WHY THIS TRIP
There are many ways to view the rainforest, but few are as active and peaceful as kayaking the many rivers and lakes of Ecuador’s remote Amazon. The 5-day Amazon Wildlife Kayak Expedition takes you far deeper into the rainforest than most travelers ever reach. However, you won’t be so remote that you won’t have some creature comforts as the adventure is based out of the Sani Lodge and you’ll be sleeping in comfortable, charming cabanas each night.
This unique and active trip takes place deep into the rainforest so you can quietly paddle and observe the rainforest’s beauty up close. You will be paddling waterways located in Yasuní and Cuyabeno National Park region, both of which are considered some of the most biologically rich and diverse spots on earth. For the most part, you will actually be kayaking through two wildlife reserves that connect these important National Parks and serves as a wildlife corridor between them. This means that in a (relatively) small area, you have superb chances of viewing some of the rainforest’s most notable and unusual wildlife. The area boasts 500 bird species, 13 monkey species, 1,500 species of trees and over a thousand butterfly species. Additionally, this location is home to caimans, giant river otters, jaguars, ocelots, anacondas, and an unknowable number of insect species. The Pañacocha Lake is also a highlight on this trip since it is here that you are likely to encounter a pink river pink dolphin and Amazonian manatee, though both are endangered so count yourself extremely lucky if you spot both.
Your guides are kayaking specialists who are also trained to lead wildlife tours in this remote area and bring the rainforest to life. They are trained in kayaking safety and you will also be equipped with the proper equipment (kayaks, paddle, life jacket, helmet, dry bag, along with other safety gear), so you can just focus on paddling and observing the forest around you.
Each day of this 5-day adventure includes a mix of kayaking and naturalist walks with guides from the Sani Lodge (all indigenous locals whose community owns the lodge). No experience is required to take part and have fun kayaking. Each day you’ll be kayaking between two and four hours, as well as one to two hours walking the rainforest with a naturalist guide. Of course, private groups can really tailor the pace and itinerary to their liking.
The Sani Lodge is a community-owned eco-lodge and is 100 percent owned by the local Kichwa people. They have crafted a unique and lovely lodge, perfectly suited to the rainforest surrounding and perched on the edge of an inky, peaceful rainforest lake. The lodge excels at providing excellent naturalist interpretation of the rainforest (it is their ancestral home after all) and showing travelers their culture’s way of life as it’s still lived deep in the jungle. You will have a private cabana complete with electricity, a bathroom and shower. The communal areas (bar, restaurant, lounge, and dock) overlook the lagoon where amazing birding can be had by even the most casual wildlife enthusiast.
LOCAL OPERATOR: NeoTropic Expeditions
A pioneer of the multisport experience in the Galapagos, Quito-based NeoTropic Expeditions (formerly Ecuador Adventure) provides meaningful, fun and safe eco-adventure experiences reflecting the company’s strong commitment to sustainable eco-tourism in Ecuador.