a short 15 minute drive to your local B&B where you'll have time to settle in before dinner. You can explore the permaculture gardens on site with herbs, a fruit orchard, berries and vegetables and numerous patios and peaceful spots to relax in. In the evening, you'll have a delicious home-cooked meal made with fresh ingredients from the farm.
You'll get up bright and early to head back to the airport for a quick 35-min domestic flight to Coca where your community guide will meet you. You'll take a 2½ hour boat ride on the Napo River followed by a short walk and paddle canoe across the Challuacocha Lake to arrive at our beautiful eco lodge. After lunch, our local guide will take you on a medicinal plant walk with time for a siesta before dinner. Enjoy the evening talking with your guide and other travelers to learn more about Ecuador, the Amazon, and the surrounding Sani Islas community of about 650 people.
Awake to the sounds of the jungle and a nourishing breakfast. Today we'll take a canoe to the lodge’s 118 ft high observation tower to view life from the tree tops. More than 565 bird species have been registered, including the chestnut-fronted macaw, orange-winged parrots, and the wire tailed manakin, where they have a special viewing point for this elusive spotted bird. You may hear howler monkeys and might even see a sloth. Take a break for lunch and a siesta, then head out for additional wildlife viewing opportunities from the canoe or a night ride after dark to spot caimans.
Early this morning you'll head out to the clay lick, an exposed cutoff on the side of a hill where hundreds of parrots gather to get salt and minerals from the rocks. Afterward, you’ll go on a 2-3 hour hike in the Yasuní national forest to learn about various plant species in the park biosphere. You'll see frogs, monkeys or possibly peccaries. Afterward we’ll visit the Sani Warmi lodge, where we’ll see their permaculture farm that includes plantains, cacao, and yucca as well as tilapia and turtles. After lunch you’ll have the opportunity to view their artisan craft shop where they make accessories, bowls, and bags from materials from the forest and learn how their work generates additional income for the community. Regroup at the lodge for a siesta, dinner and an optional night walk.
This morning you’ll go on a special excursion back to the Sani Warmi lodge to spend a day of cultural exchange. You’ll start by making mate, a dish of plantain, yucca and fish made in a traditional preparation. You'll also prepare chocolate & coffee grown on site. Your English, Spanish and Kichwa-speaking guide will translate so that you can chat and share with the community of women. After lunch you’ll learn traditional crafting methods that use seeds & fibers from plants in the forest. The trip donation included in your cost goes directly to the Sani Warmi lodge to support their conservation and permaculture efforts, tourist program, and on site education facility. We’ll return to the lodge mid-afternoon with time for a siesta before dinner.
Enjoy your last breakfast at the lodge, before returning down the Napo River to catch your flight back to Quito, arriving at 1:00 p.m. Schedule your flight home to leave after 5:00 p.m.
1 night Quito B&B on a permaculture farm + 4 nights community-run eco-lodge in the Amazon rainforest
Airport transfers + domestic flight Quito-Coca + boat & canoe transfers to the lodge
Daily excursions including hikes, canoe rides, medicinal plant walks, and wildlife viewing
Community partner visit at the local Kichwa women's center + 5% of sales trip donation to their organization
Visit to the women's lodge to learn about permaculture and participate in traditional cooking, chocolate preparation, and artisan craft making
Entrance to the Yasuní National Park and parrot clay lick
All meals included, starting with dinner on arrival day and ending with lunch on departure day
Flexible travel dates Sunday-Friday with no group minimums
Tri-lingual local guide + dedicated rainforest ecolodge staff 24/7
Private departures, for just you and your friends or family