Journeys worth taking

Ecuador

Kapawi Eco Lodge and Reserve

Hidden tribes

Journey into the heart of the Amazon

Lodging

Eco Lodge

Nights

From 3 to 8

Trip Details

Scheduled departures / private itineraries

Price

From $1412 with transport

Transport

Overland, Plane, Canoe

Pygmy miles

1753

Experience
Experience
Itinerary
Accommodation
Practical info

Experience

Journey

As populations grow the amount of untouched locations will be harder to come by and the Kapawi Lodge offers one of those rare experiences. Located deep in the Amazon Rainforest, this haven from the world can only be reached by air and is situated within two million acres of a local tribe's territory. The Achuar are the indigenous people of the Amazon basin who will be your host in their hand made sanctuary designed to encourage preservation and provide understated luxury. The closest road is a 10 day walk away and the rivers surrounding the Ecolodge twist and turn to a degree that can't be navigated from local outposts. You can kick back and relax or go exploring through the Amazon with your knowledgeable guide. The goal here is to slow down life a bit as the Achuar demonstrate their belief that each plant and animal has a living spirit just like everyone else.

Activities

Trekking

Hike through the Amazon Rainforest and learn about the medical plants of the area used by the Achuar people for thousands of years.

Kayaking

Glide through the Kapawari River and nearby lagoons.

Swimming

The water temperature around the lodge is perfect and refreshing.

Wildlife Viewing

Every day offers a new and unique opportunity for wildlife spotting. A bird watcher's paradise.

Cultural immersion

Learn how the Achuar view the rainforest as their nourishing mother. Your hosts will fill your head with information on the area that serves as their lifeline.

Fishing

Try your hand at catching a lively Piranha

Place

The Achuar are a group of indigenous people of the Amazon Basin with a population of approximately 6,000. Their native land covers 2 million acres and is situated on the current borders of Ecuador and Peru. This hard to reach location has allowed them to preserve a way of life that has avoided the influence of the outside world and colonization.

Many people look at the Achuar as caretakers of the rainforest and an incredible resource for those concerned with the future of the Amazon. Their lives revolve around the rhythm of their surroundings and the importance of self sufficiency. Every aspect of their culture has a spiritual root and dreams guide their future. These visions are integrated into daily life as they believe not doing so will stunt their growth as a people.

Itinerary

Track

Itinerary

Arriving at the Kapawi Eco Lodge and Reserve will instantly become one of those experiences where you start to wonder if you are just dreaming. A warm and traditional welcome from the Achuar people will set the tone for the rest of your trip within the Amazon Rainforest. Different forms of adventure will be at your fingertips from naturalist led night hikes to guided Achuar community visits. This destination is so much more than isolation and wildlife, it's a cultural immersion. Below is a suggested itinerary for your time in the Amazon. Seven night programs and customized trips are also available.

 

Day-1

From Ecuador's capital to the Kapawi Eco Lodge

An early morning pick up from your hotel in Quito will start your journey towards the Kapawi Eco Lodge. Driving down the "Oriental" highway you will make your way to Shell to board your plane. This 50 minute ride might end up being your most memorable moment as you look down upon pristine rainforest before landing on a remote airstrip in the Achuar community. From here a 30 minute canoe ride will bring you to the tranquil setting of your short term home. After an introduction from your guide, you will have the afternoon to explore the Pastaza River beaches and enjoy a sunset dinner. (Meals: B, L, D)

Day-2

Wildlife viewing and nightime walks

Your first full day will start with a 30 minute motor boat ride to one of the best natural attractions in the area, Claylick. Here you will be able to see different species of parrots, macaws and parrots such as the Cobalt-Winged Parakeet and Yellow Crowned Amazon. This is considered a bird watcher's paradise.

After breakfast you will learn more about life as a local through a 2 hour nature walk with stops along the way to learn about medicinal plants and tropical forest ecology. The afternoon will provide time to rest and an opportunity to kayak the Kapawari River and nearby lagoons. Keep your eye out for the breathtaking Pink River Dolphin.

When the sun goes down you will have the chance to join a spectacular night walk to observe the endless insects and amphibians that are found within the ecosystem. The lodge prides itself on making the surroundings exclusive to natural light in order to preserve the surrounding life cycle. (Meals: B, L, D)

Day-3

Spend the night with a local community

You will soon fall in love with the peaceful mornings centered on bird watching as an early start provides the chance to track down rarities like the Speckled Chachalaca and White Eared Jacamar.

Following breakfast your guide will escort you along the Pitzacocha trail, explaining along the way how the Achuar thrived based on their knowledge of the rainforest. A rundown on hunting techniques and myths of the surrounding lands provides the perfect ambiance for a picnic lunch.

The afternoon will be highlighted by the most culturally significant portion of your trip with a visit to an Achura community. You will have a chance to see the everyday life of the indigenous people firsthand and spend the night camping in their territory. A true once in a lifetime experience. (Meals:B,L,D)

*Guests not interested in camping overnight in the Achuar community will be offered the chance to return to the lodge.

Day-4

A traditional ceremony and purification by the way of tea

An unique experience will start your day at 4 AM when you are invited to participate in a traditional ceremony involving the drinking of an Achuar tea called Guayusa. The tea is meant to purify and will provide the perfect warmth around a campfire as an Achuar man moves around the gathering interpreting the dreams of participants. This local community bases their future actions on dreams and this ongoing ceremony is vital to their every day life. The beautiful sunrise will take on a brand new meaning as you make your way back to the lodge.

Additional cultural activities are planned following dinner in the hammock house as you learn traditional greetings and sayings from the Achuar people. (Meals:B,L,D)

*For those who do not participate in the overnight camping experience, other activities at the lodge will be arranged.

Day-5

Blowguns, face painting and a final goodbye

Specific points will be sought out around the lodge on your morning walk as you locate species of birds and plants unique to the area. The perfect opportunity to soak in the natural surroundings on your final day.

During the last few hours before boarding your canoe for a return trip home you will take part in a blowgun contest to see if you can beat out the well trained guides. Deep breaths! The art of face painting will also be taught as you learn the significance behind a variety of unique markings.

The flight out of the rainforest will begin to transfer you back to "reality" as you reflect on a different way of life, reminding you just how big mother earth truly is. (Meals: B,L)

Accommodation

 

Kapawi Eco Lodge and Reserve

Ecuadorian Amazon

The Kapawi Eco Lodge was designed and constructed with local materials in one of the most remote environments in the world. Each cabin has a spacious screened-in sleeping area and private bath with solar heated water available on most afternoons. All drinking water is thoroughly purified and biodegradable products are provided in the bathrooms and showers.

Each of the thatched roof guest cabins is an expression of authentic, traditional Achuar design concepts, meaning that they are attractive, spacious, sustainable, well-ventilated, and creature-proof. A variety of bed options are available.

Practical info

Price

Price of full board accommodation (based on double occupancy)

4D/3N $969   per person 
5D/4N $1209 per person
8D/7N $1749 per person

Prices are per person based on double occupancy; Children under 12 years of age pay half price when accompanied by an adult in the same cabin, discount applied on double occupancy rate only. For reservations with young children it is necessary to hire a private guide so the family can enjoy the jungle at the pace of their children.

Transportation and other costs

Land transportation costs $99 per person and consists of: pick up at your hotel in Quito and transfer through the valley of the volcanoes to Shell. The flight costs $339 per person + 12% tax. An additional $35 is requested for the Achuar community per passenger. 

Price with round-trip transport

4 day / 3 night program with return transportation to Quioto and all taxes and fees 
$939 + $99 + $339 + $35 = $1,412

5 day / 4 night program to the lodge costs 
$1209 + $99 + $339 + $35 = $1,682

8 day / 7 night program to the lodge costs 
$1749 + $99 + $339 + $35 = $2,222

 

Inclusions

Included:
  • Accommodations at the lodge
  • All meals and filtered water
  • All activities detailed in itinerary
  • Jungle Excursions
  • Local and bilingual guides
  • Canoe Transportation
  • Village visit
Excluded:
  • Bottled Water and Alcoholic beverages
  • Boutique Purchases
  • Additional excursions or private itineraries. Please review Additional Excursion Price List for prices and

When

jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sep
oct
nov
dec
not available
average
optimal

The rain forest, as the name predicts, is generally wet all year round. However, the official wet season in the Amazon begins in April and can last into September. The dry season (or dryer season) is from October to March. A particularly good time to visit the Amazon is from June to August - a time when animal activity is at its peak.

How

Privately guided

Join a guided tour

Scheduled itineraries depart Quito according the following schedule:

  • Every Monday (5D/4N)
  • Every Friday (4D/3N)
  • From Monday to Monday (8D/7N) or,
  • From Friday to Friday (8D/7N)

It is possible to create a custom itinerary, however additional costs may apply. Contact us for details. 

Service categories

Consult & Book

Pygmy Elephant will help you understand the Huaorani's product offering and can combine a trip to the ecolodge with other activities, transfers, tours, hotels and lodges. 

Pygmy Elephant provides: 

  • Transfer arrangements: from Quito on to other destinations
  • Pre-departure support: what to pack, arranging travel insurance and informing on travel advisories
  • 24 hour customer service: if something goes wrong, we have your back
  • Best Price Guarantee: if you find a better price on the internet, we'll match it
  • Pygmy Miles: receive discounts off future travel

Service categories

Technical Ability

Level : Low

Mental Strength

Level : Low

Physical Conditioning

Level : Low

  • No special skills are required to visit the Eco Lodge. Still, an adventurous disposition is needed to make the most of your trip. Hiking and canoe excursions require a good level of physical fitness, although they are not comparable to long distance treks. 

Talk to our Adventure Expert

Our Managing Director, Andrew, has been to over 40 countries in his quest for the perfect adventure. He has biked the death road in Boiliva, trekked 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, cycled from Brussels to Florence and hiked the five sacred mountains of China. Pygmy Elephant is how he spreads his love for adventure and self discovery in the world.