WHY THIS TRIP
For those who want to explore the pristine Amazon and learn about the rainforest from the people who live there, it doesn’t get much better than the Kapawi Ecolodge. This unique lodge combines world-class wildlife viewing and rainforest exploration with authentic and respectful interactions with the indigenous Achuar people. Traveling to the Kapawi Lodge means you’ll have a more remote, active, and adventurous trip than the average rainforest visitor.
Kayak alongside pink river dolphins; learn about traditional medicinal plants found only in the rainforest; marvel at the cacophony parrots, descending by the hundreds, onto a claylick; drink homemade chicha with an Achuar family; and learn to see the rainforest with new eyes… This is the experience of the Kapawi Ecolodge, one of the most remote and unique tours in the Ecuadorian rainforest. The Kapawi Ecolodge began as a concept 20 years ago that would help preserve an incredibly pristine section of rainforest and allow local indigenous communities to benefit directly from tourism dollars. This economic boon allows the local Achuar people, who own and operate the lodge, to maintain their ancestral land from outside pressures like unsustainable logging, mining, and oil drilling.
The wildlife viewing at the Kapawi Lodge is far superior to what a typical traveler would see in a less pristine area of the rainforest. On a typical tour, you’re likely to see caimans, toucans, several species of monkeys, bizarre insects, and amphibians. Unique to the Kapawi Lodge is the opportunity to both see pink river dolphins and visit a parrot claylick, either of which would be the top highlight of any other rainforest wildlife trip. Birders will also be endlessly entertained by the sheer numbers and diversity of birdlife endemic to the area; birding-only tours are also offered upon request.
Meeting the Achuar and learning about their way of life is a part of every itinerary and for those who want to learn even more from the Achuar people, there are a number of special activities available. You can participate in traditional ceremonies with an Achuar shaman or camp in the community’s area one night. Of course, anyone who chooses to participate in these activities should approach them with the utmost respect and an open mind.
The lodge accommodates up to 40 visitors and was built in accordance to the Achuar concept of architecture (not a single nail was used!). Skilled Achuar craftsmen came together to build a series of comfortable cabins in the vernacular style of the rainforest, using local materials but upgraded in design and furnishings to appeal to the tastes and requirements of today’s traveler. Each cabin has a spacious screened-in sleeping area and private bath with solar heated water available on most afternoons (depending on weather). Cabins are fully screened — windows, floors, roofs — and each bed has its own mosquito net.
LOCAL PROVIDER: KAPAWI ECOLODGE
Kapawi Ecolodge & Reserve is a preferred tourist destination in the Amazon to develop sustainable services in environmentally friendly practices, quality and international standards for sustainable tourism that allows a complete experience for our visitors and socio-economic development of the Achuar community who have full knowledge of the activities of their company.
The Kapawi project opened in 1996 as a unique partnership between Canodros, an Ecuadorian tourism company, and the Achuar people. Each partner shared a vision of building an economically sustainable project that would contribute to the preservation of the cultural and environmental riches of Ecuador’s Amazon region. As planned, Canodros transferred the ownership of Kapawi Ecolodge & Reserve to the Achuar on January 1, 2008. The project is now operated by the Achuar through their tour operator CEKSA, (Complejo Ecoturistico Kapawi Sociedad.Anonima), a legal structure that has a category of a Tour operator, in charge of the ownership, operation and management of the lodge.