Kapawi Ecolodge is one of the most remote, ecologically responsible and culturally sensitive ecolodges in the world. A visit to Kapawi helps the Achuar people preserve their nearly two million acres of pristine rainforest in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
The founding vision of Kapawi Ecolodge and Reserve is to create a haven of ease, good taste, and understated luxury. Using local materials, skilled Achuar craftsmen have built a series of comfortable cabins in the vernacular style of the rainforest. Each of the guest cabins expresses authentic, traditional Achuar design concepts, and are attractive, spacious, sustainable, well-ventilated, and creature-proof. The cabins feature a screened-in sleeping area and private bath with solar heated water available on most afternoons (depending on weather). Cabins are fully screened and windows, floors, roofs, and beds each have their own mosquito net.
A raised boardwalk connects all of the guests cabins and the several large communal buildings at Kapawi, all of which rest on stilts around the edge of an ephemeral lagoon crowded with plant and bird life.
Kapawi also features its own restaurant, The Amazon Rainforest Restaurant, which serves a variety of international and traditional cuisine to its guests. Meals are prepared by an excellent culinary staff and include classic light cuisine as well as Achuar dishes. The kitchen is able to accommodate vegetarian and most other special dietary requests.
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Achuar Community Visits
This is one of the most popular activities offered in Kapawi lodge, because of the significant cultural contribution to the Achuar people. You will have a chance to visit a community and its members and purchase some traditional handicrafts. Also learn about their way of life, society, culture and nature that surrounds them in their home, the fabulous Ecuador Amazon Jungle.
All the tours include a Native Guide and a Naturalistic Guide.
Camping Trip in the community - Kapawi Lodge
Offers an overnight trip where you are invited into a traditional Achuar village in order to participate in the activities of daily life. You can interact with the local people and also take part in the traditional ceremonies of drinking guayusa, a black tea that plays an integral part of Achuar society. Ceremonies usually begin early in the morning by drinking guayusa (guayusa has no side effects) which will purify the stomach. While drinking guayusa around a campfire, an Achuar man will interpret the participants’ dreams. This trip is a unique experience where you can begin to understand the daily lives of the Achuar people.
Night Walk or Canoe Ride, Explore the Jungle
After sunset, the rainforest seems to transform as many nocturnal animals are just emerging. Experience these different species and stimuli through two options. A night walk around the hotel will allow you to observe the many insects, amphibians, and reptiles that inhabit the forest. On the other hand, Kapawi offers a tranquil canoe ride down the river where you will be able to search for caimans, birds and nocturnal monkeys. All of this exploration is done under the beautiful starlit night sky.
Kayaking and River Activities in the Amazon Rainforest
One of the best ways to experience the immediate areas surrounding the Lodge is to use a kayak to explore the river. You are encouraged to explore the various tributaries, islands, and lakes connected to the river. Kayaking can be done by people of all skill levels, including the adventurous explorers and those looking to relax and enjoy the slow meandering current. While on the river, you will have a great opportunity to see many different species of fish and even the pink river dolphin. As the river is quite calm, the river is a perfect opportunity to go for a refreshing swim.
A walk through the Amazon Rainforest- this path through the Amazon rainforest allows all ages, interests, and abilities to enjoy the amazing flora and fauna of the area. Along the path, you will find informative signs that explain the sights and sounds of the rainforest. It is truly an area to experience as the Amazon rainforest will activate all of the senses as you walk through it.
Bird Watching in the Jungle
The Ecolodge is located in the southeastern part of the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest, deep within the Amazon jungle. Because of the extreme biodiversity of the Lodge´s location, Kapawi is an ideal site for amateur bird lovers and Ornithologist alike. While at the Ecolodge, you have a fantastic opportunity to spot rare birds indigenous to the area. A clay lick, where macaws feed in great numbers, is easily within walking distance from the lodge and is active year round. Additionally, blue and yellow macaws can be seen eating sand from one of the islands in the Pastaza River at certain times of the year.
Additional Rainforest Excursions
Private Canoe River Cruise by Candlelight - $150 per couple
Embark by canoe upriver accompanied by a bottle of wine, candlelight, snacks and comfortable cushions to experience an entertaining and cozy time. They will turn off the motor and allow the canoe to follow the river´s current, allowing you to listen to the sounds of the jungle, observing the star-filled sky, creating a magical and unique experience.
Romantic Ceremony at Kapawi - $250
Share in a unique experience of a promise of love with your partner at the Kapawi Ecolodge & Reserve led by the Lodge Director, followed by a romantic candlelit dinner with a glass of wine. Your room will be waiting for you with special decorations for the occasion.
Achuar Wedding in the Community $500
Visit a home in one of the Achuar communities which will open its doors to you in with a warm welcome so you can enjoy an extraordinary Wedding. The Achuar people will take care of creating the wedding of your dreams led by the community´s Shaman (Medicine Man), who will perform a cleansing of the couple so that their married life begins or continues in the best way possible. You may stay the night camping with special decorations and then participate in the Wayusa Ceremony at daybreak, drinking this traditional beverage while the wise Achuar people interpret your dreams.
Natem Ceremony - $160 per person
During a visit to an Achuar Community, where you will introduce yourself, the Shaman (Medicine Man) will prepare Natem (a drink that comes from an infusion of the root of the Ayahuasca plant) which will allow him to discover both the physical and spiritual issues of the visitors. The Shaman will invite you to enjoy the drink and later perform a cleansing of each of the integrated visitors.