Amazon Biodiversity & Cultural Immersion

Imagine yourself deep in the Amazon Rainforest visiting Achuar and Kichwa communities, learning about the ancient traditions of these two distinct indigenous cultures while surrounded by the unmatched beauty of the jungle, absorbed by the symphony provided by the thousands of species that live in harmony with human inhabitants.

Ishpingo Tours invites you to feel part of the magic and mysticism of the Amazon through cultural immersion. Gain a new perspective of the wonders and challenges of this fragile region and its multiple ecosystems. In this, the most biodiverse place on the planet, there is no better place to feel at one with nature while exploring a world that scientists are only beginning to understand.

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The award-winning Kapawi Ecolodge & Reserve is found in one of the most remote and well-protected environments in the world: the western Amazon basin. Two million acres of pristine rainforest, as yet untouched by logging, mining or oil extraction, forms the traditional territory of the Achuar Nation, one of Ecuador’s oldest indigenous groups.

Situated between the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve and the world-famous Yasuní National Park, the largest protected area in Ecuador, is the Kichwa community of Sani Isla. For many years, the members of this community have been dedicated to the protection and conservation of the pristine rainforest that is their home, aided by numerous sustainable economic and community projects, the most important of which is Sani Lodge.

After an early hotel pick-up, the journey from the mighty Andes down into the Amazon basin begins with a trip through Ecuador’s famous Avenue of the Volcanoes and the cities of Tambillo, Latacunga, Ambato and Baños before arriving to the small jungle town of Shell. During the drive, breakfast will be provided and short stops will be made for photo opportunities. Upon arrival in Shell, receive a warm welcome by Achuar community members who will assist guests onto small planes.

A 50-minute flight from Shell will pass over luscious green, undisturbed pristine rainforest before arrival at an airstrip in the heart of Achuar Territory. Upon arrival, receive a welcome by Kapawi guides, escorts on the final leg of today’s journey – a beautiful 30-minute canoe ride into the majesty and tranquility of the rainforest.

After lunch, relax or spend the afternoon kayaking and swimming in the Kapawari River where it is quite possible to spot the famous Amazon pink dolphin. Guides will offer an optional night walk after dinner to discover a world that only comes to life after dark. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Before breakfast, birdwatching is the first activity of the day. Then, accompanied by indigenous and naturalist guides, take a walk along the Pitzacocha Trail to gain a better understanding of how the forest provides benefits to the Achuar people while learning about medicinal plants, hunting techniques and local mythology. Later, a jungle picnic will be served before visiting a nearby Achuar community. In the evening, experience the friendly hospitality of the indigenous people during a night of celebration and cultural interaction. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

After a traditional, early morning guayusa ceremony where a local shaman offers the opportunity to have your dreams interpreted, say farewell to your new friends at Kapawi before boarding a small plane for the flight to the jungle city of Coca enjoying an aerial tour of Achuar territory before heading out over the vast green expanse of the rainforest.

Once in Coca, transfer to the river port to take a comfortable motorised canoe ride down the Napo River, the largest tributary to the mighty Amazon, to Sani Lodge, owned by the Kichwa community of Sani Isla. This community is located near the Yasuní National Park, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. In the afternoon there will be time to become familiar with your new surroundings, enjoy a swim in Sani’s black water lagoon or climb Sani’s 37-meter observation tower where it is easy to spot many of the 600 species registered in the area.

After dinner, enjoy a night walk with your guide along the trails that border the nearby lagoon to discover more of this earthly paradise. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Today, head out on a 3 to 4-hour Amazon excursion along the Chorongo Route by first starting with a 45-minute canoe ride across Sani’s lagoon to observe the many species of birds and several species of monkeys. Throughout the day, other activities will include the chance to fish for piranha. In the evening, another optional night walk will be offered after dinner. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

After a hearty Amazon breakfast, begin the day’s activities with a hike walking for approximately 3 hours along the Daniel Route deep into the heart of the primary forest to see more of the unique flora and fauna of the Amazon. Later, visit the Sani Isla Community Center to learn about the interesting communal work of the women in addition to other community projects. While in the community, enjoy a typical meal with community members and a Kichwa dance presentation, a unique opportunity for cultural interaction. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

After breakfast and saying goodbye to the friendly Sani staff it is time to return to Coca by motorised canoe. Upon arrival to the river port, transfer to the airport to board the plane for a quick, 25-minute flight back to Quito. (Breakfast included)

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