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NCC Lodge

Napo Cultural Center - Sumak Huasi

Example 5 Day Tour
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Join this 5-day cultural immersion tour at Napo Cultural Center. Arrive and be greeted by the kichwa Añangu community with a traditional "wayusa" drink. Enjoy a rainforest-view room and take part in an afternoon hike along the "Playas" trail, encountering diverse Amazon wildlife. Optional kayaking offers a sunset on the Napo River. Explore sustainable community projects, medicinal walks, and paddle around the "Añangu" stream to spot monkeys and caiman. Witness the parrot clay lick, and wildlife-filled trails, and visit the intercultural interpretation center. Hike to observation towers for birdwatching and enjoy a traditional dinner. End with an optional "wayusada" ritual, sharing ancient knowledge and interpreting dreams. Return to Coca town with memories of the Ecuadorian rainforest landscape.
Napo Cultural Center at nightNapo Cultural CenterNapo Cultural CenterObservation TowerMamakuna playing the shell of charapaKichwa Añangu CommunityCanoe RideKuri Muyo Cultural CenterNCC Lodge
Highlights
  • Visit sustainable community projects and learn about Kichwa worldview
  • Witness parrot clay licks and encounter diverse bird species
  • Experience a mystical "wayusada" ritual and interpret dreams with locals
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive at Napo Cultural Center

Arrive at Napo Cultural Center, and get an opportunity to enter the ancestral land of the Kichwa Añangu community. The community members warmly greet you with a traditional and refreshing "wayusa" beverage. The local hotel manager provides instructions and escorts you to your comfortable room with rainforest views. You can then prepare for the first-afternoon activity.

Take off on a hike along the "Playas" trail to discover the abundant Amazon wildlife on the river islands and shores. This area is renowned as one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. If you choose, you can also enjoy kayaking for approximately 45 minutes and witness a sunset on the expansive Napo River. Afterward, return to your cabin, take some time to rest, and get ready for a well-deserved dinner. Drift off to sleep as you listen to the sounds of the Amazon.

Day 2: Explore the Añangu Community and "Mama Kuna" trail

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Indulge in a delightful breakfast while watching the sunrise. Explore sustainable community projects and engage in discussions about the Kichwa worldview, particularly its connection to medicinal practices. Take a stroll along the Mama-Kuna road, which presents an excellent opportunity to observe diverse wildlife, including ceiba trees, strangler plants, bamboo canes, vines, and native shrubs found exclusively in Yasuní.

In the afternoon, enjoy a local lunch before embarking on a paddling adventure along the "Añangu" stream, a black water ecosystem. Here, you can catch glimpses of monkeys leaping between trees, caimans basking in the sun, and, if you're lucky, even giant river otters attempting to catch fish.

Following dinner, grab your flashlight for a captivating nighttime walk around the lodge. Observe various types of insects, reptiles, and nocturnal mammals like night monkeys, as they reveal themselves in the darkness.

Day 3: Parrot Clay Lick | Kuri Muyu Interpretation Center

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Begin your day with an early breakfast and hop aboard a motorboat to experience one of the captivating attractions of the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve. Head to the parrot clay lick along the riverside of the Napo River. Remember to bring your binoculars and camera lenses to witness flocks of blue-headed, yellow-crowned parrots, and even dusky-headed parakeets right from the comfort of the boat.

Afterward, join a 30-minute walk along the "pericos" trail, leading you to a forest blind that offers a direct view of the incredible parakeet clay lick. Prepare to come face to face with up to 11 species of parrots and parakeets, including parrotlets and macaws. Sometimes, even fascinating mammals like howler monkeys, tapirs, and peccaries visit this spot to quench their thirst and obtain essential minerals.

To conclude the morning, visit the intercultural interpretation center known as "Kuri Muyu," which translates to "golden seed" in the native language. This center, run by the women of the community, also known as "mamakuna," offers valuable insights into Kichwa culture, crafts, customs, and the traditional use of natural resources directly from the people of the indigenous community.

After having lunch at the dining hall in the community center, we'll take a break in the lodge before embarking on a one-hour hike. The destination is the observation tower, soaring 35 meters above the ground. From this vantage point, there are excellent chances of spotting a variety of birds, howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, toucans, and sloths.

As evening approaches, indulge in a satisfying dinner followed by a unique activity on the Napo River. Step aboard the ancestral catamaran to learn more about the community's legends and traditional chants. While onboard, the women will prepare delicious snacks on an open fire, creating an unforgettable experience.

Day 4: Hike through Samona Trail | Canopy Tower

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start your day with the delightful chirping of Amazonian birds as you wake up and indulge in the local and organic breakfast buffet. Get ready for an adventure by putting on your rubber boots as you begin your hike through the terra-firme forest along the "Samona" trail. Here, you'll feel like "Indiana Jones" amidst century-old kapok trees. Keep your eyes peeled for capuchin, woolly, and saki monkeys, and don't forget to look under the leaves for peculiar insects. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of birds, monkeys, and reptiles as you explore the dense forest.

Return to the eco-lodge for a refreshing drink and prepare for a delectable lunch featuring local specialties. In the afternoon, after enjoying a delicious local lunch, visit the second canopy observation tower. Equipped with specialized telescopes for wildlife watching, you'll have the opportunity to observe more of the 600 bird species found in the area.

Upon your arrival back at the lodge, take some time to relax and prepare for a traditional dinner that will tantalize your taste buds with the flavors of the Amazon. Don't miss the chance to try "maito," grilled fish wrapped in a "bijao" leaf. For adventurous eaters, there's also the option to try grilled worms of the "chonta" tree, locally known as "chontakuru."

Day 5: Wayusada Ritual at Dawn | Depart for Quito

  • 1 Breakfast
To end the experience in a memorable way, you can participate in the optional "wayusada" ritual. It takes place at around 4:30 am and involves the Kichwa family coming together to share the sacred drink called "wayusa." This ritual has been a way for them to pass down their ancient knowledge to the younger generations.

During this time, you can also join in traditional chants and have the opportunity to discuss and understand dreams with the wise "mamakuna" of the community. It's a mystical experience. Afterward, you can return for breakfast while the staff collects your belongings. Then, you'll take a comfortable motorboat back to Coca town, giving you a final chance to appreciate the beautiful landscape of the Ecuadorian rainforest until you reach the "La Mision" river port.

Accommodations

Napo Cultural Center

Napo Cultural Center
Napo Cultural Center aerial view
Napo Cultural Center at night

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$998

Notes

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Included
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
  • 4 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • River transportation to Coca – Lodge – Coca
  • Entrance to Yasuni National Park and parrot clay licks
  • Community and naturalist bilingual guide
  • Impermeable poncho and rubber boots
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Laundry 
  • Internet 
  • Beverages (other than mentioned under "included")
  • 256 USD per person: Air tickets Quito – Coca – Quito (with assistance from the airport in Quito & help with check-in and land transfers in Coca)

Map

When to Go

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Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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