Explore the beauty of the rainforest and learn about the local Kichwa culture and traditions. With plenty of activities to choose from this the journey is full of adventure. Spend five days exploring the rainforest by floating down the river, looking for birds and monkeys, hunting with a blowgun and making your own coffee. This easy paced trip to Yachana Lodge is perfect for anyone with a sense of curiosity and a love for the outdoors.
Day 1 : Arrive at Yachana Day 2 : Rainforest Trek Day 3 : Cooking Class | Kichwa Culture Day 4 : La Paz Waterfall Day 5 : Depart for Home
At Coca airport you’ll be meet and then transported to Yachana by private car. On arrival at Yachana, receive a warm welcome from the native staff that will serve you a refreshing beverage and snack while you are introduced to the facilities.
After you’ve had a chance to rest in your room, your guide will take you on a short hike. The hike will take you to a place where there is a giant and beautiful Ceibo tree (kapok tree). Learn about rainforest ecology along the way.
You have the option to start your day early by participating in a bird watching excursion or sleep a little longer before enjoying a splendid breakfast. After breakfast, board a ranchera (typical local bus) and accompany your guide as he leads you on a journey into the rainforest stopping to observe birds, and possibly monkeys, along the way. During your rainforest trek your guide will explain the uses of various medicinal plants and amaze you with his knowledge of the several species of birds and animals that inhabit the rainforest, which he calls home.
In the afternoon, learn about how the Yachana Training Center works and the strong support of the Yachana Foundation with his educational program. After this you will take a ranchera to Agua Santa community in order to board a raft downriver to observe a local family doing panning for gold. From there, using either inner-tubes, a small rubber raft or just life jackets, you can float/swim as you continue down river enjoying the spectacular scenery that surrounds you. At some point you will get on board a motorize canoe to head back to Yachana.
After dinner your guide will offer to take you on a night walk to discover a totally different side of the forest that only comes alive after dark. On this walk, you have the chance to see many small insects, amphibians, reptiles and other animals.
After breakfast, board a ranchera to go to a farm where you can see and harvest many products you have probably never seen or prepared before. Learn how to make a typical lunch with the help of the chef.
In the afternoon, travel by canoe to the home of a shaman and his family to learn about local Kichwa culture and traditions, and to participate in a cleansing ceremony. Afterwards, try your skills on the art of hunting using a typical blowgun and spear. This is a wonderful cultural activity to know a local family and learn more about the kichwa tradition and way of living.
After dinner learn how to make chocolate using organic cacao harvested from the local families. Turn the cacao beans into delicious jungle chocolate, one of the main ingredients for several of the delectable desserts served at Yachana.
After a wonderful breakfast depending on weather conditions you may choose from the following:
A hike further into the 1000 hectares of protected forest.
Visit a community bank (for this activity we will ask for a donation of 50 USD per person).
Explore more deeply the Napo River on a canoe.
In the afternoon board a ranchera to visit the Cacao Collection Center and then you will hike for about 10 minutes to La Paz Waterfall. Have time to enjoy the waterfall and if are lucky you will see a lot of parrots! Hike back to the main road where the ranchera will be waiting for you to go back to Yachana for dinner.
After dinner sit around the campfire and prepare some delicious coffee. Enjoy your coffee as your guide tells you some of the stories and legends of the Amazon and be amazed by the sounds of the jungle at night.
Day 5 Depart for Home
After a hearty breakfast, travel by a private car from Yachana back to the city of Coca for your flight back to Quito. When traveling by land, you’ll have the chance to observe Amazon life and other communities.
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.
When to Go
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.