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Spend four days in the depths of the Ecuadorian Amazon learning more about its unique flora and fauna. Sleeping in a community-run lodge within the remote area of the Yasuni National Park, immerse yourself in the rainforest as you explore on foot, by canoe and from treetop towers. The profits from the lodge go to the local Quichua community, home to the local staff and guides, making it the perfect place from which to discover this wild area, home to 550 species of tropical birds, 13 species of monkeys and 1000 species of butterflies.
3 nights comfortable lodge
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
The Amazon basin is the most bio-diverse environment in the world, covering two-fifths of South America across the majority of its countries, including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Venezuela. Most of the basin is covered by forest, the largest rainforest in the world.
This un-escorted Amazon extension starts at Quito's Mariscal Sucre Airport (Airport code: UIO) at 7.15am. Flight times from Quito to Coca may change, and if there is any change from the 9am meeting time, we will advise you at approximately 1 month prior to departure. Upon arrival at Quito Airport, you will be met by a representative from the Napo Cultural Centre, who will have your boarding passes ready for your flight.
After a short 45 minute flight, we land in Coca and are met again by another representative from the lodge. we will then begin your adventurous journey to our Amazon lodge, located within the Yasuni National Park, on the banks of the Napo River. We travel along the Napo River by motorised canoe (approximately 2.5 hours). Then, we have a short walk through flooded forest (the trails are lined with wooden planks) to arrive at our Amazon lodge. During the journey we will get a taste of the Amazon, passing local communities and spotting birds such as herons, egrets and vultures.
Late afternoon, we take a short walk on the nearby trails or a canoe ride to spot monkeys, birds, black caiman and local flora - cedar trees, orchids and bromeliads.
Please note that this is a stand-alone extension and can be booked on any date of your choosing, subject to availability. Whilst this itinerary has been designed to complement a number of our group tours, we wish to point out that this extension is not a group experience, so you are unlikely to be travelling with other Explore customers .
Napo Cultural Center (or similar)
After breakfast we paddle across the Napo River for approximately 30 minutes to visit a well-frequented parrot clay lick, bringing us face to face with up to 11 species of parrots (including parrotlets and macaws) depending on the season and weather conditions. We end this morning with a visit to the fascinating Interpretation Centre 'Kuri Muyu'. The women of the local indigenous community manage the centre, and it gives us the chance to understand the Quichua culture, crafts, and traditions, which is sadly diminishing across much of Ecuador and survives mainly in small pockets of communities like Napo.
After lunch and time to relax at our lodge, we head out to paddle across the river again, towards the Igapo forest. Here, we take a short walk along forest trails to reach the 35-metre high observation tower, where we spend a couple of hours spotting creatures in the jungle canopy including birds, howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, toucans, parrots and sloths. A motorized canoe takes us back to the lodge.
Rising with the sounds of the forest, we head out towards the local 'Mama Cuna' nature trail, where we walk for around 2 hours, primarily concentrating on the forest fauna, including ceiba trees, strangler vines and bamboo cane, as well as many other vines and shrubs endemic to Yasuni. It's an excellent opportunity to learn about the worldview and herbal medicine use of the Quichua culture - the forest literally provides everything that they need, and is an amazing place to see ecotourism in action.
In the late afternoon we grab a canoe and paddle down towards the Anagu lake, where night caimans and other evening creatures await us. Here, the sounds of the jungle really come out as the sun sets and night takes over. Watch out for the red eyes in the darkness! After around 2 hours on the lake, we go back to the lodge in motorised canoes for our evening meal.
This morning we rise just after dawn for our final morning here in the Yasuni National Park. The ancient customs surrounding the Guayusa plant have survived for many years among these people, and this morning we use the Guayusa leaves to make a morning tea. Traditionally the Jivaro people leaving in this area rise early, make a fire, boil the leaves and drink the tea while telling stories, myths and dreams, and we will have the opportunity to ask the community to interpret the meanings of our dreams.
After this stimulating morning, we head back to the lodge for breakfast before leaving the forest for good, heading back to Coca and then flying to Quito.
We will arrive at Quito's Mariscal Sucre airport (airport code: UIO) at approximately 14.00pm. The domestic flight times may change, and as with your joining time we will confirm this at approximately 1 month prior to departure.
If you are booking your own flights, you should ensure that they depart from Quito no earlier than 5pm. We can organise additional accommodation in Quito if this is required.
Temperature ranges are similar all year round. In the highlands: the dry season lasts from June to mid-September. November and December are partially dry. The rainy months are October and from January to May, but showers are short and mostly in the afternoons. Temperatures range from 12°C to 24°C. Nights are cold at altitude (4°C - 10°C). The Coastal Region: from December to May it is hot and wet. From June to November it is generally cool and misty with sudden light showers. Temperatures range from 16°C to 32°C. The Amazon Area: it is humid all year round. Temperatures range from 16°C to 32°C. From April to August the rainfall is heavier. The Galapagos: On the Galapagos, the hot season is January to April with largely sunny days and the possibility of heavy showers; the cool season runs from May to December and is generally more cloudy with much cooler seas. Please note that although it is windier from July to November the sea can be rough at any time of the year. On the mainland the dry season lasts from June to October, though September can be wet.
2 Pin Flat
Daytime clothing should be lightweight and loose fitting, warmer clothing may be needed for the evenings and the canoe ride from Coca to the lodge. Long-sleeved lightweight clothes and trousers plus long socks are useful for protection against sunburn and insects. Bring a swimsuit, sunhat and sunglasses. Lightweight waterproofs are essential.
Comfortable walking boots or shoes and trainers or sandals with a good grip. Rubber boots are provided at the lodge.
One main piece of luggage, plus a daypack. Remember, you are expected to carry your own luggage - don't overload yourself.
Bring a torch, water bottle, insect repellent, high factor sunscreen, ear plugs and binoculars. You may also wish to bring zip-lock bags to protect your camera equipment. The lodge provides rain ponchos and umbrellas.
The Napo Cultural Centre is a community-run lodge within the remote area of the Yasuni National Park. The profits from the lodge go to the local Quichua community, from which the staff and guides also come to work. The accommodation itself is made up of a set of cabins, each with private bathrooms, as well as a balcony with views over the lake and the jungle surroundings. Mosquito nets are included, and there is a social area in the main hall where visitors and staff meet, dine and share experiences during their stay. There is also a library stocking bookings on biology, conservation, local birds and natural history etc, to enhance your stay.
Can you drink the water?
The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Please note we require a photocopy of your passport 2 month pre departure. It is essential that you provide Explore with a photo copy of your passport at the time of booking, as this will be required in order to confirm accommodation. Ecuador: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. In order for your visa to be granted on arrival, you will be required to show proof of travel insurance valid for the duration of your trip. Please also ensure your passport is stamped with the T3 permit (for 30 or 90 days) on arrival in Ecuador. Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate. Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate. All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant Embassy prior to departure. USA: If your flights pass through the USA, even if only in transit, you will require either a visa or an ESTA (an e-visa). Please read on for more information. Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and passport holders from several EU countries can apply for an ESTA under certain conditions. This applies if you enter the country by sea or by air, and this must be done online via https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov, no later than 72 hours prior to travel. Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely be refused boarding. You must have a biometric passport to apply for an ESTA. UK passports which are biometric feature a small gold symbol (camera) at the bottom of the front cover. If you have visited Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen since 2011 or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel with an ESTA and instead you will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you are unable to provide a valid visa before boarding flights to the US, or entering via another method, you may not be permitted to travel. You should also be aware that if you have travelled to or have been in Cuba since the 12th of January 2021, you will not be eligible for an ESTA visa waiver and will need to apply for a US visa. You should consult the US State Department website to determine which you will need. Your ESTA application will ask for Point of Contact information. Please note that if you're only transiting through the USA then this is not required. If you're visiting or staying in the USA on an Explore trip, then our USA contact information will be listed on your final documentation which you will receive approximately 3-4 weeks before departure. Entry requirements for the USA can change regularly, therefore, please ensure you have the most up to date information before you travel by checking the US embassy website. Visa applications - http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/apply.html Canada: An electronic travel authorisation (ETA) is required by British citizens transiting via Canada. For more information see the official Canadian government website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
We recommend protection against malaria, Tetanus, Infectious Hepatitis, Typhoid and Polio. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue and Zika Virus. Please take preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites - these include mosquito repellent as well as long trousers and long sleeve shirts to cover up when necessary. Please note many countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean require a yellow fever vaccination certificates if travelling from infected areas. A detailed list of these countries can be found on the NaTHNaC website - http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. Also on the NaTHNaC site there is a list of Countries (and specific areas within a country) which are at risk of infection and a vaccination is therefore recommended. Yellow fever in only recommended for those travelling east of the Andes (Amazon Extension). Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.