Follow in the footsteps of the Spanish explorer Francisco Orellana in this epic voyage from the Andes to the Amazon. From Quito we head La Casa Del Suizo, our sister Lodge on the Upper Napo, before a 6-hour canoe to Sacha Lodge, where we spend three nights. All transfers included.
Note: The train operates on fixed days (from Wednesday to Sunday). In case we cannot fit the excursion on a train day we will offer an alternative excursion to El Angel Reserve where we will explore its strange and beautiful plants, forest and lakes. Lunch in the area and return to the hacienda at the end of the day.
Depart Quito ́s airport at 11:00am (subject to change). A 30 minute flight over the Andes Mountains leads you to a bustling oil town called Coca located in the Amazon Basin. A quick lunch in Sacha ́s private house and then its off to the town docks where you will board Sacha ́s private canoes for the 2 hour journey down river to Sacha ́s Lodges property.
A 30 minute hike through the rainforest leads you to lake Pilchicocha. Here, you are met by native workers to paddle you across the lake to your final destination. Arrive at Sacha Lodge around 15:30 or 16:00 pm.
Swim in Lake Pilchicocha, which is a black water lake home to many species of fish and animals. A refreshing swim after arriving may be just what you need after being in the equatorial heat all day. Bird observing from the mini tower offers guests an excellent opportunity to view several species of birds common around the lodge. Also a great place to watch the sun set. Visit the butterfly house with your naturalist guide to view the beautiful colors of many differ- ent species of butterflies.
After dinner, accompany your naturalist guide on a night walk through the rainforest to view the hundreds of different species of animals that can only be found at night. Or maybe a canoe ride on the lake to view the spectacled and black caimans with their glowing orange eyes as you silently paddle across the lake to get a closer view.
Begin morning activity between 6:00 and 7:00.
Begin walking on trail Liana Chica and arrive at the canopy walk, for spectacular views of the rainforest canopy and the many different species of vibrantly colored birds.
Designed to be a self-standing rigid suspension canopy walk. it is one of only a few in the world! Located within Sacha ́s private reserve, 2miles from the shores of the Rio Napo and 1 mile from the lodge, the bird walk gives guests the opportunity to get an up close and personal view of the rainforest canopy. Two of the three towers have observation decks every 12 meters making towers accessible for everyone. The canopy walkway is at 36 meters high and 275 meters long, giving guests a “birds eye view” of all the wonders and beauty the tropical rainforest has to offer. The canopy walk is designed as a sturdy walkway enabling guests to casually move along while enjoying the spectacular views.
After the canopy walk, Liana Grande through terra firma and igapo forest habitats where native guides will explain many different species of medicinal plants that have been being used in their culture for hundreds of years.
Liana Grande will turn into the trail Higueron, which will take you through pristine primary forest with huge Kapok and Fig trees towering hundreds of feet above your head.
After lunch, you may choose to take a leisurely hike along the Rio Napo, or choose a little more challenging hike on the trail Leoncillo to try and spot the elusive dusky titi monkey. Either way the trails will lead you back to the main board- walk for your final hike and canoe ride back to the lodge.
Leaving the lodge after breakfast, you begin your hike on trail Lagartococha. This trail offers you the chance to learn more about the native people and their relationship with the forest. Learn about the trees where native people believe the spirits of their ancestors live, and the mysterious “dwende” or devil-man of the forest. After arriving at lake Lagartococha, take a tran- quil canoe ride through a natural swamp, which is the home of anacondas, caimans, and capyba- ras.
After the canoe ride, a walk on the other side of Largatococha may give you the opportunity to spot capuchin or squirrel monkeys playfully jumping through the trees.
Return from the walk or canoe ride and head back to the lodge for a refreshing dip in the lake, or a nice relaxing nap in your personal hammock on your private balcony.
After lunch, your native guide will teach you how to fish for the infamous razor-toothed piranha. Keep in mind that piranhas will never attack a person and swimming at the same time is perfectly safe and fun!
Around 15:30 you will begin what many think is the best trail at Sacha, a silent canoe ride through the flooded Amazonian forest. Where you have a good chance of being surrounded by troops of squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys. Keep your eyes peeled for the shy and elusive river otter as well as the incredibly well camouflaged three-toed sloth!
After your eye-popping ride through the flooded forest, you will arrive at Sacha ́s135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient Kapok tree. Get close up views of vibrantly colored birds through Sacha ́s powerful scopes, and watch the sun set with an amazing view of Mount Sumaco, a volcano, and possibly a view of the snow-covered caps of the Andes!
Leaving the tower just before or after sunset will give you an experience not soon forgotten. A canoe ride back through the flooded forest at night will be an awe-inspiring experience. Listen to the symphony of frogs and insects as you navi- gate through the narrow flooded forest trail, keeping your eyes open for caimans. Watch the several species of bats flying over your heads and listen to the many species of nocturnal birds making their eerie nighttime calls. Finally, after your mesmerizing canoe trip through the Amazon, you will arrive back at lake Pilchicocha and the welcoming lights of Sacha lodge.
A chance to view four different species of parrots at the same time is something that should not be missed. Sacha is close enough to Yasuni National Park that a thirty minute motorized canoe ride down the Napo to the parrot lick is well worth it. Leaving at six in the morning from Sacha and arriving at the lick around 7:30 will give you plenty of time to get close up views of the parrots eating the clay to neutralize the acids which they get from eating their many different types of fruits and leaves. Arriving back at the lodge around 11am or so gives you plenty of time to swim or relax before lunch is served. Visit the butterfly house once again to photograph the beautifully colored butterflies.
For your afternoon activity, Pantano is the trail to take. Pantano offers you several different types of rainforest habitats. From secondary to primary forests as well as flooded forest and swampy areas. An excellent trail for monkeys and birds in the afternoon, your naturalist and native guides will intrigue you with their knowledge of the jungle and its inhabitants as well as provide you with an everlasting experience and memory of the neotropical rainforest.
Breakfast and a departure from the lodge at 7:30am.for an easy walk on the boardwalk to watch monkeys one last time before your final departure. Arrive in Coca and be escorted to the Coca airport where all plane tickets will be in the hands of Sacha employees waiting to help you board the plane and a final farewell. Scheduled arrival at Quito ́s airport is at 12:30pm (subject to change).
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