Ecuador - Extension to Amazon:
Sacha Lodge
 
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Sample Program Itinerary

DAY 1

The journey to the Amazon basin begins with a 45 minute flight over the Andes mountains from Quito, Ecuador’s capital, to the port town of Puerto Francisco de Orellana. Here a shaded motorized canoe awaits for a 50-mile, 2½ hour trip down the Napo River, a tributary of the Amazon itself. Upon arrival at the lodge’s 5000-acre private reserve, take a walk along a raised boardwalk through dense flooded palm forest where several species of monkeys are often sighted. The path leads to Pilchicocha Lake, where dugout canoes await to ferry travelers to Sacha Lodge. After a welcome cocktail and orientation briefing, rest briefly in one of the comfortable rooms, which provide 24-hour electricity, private bathrooms with hot water showers, ceiling fans and porches with hammocks overlooking the jungle. Later, there is usually time to take a walk, swim, bird watch or visit a small lookout with a scenic view of the lake and cabins before sunset. (L, D)

DAY 2

Guests will be divided into small groups for activities, which will be led by both a native guide with expert knowledge of the rainforest’s medicinal and other useful plants, and a bilingual naturalist guide educated in the biology and ecology of the area. Each group may decide on its own wake-up and breakfast time, as well as the difficulty and duration of the morning outings.
During the first morning follow trails through pristine terra firme forest, where 150-foot kapok trees tower above and roots form huge buttresses to give them support. For the adventurous, it is also possible to follow a path along fallen tree trunks and a steel cable zip-line through rich swampland!
After lunch you visit the lodge’s butterfly farm, where one may see how these beautiful insects are bred and raised, and later freed to wander through “the flying room”, where hundreds of colourful butterflies including spectacular blue morphs flutter from flower to flower. Later, paddle along an ancient oxbow lake hidden at the end of one of the forest trails, where luxuriant lianas, bromeliads and palm trees thrive. After dark, you may search for caiman (of the alligator family) on our lake, or take a walk to experience the jungle and its creatures after dark. (B, L, D,)

DAY 3

A must for guests is a visit to the 135-foot observation tower. Situated on a hill and constructed around a giant kapok tree for stability, this tower allows guests to climb into and above the rainforest canopy for a magnificent view of the surrounding area. Whether shortly after sunrise or before sunset, from the tower’s ample platform it is possible to observe tucans, parrots, and dozens of other colourful bird species in the treetops. With some luck, noisy howler monkeys, foraging squirrel monkeys or the gentle three-toed sloth may also be seen, especially with the aid of a powerful telescope provided by the guides. The tower may be reached on foot via a half-hour walk through terra firme forest, which is an easy way to get there at or before sunrise. However, no one can miss out on at least a one-way trip to or from the tower along Orchid Creek, Pilchicocha Lake’s natural black water runoff to the Napo River. In a dugout canoe guests may follow this winding stream through untamed palm forest for about an hour, a trip that many choose to repeat. In the afternoon take some time to fish for the infamous razor-toothed piranha, and later follow strategically raised boardwalks through seasonally flooded forest where walking on the ground would be nearly impossible during most of the year... Keep an eye out for the anacondas! (B, L, D)

DAY 4

For travelers on the 4Day/3Night package, after breakfast walk back out to the Napo River for the trip to Puerto Francisco de Orellana, and the flight to Quito. (B)
Those on the longer program visit the Yasuní parrot lick, an exposed clay bank where brightly colored parrots of several different species gather in the early morning. In ideal conditions (sunny and dry) thousands of parrots can be seen gathering around this bank for a spectacular show of sound and color. The lick is located on the edge of Yasuní National Park, which may be reached from Sacha by a one half-hour motorized canoe trip down the Napo River. Recently, the park service has set up blinds in order to watch the parrots from very close. There is a nominal charge ($3US) for this tour payable at the lodge, as the excursion is subject to weather-the parrots don’t like the rain! (B, L, D)

DAY 5

After breakfast you will walk back out to the Napo River for the trip to Puerto Francisco de Orellana, and the flight to Quito. (B)

INCLUDES: EXTRA:
  • Airfare Quito - Coca (San Francisco de Orellana)- Quito
  • 3 or 4 nights accommodation at Sacha Lodge
  • Return airport transfers, river transportation and transportation for included excursions
  • Programmed daily excursions at Sacha Lodge
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily at Sacha
  • Hotel taxes
  • International airfares and applicable taxes
  • Meals and excursions not specified.
  • Gratuities and items of a personal nature
  • Visas, airport and departure taxes if applicable
Notes:
  • Call or email us for our rates
  • Accommodation from standard to luxury
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    Some day tours/transfers may be private or pooled with other travelers. If this is not acceptable please advice your booking agent and we will be able to provide private tours.
    Martour International 2011
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