A short flight takes you over the high Andes and down to the Amazon frontier town of Puerto Francisco de Orellana (called Coca by the locals). From here you travel by motorized canoe downriver for two hours on the Napo River before arriving to La Selva -- your home for the next few nights and base for an incredible Amazon travel adventure! You will discuss the many options for excursions during your visit with the naturalist guides and set out an itinerary based on your interests.
La Selva Eco Lodge brings you as close to nature as possible. You will find a lake (great for fishing, canoeing, and swimming), wildlife (birds, monkeys, turtles, caiman, owls, etc.), virgin rainforest, an observation tower, a butterfly farm, rivers and much more! Guided excursions are customized to fit your interests and are led by native and naturalist guides who accompany you on your day and night adventures. Walk to a local community to see traditional village life. Go out with your guides for birding and wildlife viewing. Every night, after dinner, guides lead canoe or walking trips to view nocturnal animals such as caiman, monkeys, insects and owls.
Choose between the following activities during your stay at La Selva:
Hiking the Matapalo Trail: This trail was named after the Spanish Strangler Fig, one of many remarkable trees which are found during this short introductory walk. Your native and naturalist guides will start to share with you part of their knowledge about flora and fauna of the tropical rain forest.
Night Walk: A flashlight and a camera are the only things you need to enjoy all of the insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals that you might see during an hour walk in the darkness of the forest.
Night Canoe Ride in Garzacocha Lagoon: With the help of a spotlight, take out a paddle canoe in the lagoon looking for caimans, boas, bats, owls, night mammals and more nocturnal wildlife. If the sky is clear, you might have the chance to do some star gazing.
Chaguamango Trail: This trail begins at the lodge and finishes at the edge of the lake. At the end of the walk, head back to the lodge by canoe. If lucky, you might see big troops of squirrel monkeys approaching the water, allowing you to take great photos of wildlife.
Charapa Traoil: This trail lasts about one and a half hours, starts at the butterfly farm and ends on the edge of the lake. It's a wonderful loop that begins with a walk, returning to the lodge by canoe. Along the way we will try to sight different groups of mammals, monkeys and birds that in the afternoon hours get close to the lakeshore to look for food. Apart from a clear afternoon, you can also enjoy a beautiful sunset from the canoe.
Observation Tower: A 20 minute walk will lead you to the tower. This construction will allow us to be 120 feet above the forest floor to enjoy the canopy of the tropical rain forest. Observing with a telescope will enable us to see birds from the canopy, and maybe even monkeys or sloths.Your native guide will show you some of the medicinal plants that natives still use and the naturalist will provide information about the ecology and natural history as well.
Parrot Clay Lick: Visit the most biologically diverse spot on Earth, the Yasuni National Park. A 20 minute canoe ride plus a 15 minute walk will bring you back to the Napo River. A motorized canoe ride lasting 10 minutes will let you enjoy one of the most amazing displays of the wild world. Hundreds of parrots and parakeets will approach the treetops and later come down to a clay bank to eat the soil rich in minerals. It is essential to have binoculars to enjoy the experience.
Once you identify the different species of parrots and parakeets, your naturalist guide will provide a lot of interesting information about the behavior of these spectacular birds. The motorized canoe ride lasts approximately 30 more minutes of birdwatching along the river banks.
Butterfly Farm: Learn about the biology of the butterflies of the region. The farm will show you each of the different stages of the butterfly complemented with interesting information provided by your naturalist guide. You will not want to leave the butterfly flying area without taking your best photos of our colorful butterflies.
Sacha Hugra Trail: A unique experience - walk through an amazing section of primary forest for about 4 to 5 hours. You might have the chance to find the biggest mammals of the rain forest. A healthy rainforest makes you feel the energy of nature like no other place on the planet. The biggest and probably oldest threes of our resources can be found here, be amazed with their size and beauty.
Leoncillo Lagoon: A two hour canoe ride around Garzacocha Lagoon is where you will see birds and maybe a huge troop of the nomads of the forest. Disembark on one of the sides of the lagoon and try to spot the leoncillo, the smallest monkey in the world. The pygmy marmoset is one of the most exotic species of primates of Amazonia, and with some luck, you will also see it here at La Selva.
After an early breakfast, you'll head back up the Napo River for the flight back to Quito to complete your Amazon tour. At the airport, you'll be picked up and transferred to your hotel and have the evening free to enjoy Quito.
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