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Mark Hardgrove

Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest Tour

Sani Lodge is dedicated to ecotourism, environmental conservation and community projects in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. Sani Lodge is owned and operated by members of the Sani community. They offer guests a true Ecuadorian Amazon jungle experience whilst sharing their knowledge of the Amazon wildlife and biodiversity of the region.

Duration: 4 days / 3 nights
Activity Level: Easy / Moderate
Highlights: rainforest walks – canopy observation tower – community project – canoe rides
Itinerary: Day 1 Fly Quito – Coca - Swamps Trail Walk
Day 2
Canopy Tower & Chorongo Trail Walk
Day 3
Parrot Clay-lick & Yasuni National Park Hike
Day 4
Dawn boat-ride on river & return to Quito

Day 1
After a 35-minute flight from Quito to Coca, you will be met by your bilingual guide from Sani Lodge before embarking on a 2 ½ hour boat trip along the largest Ecuadorian tributary of the Amazon, the Napo River. During the journey you will get a taste of life in the Amazon, passing ancestral communities, spotting birds such as herons, egrets and vultures, whilst enjoying a delicious packed lunch. The canoe ride is followed by a 15 minute walk through flooded forest and a 20-minute paddle canoe ride across the beautiful Challuacocha Lake. Staff will welcome you with refreshing cold drinks and snacks before you settle down in your cabins.

Late afternoon, you will have a short walk on a nearby trail or a canoe ride along the river. You will have the chance to observe primates, Amazonian birds, black caiman and enjoy close encounters with the amazing flora of this region such as cedar trees, orchids and bromeliads. Return to the lodge for dinner before receiving a briefing about the Amazon from one of Sani’s bilingual guides.

Day 2
After breakfast you can visit Sani’s 36m tall observation tower to experience life at the top of the rainforest canopy. To get there you will travel by paddle canoe along the Challuacocha Lake for 30 minutes, followed by a short 10-minute walk. Over 565 species of birds have been registered so far in this region, including macaws, toucans, honeycreepers, tanagers, flycatchers and hummingbirds. With a bit of luck you may get a close-up view of howler and squirrel monkeys or sloths resting in the canopy. The tower gives you a unique perspective, opening up a whole new world of Amazon biodiversity that is often difficult, if not impossible, to see from the ground. Return to the lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon you can hike the Chorongo or Coto trails, through fantastic terra-firme forest to discover the relationships between the different living creatures of the Amazon and the role they play in this complex ecosystem. Orchids, vines, strangler figs, ancient trees and bromeliads are all part of this fabulous tropical rainforest. Dinner at the lodge. 

After dinner explore Sani’s black-water Oxbow Lake by canoe. A rare haven for the endangered black caiman, the lake supports a healthy population of these large creatures which can reach up to 6ms long.

Day 3
After breakfast travel by canoe to the Napo River, where you will visit a parrot-clay lick in the Yasuní National Park, which offers a wonderful view of hundreds of parrots who come here to eat the mineral-rich earth. You will see Mealy Amazon, Yellow-crowned, Orange-winged and Blue-headed parrots. You will then hike along the south side of the Napo River, inside the Yasuní National Park, which is considered by scientists as one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. Species found in this area include golden–mantled tamarins, spider monkeys, blue and yellow macaws and with a bit of luck you may have a close encounter with a white-lipped or collared peccary.

Then you head back to Sani Community Center to visit a native house and get a taste of how a typical Kichwa family lives.  Enjoy the food, drink, customs and culture of the Sani community and learn how the lifestyle of the locals is environmentally sustainable. Return to the lodge late in the afternoon for a well-deserved dinner. 

After dinner take a night walk to see how a myriad of insects, spiders and frogs come alive in the forest after dark.

Day 4
After breakfast head back to Coca, passing the parrot clay lick along the way. You will arrive in Coca at 10:00am to catch your flight back to Quito.

The operator reserves the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather, regulations or unforeseeable circumstances.

Other tours: 5, 6, 7 and 8 day tours are available. Please contact us for more details and prices


Sani Lodge can accommodate a maximum of 38 guests in the cabins at the lodge, emphasizing quality rather than quantity, and thereby offering you a more intimate experience with the Amazon rainforest. The lodge itself consists of ten private, thatch-roofed cabañas and 4 family cabins, each with a private bathroom. The cabins have plenty of space for double or triple occupancy, and have screened in windows to guard against insects while you sleep. Electric lights at the lodge run from ecologically friendly solar energy.

Prices 2018

4 day / 3 night $1270 $1058
5 day / 4 night $1589 $1324

Accommodation, 3 meals a day, native guide, bilingual guide, welly boots for the walks, excursions and transportation to and from Coca airport to the lodge, wifi in the bar area.

Airfare Quito - Coca - Quito: US$240 per person
Bar bills, tips and personal expenses.

Prices are per person in US Dollars.
Prices are valid until 31st December 2018.
The tours start every day of the week except Sundays.
Children 5 years old or under stay for free when sharing with an adult, six to eleven year olds receive a 50% discount, twelve years and up pay full price.

Photo Gallery - Sani Lodge

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