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Tour: Napo Wildlife Center & Amazon Ecolodge

Tour Highlights
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Tour Itinerary

Fly from Quito to Coca Boat Transfer to Amazon Lodge

Hop on a plane and head across the Andes, into the Amazon. From Quito to Coca, you’ll see a stark contrast in landscapes as you descend into the Amazon after your 30-minute flight.

Upon arrival, your bags will be transferred to a covered, motorized boat, which will be your transportation for the next 2 hours. As you ride along the Napo River, plenty of fauna both in the air, on the ground and in the water may be seen, including herons and caimans.

Napo Wildlife Center is located a little further into the Amazon than some other lodges, so upon arrival at the welcoming area, you will transfer to another boat for a new 2-hour journey along a creek and nearby lake. The sounds of the Amazon will start to come to life now as motorized boats are not allowed in this part of the Amazon. Possible wildlife sightings may include various species of monkeys as well as large birds like toucans, parrots or even macaws. You will arrive at the lodge in the late afternoon.

After settling into your cabins, enjoy a dinner in the Amazon and get acquainted with the lodge facilities and your naturalist guide.

Canopy Tower, Monkey-Spotting, Afternoon Hike Night at Napo Wildlife Center

A hearty, healthy breakfast sends you on your way, as today is a busy day full of explorations. The first stop is often the 36m canopy tower. This tower is located about 30 minutes from the lodge deep within the forest. Here, you will get a very good sample of the 567 species recorded at the lodge so far, with a close look at colorful tanagers, macaws, toucans, flycatchers and even Spider or Howler Monkeys!

Everyone reacts differently upon visiting the canopy tower, as it opens a whole new world of discovery. Big smiles are most commonly seen, but some people are so inspired that they become speechless or shed a few tears of joy at the beauty of nature in the Amazon.

You will return to the lodge for a typical Ecuadorian lunch, then the afternoon activities are determined by your personal preferences and the weather. Possibilities include climbing the dining room tree tower for more bird spotting, relaxing in a hammock or heading down to the lake to see what wildlife is lurking around.

After your free time, a late afternoon hike is planned. You’ll discover the diverse ecology and role of various plants of the Amazon Rainforest including vines, old giant trees, bromeliads and orchids. The hike will end with a creek visit in hopes of spotting a resident Giant otter family.

Dinner served at 7:30pm back at the lodge.

Parrot and Parakeet Clay Licks, Kichwa and Cultural Demonstration Night at Napo Wildlife Center

Visitors from lodges all around the Ecuadorian Amazon come to visit the famous clay licks of Yasuni National Park. IT is an early start to get the best viewing, so you will paddle downstream on the Añangu creek as far as the welcome area. Then, take a short motor boat ride for a 10 minutes to the first clay lick.

Thousands of parrots, including Amazon-Mealy, blue-headed and orange-cheek parrots visit the parrot clay lick on a regular basis. Many other species are often spotted during our visits as well. The parrots come to the clay licks as eating the clay acts as a natural acid control for them, as their diet of berries and fruits can be rough on their stomachs.

After your parrot viewing, it is back to the welcome area and a short hike to the parakeets’ clay lick. At this other clay lick, you’ll be treated to the colorful sight of hundreds of cobalt-winged parakeets. The parakeets hang out in the trees when not eating the mineral rich soil, you’ll be nearly surrounded by parakeets!

Lunch today will be served at the welcome area, which gives you more time to stay out exploring in the afternoon. Your first stop will be at the interpretation area to see the traditions of the ancestral Kichwa community of Añangu, whose land the lodge is built on. You may sit and learn, or perhaps get involved and try your own skills at some of the Kichwa traditions ,before heading back to the lodge by late afternoon.

A refreshing fresh juice will be waiting for you at the lodge, where you’ll be able to spend time on your own before dinner at 7:30pm. The evening is yours free to hang out around the lodge, or you can ask about a possible night hike along one of the nearby trails to spot nocturnal insects and creatures.

Tiputini Trail hike, Afternoon Canoe paddle Night at Napo Wildlife Center

Perhaps the most exciting trail around Napo Lodge! The Tiputini winds through mixed vegetation zones, where you may come across giant Kapok trees, or other areas where you’re sloshing through swampy wetlands (in your rubber boots of course!)

Possible wildlife encounters along this trail are almost endless. Visitors often spot Golden-Mantled Tamarins, White-Faced capuchin monkey, two and three toed sloths, pigmy squirrels, snakes, and evidence of some of the forests great hunters including the ever-elusive puma.

You will head back to the lodge for lunch and a well deserved rest. In the afternoon you will head out on the water, taking paddle canoes to explore deeper areas in the surrounding creeks where there are fantastic possibilities of seeing unique wildlife such as tapirs. After your canoe journey, back to the lodge for a final dinner in the Amazon.

A video about the community and Napo Wildlife Center will be shared with you as you enjoy your last night at Napo.

Note: If you book the 4 Day / 3 Night tour, you will have one less day of exploring the Amazon and will return to Quito on Day 4. Keep in mind that activities mentioned in this itinerary are an example only. Exact activities will vary on every trip, based on ideal wildlife sightings and personal preferences.

Boat ride back to Coca Airport Flight from Coca to Quito

After an early morning breakfast, say goodbye to your Amazon home and the creatures that live here. A motorized long boat ride back up the river will take you to Coca. You’ll be assisted to the airport to board your flight to Quito, from where you’re free to continue your own travels in Ecuador.

Activity & Itinerary Disclaimer

All dossiers and itineraries are designed to be as informative as possible and are provided in good faith. Unless otherwise stated, all prices in this Dossier are in USD$. Due to the temperament of Mother Nature and the Ecuadorian Government, itineraries may change and activities may be shifted, omitted or replaced without notice. Our goal is to give you the best possible tour with a safety-first mentality. We also must comply with all rules set forth by the national and local governments no matter how convenient or inconvenient they may be. The good news is that we rarely have to change the itinerary drastically and we are very adept at dealing with the challenges of operating in a third world country. You’re in good hands!

Itinerary Notes

Suggested Flights

It is best to be in Quito a day or two before to see some of the sights in the city (and to avoid issues with possible flight delays or lost bags). We can help with any pre-trips and accommodations – just ask! You should also book a post-tour night in Quito after the Amazon adventure, to avoid possible missed connections.

Arriving in Quito

Upon arrival at the international airport in Quito, you can grab a taxi and make your way to the hotel. There will be taxis waiting and the hotel will be expecting you. It should cost around $25-30USD and you should negotiate a set price BEFORE you get in the taxi. If you have paid for an airport pick-up, a representative will be waiting for you – look for your name on a sign!

NOTE: Quito, like most major cities, is not without its pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Leave your valuables and passports in your room or hotel safe and only carry what you need just to be safe. See our website for more safety tips.

Arriving in Coca (The Amazon!)

A representative from Napo Wildlife Center will meet you at national departures area of the international airport in Quito, to guide you on your way to your flight to Coca. Upon arrival in the Amazon, you and your bags will be transferred to the river and onwards to the Lodge by motorized boat, then you’ll travel by walking path before taking a final canoe ride to the lodge and cabins. The journey will take around 3 hours total.

Tour Briefing

The welcome briefing takes place when you arrive at Napo Wildlife Center on Day 1. After the briefing, you’ll have time to explore the lodge amenities and head out on your first nature walk.

Boat and Canoe Ride

The journey to the Lodge is a great way to relax and get your first glimpse of the Amazon. It is a simple, covered boat with no services, followed by a traditional canoe ride across the lake at the Napo Wildlife Center. It is possible that it will be raining for part of this journey, so be prepared to keep yourself, and your bags, dry.

Optional Activities

Depending on seasons and availability optional activities such as birding or visits to other park reserves such as Yasuni are possible. Some of these are at an extra cost, please refer to our website pricing page for current rates.

Private Guides

If you would prefer a private naturalist guide instead of being part of the included daily program, you can pay for this extra level of service. The cost for private guides is below, it is recommended to advise us of this request in advance.

Spanish speaking naturalist guide $40/day Bilingual (English/Spanish) guide $100/day German or French speaking guide $110/day Bilingual birding specialist guide $130/day

Departing Coca and Quito

It is an early morning start to the day for your return flight to Quito. We recommend booking a night in Quito after your Amazon experience. If you elect not to, please ensure your international flights home are in the evening or late at night.

Amazon Activities List

Here is a sample list of the trails and activities available at Napo Wildlife Center. Wildlife sightings, weather and personal interests all influence which act activities are available on any given day.

Canopy Tower

Available to visit during your free time, the Canopy Tower (120 feet high) is a great place for watching rainforest wildlife (including monkeys and sloths!) Hundreds of bird species have been seen from here, with every visit offering up new surprises.

Day and Night Walks

Day hikes are plentiful nearby the Napo Wildlife Center, if you want to wander around during your free time. At night, a flashlight and a camera will be the only things you will need to enjoy all of the insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals that you might see during a walk in the darkness of the forest.

Canoe Rides in the Lake

With the help of a spotlight, your guides will take you in a paddle canoe looking for caimans, boas, bats, owls, night mammals and nocturnal wildlife. During day rides, you may also spot some wildlife on the nearby waterways.

Parrot Clay Lick

Visit the most biologically diverse spot on Earth, the Yasuni National Park. Hundreds of parrots and parakeets will approach the treetops and later come down to a clay bank to eat the soil rich in minerals. It is essential to have binoculars to enjoy the experience.

Anangu Community

The local community is heavily involved in the Napo Wildlife Center and happy to share their experiences with you. Sometimes you can join in some gathering and farming activities such as harvesting bananas or manioc. You might even get to try some local liquor – chicha!

Dining Room Observation Deck

The Napo Wildlife center boasts two towers, one being right at the dining room. Monkey sightings and possibly the best dining views of the Amazon can be enjoyed here at any time of day.

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