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Yuturi Biological Reserve - PDF Documents Yuturi Biological Reserve - CD Yuturi Biological Reserve - PDF Documents Yuturi Biological Reserve - Location Map
Lista de aves de Yuturi
Steve Howell - Sophie Webb

CD - birdwaching
Martin Van den Berg - Ressi Damhius

Programas Yuturi Lodge
(viernes lunes) (lunes viernes)
Mapa de actividades
Martin Van den Berg - Ressi Damhius
Yuturi Biological Reserve - PDF Documents Yuturi Biological Reserve - CD Yuturi Biological Reserve - PDF Documents Yuturi Biological Reserve - Location Map

Bird-list Yuturi Lodge
Steve Howell - Sophie Webb

CD - birdwaching
Martin Van den Berg - Ressi Damhius
Yuturi programs
(friday monday) (monday friday)
Yuturi Lodge - Activities Map
Martin Van den Berg - Ressi Damhius
Yuturi Biological Reserve - PDF Documents Yuturi Biological Reserve - CD Yuturi Biological Reserve - PDF Documents Yuturi Biological Reserve - Location Map
Liste der Vögel in Yuturi
Steve Howell - Sophie Webb
CD - Vogelobservation
Martin Van den Berg - Ressi Damhius
Programme von Yuturi
(Freitag - Montag) (Montag - Freitag)
Auflistung der Aktivitäten
Martin Van den Berg - Ressi Damhius
  • Yuturi Biological Reserve, offert also SHAMANIC EXPERIENCE to our passengers.
  • Yuturi Biological Reserve, reserves the right to modify the itineraries due to weather conditions in the best interest of our clients.

Amazon Basin Ecuador Jungle lodge Amazon Rainforest Lodge jungle tours

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Amazon River Basin, or El Oriente to Ecuadorians, is the biggest region in Ecuador. Ecuador has 2% of the Amazon Rainforest and makes for a convenient jump from major cities. Tourist infrastructure is well developed, and most destinations are less than a day's journey from Quito. Amazon Basin Overview. More life hums, buzzes, chatters and bubbles in the Amazon Rainforest than anywhere else on the planet. One Amazonian tree can host more ant species than all of the British Isles put together, one hectare of forest boasts about as many frog species as all of North America and the great expanse of the jungle contains more than twenty percent of the earth's vascular plant species. Here you can find a monkey small enough to sit on your fingertip, an eight-pound toad, a spider that eats birds and the world's largest snake, the 30-foot anaconda. The Amazon is home to thousands of indigenous inhabitants, who make up nearly 200 distinct nations, including the Siona, Secoya, Cofan, Shuar, Zaparo, Huaorani and Quichua. Having lived there for more than 10,000 years, they know its trees, its animals and its rhythms better than anyone. A plethora of tour operators based out of Quito, Tena and Baños can help you find a tour that meets your needs, be it a comfy lodge with three-course meals and hot showers, or a mud-up-to-your-knees trekking and camping adventure. Oil companies are a serious threat to the rainforest today. Even at lodges deep in the jungle, plumes of smoke coming from oil refineries smudge the otherwise untouched horizon day and night. You can learn more about indigenous forest peoples and the rainforest itself oining one of the many community-based ecotourism programs offered in the Ecuadorian Amazon or by becoming a volunteer with one of the many nonprofits working in the region. Amazon Rainforest Lodges. The Amazon rainforest basin, or El Oriente, is a popular tourist destination, and a number of jungle lodges have sprung up in recent years. Most of them are centered around Tena, Puerto Francisco de Orellana (Coca), or Nueva Loja (Lago Agrio), which are transportation hubs in Ecuadors eastern lowlands. Although each is quite unique, activities and basic features dont vary too much. With a little research on V!VA Travel Guides, you will be able to find the best lodge for you. Location is the first consideration. The lodges near Tena, such as Cotococha, are more easily accessible than those near Coca or Lago Agrio, but have significantly less wildlife. Getting from Quito to Tena is a relatively easy six-hour bus ride, whereas the buses from Quito to Coca or Lago Agrio take at least 10 hours. There are also flights to all major launching points in the jungle to and from Quito. Flights to both Coca and Lago Agrio take about 25 minutes and cost $120 round trip. Another consideration is comfort. If your idea of a vacation always includes a pool, a buffet table and hammocks, there are jungle lodges that will provide that. If you're more interested in animals and birds than comfort, you should check out the more remote lodges, such as Sani Lodge and lodges in the Cuyabeno Reserve. If you're willing to pay, there are lodges that offer both comfort and good animal watching. Still other lodges, like Yachana Lodge, offer a closer look at local jungle communities, which can be fascinating as well. See our packing list section for what to pack. Jamu Lodge. Jamu Lodge is by far the best aœbang for your buck if you are planning on exploring the Amazon jungle. Priced around $200/person for a four day/three night stay, this economical choice is nestled deep in the rainforest, unlike many of the other inexpensive lodges in the Cuyabeno area, which arent even in the jungle. From the Cuyabeno Puente, where you pay entrance for the Reserve, you will be transported into another world. Sailing for two hours down the Cuyabeno River in the lodges motorized canoe feels like a scene straight out of a movie. The experienced guide has iœjungle eyes that will spot out animals you would have never seen on your own, from butterflies to bird to monkeys. The trip also includes a visit to the village shaman, who presents and explains his medicinal healing and traditional dances an experience unlike any other, because you will get to see him in his colorful garb (the arrow through his nose is real!). Also, visit a local village, go piranha fishing, swim in the beautiful Laguna Grande at sunset, search for caiman alligators, and explore the jungle at night. Beware of the tarantulas! As for the lodge itself, it features 9 separate cabanas, with thatched roofs, bunk beds and cold showers. There are many hammocks to relax in between your excursions. The staff and guides at Jamu are friendly and helpful, whip up delicious and filling meals, and stay up with you in case there is anything needed. For more information, check out their website or office in Quito. You wont be disappointed. Yarina Lodge. Yarina Lodge is an eco-lodge set in the wilds of the Amazonian jungle near Yasuni National Park, in the zone reserved for indigenous Quichuas. It was started 7 years ago as an attempt to alert both foreigners and Ecuadorians to the cause of environmentalism in the Amazon. It is now one of the most important environmental centers in the area, in conjunction with Yuturi Lodge. Yarina Lodge contains 20 huts for travelers (single, double, triple and quadruple accommodations), all complete with private bathrooms and showers. The huts are constructed with materials native to the area. There is a larger meeting place on the resort where travelers can meet to eat, drink and chat about the days events. The lodge offers a plethora of activities: whether you are interested in fishing for piranhas or visiting a local shaman, you can certainly do it here. Go to www.yarinalodge.com to check out a sample schedule of activities at Yarina. Butterfly Lodge – Cabañas Aliñahui. Amazing, magical Amazon: Butterfly Lodge a paradise in the rainforest. Huasquila Amazon Lodge. Only four hours from Quito (by car), Huasquila Amazon Lodge offers six luxury cabins built with local materials in Kichwa Style within the Sumaco Biosphere Reserve. Each cabin has a private bathroom, hot water, wide interior spaces and balcony, from where you can enjoy the fascinating view of the Amazon. Huasquila offers personalized tours and activities (caving, petroglyphs, animal rescue center, jungle walks, visit to kichwa communities, and much more!), first class attention in a family atmosphere, delicious national and international dishes, bar service with exotic cocktails and folkloric night show. Come and enjoy a few days full of adventure and peace in the sacred valley of Cotundo, home of shamans from the Amazon. Ideal for small groups with individual interests. La Selva Jungle Lodge. La Selva Jungle Lodge is 60 miles down the Napo river (two and a half hours by canoe) from the town of Coca. Located within Yasuni national park, it boasts 17 thatched cabins and a dining room with bar/lounge area. Each of the cabins has a private bathroom, mosquito nets, and a hammock for relaxing. One of the more deluxe jungle lodges, each of the cabins has filtered water and hot water in the showers. They also take great pride in their food: the restaurant at La Selva is one of the better ones as jungle lodges go. Remote enough to be located in primary forest, La Selva offers many activities common to jungle lodges. There are various trails, day and night guided hikes, canoe trips and even a 135 foot canopy observation tower. Nearby is a salt lick where parrots and macaws congregate. There is also a butterfly farm. It is also possible to visit the home of a local indigenous family, and learn how residents of the rainforest commonly live. If guests wish, they can spend the night out deeper in the wilderness at a camping facility. Native guides are included to show guests the hundreds of species of birds in the park, and it is also common to see monkeys, caimans and a variety of insect life. Guides are available in English, French, and German. A four day/three night stay at La Selva costs $634/person, and a five day/four night stay costs $756. Prices include transportation to and from Coca, guides, all meals and needs such as rubber boots and rain ponchos. These rates do not include transportation from Quito to Coca and back. They do occasionally offer promotions or discounts for large groups or students. Check their web site or contact their helpful Quito office for details. Tiputini Biodiversity Station. Tiputini Biodiversity Station, founded in 1994, is part of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, or San Francisco University of Quito, one of the premier schools of higher education in Ecuador. It is a complete scientific and research facility, boasting a conference room, lecture facilities, and an air-conditioned computer room. TBS owns 650 hectares of rainforest, and the station is within the 1.7 million acre Yasuni National Park, which was recently declared a world biosphere reserve. It is on the Tiputini River, which flows into the Napo river (and eventually into the Amazon). The area is home to an astounding number of birds and wildlife, including approximately 540 species of birds, 15 species of primates, and 5 species of cats. They also feature canopy towers for research and bird watching. There are eight rooms, each of which can house two to four guests. A generator provides electricity until 10:00 p.m.. It is eco-friendly, featuring filtered water and recycling programs. Napo Wildlife Center. The Napo Wildlife Center is located on the Napo river about two hours by motor canoe from Coca. As jungle lodges go, Napo Wildlife Center is one of the more deluxe ones. They boast 10 cabañas, with large, pleasant rooms. Every cabaña has a porch, private bath, ceiling fan, and is well-screened to keep insects out. There is a communal area, with a library, a bar, and a fifty-foot viewing tower attached for those who wish to bird watch from the lodge itself. The Napo Wildlife Center is far enough away from "civilization" that it is possible to see many birds and animals: 565 species of bird have been seen in their reserve, and a fortunate tourist can also hope to see monkeys and river otters. It is also near a parrot lick: on a sunny day, hundreds of parrots will visit the lick to get certain nutrients they cannot get elsewhere, making for a memorable experience. A modern, responsible eco-lodge, 49% of the Napo Wildlife Center is owned by the nearby Quichua Añargu community, members of which work in the lodge as support staff and guides. The community produces handicrafts such as traditional pottery which are then sold in the lodge, which does not charge a commission and passes the profits directly to the artists. Activities included guided hikes, canoe rides, bird watching tours, night hikes and visits to the local community. Guides are provided by the lodge. Napo Wildlife Center offers package tours through Ecotours. Usual stays are Monday-Friday (5 days/4 nights) and Friday-Monday (4 days/3 nights). Their packages are all-inclusive, and include all meals, transportation, park fees, guides, boots, etc. Not included is the flight from Quito to Coca (about $120 round trip), alcoholic beverages, and tips for guides and staff. Yuturi Lodge. Yuturi Lodge is a remote jungle lodge located a four and a half hour canoe trip from Coca. Responsible and modern, Yuturi works closely with the local community who help out as guides and workers. It has 15 huts, each of which can accommodate four guests. The huts are made of local materials, lending an air of authenticity to the experience, and each has small, tidy beds and a mosquito net. Each room has a private bath and water 24 hours per day. A generator provides electricity from six oclock in the morning to ten oclock in the evening. The main cabin has a restaurant, bar, and a 15-meter observation tower. Yuturi provides hikes, canoe rides, night walks and bird watching. Many tourists have been fortunate enough to glimpse the rare pin river dolphin. Nearby "monkey island" is a protected area where guests can see a family of over 80 monkeys. If guests wish, they have the option of spending one night camping at Yuturis own aœ caiman camp, an open-air shelter out in the jungle. Guides will bring mattresses and mosquito nets. It is well-known for birdwatching, and 500 species of bird have been sighted in the area, including some that are quite rare. Yuturi organizes 5 day/4 night excursions. Cuyabeno Lodge. The Cuyabeno Lodge, run by Neotropic Tours, is a popular eco-lodge with minimal impact on the environment. Each cabaña has a thatched roof, with a roughly two-foot space between the wall and roof so you can bird and monkey watch from the comfort of your bed. Mosquitoes are not a serious problem as the rivers are black-water rivers that do not inhabit mosquitoes. Most tours are four or five days but special arrangements can be made for groups. The cost of a four day tour is between $200.- and $250.-depending room-type and availability. Three meals a day, free tea, coffee and water and transportation from Lago Agrio to the lodge are all included. A typical tour includes bird watching at dawn, piranha-fishing, dolphin-watching, visit to the community, tours of the rivers by boat, afternoon swims and sunset viewing, and several walks through the rainforest day and night. The guides are all bilingual, certified guide nature specialists accompanied by Siona guides. It is recommended to tip your guide at the end of your trip. Open year-round. Between November to March the lagoon could dry up and transportation from the park entrance to the lodge may be difficult. Be sure to ask ahead of time before booking in these months. Kapawi Lodge. One of the more socially responsible and well-known eco-lodges, Kapawi was founded in 1993 to help the Achuar people who live in the surrounding area. For years, the lodge was operated by the Achuar people with the aid of outside hotel experts, but on January 1, 2008, total ownership and responsibility for the lodge passed to the Achuar. The lodge is located in Achuar territory, on the Pastaza river near the Peruvian border. The architecture of Kapawi is Achuar-based: the complex boasts several thatched-roof cabins which are quite solid and comfortable. The rooms are attractive and come with balconies, hammocks, private bath and mosquito netting. The lodge can accommodate up to fifty guests in double and triple cabins. There is also an attractive main lodge with bar, library and dining room. It is a true eco-lodge, featuring recycling programs, solar energy and minimal-impact boat motors, to name a few of their ecologically sound practices. There are many activities at Kapawi lodge, including bird-watching (540 different species have been seen in the area), hiking, canoe rides, camping, and visits to the Achuar communities. Yachana Lodge. Yachana Lodge, the only officially certified eco-lodge in Ecuador's Amazon by the Ministry of Tourism, means "a place for learning" in the local language of Quichua. It does a good job of making guests comfortable in its spacious and modern facilities while teaching them about local communities, and the challenges the communities face in the effort to balance rainforest protection, modernization and survival. When you step off the canoe that brings you from the town of Coca up the Napo River, you may be surprised to step onto a cobblestone path, paved all the way up to the lodge entrance. Manicured flowering bushes and plants are scattered across the closely trimmed grass - adding to the feeling that there is nothing really wild about this jungle adventure. Unlike many other rainforest lodges, all rooms are fully enclosed with screened-in windows. The bathrooms have 24-hour hot water and potable water from the tap. Paths connect all the buildings, so you never have to set foot even on the grass, if you wish. Activities are all optional and include hikes of varying difficulties through the secondary and primary rainforest as well as visits to communities where activities like basket weaving, pottery-making and traditional ceremonies are offered. The nearby cacao farm, where Yachana Gourmet harvests for their chocolate production, makes for an interesting trip as well. Don't expect to see as many large animals as other Ecuadorian reserves, the area has been highly populated for some time and much of the large wildlife has been hunted or chased deep into the forest. As a place of learning, Yachana makes a strong effort to make guests aware of the community's needs. Based a ten-minute walk from the small town of Mondaña, FUNEDESIN, Yachana's umbrella organization, has played the role of fairy godmother to the town, helping with construction in town, funding for the medical clinic, which serves about 30 communities along the Napo River, and assistance to the elementary school. In September 2005, an experimental education high school run by FUNEDESIN opened, focusing on teaching conservation, sustainable agriculture and eco-tourism. Yachana is the only Ecuadorian rainforest lodge that hires all of its lodge staff and guides from the local community or other rainforest communities. Bataburo Lodge. Bataburo Lodge is on the Tiguino River deep in the Amazon rainforest, in the territory of the Huarorani people 7-9 hours by bus and canoe from Coca. The lodge is located in primary rainforest, visitors can expect to see several species of mammals and reptiles, as well as hundreds of species of birds. There are eleven species of monkeys in the area, as well as caimans, harpy eagles, and anacondas. There are many activities at Bataburo Lodge. Native Huarorani guides, working through interpreters, will take visitors on jungle walks, canoe rides, night walks and visits to local indigenous communities. Many of the walks are intense 4-6 hour hikes through the rainforest. Itineraries are flexible, though. Nearby is a salt lick where parrots, parakeets and macaws congregate. Bataburo is rustic but comfortable. Most rooms have shared baths; two rooms have private baths. Each room is screened in and has mosquito netting. The lodge can accommodate a maximum of 59 guests. There is a central lodge with a lounge and bar area. Bataburo Lodge prides itself on their local food: guests will feast on fish from the river as well as traditional food such as yucca (manioc). If you are interested in an adventure tour, or a combination of time at the lodge and camping out in the rainforest, this can also be arranged and ranges in time from 6 days/7 nights, with 2 nights in tents, to 8 days/7 nights, with five nights in tents. These range in price from $300 - 680 per person depending on the number of people in your group and the number of nights of your tour. Kempery Tours operates the lodge and organizes adventure tours. They have an office in Quito. Sacha Lodge. Sacha Lodge, opened in 1991, is located on the Napo river about two and a half hours from Puerto Francisco de Orellana (Coca) by motor canoe. As jungle lodges go, Sacha has a slightly more academic bent than most: it boasts a butterfly farm and an ornithology research base. There is also a 135-foot canopy observation tower, built around a mighty kapok tree. Lodging is in 10 double cabins, for a maximum occupancy of forty people. The cabins are neat and comfortable, each with private bath and screens to keep the bugs out.Sacha Lodge owns a 3,200 acre private reserve, so good animal viewing is a plus: most guests get to see different species of monkeys in addition to some of the hundreds of species of birds that have been sighted there. Activities include guided hikes, caiman spotting (at night), canoe rides, swimming, night hikes, zip lines and more. Sacha Lodge is affiliated with another jungle lodge, La Casa del Suizo. They share an office in Quito, where you can get information about both lodges. Sacha Lodge sells tours and packages. Current prices for 5 days/4 nights: $956 single occupancy, $735 double. For 4 days/3 nights: $760 single occupancy, $583 double. Prices include all meals, guides, rubber boots, park fees, and transportation. Not included is the flight from Quito to Coca ($120 round trip), alcoholic beverages, and tips for guides and staff. Sani Lodge. Sani is located on a secluded lagoon off of the Napo river on 37,000 hectares (92,500 acres). It is remote: visitors must first get to Coca and from there take a three-hour motor canoe ride to a point on the Napo. If the water is high, smaller canoes can take then guests right to the lodge, otherwise, you may have to hike from the drop-off point off the Napo. In spite of its remoteness, Sani is quite comfortable. Guests are lodged in triple or double cabins, with a summer camp sort of feel to them. The cabins are comfortable: they are screened against insects and each bed is equipped with a mosquito net. Each room also has candles, as they only tend to run the generator until about ten o’clock at night. The communal dining room offers hearty, solid fare: meals are done family-style. Sani has a prime location for wildlife viewing. In many places along the Napo, mammals like monkeys have been hunted or driven away from entire areas. But the lagoon is protected, and home to many animals including endangered black caiman. At night, guides will take tourists out in the canoes to try to see them. It is also possible to see 13 different species of monkeys, toucans, parrots, macaws and tanagers from the comfort of the lodge, which has an open wall to permit viewing. There is a 90-foot canopy observation tower built around the trunk of a mighty kapok tree nearby for bird watching. Other activities include hikes, canoe rides, and even piranha fishing! Sani lodge is 100% owned by the Quechua community, who work in the lodge and serve as guides. Much of the money raised by Sani lodge is returned to the local community in one way or another. Sani does package tours: 4 days/3 nights is $370, and 8 days/7 nights is $863. It may be possible to arrange trips of other durations. This price includes meals, guides, boots, etc. but not transportation to and from Coca, alcohol consumed at the lodge, or tips for guides. If you have a large group or special needs, stop by their office in Quito where helpful staff will assist you in arranging your trip. Sani Lodge has a maximum. Cotococha Lodge. One of the more easily accessible jungle lodge, Cotococha is located in the upper Amazon basin on the Napo river between Tena and Puyo. This is a good location, as it is therefore accessible from both Baños and Quito. It boasts 17 well-built, comfortable bungalows with differing capacities. Each one has a private bath, a balcony, and a hammock. There is a cozy lounge area, with a bar, gardens, social area and an open-air restaurant. Cotococha owns four hectares of rainforest. Activities are flexible, allowing guests to create their own itinerary and customize their experience. Some suggestions are hikes, visits to local indigenous communities, canoe trips, night hikes, rafting, exploring nearby caves and visiting waterfalls. Guides are available. Like most jungle lodges, Cotococha offers packages. Three days/2 nights is $120/person, 4 days/3 nights is $195/person, and 5 days/4 nights is $260/person. These rates include food, guides, rubber boots, etc. but not transportation to and from Quito. If you would like private transportation from Quito and/or a guide to accompany you, check out their well-organized and helpful web site. La Casa del Suizo. This jungle lodge is one of the most luxurious, least rustic lodges in Ecuador’s Amazon. A short distance from Tena, Casa del Suizo has an outdoor swimming pool, 75 rooms with electricity, ceiling fans, private terraces, and hot water. The hotel restaurant serves sprawling buffets of international cuisine and an indoor and pool bar with a full menu of tropical drinks. There is international phone service available for guests, but it is costly. The hotel began as just a lodging house in 1985 and slowly expanded over time to the luxury hotel it is now. Itineraries are flexible and include typical lodge activities like hikes through the rainforest, canoe rides and visits to communities. The rainforest surrounding the lodge is primary forest. The lodge is only 15 minutes from the town of Punta Ahuano, reached by bus or car from Quito. Rates are mid-priced: $70/person includes all meals, guides and activities. Children pay $49. Prices do not include 22% tax and service charge, tips, alcoholic drinks and souvenirs. Amazon Tours. There are two basic Ecuadorian tours to the Amazon Rainforest Basin: lodge-based tours and canoe-based tours. In both, you pay a base price at the beginning which includes guides, all meals, transportation from the nearest major town to the launching spot and usually special equipment like boots and rain ponchos. The guides expect tips at the end of your tour. Lodge-based tours tend to be a bit pricier and more comfortable. They are best booked out of Quito, where most have their main offices or arrangements with tour agencies. You can expect a variety of quality and comfort: everything from shared bathrooms with cold water to steamy private baths and gourmet meals. The prices for these tours range right around $60-100 per night. Canoe tours are great for those willing to rough it. You usually travel by day, stopping to spot flora and fauna along the way and enjoy picnic meals. At night you either camp out or stay in a local community where there will be a small hotel. Sometimes homestays are provided on these tours. Canoe tours can be booked in Quito, or for a discount, plan to book in the towns where your tour will begin. Choose from: Puyo, Tena, Coca or Lago Agrio for trips to the nearby reserves. These tours are significantly cheaper than a lodge-based tour. Ikiam Expedition. This is not your traditional Amazon tour: Ikiam Expedition is a truly authentic and exceptional travel experience. After traveling from Quito to Puyo to Shell, you depart for Shiona in a 5-passenger Cessna. Upon arrival, you take a 30 minute canoe ride to reach the territory of the Shiwiar, an indigenous community deep in the Ecuadorian jungle. With Ikiam, you become a part of the Shiwiar community, learning and living amongst this community only accessible by air. The Shiwiar are only minorly westernized, live in a non-monetized society and continue to practice the rituals and beliefs they have cultivated over thousands of years. Here, there are no expensive meals, no spacious suites: you sleep simply in a traditional house (mosquito net included!) and participate in the daily life of 4 Shiwiar families, helping to make handicrafts and prepare food. There is no set tour or agenda, you are free to explore the forest, view the amazing diversity of species or swim in the river at your leisure. Only 5 outsiders are allowed on the site each week. In Shiwiar territory, you are not viewed as a tourist or a client, but as a friend who has come to the jungle to help and to learn. Ikiam Expeditions is committed to showing the outside world the beauty of the Shiwiar way of life, without compromising their existence. The company is devoted to ecotourism and is locally owned. The goal of the community and of the company is to defend this territory from oil exploitation and to preserve the Shiwiar culture. Ikiam Expeditions is pricier than many of the ecotour companies you’ll find in Ecuador (around $350 per person per day, including food) but the level of cultural immersion that you are sure to experience should be more than enough to make up for the extra cash. Please visit www.ikiam.info to learn more about this amazing journey into the Amazonian wilderness. Emerald Forest Expeditions. Emerald Forest Expeditions sells package tours to the Amazon rainforest. The shorter packages – three days, two nights – go to the town of Misahuallí, where travelers stay at Sinchi Runa cabins. From there, guides will lead tourists on jungle hikes, visit the local Quichua community and an animal shelter. Misahuallí is about an hour from Tena, which in turn is about a five to six hour bus ride from Quito. There is an option for longer expeditions to Pañacocha Lodge, deep in the Amazon rainforest. To get to Pañacocha, a traveler from Quito must first arrive to Coca from Quito – either a 45 minute flight ($120 round-trip) or an eight to 10-hour bus ride. The bus ride is scenic, but grueling. Pañacocha is a scenic lodge on the Pañayacu river. It is surrounded by primary tropical rainforest, and it is possible to see a number of wild animals there, including monkeys, bats, jaguars and river dolphins. Of course, as with any remote jungle lodge, the birdwatching is phenomenal: toucans, parrots and tanagers are simply a few of the many birds the visitor can expect to see. Guides take tourists on hikes, birdwatching trips, canoe rides and caiman watching expeditions at night. Package prices are all-inclusive: rates include meals, guide, transportation, park fees, rubber boots, etc. What is not covered is alcoholic beverages at the lodge, tips for guides and other hotel staff, and souvenirs. Puyo. Until recently, Puyo was nothing more than a stopover on the way into the depths of the Amazon Jungle. However, it is beginning to earn a reputation as a tourist destination. The Omaere Park. Located about five minutes from the center of Puto, Omaere Park is a newer addition to the area that proves to be a culturally enriching experience. The park contains an impressive amount of Flora, about 15.6 hectares, of which 5 are natural forest that has never experienced human interaction. The park also concentrates on raising awareness of indigenous groups of the area. In the park there are reconstructions of native homes. There is also an area which explains how many plants are traditionally used in the cultures of the area. Communitarian Tourism. Natives guides, Caone trips, rituals, natural medicine, jungle expeditions, wild life watching and much more Jungle Adventures with MADRE SELVA. For a nature experience, try booking a trip with MADRE SELVA Operator of Ecotourism. They offer jungle tours of 1 to 8 days, with activities such as rafting río Pastaza and Jatun Yacu, tubing on río Puyo y Allpayacu and biking. The lodge is comfortable with good food and guides for a very unique adventure. Parque Pedagógico EtnoBotánico Omaere. If you do not have enough time to go deeper into the jungle, this section of Puyo offers an opportunity to look at a piece of native forest land. The large area of land has many trails weaving through it, so visitors can weave through and take in the nature. There is a two dollar admission fee to enter the park; however the fee includes a guided tour, making it a great value. Jardín Botánico Las Orquídeas. During your time in Puyo, the Jardín Botánico La Orquideas is a must add to your travel iterary. Located in the suburb of Intipungo, which is about a fifteen minute car ride from Puyo, this garden has an unreal selection of flora. What really makes this attraction is its owner, Omar Taeyu, who is always eager to share his love of plants with visitors. Puyo Overview. Until recently, Puyo was nothing more than a stopover on the way into the depths of the Amazon Jungle. However, it now is beginning to earn a reputation as a tourist destination. It is in particular popular with those who either don’t want to, or can't, venture deeper into the rainforest. It offers visitors a taste of jungle life in Ecuador, while still slightly in the Andes Mountains. The city is located relatively near popular tourist destination Baños, which has helped put its name on the map. So much so, in fact, that there have been reports of many business owners from Baños complaining about a reduction of visitors to Baños. This could also be due to the recent activity of the Tungurahua Volcano which is located near Baños. Puyo's increased popularity has lead to a greater selection of good places to stay and eat in the area. There may not be as great of a selection as other tourist towns, but that is part of its appeal: it is more off the beaten track. Baeza. Baeza is a small town about two hours to the East of Quito, where most people travelling by land to the Amazon region pass through. Napo. The Napo Province hostssome breathtaking cloud forests, páramo (grasslands), and one of Ecuador's most beautiful snow-capped volcanoes, Antisana. It is also one of the easiest points to visit the Amazon Basin from Quito. Its capital, Tena, hosts several launch-off points into the rainforest. You can easily plan your jungle trip from Tena along with any number of daytrips like kayaking, rafting, hiking and birdwatching. For travelers with a limited amount of time to see the rainforest, this is your best option. However, if you have at least four days, a more remote tour is recommended. Buses run regularly from Quito and Baños to and from Tena. Other featured spots in the Napo Province: Papallacta Baeza Tena . Misahualli. Misahualli­ is a little port village located on the Napo River, just 45 minutes east of Tena. Despite having lost the bulk of its commercial river trade in the 1980s due to the completion of a road connecting Coca and Tena, Misahuallí has stayed alive thanks to its reputation for ecological tourism. Macas. Macas is located in the eastern part of Ecuador, six hours south of Puyo. This jungle town was founded at the end of the 16th century as a missionary outpost. Today, it serves as a center for exploring the natural and cultural riches of the area. Coca. The City of Coca takes its name from its position at the convergence of the Coca, Napo and Payamino Rivers. In the 1980s, with the discovery of petroleum in the surrounding jungle, Coca mutated from a sleepy Amazon outpost into a sprawling oil boomtown. Tourists had no reason to visit Coca during the first two decades of this urban transformation, but in the late 1990s the Municipality began a program to make itself more appealing to travelers. The Limoncocha National Reserve.The Limoncocha Reserve, located on the north shore of the Napo River between the Coca and Aguarico rivers, is on mostly level ground characterized by the presence of wetlands and swamps. The Limoncocha Reserve is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world, but its flora and fauna are continually threatened by increasing oil activity. Scientific studies have identified over 450 bird species in the aream, and unique trees such as the giant ceibo, cedars, laurel, the balsa and the Pambil are common. The Reserve also contains the Laguna Limoncocha, which is famous for being an excellent bird watching site. Lowland Quichua families live nearby the lagoon and mostly farm for a living. Petroleum activities during the 1980s and 1990s have negatively impacted this region and its people. Therefore, the community is open to ecotourism and other alternative uses of their fragile environment. The best way to access the Reserve from Quito is by taking a plane to Coca or Lago Agrio. Buses also travel to these two destinations as well as directly to the town of Limoncocha. There is also fluvial transportation from Coca to two small ports (Puerto de Palos and Puerto Pompeya). Yasuni­ National Park. Created in 1979, Yasuni­ is Ecuador's largest mainland National Park (982,000 hectares). UNESCO declared it an International Biosphere Reserve in the same year of its foundation. This large area in the rainforest protects three types of vegetation ranging from woodlands on dry soil to semi-permanently flooded forest. The main rivers traversing the Park are the Yasuní, Tiputini, Cononaco, Nashiño and the Curaray. The flora and fauna found in the park is varied. Visitors will encounter vegetation such as large cedars, laurel, chonta and sangre de drago, as well as numerous animals including tapirs, harpy eagles and pumas. Yasuní is mostly uninhabited, except for several Huaorani indigenous families, who have lived within the park boundaries for generations. A large concentration of this indigenous group resides in the Huaorani Reserve, created in 1991. This reserve borders the National Park to the north and serves as a buffer zone helping to maintain conservation efforts. In 1991, the Ecuadorian government gave Conoco, a U.S. based oil company, the right to begin exploitation within the Park but Maxus Oil Consortium and currently YPF of Argentina later replaced it. Since then, a 110-km road has been built into the area for the use of oil workers, locals and researchers. Nevertheless, this area remains remote and relatively difficult to explore. Yasuni­ is best accessed from Coca via the Napo River, and hiring a tour guide is highly recommended, due to the remote location and difficulty involved with solo travel. Cuyabeno National Reserve. The Cuyabeno Reserve - or Reserva de Producción de Fauna Cuyabeno - is one of Ecuador's largest reserves and part of the Amazon Rainforest basin with over 6,000 sq. kilometers of rainforest. Because of the steep dropoff from the Andes mountains in the sierra region of Ecuador, the basin area is incredibly rich in flora and fauna. An excellent spot for bird lovers, the Cuyabeno reserve has over 500 recorded bird species including the huatzin, which is known to be a direct descendent of prehistoric dinosaurs. Not only does the reserve have species that survived the last ice age, but there is also an abundance of plant species only seen in the Amazon basin, tapirs, ocelots, 15 species of monkeys, as well as diverse aquatic wildlife like pink freshwater dolphins, turtles, five species of caiman, anaconda, manatee, giant otters, eels and around 450 species of fish. There are several lodges to choose from when visiting the Cuyabeno Reserve ranging from rustic to hotel-like. All are reached by boat, usually a hand-carved motorized wooden canoe. A network of lakes and lagoons connect the two main black-water lake systems in the rainy season (April-October) and eventually lead down to the Napo River which leads to the Amazon River. In the dry season (November-March), many of the lodges close down for all but the hardiest tourist who are willing to walk along the dried up river bottom, or what is known as flooded forest, to reach the lodge. Transportation To and From Cuyabeno Most tour operators will provide transportation from Lago Agrio and from the entrance to the Cuyabeno Reserve to the lodge. Bring your passport. If you take the bus, you will have to get out at a military checkpoint near the border with Colombia. Lago Agrio. Lago Agrio (officially Nueva Loja) is seven hours east of Quito by bus or 30 minutes by plane. The town got its unofficial name from Sour Lake, Texas, the original headquarters of Texaco Corporation, which began using it as an outpost for oil exploration in the 1960s. After more than four decades, Lago is a far cry from the lethargic jungle community that Texaco commandeered. Now it's a grimy frontier city that has flattened all greenery for kilometers in every direction to accommodate the oil pipelines that crisscross the once virgin landscape