La Selva Amazon Lodge offers itineraries for 4 and 5 days

La Selva 4-Day Tour

Day 1 - Arrival to your Luxury Amazon Lodge

The first day on an Amazon Basin adventure starts the minute you leave your hotel and make your way to the international airport in Quito for a puddle jump flight to Coca. After meeting your guide and boarding a motorized canoe at the docks, you travel two hours down the Napo River, past communities on the banks and boats shuttling people up and down the tributary of the Amazon River. The next leg starts when you arrive at the La Selva pier, with a short walk to an inland stream where you travel by paddle canoes until the narrow waterway opens up into the Garzacocha Lagoon. La Selva sits on one side of the tranquil lake, blending into the deep green surroundings on its banks.

After storing your gear, you are introduced to the lodge and spend some time exploring the surrounding jungle before a fun dinner and turning in for the night.

Day 2 - Canopy Tower and Rainforest Hiking

Early starts are the way of the wild, and after breakfast you embark to the observation tower at La Selva Lodge. The tower is about one-fourth as tall as The Great Pyramid of Giza, or 120 ft. From the viewing station, the treetops of the jungle stretch out into the horizon. The landscape is animated with scintillating species flying up through the layers of the canopy below to perch on high outposts.

Over 600 species of birds rule the roost in the jungle-flying high and swooping down after insects before regally resting just out of reach. After returning to your luxury Amazon lodge and lunch, the day’s activities continue with a hike along the Charapa Trail-where monkeys clamber through the treetops, and capybara scuttle back and forth on the jungle floor. After the hike, and when the sun goes down, guides take you on a night canoe ride in search of caimans under the millions of stars in the sky.

Day 3 - Clay Lick and Community Visit

Embark on a short ride to the Yasuni clay licks. The licks are a gathering point for the 30 species of parrots that live in the jungle, stopping early each day to feed on the clay which is high in salt, a rare commodity in the jungle. Color and movement collide as scarlet macaws, cobalt-winged parakeet, and orange-winged parrots dazzle the crowd with acrobatics and flights to outlooks around the surrounding cliffs.

After the observation tower, the morning continues with an immersion into the way of life of the indigenous women of the Amazon Basin at the community center of Mandi Wasi. Learn about traditional cooking techniques, the crafts of the jungle, and catch up on the latest news at the daily meeting place. Activities before dinner include a night hike to find the nocturnal creatures of the forest-including frogs, snakes, and spiders.

Day 4 - Departure Day

After an early breakfast and a fond farewell to the staff at La Selva Amazon Lodge, you retrace your route up the Napo River, past the ramshackle streets of Coca, to the airport, and onward to Quito. The journey is bittersweet, as the sheltering canopy of the overhanging forest and the low-hanging trees of the narrow stream give way to the wide waters of the Napo River-where boats and barges clutter the landscape, and the communities along the river banks that appear and disappear within minutes. The passion of the people of the luxury rainforest lodge remains as a reminder of the wonders of nature-and the importance of preserving it for future generations to explore.

The Ecuadorian jungle’s biodiversity is often referred to as the “lungs of the planet,” an apt description for a region that defies description but provides an irreplaceable natural resource, including the air we breathe, to the world at large.

La Selva 5-Day Tour

Day 1 - Arrival to La Selva Lodge

After a short flight from Quito to the Napo River port city of Coca, a representative will meet you to take you to the dock, where you will board a motorized canoe for a two-hour journey down the river. Since La Selva Lodge is accessible only by boat, you will find that this journey is an unforgettable and essential part of your Amazon excursion. The manager will welcome you with a brief orientation to the Amazon lodge accompanied by fresh juice and snacks. Since you arrive towards the evening, you will see the diurnal animals ending their day and the nocturnal animals coming out. Enjoy evening cocktails and snacks at the bar or simply marvel in the tremendous views of the Amazon rainforest around you.

Day 2 - Amazon Hiking Day

Start this day of your Amazon lodge trip with a short walk to the observation tower, where you will climb into the Amazon canopy to see all manner of colorful birds and species. On the way back to La Selva Lodge, you can choose to walk the Tucaneta Trail, where your guide will point out some of the ecology and natural history of the region, including some of the medicinal plants. You'll also likely encounter wildlife including monkeys & other mammals, birds, and many insects. Later on, once the sun has set, go for a night-time canoe trip around the private lagoon, where a spotlight will cast a new light on the marine life of this unique area of the Ecuadorian rainforest.

Day 3 - Community Cultural Encounter

Day three starts with a trip to the parrot clay lick, where hundreds of rainbowed parrots flock to gnaw on the exposed clay wall in their daily nutrition ritual. Then it's off to a local community center, where an indigenous Kichwa community will show you their way of life. In the afternoon, depart from the edge of the Garzacocha Lagoon on a hike to spot monkeys and other roaming mammals, like perhaps a tapir. Your guide will explain more about this unique ecosystem as you walk down the trails and head back to our Amazon lodge.

Day 4 - Amazon Exploration Day

Explore the trails and temporary flooded black water forest for about 3-4 hours in the morning. Starting at the main dock, you will explore Garzacocha Lagoon, Ceiba Trail, and the isolated parts of the rainforest where you will likely see many species of birds and monkeys, including squirrel monkeys, capuchins, and many others. In the evening, experience the cacaphony of the rainforest at night. A flashlight will show you a whole different side of the jungle, with an incredible Amazon nocturnal hike, a not-to-be-missed activity.

Day 5 - Return to Coca

Waking up early the staff of your luxury lodge will have a special breakfast prepared for you to enjoy, the final good byes and last pictures will be taken before boarding the canoe that will take you back to the town of Coca, on the way you will enjoy the last views of the surrounding Rainforest as well as a delicious snack. Once at Coca our staff will assist you with checking in for your flight back to Quito and this way finishing a magical trip to La Selva Amazon Lodge.

Main Activities at La Selva Amazon Lodge

Observation Tower

The Observation tower at La Selva Rainforest lodge is a marvelous way to experience the highlights of the Ecuador Amazon Basin from high above the treetops. The platform hangs 125 ft. in the air, and the view from the deck is stunning and breathtaking-a shock to the senses that connects you to the natural world and the amazing amount of birds that live in the layers of the canopy. Visiting early in the morning, the crowns of the trees spring to life with birds nestling on high perches-surveying the vast green umbrellas below and swiftly flying away after the next meal. A childlike fascination takes over guides and visitors as bright birds of all shapes and sizes are pointed out using the imaginary hands of the clock as a reference.

Yasuni Clay Licks

One of the few trips outside of the La Selva Lodge territory is a short, motorized canoe trip to the Yasuni Clay Lick. The clay of the site is high in salt, bringing droves of parrots, parakeets, and macaws-the largest of the species-to feed in the early morning before the heat of the day sets in. Of the thirty varieties of parrots that live in the jungle, some of the species to look out for include the military macaw, the golden-plumed parakeet, the scaly-naped parrot, and the cobalt-winged parakeet. The spectacle of hundreds of birds flocking together in and around the lick is a special sight. One that takes your perspective of the wild to new heights-while leaving you grabbing for your camera and hushing those nearby to keep the action going.

Night Hikes and Canoe Rides

La Selva guides are experts at finding hard to spot creatures of the jungle in the sun and under the kaleidoscope of stars in the night sky. On the water, canoes travel quietly along the banks of small creeks and the shores of the Garzacocha Lagoon. Caimans red eyes are the only signs of large, agile bodies that hide in the shallow, dark waters. Once spotted, guides deftly guide their crafts close, where collective beams from torches reveal the robust length of the prehistoric looking creatures. On land, forays into the forest shed light on the creatures of the lowland jungle, where vibrantly-colored frogs, chilling tarantulas, and slithering snakes live in trees, along the trails, and on the jungle floor.

Kichwa Community Visit

The Kichwa people in the communities near to the La Selva amazon lodge welcome international visitors to their community centers. The men and women of the jungle are a hearty bunch, living in regions where supplies are sparse and depending on the natural resources of the jungle to sustain their livelihoods. Traditional jungle dishes, fine crafts, and a way of life that’s long since disappeared in the outside world are at arm’s length, opening up a culture that has survived the encroachment of the modern world for centuries. These visits shine a bright light of the similarities of the two worlds, bringing together people from all over the world in a shared appreciation of nature.

La Selva Lodge Travel Tips and Resources

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