Explore Ecuador's Amazon Rainforest
An 8-day jungle adventure for £1895pp
If wildlife is your thing and you fancy a walk on the wild side, then look no further. This fantastic 7-day trip will take you deep into Ecuador's Amazon rainforest for a real jungle advenure. You will be staying at a superb ethically-run lodge which is owned and operated by the indigenous people of the area so you know that your holiday is benefiting them and, through their stewardship, the rainforest itself. Surrounded by pristine rainforest, packed with monkeys, manatees, sloths and over 550 types of birds, this is one of our very favourite holidays in Ecuador.
- Day One: Arrival in Quito
- Day Two: City tour of Quito
- Day Three: Into the jungle
- Day Four: Canopy Tower and Oxbow Lake
- Day Five: Yasuni National Park
- Day Six: Sani Lodge
- Day Seven: Back to Quito
- Day Eight: Overnight flight back to the UK
Day One – Begin your holiday in Ecuador
You will arrive in Quito today as your holiday in Ecuador begins. We’ll be there to pick you up and take you to your hotel, which is in the heart of the capital. You will probably want some time to rest and get used to the altitude so we have left the rest of the day free for you to relax. Your hotel is close to dozens of restaurants and cafes, as well as all the other facilities you'd expect from a capital city, so if you're feeling up to it then why not head on out and explore one of South America’s most beautiful capitals.
Day Two - City Tour in Quito
This morning we’ve left you some free time to relax after your journey, then after lunch we will pick you up after lunch and take you for a tour of Quito. We’ll focus on the beautiful colonial Old Town, with its winding cobbled streets and grand plazas. The area is a designated World Heritage Site, and it’s home to some of South America’s finest colonial architecture, including the stunning Cathedral and several other churches, all overlooked from the nearby Panecillo hill by the winged statue of the Virgin of Quito. (Breakfast included)
Day Three - Into the Jungle
Your journey starts with a 35-minute flight from Quito to Coca where the staff will pick you up and transfer to the banks of Napo River. From there you will embark on a boat trip on the Napo River. During the journey you’ll get a taste of the Amazon, seeing ancestral communities as well as birds such as herons, egrets and vultures, while enjoying a delicious packed lunch. The canoe ride is followed by a 15 minute walk through the flooded forest and a 20-minute canoe ride across the beautiful Challuacocha Lake. The staff will welcome you with refreshing cold drinks and snacks before you settle down in your cabins.
In the late afternoon, you can take a short walk on the nearby trails or a canoe ride both of which provide a great chance to observe primates, Amazonian birds, black caimans. You’ll also be able to see the amazing flora and fauna represented by cedar trees, orchids, and bromeliads. In the evening you’ll return to the lodge, where our chef will be happy to offer a wide variety of national and international cuisine that caters vegetarians and vegans. After dinner a briefing about Amazonia will be given by one of our bilingual guides, while we enjoy Ecuadorian beers, spirits and cocktails prepared by our bartender. (B/L/D)
- The Sani Lodge is one of our favourites for a jungle holiday in Ecuador, but we work with many other lodges as well, so if you'd like to see some options then just ask.
- Or if you'd like a slightly different experience, why not ask about our Amazon river cruises instead?
Day Four - Canopy Tower and Oxbow Lake
After breakfast, we’ll experience life on the tree tops from our 36 meter (108 ft.) observation tower. To get there your leaders will paddle on the Challuacocha Lake before a short 10-minute walk. Over 565 species of birds have been registered in this area so far, including macaws, toucans, honeycreepers, tanagers, flycatchers and hummingbirds. With a bit of luck we will also get a close view of howler or squirrel monkeys and sloths resting in the canopy. The tower gives you a unique perspective, opening up a whole new world of Amazon’s biodiversity that is often difficult, if not impossible to see from the jungle floor. The journey continues as we explore the nearby trails searching for more Amazonian creatures before returning to the lodge for lunch.
After lunch there are many alternatives for your enjoyment, bird-watching from the dining hall or simply relaxing on the hammocks. In the afternoon, we can hike the Chorongo or Coto trails, to discover the relationships among the different living creatures and the role they play in this complex ecosystem. Orchids, vines, strangle figs, ancient trees; bromeliads are all part of this fabulous tropical rainforest. After our hike we will return to the lodge for dinner. After diner explore our black-water Oxbow Lake, one of the increasingly rare havens for the endangered black caiman, supporting a healthy population of these large up to 6 meter (18ft.) long south-American crocodiles. (B/L/D)
Day Five – Yasuni National Park
After breakfast we’ll head to the Napo River to board the boat and visit the parrot-clay lick at Yasuní National Park for a wonderful view of hundreds of parrots. Here you will see Mealy Amazon, Yellow-crowned, Orange-winged and Blue-headed parrots. We then continue on with a hike south of the Napo inside the Yasuní National Park, considered by scientists to be one of the most bio diverse areas in the world, here, some species that cannot be found in the north might be spotted, including golden–mantled tamarins and spider monkeys, Blue and yellow macaws and with a bit of luck a close encounter with white-lipped or collared peccaries. After this we head to the Sani Community Centre to visit a native house to get a taste of how a typical Kichwa family lives. We will enjoy their food, drinks, customs, and culture and learn how the lifestyle of the locals is environmentally sustainable. In the late afternoon we will return to the lodge for a well-deserved dinner. (B/L/D)
Day Six - Yasuni National Park
Today's programme will vary according to local conditions, and which wildlife is most active at the time of year you visit. However, we will usually include both some more hikes through the jungle and a chance to explore the tributaries of the Napo on the lodge's paddle canoes. (B/L/D)
Day Seven - Back to Quito
After our final jungle breakfast this morning, we will pick you up and take you back downriver to Coca for the flight back up to Quito. On arrival, we’ll take you back to your hotel so you can get ready to head out and enjoy your last night here in the Andes. (B)
Day Eight – Last Day on Holiday in Ecuador
Sadly, today will be your last day on holiday in Ecuador. Depending on your international flights, you may have some time to explore a little more of Quito, or you may be leaving straight after breakfast, but whatever you’re your flight, we will be there to pick you up and take you to the airport in plenty of time to check in for your flight back to the UK. (B)
Options for this Adventure Holiday in Ecuador
Otavalo Market - 2 days from £250pp
The Saturday market in the small town of Otavalo is not only the largest in Ecuador, but is one of the largest traditional markets anywhere in South America. You can always visit it on one of the regular day trips from Quito, but this 2-day private excursion is a much better way of doing things. We will pick you up in Quito on the Friday and drive north to Otavalo, visiting the glorious Cotacachi valley and the lovely Lake Cuicocha along the way. This means that the next morning you can have a bit of a lie-in and still be at the market before the crowds from Quito, and then we can drive you back to the capital in the afternoon, stopping off at the Middle of the World complex on the line of the Equator as well.
Cloud Forest – 3 days from £275pp
As the high Andes slope down into the jungle, the combination of latitude and altitude give rise to one of Ecuador’s most bio-diverse environments, the mysterious Cloud Forest. A rich area of forests, waterfalls and hummingbirds, it’s one of Ecuador’s prettiest locations and this three-day trip from Quito gives you the chance to enjoy all the scenery, enjoy the lower altitude, and also the chance to enjoy the rich wildlife, including rare species such as spectacled bears.
Beach Break – 5 days from £595pp
Ecuador’s beautiful Pacific coast enjoys year-round Equatorial sunshine, so if you’d like to finish off your holiday in Ecuador with some quality relaxation time, then a 5-day break at one of Ecuador’s loveliest beach hotels could be perfect. The trip begins with the flight south from Quito, giving you three full days on the beach, before we pick you up at the end of Day Five and take you back down the coast to the city of Guayaquil to board your international flight home.
Tren Crucero – 4 days from £995pp
This superb 4-day train journey allows you to experience the whole of Ecuador’s newly-restored railway network, with a journey all the way from Quito in the north, through the Cotopaxi National Park and down the infamous “Devil’s Nose” switchback through to Guayaquil on the Pacific Coast. Vintage steam locomotives will take you through two of the sections, with fabulously comfortable coaches and overnight accommodation in boutique haciendas along the way. There’s simply no better way to experience Ecuador than this.
Similar Holidays to South America
Our standard price for this jungle holiday in Ecuador is £1895 per person, which is based on two sharing a double or twin room in our standard hotels and lodge.
That price includes all your accommodation, internal transport, transfers, tours, guides and entrance fees, plus all your meals in the Amazon and breakfast every day.
We don't have any "local payments" or sneaky charges: everything you have read about on this itinerary is included in that price. And because everything we do is tailor-made, we don't have fixed departure dates or minimum numbers for our trips. Outside of national holidays or other special events, this price is valid for the whole of 2020.
So with the exception of a few meals, everything on your holiday is included. What we don't include as standard is your international flights, because with these you have a huge range of options depending on the date you want to travel, the route you want to fly, and your preferred departure airport in the UK.
We aren't tied to any particular airline, and we will be delighted to discuss all options with you, or you can even book the flights yourself if you prefer: it's totally up to you.
Our Holidays are rated 5 out of 5 on the Feefo Independent Review Site