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Sacha Lodge

La Casa de Suizo is a quiet Amazonian Lodge located on the shore of Ecuador's majestic Napo River and a stone's throw away from the eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains - therefore, at the beginning of the jungle. Perched comfortably above the riverbank and the small Quichua Indian village of Ahuano, La Casa de Suizo overlooks vast expanses of the surrounding tropical rainforest environment.

Each of the modern rooms provides full electricity, hot water and ceiling fans to make your stay more comfortable in the jungle, and an exquisite view which may be peacefully absorbed from the privacy of one's own terrace. With a magnificent panorama of the Napo, you may enjoy the swimming pool, the outdoor dining area and a pool bar, which offers an array of delicious tropical drinks. The hotel's dining rooms offer a wide variety of both Ecuadorian and international dishes, and the buffets cater to vegetarians.

Each morning you may trek, paddle and hike through the lush, primary rainforest which surrounds the lodge. The native guides posses vast knowledge of the diverse jugle fauna and flora, as well as the medicinal uses of many plants. Don't miss out on this amazing Amazon adventure!

Example Itinerary

Day 01: Quito Papallacta - La Casa de Suizo

The tour to La Casa del Suizo will depart from Quito, Ecuador's capital, at in the morning in private transportation. The first leg of hte journey brings you to Papallacta, a small mountain village famous for its natural hot springs. Upon arrival you can take some time to visit these springs for a soothing swim in their thermal waters before lunch at the Hotel Papallacta. Shortly after noon, you will continue the journey along a scenic stretch of road which takes you out of the majestic Andes highlands and down into the Oriente - the Amazon region. Along the way there will be several opportunities to stop for photographs, overlooking lush green valleys and beautiful sparkling waterfalls. The road ends at Punta Ahuano, a tiny port town on the North bank of the Napo River, where canoes await for a late-afternoon 15-minute ride downstream to la Casa de Suizo. You will arrive with time to get settled and enjoy the sunset from the swimming pool with a refreshing welcome cocktail. -/L/D

Day 02: Amazon Jungle Exploration

After breakfast you will board a dugout canoe, and navigate 20 minutes down the waters of the scenic Napo River. The destination is Pangayacu, where during an approximately three-hour walk through primary Amazon rainforest, visitors will have the opportunity to see actual hunting traps which were traditionally used by the local natives in the past. The local guides will demonstrate how they work and explain which type of animals was caught in each one. And of course, at all times you will be on the lookout for tropical birds, and point out important aspects of the surrounding vegetation. The trail leads to the home of a Quichua Indian family, whose garden contains many medicinal plants still commonly used today. The naturalist guide will explain how they are prepared. Later, you will continue on to the village of Ahuano, where you may learn about several aspects of traditional Quichua culture. A local host will show you how to make chicha, a typical beverage (which of course all may taste). Finally, all may participate in a blowgun target-shooting contest - but don't expect to beat the natives! B/L/D

Day 03: Amazon Jungle Exploration

This tour consists of a walk through primary and secondary forest trails, along which it is possible to observe distinct species of birds and insects as well as a great variety of trees and medicinal plants. The guides will explain how such plants are used not only in medicine, but also in construction and other important local activities. Along the trails you may enjoy several opportunities for adventure, such as hanging bridges, and vines for swinging from tree to tree. After the walk you may choose to eat lunch in the jungle, and later live the incredible experience of building and navigating a raft! On a small river island your guide will show you how to tie balsa logs together, so those who wish can float down the Napo for about an hour back to La Casa de Suizo. The duration of this tour is around 4 hours, and from 5 to 6 hours if you choose to have lunch in the forest. For the more physically limited guests, who do not wish or are not able to participate in all of the activities listed above, you have alternatives such as The Island: A one-hour walk along a totally flat river island, where one may observe a great variety of plants and insects. It is also possible to visit an artisan in the village of Ahuano, who will demonstrate how the traditional Quichua ceramics are created, painted, and hardened. B/L/D

Day 04: La Casa Del Suizo Jungle Lodge - Quito

After breakfast you will depart for the trip up the mountains and back to Quito. About halfway there the bus will stop at a lookout to stretch your legs and enjoy a box lunch before continuing on to Quito. B/L/-

B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / D: Dinner

Note: The activities on day 2 and 3 may be inverted, depending on the number of guests present.

ENERGY:

The lodge is powered by solar energy. Sixty-four solar panels of 75 watts each cover 80% of all the lodge's energy needs. Every room has 4 lamps: 1 in the bathroom and 3 in the bedroom. We kindly request you to conserve energy by using no more than three lamps at a time. WATER: The tap water is filtered through charcoal filters and purified with UV rays. Bottles of drinking mineral water are available in your room. Solar showers provide 5 gallons of hot water per person each day. For your convenience we recommend that you take showers at the end of the day.

RAIN:

Each room is provided with an umbrella that you can use to go to different areas of the lodge.

NIGHT:

No artificial illumination exists along the boardwalks since it could modify the behaviour of nocturnal animals. You should carry a flashlight with you.

SWIMMING:

Swimming can be safely done in lakes and calm rivers. Nevertheless, as the water level goes down in the dry season, this activity can is not always available.

MEALS:

We serve a tasty combination of international food and traditional plants. A wide variety of exotic fruits are also available. Soft drinks, snacks and hot water for coffee and tea are available all day.

BREAKFAST:

Starting at 5.00 a light breakfast is provided to birdwatchers. A full breakfast is available from 7.00 on.

LUNCH:

Lunch is provided in the dining room from 12:30. Box lunches are provided to visitors taking full-day trips.

DINNER: 

Dinner is served from 19:00.

LIBRARY:

A well-endowed library is open all day long. Paperbacks, magazines and books are available.

BOUTIQUE:

A small boutique stocks essential items you may have forgotten (film, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sunscreen, insect repellent, hats etc.), as well as handicrafts and souvenirs.

SOAP:

All soaps used in the lodge are biodegradable. In the shower as well as in the sink you will find shampoo and soap dispensers. Please do not use non-biodegradable soaps.

TRASH:

Trash is sorted into two classes: biodegradable (food, paper, etc.) and non-biodegradable (metal, plastics, glass, etc.). Please deposit garbage in the appropriated trash containers, which you will find in your room.

WHAT TO BRING: 

Since we used small aircrafts to fly to Kapawi, it is imperative to limit your luggage to the basic minimum as listed below. Luggage not needed can be stored in your city hotel or in Shell. It is also better to travel with backpacks instead of suitcases.

LUGGAGE

One large backpack or one duffel bag.
One small daypack.

CLOTHING

3 lightweight -cotton or other fast drying material- long pants. Avoid blue jeans.
4 or 5 long-sleeved cotton shirts.
1 pair of knee-high cotton socks for each day in the rainforest
Underwear (avoid synthetics), Shorts.
1 light windbreaker.
1 light sweater or jacket. Brim hat.
1 waterproof poncho (available in the lodge) or a waterproof parka.
Bathing suit.
Sunglasses with a strap.

FOOTGEAR

1 pair of comfortable walking shoes.
1 pair of thongs or Tevas
1 pair of rubber boots (available in the lodge).

MEDICINE

Extra eye glasses/contact lenses.
Sun block lotion (at least protection 8).
Insect repellent.
Toilet kit.
Personal first aid kit.
Antimalaria pills.
Tampons or sanitary napkins.

EQUIPMENT:

Plastic water bottle.
Flashlight (headlamps models are better).
Alkaline batteries.
Self-sealing plastic bags.
Dry bags (available in the lodge).
Swiss Army knife.
Reading material (available in the lodge).
Small notebook and pencil.
Personal sewing kit.
Snacks: chocolates, candies, etc.

CAMERAS AND BINOCULARS:

Camera gear. High speed films or fine-grain, high resolution and relatively slow colour transparency, this last one to be used with electronic flash. Binoculars. This is an essential item, even if you are not a birdwatcher. The best ones are the waterproof models with high light transmission. An excellent size: 10 X 40. Films.

SOME SUGGESTIONS:

Remember that we are guests of a very different culture. Some of their traditions may appear quite odd to us, but is does not mean that we are in a position to criticize them. Please, follow the rules imposed by the Achuar communities and respectfully try to learn about this extraordinary culture.
Be careful with photographs or video recordings. Ask your Achuar guide first if it is possible to take photographs or to make video recordings in Achuar communities. Avoid close up shots, and never remunerate people with money for a photograph. The Achuar are very pleased when you buy their handicrafts. They have a fixed price, which is similar in each community. You can also exchange some of your personal items (flashlights, batteries, etc.) for handicrafts if the Achuar are interested in doing so. Please do not buy handicrafts made of feathers, animal skins or insects. Avoid any physical contact with members of the communities.

Please do not give money, presents, or sweets to the kids.
If you have educational material (pens, note-books, colored pencils, etc.) that you would like to donate, please give them to the resident manager. He is in charge of distributing to the different schools of the area.
Please do not enter an Achuar house without an invitation.
The Achuar are very jealous. If you are a man, you should never look directly at a woman's face.
Remember that the Achuar house has a sexual division. Please, do not go to the ekent or female area.
Nijiamanch, the manioc beer, is always offered; refusing might be considered an insult. If you do not like this drink, you should at least pretend to drink it.
Do not go out alone. The chances of getting lost are very high. The only exception is the self-guided trail. During the hikes, never leave the trails and stay with the group at all times.
It is essential to wear rubber boots during the hikes.
Drink plenty of liquids during your stay.
Keep at least one set of dry clothes in the lodge.
Fishing is allowed.
Please, do not take any animals or plants out of the area. Hunting is not permitted.
Do not leave any trash in the forest. In the Achuar communities you will find trash containers.
Please do not use radio gear without personal earphones.
Donations to the FINAE, the Achuar Federation, or to the different sustainable projects or scientific researches can be coordinate through The Pachamama Alliance.

Tips can been given at the end of the trip to:

Your guide: US$10.oo to US$20.oo per passenger.
The staff that works in the lodge. You can leave your tip in the tipping box.
It will be divided amongst the personnel: US$10.oo to US$20.oo per passenger.
Each room is provided with an umbrella that you can use to go to different areas of the lodge.

Route 01:  Quito-Kapawi

Direct flight Quito-Kapawi (1 hour). It can be straight to Wayusentsa or over Montalvo, a near military air base. If the last, it involves an extra 20 minutes flight.

Route 02:  Quito-Avenue of the Volcanoes-Shell-Kapawi

Road trip from Quito to Shell, along Humboldt's Avenue of the Volcanoes. Shell is a town located at the eastern slopes of the Andes (total driving time: 5 hours). Transfer onto a small aircraft for a 50 minutes flight to the final destination.

Important:

Once in Kapawi, you will be miles away from what you know as civilization, as the nearest town is 2 weeks walk away through the forest for the local people. This remoteness is what makes Kapawi such a special and unique place. Please remember that because the only way in and out of the area is by air, we are 100% reliant on the weather. We request that you leave an extra day after your stay at Kapawi as a buffer day in case an act of God prevents your departure.

Eco-Tourism in Kapawi: Kapawi is a place of multiple choices and is characterized by its flexibility. We do not offer fixed programs, but you can design with your guide and your group, the most suitable one to meet your interests and physical condition.

In Kapawi you can do many activities and the most of the itineraries will include visits to the Achuar communities, you can share all of a day with the Achuar families, hikes in the rain forest, canoeing in rivers and lakes, swimming, watching piranhas, pink dolphins, see caimans and other animals of the area, as well as birdwatching, where there are 480 species.

There are three alternatives, according to your physical condition (not your age):

Easy: Programs that include short hikes in the rainforest (up to 3 hours) on well defined trails, visits to the Achuar communities as well as trips in canoes. Meals are served in the lodge or light meals are taken for the trip. Typical Achuar meals are also offered in their communities. And during overnight stays in the lodge or in tents.

Moderate: Programs that include medium-distance hikes in the rain forest (up to 5 hours), sometimes crossing flooded areas. Trips in canoes and visits to the Achuar communities are also covered. Light meals are taken for the journey or typical Achuar dishes are served in their communities. Overnight stays include the lodge, in the Achuar communities and occasionally in tents.

Difficult: Demanding hikes of many hours or days in poorly defined and often flooded trails.  Porters will carry food and supplies. Overnight stays are in tents or in the Achuar communities.  Exploration journeys to virgin areas are occasionally offered. Trips on inaccessible rivers are done in inflatable rafts. Excellent physical condition is required!

Kapawi is a great place for birding. In ten days you can get a list of almost 400 species. The river islands often have Horned Screamers and Orinoco Geese. Muscovy Ducks are more prevalent.  Other birds of exceptional interest featured in Kapawi are two species of Ant wren recently discovered (Herpislochaus and Terenura, sp. Novum), Salvin´s Curassow, Buckley’s Forest-Falcon, Sapphire Quail-Dove, Blue-winged Parrolet, Scarlet-Shouldered Parrolet, Black-billed Cuckoo, White Chested Puff bird, Spotted Puff bird, Tawney-throated Leaftosser, Black Bushbird, Amazonian Umbrella bird, Orange-eyed Flycatcher (Tolmomyas trailli, sp. Novum), Moriches Oriole and the most amazing thing is that you can see and record new species on the islands (like Arremonops, sp. Novum)!

Prices 2017

Days Double Room Single supplement
3 Days USD 555.- USD 70.-
4 Days USD 750.- USD 110.-
5 Days USD 940.- USD 135.-

Services included in the price:

Accommodation in a double room, all meals as mentioned in the program, all excursions, native guides, bilingual guides (Spanish/English), all ground transportation

Not included in the price:

International flight, beverages, personal expenses, tips, international airport tax Quito(USD 41.-), insurance.

Ecuador Galapagos Travels
Ecuador Galapagos Travels
Veintimilla E10-78 and Av. 12 de Octubre
El Giron Building – Tower E – 2nd Floor – Office 104
fax: (593 2) 2224 628
P.O.BOX: 17-01-43
email: info@ecuadorgalapagostravels.ec
www.ecuadorgalapagostravels.ec
Quito - Ecuador

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