“I ventured deep into the Amazon with hopes of seeing the elusive jaguar, knowing full well that I had more chance of seeing Australia win an Ashes Test. During one walk, we turned back towards the lodge, backtracking on the same route we took just hours earlier. There on the path was a jaguar paw print, clear as day. We never saw the big cat, but just knowing it was right there was pretty special.” Nathan Ward, Peregrine Retail Assistant Manager.
Why we love it:
- This exceptional jungle experience takes you into the very heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin.
- The remote, pristine setting of Sacha Lodge is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers.
- The lodge provides quality accommodation, first class meals and expert guides in order for you to fully enjoy the wonders of the tropical rainforest.
- There is a wide range of activities to pick from including jungle walks, dugout canoe safaris and canopy walks, while a real highlight is the camouflaged, 43-metre high observation tower.
- This is the Amazon at its very best!
Day to Day Itinerary
Day 1: Amazon Jungle Lodge
Meals included: 1 lunch, 1 dinner
- The joining point for this trip is a hotel in Quito, the Rio Amazonas Hotel. You should meet your transfer driver in the lobby at 08:00am for your transfer to the airport. You must call our operator the day prior to your trip starting to reconfirm the pick-up time. The transfer driver will have your flight tickets and vouchers for your lodge stay.
- The flight over the Andes to the river port town of Puerto Francisco de Orellana, (or Coca) will take approximately 45 minutes. Here, a local guide will meet you and transfer you to the town docks, where a covered motorized canoe will take you on a two-hour journey down the Napo River to the Sacha Lodge (or alternative Napo Lodge - refer to "Other Information" for more details).
- The Napo River is the largest river in Ecuadorian Amazonia and as you cruise along the water it is easy to spot a number of shore birds including herons, kingfishers, spoonbills and ospreys. Upon arrival at Sacha Lodge’s 2000-hectare private reserve, you will walk along a raised boardwalk through dense forest to Pilchicocha Lake, where dugout canoes await to take you to the lodge.
- It is not unusual to see several species of monkeys and tropical birds along the way, including the ancient looking Hoatzin! The Hoatzin, one of the strangest living birds, is considered by many as a link with the first known bird, Archaeopteryx, that became extinct millions of years ago. There is time this afternoon to take a walk, or swim, or to explore the surrounding jungle and its wildlife.
Day 2 - 4: Amazon Jungle Lodge
Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
- Over the next three days, you will be placed into small groups, and native guides will lead you on various excursions and activities. Most of your day, however, will be spent in the forest. Mornings start early; groups are usually on the trail by 6am. Not only is it cooler at this hour, but animal and bird activity is also at its peak.
- Most trails return you to the lodge for lunch, with ample time afterwards for a swim and an afternoon siesta before hitting the trails again. Your guides are a wealth of information with expert knowledge of the rainforest’s medicinal properties and the biology and ecology of the area.
- The activities will be spread over a wide area of the reserve, allowing you to explore fascinating habitats. Some trails lead through forested areas with kapok trees towering above, whilst others take you across boardwalks through rich rainforest undergrowth and over the marshlands.
- You can paddle in dugout canoes along creeks and lakes where lianas, bromeliads and palm trees thrive and the possibility of sighting wildlife, from the tiny pygmy marmoset to pumas, is ever present. Night walks and canoe trips are also possible and offer the opportunity to see creatures that do not venture out during the day. Most often it is caimans (of the alligator family) and giant insects that are sighted at night.
- Weather dependant, there will be a visit to Ecuador’s most accessible parrot lick, an exposed clay bank where brightly coloured parrots, macaws and parakeets gather in the early morning (this activity is optional and is US$20pp).
- Half an hour’s walk from the lodge is the observation tower. At over 40 metres high, it is above the rainforest canopy, and is probably the best place to view the area’s rich wildlife through the powerful telescope provided. You can plan on seeing the howler monkeys, and hopefully the three-toed sloth, and exotic birds with equally exotic names including Paradise Tanager, Spangled Cotinga or the Many-banded Aracari.
- Sacha Lodge is also home to one of the largest butterfly farms in Ecuador and is successfully breeding nearly forty local butterfly species, including the amazing and very large blue morph – a visit is a must.
Day 5: Quito
Meals included: 1 breakfast
- You will be transferred by boat back to Coca for your flight to Quito, where your trip ends upon arrival at Quito Airport.
- Normally flights arrive back in Quito at around 1pm; however, there is always a likelihood of your flight being delayed. This being the case you may wish to book an additional night's accommodation in Quito and also a transfer from airport to hotel. These should be booked at the same time you book your holiday.
- If you are planning to depart Quito today, we advise that you do not book to depart until at least after 4pm (16:00 hrs).
What to know
This program is for independent travellers and is not our group tour. Departures are available on other days of the week (except Sunday) however additional transportation surcharges apply.
- The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local guides.
- Return local flights Quito-Coca-Quito.
- 3 nights in Sacha Jungle Lodge in one of just ten double cabins with private facilities and shaded terraces.
- Small group jungle activities and excursions in the company of a native guide.
- Journey down the Napo River by motorized canoe.
- Dugout canoe to Sacha Lodge.
- Transfers inside the tour program.
Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.
International flights, airport departure tax, visas where required, meals not included in the itinerary, insurance, laundry, any optional tours or activities during free time, tips and items of a personal nature.
What to know
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.
Visas and Permits
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
Australians, New Zealanders, Americans, Canadians and British do not currently require a visa for Ecuador. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Customs and Culture
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in.
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
Ecuador - A Fragile Democracy-Corkill & Cubitt The Panama Hat Trail-T Miller Galapagos - A Natural History Guide-M Jackson
This is not our group tour and there is not our Tour Leader. It is sold to independent travellers and the lodge provides all guides.
Yellow Fever Certificate
Please note, as of 1st March 2008 it is necessary for all travellers booked on this trip to be vaccinated against yellow fever (vaccinations are good for 10 years) and to carry their yellow fever certificate with them. Even though there hasn’t been any case of yellow fever in Ecuador in the last 20 years, the local authorities are taking steps to ensure that no outbreaks occur in this sensitive region. All travellers should be vaccinated against yellow fever at least 10 days before the start of the tour.
Alternate Lodge - Napo Wildlife Centre
If, on occasion, Sacha Lodge is unavailable, we use Napo Wildlife Centre. This eco-lodge is located within the Yasuni National Park, an important UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. There are 16 rooms each with private balcony with lake views, en-suite facilities, hot water, 24 hour electricity operated by a hybrid power system, ceiling fans and screens for protection against insects. Meals are served in the main hall where there is a fully stocked bar and a reading lounge.
About this Information
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
12 November 2013
General Contact Details
Web: Visit Peregrine