Once upon a time, responsible travel essentially boiled down to the old adage, “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”
Make the most of your time in Latin America by combining IE Galapagos Islands cruises with additional time in Ecuador. Tour the jungles of the Ecuadorian Amazon from a comfortable base at the private Sacha Lodge.
What is Custom Travel? The itinerary below is only a small sample of options in Ecuador. Every traveler can envision their ideal way to see the world. International Expeditions’ experienced Custom Travel Planners create individually tailored tours that match your style of travel, budget and timeline. Tell us the dates you wish to travel, and we’ll take care of the details.
Ecuador Amazon Itinerary
Quito / Sacha Lodge: Ecuadorian Amazon
Depart Quito´s airport for a 30-minute flight over the Andes Mountains to the bustling oil town of Coca. Board private canoes for the two-hour journey down river to Sacha Lodge. A 30-minute hike through the rainforest leads you to Lake Pilchicocha. Here, you meet native workers to paddle you across the lake to the lodge. Enjoy a refreshing swim in Lake Pilchicocha. Visit the butterfly house with your naturalist guide to view the beautiful colors of many different 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.
Sacha Lodge: Ecuadorian Amazon
Begin walking on the Liana Chica trail to Sacha’s 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! Two of the three towers have observation decks every 40 feet making towers accessible for everyone. The canopy walkway is at 120 feet high and 900 feet long, giving you a bird’s-eye-view of the wonders the tropical rainforest has to offer. Walk along the Liana Grande through terra firma and igapo forest habitats where native guides will explain many different species of medicinal plants used in their culture. Liana Grande will turn into the Higueron trail, taking 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 Leoncillo trail to try and spot the elusive dusky titi monkey. Either way, the trails will lead you back to the main boardwalk for your final hike and canoe ride back to the lodge.
Sacha Lodge: Ecuadorian Amazon
Hike along the Lagartococha trail, learning 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 tranquil canoe ride through a natural swamp, home to anacondas, caimans and capybaras. After lunch, join your native guide 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! Embark on 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, where you watch the sun set with an amazing view of Mount Sumaco, a volcano, and possibly the snow-covered caps of the Andes.
Sacha Lodge / Quito
Take one last walk to the river before your canoe ride back to Coca, and board the short flight back to Quito.