Amazonia ADVENTURE PROGRAM

5 dAYS & 4 nIGHTS

Discover the Amazon Rainforest in the Napo province over five exciting days, just 4 hours from Quito the capital of Ecuador. 

This part of the Amazonia is the most accessible and friendly area for the traveler, being at the same time a unique place for its indigenous Kichwa culture and for its great biodiversity of flora and fauna. With us you can discover the secrets of the jungle and its people, feeling like a true explorer. 

All our programs include accommodation, food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), activities, tours to the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. 

Summary of tours and activities: Canoe river tour and monkey watching, artisanal chocolate making, hiking in the primary forest, Anaconda Island, visit an indigenous family, animal rescue center, butterfly farm, artisan ceramic workshop and balsa woodworking, night walk, Río Blanco Waterfalls, gold panning and artisanal fishing, Birds’ Island, shamanic cleanse, hike in the Selva Viva Reserve and/or tubing. 

INFORMATION

5 Days - 4 Nights Program

Open: all year round, every day.  Restrictions may apply in some holidays.

Value per person USD $:

- $ 378 matrimonial, double or triple room 

- $ 340 quad up to sextuple room

- $ 454 single room 

       (Kids under 12 years 35% off)

ItinerarY

Day 1: 

13:00 hrs. Check-in 

13:30 Lunch 

14: 30/17: 00 – 17:30 Canoe river tour and monkey watching: We will embark on a motorized canoe, in a relaxed way we will appreciate the landscapes offered by the jungle, rivers and banks of the Napo and Arajuno rivers. We will go in the final part under the treetops on the banks of the Arajuno River, where we can observe and photograph different varieties of primate species, without invading their ecosystem and responsibly with our environment. If the weathere allows, we will have the opportunity to take a dip in the river.  (2-2.5 hours approx.)

After or before the tour we will prepare artisanal chocolate in the lodge. In this opportunity you will not only see how it is made, but you will also participate in the preparation and to delight with its flavor in a dessert that we will create at the end of this experience. (45minutes approx.)

19:30 Dinner 

  

Day 2 

08:00 Breakfast 

09:30 / 12: 00 Hiking in the Primary Forest: This is a mountain hike across the primary forests—You will explore and observe many natural wonders including medicinal plants, insects and animals. We will also visit ‘Ceibo’ the giant tree of the Amazon. Finally, we are going to reach a viewpoint at the height of the Napo and Arajuno rivers. (2-3 hours approx.)

13:30 Lunch 

14:30 Anaconda Island: It is located in between the Napo and Arajuno rivers place where live some Kichwa indigenous families live. We will have the opportunity to visit one of them and become familiar with their customs and traditions. You will have an opportunity to sample ’chicha’ (traditional beverage) and cassava, which is a basic feature of the Kichwa diet. You will also learn about and practice their ancient hunting methods and their use of the blowgun. Upon entering the island, we will pass through the margins of a small swamp inhabited by ‘hoatzines’ (called prehistoric birds) and caimans that we can observe in their natural habitat. (2-3 hours approx.)

19:30 Dinner

 

Day 3

08:00 Breakfast

09:30 Visit to the animal rescue center "Amazoonico": It is one of the most important and highly regarded conservation projects in the Amazon. The proceeds from visiting here support the maintenance and reintegration of the animals, some of them in danger of extinction. Among the animals you will see here: alligators, tapirs, ocelots, toucans, anaconda, macaws and monkeys of various species (2 hours approx.).

13:30 Lunch

15:00 Butterfly farm of Ahuano village: An incredible experience for our visitors is to observe hundreds of butterflies flying freely in a greenhouse in any climatic condition. The garden is a controlled environment featuring an astounding array of plants and flowers, and boasts approximately 25 native species of butterflies. There will be a presentation on the entire cycle of the butterfly metamorphosis. (1 hour approx.)

In the village of Ahuano, as well, we are going to visit two handicrafts projects leading for different indigenous families. 

The art of ceramics is traditional in the Kichwa culture and has been passed down through the generations. You will visit a family in the Ahuano village whose source of income is decorative pottery.  Balsa wood is an important raw material for the Indian culture. It is widely used for making crafts and decorative figures. You will visit and watch a presentation by a local craftsman who shapes these figures from a single piece of trunk wood, after which he treats and decorates them for sale. 

Both families will share with you the process of making these beautiful handicrafts.  (30 min. each approx.)

19:30 Dinner

20:30 Night walk: With the aid of flashlights, you will discover the nocturnal world of the forest. You will encounter the symphony of nocturnal birds, colored frogs, insects of all kinds and many more jungle creatures. (45 minutes approx.)

 

Day 4

08:00 Breakfast

09:30 Rio Blanco Waterfalls: This entails a 35-minute truck-ride to the community of Rio Blanco, and a 30-minute walk from there to the magnificent waterfalls. You will have ample time to explore and swim in beautiful surroundings where it is common to find fossils and petrified wood. (3-4 hours approx.)

13:30 Lunch

15:30 Gold panning and artisanal fishing.  In the rivers of the Amazonia these activities are ways to generate income and food for many local families. You will visit one of the beaches of Rio Napo where you will have an opportunity to watch and learn how to wash gold in wooden rafts and fish by learning how to launch the ‘Atarraya” (casting nets).

 (1.5 hour approx.) 

Returning to the lodge we will to do a short hike in the “Isla de los Pájaros” (Birds’ Island) where we are going to observe various types of vegetation along the way. There will be a presentation on the various plants and their uses. You may also encounter birds like parakeets, orioles, partridges and more depending on time of day/year (1 hour approx.)

19:30 Dinner

20:30 Shamanic Cleanse: The Shaman or Yachay is one of the most important characters within the indigenous communities. He is in charge of healing the sick, protecting from evil spirits and removing bad energies. The activity consists in a spiritual cleansing recharging us with positive energies. (30 minutes to an hour approx.)

 

Day 5

08:00 Breakfast

09:00 Hike in the Selva Viva Reserve: This is a forest of approximately 1800 hectares and is located on the banks of the Arajuno River. The reserve is used for the release of animals from the rescue center. With a bit of luck, it is possible to find different types of monkeys and birds, many of them reintroduced to their natural environment. (2-3 hours approx.)

12:00 Check-Out

 

Note: Itinerary schedules are approximate. Activities may be rescheduled or canceled according to weather conditions or other force majeure.

» Prior to the Trip: Advice and support for your trip to our lodge.

 

» Room, simple, double, matrimonial, family or group. The prices depend on the selection. (Let us know your preference at the time of registration)

 

» Full meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Tell us if you want a vegetarian, vegan or special diet at the time of registration. The program starts with lunch on the first day and ends with breakfast on the last day, or you can start with dinner on the first day and end with lunch on the last day.

 

» Canoe and lifeguard

 

» Rubber boots (sizes 34 to 45)

 

» Tours and activities according to itinerary

 

» Purified water, tea and coffee at no cost in the social area.

 

» Bilingual Local Guides: Spanish and Kichwa. * If you require a guide in another language or a translator, this has an additional cost and must be arranged beforehand. (See extra services)

» Flights

» Transfers to and from the city of Tena - Ahuano - Tena

» Tips

» Alcoholic drinks

» Entrance to the rescue center, US $ 4 per person.

» Any other service not mentioned in this program

» If a bilingual guide or a translator(Spanish/English) is necessary, please let us know your request in advance. There is an extra charge per day of USD $30 per bilingual guide applied to the group or individual that requires the service. This does not imply a private tour. 

 

» In case of requiring a private tour in Spanish or English there is an extra charge of USD $60 per day applied to the group or individual that requires the service.

 

» Parking: Gaia offer a parking area in the lodge at no cost, in this case you need to cross the Napo River by ferry. Considering that sometimes the ferry could stop its service for different reasons (mechanical or weather conditions) is recommended to leave your car in the tourist parking area  in Punta del Ahuano (before the Napo River crossing); it is safe and guarded. The cost for this parking area is USD $10 per car, paid directly to the guard. Ask for instructions.

 

» Private and semi-private transfer to GAIA: The lodge can recommend and assist you to reserve or contract these transportation services to the lodge. It could be for different group sizes.  Ask for information as per your requirements.

 

» Laundry; if you need to wash and dry your clothes GAIA offer this service with a cost of USD $10 per bag up to 9 kg.

 

» WiFi, there is free internet access in the social areas.

 

All our facilities were built from ecological materials and sustainable construction methods. Our rooms are spacious and bright and are naturally climatized, with high ceilings and large windows.

 

Each of the cabins has a terrace, a space that complements the rooms and allows you to enjoy the views of the forest and the river, while enjoying the different sounds of nature.

 

Thinking of your comfort, all rooms have a large private bathroom with hot water; the windows are covered with screens, allowing insect-free ventilation; and each room has electric lighting and outlets. 

Check the Lodge gallery

All GAIA programs include three meals per day, breakfast lunch and dinner.

We offer an array of delicious dishes—a cuisine that includes traditional Amazonian recipes and flavors as well as national and international favorites. All meals are made with fresh ingredients, largely sourced from local communities in our area.

 

**Our kitchen staff can accommodate vegetarian preferences, as well as other dietary restrictions. Please let us know in advance.

 

During your stay at GAIA, you will always have access to complimentary purified drinking water, coffee and tea, available in the dining area.

Gaia is located on the southern bank of the Upper Napo River, 400 meters above sea level.

 

The average yearly temperature is 77°F (25°C). The area receives almost 200 inches of rain each year. The lowest rainfall occurs from November to January, and the highest occurs from April to July. June is typically the wettest month of the year.

 

Nighttime temperatures can be quite cool in comparison. In many areas, temperatures can fall to 50°F and can feel cooler due to the frequent rainfall.

We don’t require any vaccination; tropical diseases are rare here. Although it is always advisable to consult your physician about health precautions and vaccinations before traveling to a foreign country—preferably four to six weeks before departure. Please bring any medication you may need with you, as our first-aid kit is limited.

 

There is a medical center located in the Ahuano village, four kilometers from Gaia. This center provides basic medical care and emergency services. The closest hospital is located 34 km (45 minutes drive) from Ahuano, in the city of Tena.

Our programs are suitable for everybody that as fitness condition according to the programs and activities mentioned. Nevertheless, you need to know our lodge is located 40 meters above the river Napo, and a long steep path with steps to the river which we take very day.  

 

If you have some restrictions to go up and down stairs, hiking or walking on uneven terrain, let as to know in advance.  We have alternative itineraries and the possibility to avoid the stairs if required.  If this is the case you need to contact us in advance, and extra charges may apply.

• Binoculars

• Flashlight and batteries (indispensable for each person)

• Camera

• Insect repellent

• Sunscreen (cream / glasses / hat or cap)

• Water bottle

• Lightweight pants and long-sleeved shirts for walks

• Shorts and shirts / blouses with short sleeves for the hotel and its surroundings

• Swimwear

• Comfortable shoes and extra cotton socks.

• Sneakers. In the lodge and the rooms, we only use socks, shoes or bare feet; not shoes.

• Rubber boots (only if your sizes is less than 34 or more than 44)

• Lightweight poncho or rain jacket

• Plastic covers to protect cameras and binoculars from rain.

In Ecuador our guests normally arrive from Quito, Baños, or Tena

You can travel to Gaia with a) public transportation,  b) shuttle service transportation (available from Quito), c) private transportation

 

a) By public bus


From Quito

Public buses from Quito to Tena depart every hour from the South Terminal "Quitumbe". From Tena there are buses every hour to Punta del Ahuano.  In this point, you must cross the river by canoe (from one river side to the other, 1 minute) and travel an additional 10-15 minutes by taxi. The duration of this trip is approximately 5 hours in total.

* Travel time from downtown Quito to the South Terminal is 1 hour by public bus or 20 minutes by taxi.

From Baños

Public buses from Baños to Tena depart every hour from the bus terminal. From Tena, there are buses every hour to Punta del Ahuano. From here, you must cross the river by canoe (from one river bank to the other, 1 minute) and travel an additional 10-15 minutes by taxi. The duration of this trip is approximately 5 hours in total.


From Tena

Public buses from Tena to Punta del Ahuano depart every hour from the "Terminal de Autobuses de Centinela del Tena".(It is a different terminal located three blocks from the main bus terminal, in the Ave. El chofer and Llanganates street) From here you must cross the river by canoe (from one river bank to the other, 1 minute) and travel from 10 to 15 minutes by taxi. The duration of this trip is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes in total.

The last bus that leaves Tena to Punta del Ahuano is at 17:00. If you miss the last bus, you can still take a taxi from Tena to Punta del Ahuano.

 

Public transportation rates (US $):

• Quito to Tena by bus, US $ 8 approx.

• Baños to Tena by bus, US $ 6 approx.

• Tena to Punta del Ahuano by bus, US $ 1.5.

• Tena to Punta del Ahuano by taxi, US $ 15.

• Punta del Ahuano through the Napo River in a canoe, US $ 0.25

• Punta del Ahuano to GAIA by taxi, US $ 4-5

 

When you arrive at "Punta del Ahuano", once you have crossed the Napo River, you will have to look for a van. You should ask about the Gaia Cabins or "Cabañas de Agustín" on the Ahuano - Campanacocha road. This will take about 15 minutes and will cost US $ 5 approx.

 

b) By shuttle or semi-private transport


The semi-private transport (shuttle) is available from Quito to Punta del Ahuano for US $ 30 each way. This includes the transfer from your hostel or hotel in Quito (not from the airport). A representative of GAIA will meet you at Punta del Ahuano and take you to GAIA Lodge.


Shuttle schedules

Monday to Friday:  

Departures from Quito 05:00 and 17:00

Departures from Ahuano 03:45 and 15:45

Saturday and Sunday:  

Departures from Quito 06:00 and 17:00

Departures from Ahuano 04:45 and 15:45

Let us know if you choose this option and we will help you with the reservation.

 

c) Private transfer

We can arrange a private transfer from Quito or from the airport “Mariscal Sucre” in Quito  to GAIA Lodge for $ 150, it can be arranged at any time, leaving maximum at 17:00 from Quito. The private car can carry up to 4 people. The journey lasts 4 hours approx.

Example: if there are four people in the group, the cost is $ 37.50 per person, if there is only one person, the price is $ 150

Let us know if you choose this option and we will help you with the reservation of the service.

 

Map of Tena: Main terminal and location of the Centinela terminal

Terminal principal y ubicación de la terminal de Centinela

To confirm a reservation, a 50% is required.  Payments can be made through PayPal or through a bank transfer in Ecuador or the United States. 

 

Please indicate which is the most appropriate method of payment and we will send detailed information.

» Activities and tours may be canceled, replaced or modified due to weather conditions.


» The tours and activities are carried out in groups ( maximum size of 12 people, and an average of 5-6 people), led by a native or local guide in Spanish.

 

» In general, our guides are familiar with foreign non-Spanish speakers in their activity. That is, they have the ability to transmit their knowledge in the easiest and simplest way to people with basic knowledge of Spanish, without language proficiency being an inconvenience. 

 

» If you require a bilingual guide or a private guide, see the extra services section.

 

» Check In / Out: In case of requiring the room outside the established times, the lodge must be notified in advance and this will depend on the availability. Additional charges may apply.

-The regular check-in time is 13:00

-The regular  check-out time is 12:00


It is possible to enter the hotel before check-in time: you can make use of the social areas of the lodge and wait comfortably until the room is available at 13:00 hours.


In the same way you can check out at regular times and deliver your room at 12:00, and stay in the social areas of the lodge if you require.

 

 

» Acceptance of risk

The Client acknowledges that the nature of the tour is adventurous and may involve personal risk. 

Activities such as hiking, motorized canoe, boating, swimming, wood rafting, use of inner tubes, use of vines, fishing and climbing can cause personal injuries. 


The Client hereby assumes all such risk and does hereby release GAIA Amazon Lodge, its owners, employees, agencies and representatives from all claims and causes of action arising from any damages or injuries or death resulting from these inherent risks. 

know our programs

PROGRAM AMAZONIA EXPRESS 2 DAYS AND 1 NIGHT
PROGRAM AMAZONIA HOLISTIC 3 DAYS AND 2 NIGHTS
PROGRAM AMAZONIA EXPLORE 4 DAYS AND 3 NIGHTS
PROGRAM AMAZONIA ADVENT 5 DAYS AND 4 NIGHTS