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The Napo Wildlife Center
The Napo Wildlife Center, NWC Amazon Lodge, is the greatest and ultimate alternative luxury ecohotel in Amazonian Ecuador offering sustainable Amazon Tours and Jungle Expeditions. This ecotourism project includes the conservation of approximately over 82 square miles (53,500 acres - over 21,400 hectares ) of the most pristine Amazon Rain Forest within the Yasunì National Park, an important UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the largest tract of tropical rain forest in Ecuador.
Visitors will be divided up into small groups, and lead by a native Anangu guide, who is also an official Yasuni Park Ranger, expert on the forest's secrets about medicinal plants and other useful items of the rain forest, and an excellent bilingual naturalist guide with great deal of knowledge in tropical forest biology. Both guides using their unmatchable enthusiasm will create informative enjoyable excursions every day providing an educative fun experience. Groups and guides will tailor their excursions while taking advantage of the highest peaks of activity and weather conditions in the forest. They will schedule their outings before dawn or at sunrise. This will maximize wildlife observation and of course each group will decide with their guides how extreme and intense they take their Amazon excursion, this applies for afternoon excursions and night outings, when an overwhelming concert of natural sounds will flood the atmosphere.
Departing from Quito, 30 minute flight to Coca over the eastern Andes mountain range.After landing, about midday, and airport procedures a 5 min transfer in local chiva (hired bus) or local taxi from airport to Port Francisco de Orellana will drive us to embark onto a comfortable covered motor boat. Here we start a canoe ride along the Napo river for about 2 ½ hours approx, lunch box in route.Along the way birds like herons, kingfishers and others can be spotted.
After arriving at NWC’s entry dock we disembark for restroom then take a majestic and peaceful 1 ½ hours dugout canoe ride surrounded by trees overhead, paddling along a narrow creek that connects to the lake where the lodge is located. Good possibilities of monkeys sights of various species as well as large birds like toucans, parrots or even macaws. Late afternoon arrival to the NWC lodge by the overwhelming view of the Añangu lake, welcome drink and facilities. After dinner optional cayman (alligator) observation around the lake and natural sounds at night.
Early wake up to reach the best and easy access parrot clay licks in Ecuador, about 1 hour away from the lodge, guests reach there just before parrot activity kicks off at the clay lick between 7:30 to 8:30. A total of 11 species of parrots, parakeets and macaws can be seen. A visit that depends on weather conditions but usually successful.
Later, hike along forest trail to visit to the Quichua community of Añangu and sharing time with a family on their activities. Return to the creek and hike through a Terra Firme Forest for about 30 minutes until we arrive to the second parrot clay lick where if the weather conditions help will be able to find different species of parrots, parakeets and even macaws. Box lunch at the parrot clay lick observatory. Late afternoon arrival to the lodge.
After early breakfast, depart from the lodge to the finest experience at a canopy tower on the Napo. A 36m high canopy tower opened to guests in November 2004, a great way to experience the life above the forest floor. This is the second tower at the Napo Wildlife Center (the first is attached to the dining hall and allows great views of the lake).
The canopy tower is located about 20 minutes from the lodge deep within the terra firme forest. As you ascend the 12-story tower, you pass through different levels of the forest and emerge on top of a huge Ceiba tree. Here you cross onto a wooden platform that is actually built into the tree and experience the view formerly reserved only for the birds. The metal tower itself was constructed to the highest standards, galvanized, and carefully inspected by engineers. Safety is the priority. The platform in the top of the tree was constructed by tree platform specialists brought from EcoEcuador's Peruvian partner organization Perú Verde.
From top to bottom, there is no finer canopy experience in Eastern Ecuador. Flocks of colorful tanagers pass right through the canopy of the tree, Blue-and-yellow Macaws fly past, in nearby trees Spider Monkeys search for fruit, two species of large toucans call in the early mornings and afternoons, and the life of the forest canopy opens before you.
Birds that are virtually impossible to see from the forest floor far below are suddenly right beside you, oblivious to your presence. The canopy tower opens a whole new world to guests of the Napo Wildlife Center!! Served lunch at the lodge. Afternoon visit to a terra firme trail, hike along primary forest to discover the forest interior, possibilities of finding lizards, colorful manakins or the unique and endemic Golden mantle tamarin monkeys. After the hike, explore the lake and creeks by dugout canoe with great possibilities of running into a Giant Otter family on the way…
Early departure and last excursion canoeing back to the Napo river, the creek may reveal new sights of Giant Otters, Monk Saki monkeys or many other rare birds. Entry dock arrival, restrooms and embarking on motorized canoe in order to return back to Coca, arrival approx around 11:00 am in order to check for Quito flight scheduled 12:10 pm.
Additional Day(s): Optional excursions such as hikes through different trails and forest types. Canoe rides exploring deeper areas of surrounding creeks with more wildlife possibilities, additional mammal clay lick excursion, handicraft workshop with the local community among other options
Photo Gallery Napo Wildlife Center