Napo Wildlife Center: into the Yasuni Amazon

Discover Yasuni's Heartbeat
FromUSD$1,520
Discover Yasuni's Heartbeat
FromUSD$1,520
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Build a Custom Tour



Looking for something a little different? At Impactful Travel, we specialize in crafting custom itineraries tailored to your unique travel desires and ethical values.

Build Your Trip

Join our amazing tour for unforgettable experiences! Take breathtaking canoe trips along serene lakes and rivers, embark on exciting forest excursions, and enjoy birding tours. Immerse yourself in the wonders of Yasuní National Park, a sacred land renowned for its incredible wildlife diversity. Discover the thrill of paddling a small canoe on tranquil streams and explore any of the 16 forest trails. Get up close and personal with the spectacular wildlife that calls this region home. Don’t miss out on this incredible adventure!

Read the full itinerary below and make sure to read the FAQs before you book this tour. Please note that this tour operates under distinct (and rather strict) cancellation policies. Read more in the FAQ section

 

Discover more of the Ecuadorian Amazon

Embrace the extraordinary and delve deeper into the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Your journey of discovery can easily extend to Puyo, where you’ll find a sanctuary of sustainable tourism waiting for you. Experience Amazon Permaculture at Los Yapas Holistic Center. Learn about the forest’s mesmerizing biodiversity, participate in restoration projects, and see firsthand how your travel choices can positively impact the environment.

Or spend a day at the Yanacocha Wildlife Rescue Center and step into the shoes of the passionate volunteers dedicated to nurturing and protecting the region’s diverse wildlife. It’s an opportunity to leave a lasting impact while connecting with the creatures that call the Amazon home.

Ready for an unforgettable Ecuador adventure? Let’s craft it together!

If piecing together individual tours feels overwhelming or restrictive, why not try our custom travel design service? With years of experience, we’re experts at tailoring trips to your unique desires. Share your preferences in this form, and soon, a travel designer will reach out. Journey with Impactful Travel and discover personal growth and positive impact. Let’s turn your Ecuador holiday into an enriching, meaningful experience.

Day by Day

Day 1Journey to Napo Wildlife Center

Important notes about the start of this tour:

  • If you fly in to El Coca airport, please make sure to book a flight arriving before 10:00am. 
  • If you are staying in Coca or arrive on ground transportation, please make sure to present yourself at the airport at 10AM, to meet with the Napo Wildlife Center personnel. 

After the pickup, you’ll have an easy 5-minute transfer to “La Mision” Port, where you’ll hop on a comfy covered motor-boat. During the scenic 2-hour journey along the Napo River, you’ll be treated to a delightful box lunch and coffee.

Keep your eyes peeled for fascinating bird species like herons and kingfishers! Once you arrive at Napo Wildlife Center’s entry dock, we’ll have a short break and restroom visit. Then, get ready for an enchanting 2-hour paddle canoe ride surrounded by lush trees and incredible wildlife, as we glide through a narrow creek that leads to the lodge’s serene lake.

There’s even a chance to spot playful monkeys and vibrant birds like toucans, parrots, and macaws! As we arrive at Napo Wildlife Center in the late afternoon, take in the breathtaking view of Añangu Lake and savor a refreshing welcome drink. Before you settle in, our friendly local manager will provide you with a helpful briefing.

 

Day 2Parrot, parakeet, macaw encounters and Kichwa Culture!

Start your day with an early breakfast and an early start to reach the most accessible parrot clay licks in Ecuador, just about an hour away from the lodge. You’ll get there right before the parrot action begins between 7:30 to 8:30 am, ensuring the best viewing experience. Witness a diverse array of 11 parrot, parakeet, and macaw species that visit daily. Other fascinating creatures also make occasional appearances.

Later, take a scenic hike along a forest trail to visit the Kichwa Community of Añangu and immerse yourself in their enriching activities. Experience the warmth of the Kichwa community during lunch at Napo Cultural Center.

Afterward, return to the creek and embark on a 30-minute hike through the Terra Firme Forest to the second parrot clay lick. With favorable weather conditions, you may spot various species of parrots, parakeets, and even macaws.

As the late afternoon or early evening sets in and you return to the lodge, a delicious dinner will be waiting for you.

Day 3Exploring the Canopy and Forest Trails

After a delightful breakfast, we head out from the lodge to witness a breathtaking view of the rainforest from a towering canopy tower that stands 36 meters tall. It’s an incredible opportunity to observe the vibrant activity of life above the ground. This is the second tower at the Napo Wildlife Center, nestled deep within the Terra Firme forest, just 30 minutes away from the lodge. As you ascend the tower’s 12 floors, you traverse through different levels of the forest and emerge at the pinnacle of a majestic Ceiba tree.

You’ll be amazed as flocks of colorful tanagers gracefully soar through the tree’s canopy. Keep an eye out for blue-and-yellow macaws flying by, while the adorable spider monkeys hunt for fruit in the nearby trees. During the early mornings and afternoons, the distinct calls of two large toucan species can be heard. From the top of the tower, the bustling life of the forest canopy unfolds before your eyes. Birds that are nearly impossible to spot from the forest floor suddenly appear right beside you, often unaware of your presence. The canopy tower reveals a whole new world to our guests at the Napo Wildlife Center!

At the lodge, a delicious lunch awaits you. In the afternoon, you have the option to explore another Terra Firme trail, where we take a scenic hike through the primary forest to witness its rich interior. There’s a chance to spot lizards, vibrant manakins, or the unique and endemic Golden-mantled tamarin monkey. After the hike, you can embark on a memorable adventure exploring the lake and creeks in a traditional dugout canoe. Keep your eyes peeled, as you might just encounter our local Giant otter family along the way.

Day 4Canoeing Adventure, Wildlife Sightings and Return Journey

On your last day, get ready for an early departure and a fantastic 2-hour canoeing adventure back to the Napo River. As we paddle along the creek, keep your eyes peeled for amazing sightings of giant otters, monk saki monkeys, and rare birds. Once we reach the river, we’ll hop on a motorized canoe to head back the way we came. Finally, after a roughly 2-hour boat ride, we’ll arrive in Coca. There, you can check-in for your Coca – Quito flight. We’ll provide you with a precise schedule based on your departure details and arrangements. Looking forward to an incredible journey together!

Please note that the itinerary is subject to changes due to weather conditions and operational decisions.

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What makes this experience Impactful?

Eco-friendly Accommodation: The Napo Wildlife Center is an eco-lodge that was designed and built by the local Kichwa Añangu community. The lodge is 100% community-owned and all of its profits go directly back to the community. This supports local employment and contributes to the economic sustainability of the region.
Conservation Efforts: The Napo Wildlife Center is located within Yasuní National Park, one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. The center actively participates in conservation initiatives to preserve this unique environment. For instance, it operates a parrot clay lick project to protect and study these birds, contributing to the ecological sustainability of the area.
Respect for Local Culture: The tour offers opportunities for visitors to learn about the Kichwa Anangu culture, promoting cultural sustainability. It respects and acknowledges local traditions and practices, rather than imposing external values or norms.
Educational Focus: The tour is not just about sightseeing; it also offers educational experiences. Visitors learn about the flora and fauna of the Amazon rainforest, as well as the conservation challenges it faces. This raises awareness and promotes responsible tourism.
Limited Impact on Wildlife: The tours are designed to have minimal impact on wildlife. The use of motorized canoes is limited to reduce noise pollution, and viewing towers are used to observe animals without disturbing them.
Sustainable Practices: The lodge employs various sustainable practices such as solar power, composting toilets, and waste recycling. It also sources food locally to reduce its carbon footprint.

Looking to make this tour more responsible?

Opt for ground transportation instead of taking a plane to El Coca. Reach out to us for information on alternative options!

Details

Price Includes

  • Assistance and ground transportation (round trip)from the airport or your hotel in El Coca to La Mision port and back
  • Shared fluvial transportationround trip on motor boat from La Mision port to Napo Wildlife Center’s entry dock and round trip canoe ride from entry dock to the lodge
  • Accommodationat private standard cabin
  • All mentioned (shared) activities
  • Box lunch and dinner on day 1
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on day 2 and 3
  • Breakfast on day 4 Note: breakfast and dinner are served as buffet, lunch is a 3-course meal with soft drink
  • Unlimited coffee, tea and water
  • Lifejackets
  • Rain poncho and rubber boots(U.S. sizes 3 to 13) provided when needed for excursion

Price Excludes

  • Domestic flights from/to Quitowhen considering a flight, please make sure to book the following flights with LATAM Airlines: Quito - Coca, XL1397 and Coca - Quito, XL1396
  • Air taxes or fees
  • Assistance at Quito airport when booking a flight from there
  • Private ground transportation from Quito
  • Additional food and (alcoholic) drinks or bottled water
  • Additional excursions
  • Private English-speaking guide
  • Additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations
  • WiFi connection available for the whole stay for a small fee
  • Laundry
  • Tips
  • Read more about what's generally not included in our Terms and Conditions (click here).

What to Bring

  • Binoculars for wildlife watching
  • ClothingTwo or three pairs of lightweight long pants. Two or three long-sleeved lightweight shirts. Two or three T-shirts. One or two pairs of shorts (mostly for around the lodge). Lightweight sweater or jacket. Raingear (if your prefer not to use the ponchos provided). Three or four pairs of long cotton socks. One pair of sneakers and/or hiking boots. Sandals. A hat for sun protection (and that will stay on during windy boat rides)
  • Sunglasses
  • Small day pack for excursions
  • Dry bag or Ziplock-type plastic bags to cover optics or other gear
  • Insect repellent and Sunscreen lotion with a high SPF factor
  • Flashlight or headlamp for use on night walks
  • Personal toiletries and medications
  • Original passport always good to have while traveling
  • Credit card for bar bills and cash (US$) for handicraft purchasesVisa, Mastercard and Dinners are accepted as well as small notes
  • For our excellent general packing tips, please read this article (click here) and leave well prepared!

What NOT to Bring

  • Bright colored clothing that might scare the animals
  • Inflammable sprays as they are not allowed by the airline
  • Do not wear perfume or other perfumed substances as the sweet scent can attract insects
  • Devices that can make loud noises
  • Cigarettes or smoking devices
Frequently Asked Questions

About the Napo Wildlife Center: into the Yasuni Amazon

Please tell me more about the strict cancellation policies for this particular tour.

Due to the restricted availability at the lodge, the community has implemented strict cancellation policies. If you cancel your booked trip between 60 to 31 days before the start date, you will only get a 50% refund. And if you have to cancel within one month of traveling, no refund applies. So, before booking please make sure that you will be able to make it! We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause.

Why is the tour is unavailable on Thursdays and Sundays?

The reason is, that canoe operators do not work on Sundays, making it impossible to enter or leave the lodge that day. Since this is a 4-day, 3-night tour, arriving on Thursday means that departure would be on Sunday, hence the exclusion of both days.

What is included in the standard cabin package?

24/7 110V Electricity, safe box, tap water, porch with seat and view to the lake, slippers, bathrobe, toiletries, bath salts, and 100% cotton towels

What’s the weather and temperature like at Yasuni National Park?

The driest month is December, with 152 mm of rain. In May, the precipitation reaches its peak, with an average of 331 mm.
January is the warmest month of the year. The temperature in January averages 26.3°C. At 24.1 °C on average, July is the coldest month of the year.

What is the luggage weight limit?

Passengers on flights Quito – Coca are allowed to check in a maximum of 23 kg per person plus a carry-on hand luggage item of 10 kg with reading material, camera, binoculars, and personal documents. Additional or excess baggage is charged directly by the airline.

Are children allowed in the lodge?

We recommend that children be at least 5 years old and suggest you hire a private guide. 

Children under 11 years and 11 months old receive a 30% discount on the fare if they share the same cabin with their parents, upon presentation of a passport or identification document, and we will gladly recalculate the total price you need to pay.

How long is the river ride?

Once we arrive at the Napo River port in Coca, it takes approximately 2 hours of motor boat ride. Upon entering Yasuni National Park, we disembark and change to paddle canoes for approximately another 1.5 hours.

Is there a doctor at the lodge?

We have a doctor and a medical center at the Community. In case of an emergency, the doctor will go to the lodge or the passenger will be taken out to the Community. For rare further situations, we take the passenger to Quito.
If you are carrying prescription medication or require particular assistance, please bring with you a signed and dated letter from your physician stating health problems and dosage requirements for any medication, to be provided to our doctor on board as well as to medical authorities in case of an emergency.

Are there any tipping recommendations?

For your convenience, we include the following gratuity suggestions based on other experiences at Napo Wildlife Center:
• Naturalist Guide: $15 to 25 / night per guest
• Community Guide: $10 to 15 / night per guest
• Paddler: $ 5 to 10 / night per guest
• Staff Members: $ 5 to 10 / night per guest
Please tip guides personally. There’s a tipping box located at the bar for staff members. This does not include tips you may wish to leave the bartender.

Are there any vaccination requirements?

There is no legal requirement for entrance to Ecuador. Napo Wildlife Center and Yasuni National Park are zones free of malaria, yellow fever, and the zika virus. We have never registered any cases during the more than 20 years that we have been operating. However, we do recommend you ask your physician.

Can you give me additional travel tips?

• No smoking in the forest, nor in the boats (which carry gasoline).
• No littering.
• Do not harass wildlife – when sighting wildlife follow your guide’s instructions.
• No wildlife collection or manipulation. If you should come across hurt wildlife, leave it be. It is part of the natural processes of the wilderness.
• Please separate all your non-biodegradable trash and recycling in the proper bins. Please take batteries back with you.
• Please keep it quiet. Our rooms are not soundproof and guests come to listen to the sounds of nature. If you want to listen to music outside the bar area, use headphones.
• The lodges are highly flammable. Do not leave candles unattended and locate the nearest extinguisher.
• Never go swimming in Añangu Lake.
• Stay on the trails and only travel them with a guide. If for some reason you are separated from your guide, you can return to the lodge using your map and the trail markers.
• Always use life jackets on the boat and during boarding. Wear light shoes that are easy to take off. Never have rubber boots on when in the boats.
• Use rubber boots when heading to the forest or gardens at night. They reduce the risk of snake bites.
• When taking photos of people, ask first!

General questions

For questions about booking a tour, prices, preparation for your trip, health and safety or other themes, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you can’t find your question & answer, email us and we’ll add it!

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the Kichwa Añangu Community

Explore our community by immersing yourself in the rich experiences offered at our Cultural Center. Here, you can delve into the customs and practices that have been passed down through generations, gaining a profound understanding of our unique way of life.

During your stay, indulge in an array of activities that will ignite your senses and connect you with nature. Take part in daily forest and canoe or kayak excursions, and partake in captivating birding tours. Additionally, we are more than happy to customize hiking trails based on your personal interests and abilities.

Join us on this unforgettable journey as we invite you to discover the authentic essence of our community and create cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

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