Sacha Lodge

Sacha lodge a 5000-acre private ecological reserve in Ecuador’s Amazon region, an accessible yet pristine rainforest sanctuary where you and your family may enjoy a true jungle adventure in safety and comfort.  Sacha Lodge is located 50-mile (80-kilometer) trip down the sediment-rich waters of the Napo, the largest river in Ecuadorian Amazonia.  In recent years Sacha Lodge has become a favourite destination of both professional and amateur ornithologists.   So far there have been an incredible 587 different species of birds found here! This is a staggering number, especially if you consider that approximately 900 species have been registered in the entire continental United States and Canada.

Itinerary 4 days

Day 1

Flight from Quito to Coca, and canoe transportation towards the lodge. Arrive at Sacha Lodge around 3:00 or 3:30 pm.  Swim in Lake Pilchicocha, which is a black water lake home to many species of fish and animals.  A refreshing swim after arriving may be just what you need after being in the equatorial heat all day. Bird observing from the mini tower offers guests an excellent opportunity to view several species of birds common around the lodge.  Also a great place to watch the sun set. Visit the butterfly house with your naturalist guide to view the beautiful colors of many different species of butterflies. After dinner, accompany your naturalist guide on a night walk through the rainforest to view the hundreds of different species of animals that can only be found at night.  Or maybe a canoe ride on the lake to view the spectacled and black caimans with their glowing orange eyes as you silently paddle across the lake to get a closer view.

Day 2

Begin morning activity between 6:00 and 7:00. Begin walking on trail Liana Chica and arrive at the canopy walk, for spectacular views of the rainforest canopy and the many different species of vibrantly colored birds.  After the canopy walk, Liana Grande through terra firma and igapo forest habitats where native guides will explain many different species of medicinal plants that have been being used in their culture for hundreds of years.  Liana Grande will turn into the trail Higueron, which will take you through pristine primary forest with huge Kapok and Fig trees towering hundreds of feet above your head. Higueron will eventually lead to the Finca where an excellent lunch prepared especially for long day trips, will be served while you listen to the many species of birds around the Finca and enjoy the coolness of the covered picnic tables.  From the Finca, you may choose to take a leisurely hike along the Rio Napo, or choose a little more challenging hike on the trail Leoncillo to try and spot the elusive dusky titi monkey.  Either way the trails will lead you back to the main boardwalk for your final hike and canoe ride back to the lodge.

Day 3

Leaving the lodge after breakfast, you begin your hike on trail Lagartococha.  This trail offers you the chance to learn more about the native people and their relationship with the forest.  Learn about the trees where native people believe the spirits of their ancestors live, and the mysterious  “dwende” or devil-man of the forest. After arriving at lake Lagartococha, take a tranquil canoe ride through a natural swamp, which is the home of anacondas, caimans, and capybaras. After the canoe ride, a walk on the other side of Largatococha may give you the opportunity to spot capuchin or squirrel monkeys playfully jumping through the trees. Return from the walk or canoe ride and head back to the lodge for a refreshing dip in the lake, or a nice relaxing nap in your personal hammock on your private balcony.  After lunch, your native guide will teach you how to fish for the infamous razor-toothed piranha.  Keep in mind that piranhas will never attack a person and swimming at the same time is perfectly safe and fun! Around 4:00 you will begin what many think is the best trail at Sacha, a silent canoe ride through the flooded Amazonian forest.  Where you have a good chance of being surrounded by troops of squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys.  Keep your eyes peeled for the shy and elusive river otter as well as the incredibly well camouflaged three-toed sloth! After your eye-popping ride through the flooded forest, you will arrive at Sacha´s135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient Kapok tree.  Get close up views of vibrantly colored birds through Sacha´s powerful scopes, and watch the sun set with an amazing view of Mount Sumaco, a volcano, and possibly a view of the snow-covered caps of the Andes!  Leaving the tower just before or after sunset will give you an experience not soon forgotten.  A canoe ride back through the flooded forest at night will be an awe-inspiring experience.  Listen to the symphony of frogs and insects as you navigate through the narrow flooded forest trail, keeping your eyes open for caimans.  Watch the several species of bats flying over your heads and listen to the many species of nocturnal birds making their eerie nighttime calls.  Finally, after your mesmerizing canoe trip through the Amazon, you will arrive back at lake Pilchicocha and the welcoming lights of Sacha lodge.

Day 4

6:15 am breakfast and a departure from the lodge at 6:45am.  Leave the actual lodge itself at 6:45 am for an easy walk on the boardwalk to watch monkeys one last time before your final departure.  Arrive in Coca and be escorted to the Coca airport where all plane tickets will be in the hands of  Sacha employees waiting to help you board the plane and a final farewell.  Scheduled arrival at Quito´s airport is at 11:50pm