Ecuador

Ecuador – La Selva Amazon EcoLodge & Spa

La Selva

Information

To get a feeling of what La Selva is, just imagine a tranquil and comfortable place which is deep in a rainforest of unparalleled biodiversity.

La Selva Amazon Ecolodge has achieved several green certifications for our work with the environment, including recognition from the International Ecotourism Society, and Sustainable Tourism Certification from the Rainforest Alliance.

Location:

La Selva Lodge is located about two hours from Coca by motorized canoe, just outside the Yasuni National Park and within the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.

The main lodge was built overlooking the glassy waters of Lake Garzacocha and it is our guests’ favorite spot. You can watch birds and other wildlife as you sip a cocktail from our fully stocked bar in comfort, or climb a few steps to look for wildlife from our observation tower.

When night falls, you will enjoy our fine cuisine in the restaurant, prepared by our chefs, as the birds and animals of the Amazon serenade you with their unique song.

How to get there:
The adventure begins in Quito where our representative will help you to check your luggage and tickets. After a short flight to Coca, you will be welcomed by another representative of La Selva who will help you with your luggage and transfer you to the pier, there our motorized canoe is waiting.

The ride on Napo River is fun and interesting; a box lunch is provided to our guests during this trip. After 2 ½ to 3 hours you will disembark for a short walk and a ride in a dugout canoe. Your luggage will be handled for you.

Once you reach the lodge, there is a welcome cocktail and brief orientation meeting. Then you’ll be shown to your spacious rooms and given the chance to rest and explore a bit before dinner.

Accommodation:

The breezy, stylish cabanas are inspired by native bamboo designs, including some scenic suites with a view of Lake Garzacocha and roomy family suites for those who have brought their children along on their jungle adventure. The Scenic and Superior Suites include exclusive rainforest showers, private balconies and great panoramic views, while the Family Suites include extra-spacious bathrooms, hammocks and a hot tub on a private porch.

The sounds of the rainforest soothe you to sleep at night, and the singing of birds awakens you in the morning.

At La Selva Lodge, we are deeply committed to sustainable ecotourism and keeping our impact on the environment to a minimum. Therefore, we do not have air conditioners in the rooms. There are, however, large windows and a ceiling fan which keeps the air in the suites circulating.

Activities:

At La Selva Lodge, something exciting is happening every day. Our trained, English-speaking guides will take you and your fellow travelers on a different tour, where you might see a boa constrictor, spot a parrot, catch a glimpse of a troop of monkeys passing overhead or even hook a piranha from the canoe!

We cannot say what you’ll do on any given day, because the guides decide what to do based on many factors like time of the day, season, weather, physical abilities of the group and where they think some exciting wildlife might be found. Your days will be filled with adventures like cultural activities in the community, jungle hikes, trips to the observation tower and wildlife canoe tours on the lagoon.

We also offer several extras activities like taking a kayak and explore the lagoon, fishing, swimming or just relaxing in the social areas.

Services:

La Selva is the only place in the area with a Spa. Here you have the opportunity to relax, unwind and enjoy the peaceful settings while our experienced massage therapist helps to release all tension from your body.
Our Butterfly Spa has been recognized by Fodor’s Travel Magazine like one of the 15 best spas with a view in the world.

Also, we offer Yoga classes every afternoon. Feel at peace with your inner self and feel as one with the nature around you by joining to one of our classes.

At La Selva we provide 24 hours of electricity and we have internet service available in the social areas.

The lodge is 24 hours a day in contact with the office in Quito and we have an efficient contingency plan in case of emergency.

We also offer special activities for couples; we can organize a private dinner or a romantic cruise on the lagoon to share a unique moment with that special someone.

Itinerary: 4 days / 3 nights
Quito – Coca La Selva jungle Lodge
At the Quito International Airport you will be met by La Selva representative in the National departure area in order to assist you with the check-in process and give you a short briefing about the journey.

After a 30 minute commercial flight to Puerto Francisco de Orellana “El Coca”, our representative will transfer you by private transportation to the city’s main dock. Our representative will take care of your luggage and will provide you with life vests and fresh water bottles.

An amazing fluvial journey of approximately two and a half hours in a motorized canoe will be the beginning of a great experience in the tropical rainforest. A delicious boxed lunch will be provided.

At the end of the motorized canoe ride, you will be dropped off at La Selva’s main dock. After using the facilities and putting mosquito repellent on, a short 15 minute jungle walk will lead you to a creek where a small canoe will be taken to enjoy an unforgettable 20 minutes paddle canoe ride across “Garzacocha” (the heron´s lagoon) in order to reach the lodge area.

Do not forget that the only thing you must take care of is your carry-on and camera equipment. Your other luggage will be transported by our lodge´s staff.

Approximately 15 minutes later, the resident manager will greet you with a delicious welcome cocktail. From there you will continue on to relax in the bar area with a fresh tropical fruit snack and a short briefing with general information about the lodge and activities, provided by one of our bilingual naturalist guides.

16H30 – MATAPALO TRAIL: This trail was named after the Spanish name of the famous Strangler fig (Ficus sp) one of many remarkable trees that you will find during this short introductory walk, where your native and naturalist guides will start to share with you part of their knowledge about flora and fauna of the tropical rain forest.

18H40 – NIGHT WALK: A flashlight and a camera will be the most important tools you will need to enjoy all of the insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals that you might see during an hour walk in the darkness of the forest.

19H30 – DINNER

06H30 – BREAKFAST
07H00 – CHAGUAMANGO TRAIL: This trail begins behind the lodge and finishes at the edge of the lake. During the walk your guides will talk about the neo-tropical pharmacy that we find in the rainforest. Many plants have been used by the indigenous groups of the Amazonia to cure different ailments, some of them will be spotted on the way. At the end of the walk, we will head back to the lodge by canoe. If you are lucky, you might see big troops of squirrel monkeys approaching the water, allowing you to take the best photos of wildlife.

12H30 – LUNCH
16H30: CHARAPA TRAIL: This trail lasting one and a half hours, starts at the butterfly farm and ends on the edge of the lake. It’s a wonderful loop that begins with a walk, returning to the lodge by canoe. Along the way we will try to sight different groups of mammals, monkeys and birds that in the afternoon hours get close to the lakeshore to look for food. Apart from a clear afternoon, you can also enjoy a beautiful sunset from the canoe.

18H40: NIGHT CANOE RIDE: With the help of a spotlight, your guides will take you in a paddle canoe around the lagoon looking for caimans, boas, bats, owls, night mammals and more nocturnal wildlife. If the sky is clear, we might have the chance to do some star gazing.

19H30 – DINNER

06H00 – WAKE UP CALL
06H30 – BREAKFAST
07H00 – PARROT CLAY LICK: It is time to visit the most biologically diverse spot in the earth, the Yasuni National Park. A 20 minute canoe ride plus a 15 minute walk will head you back to the Napo River. A motorized canoe ride lasting 10 minutes will let you enjoy one of the most amazing displays of the wild world. Hundreds of parrots and parakeets will approach the treetops and later will come down to a clay bank to eat this soil rich in minerals. It is essential to have binoculars to enjoy it.

Once you identify the different species of parrots and parakeets, your naturalist guide will provide a lot of interesting information about this spectacular birds´ behavior. The motorized canoe ride will continue for approximately 30 more minutes of birdwatching along the river banks.

It has been a wonderful morning, full of parrots, parakeets and other birds. Now it is time to enjoy a CULTURAL ACTIVITY. An Amazonian Kichwa family will receive you in their home. A visit to the garden “chacra” followed by a visit to the house is going to show you that part of the Amazonia that you do not find on the maps: the Amazon people. Motorized canoe ride, walk and a paddle canoe ride will lead you back to the lodge.

12H30: LUNCH
16H00 – BUTTERFLY FARM: It is the moment to learn about the biology of this amazing insect. Our farm will show you the different stages of the butterfly complemented with important information provided by your naturalist guide. You will not want to leave the flying area without taking your best photos of our colorful butterflies.

Now that you have enchanting photos for your album, the adventure continues with FISHING FOR PIRANHAS in the Garzacocha Lake. Fishing lines will be provided by your native guide, to let you catch your own piranha. Depending on the size of the fish, you will put it back in the water or if it is big enough you can give it to our gourmet chef and enjoy a tasty fish dinner. Keep in mind that the fish is much more delicious when you catch it yourself.

18H30 – LECTURE: A cup of coffee, a piece of paper and a pencil will help you to take note of important extra details provided by your naturalist guide in an interesting nature lecture.

19H30: DINNER

20H30: DEPARTURE BRIEFING: Your naturalist guide will provide all the necessary information for your departure to Coca and flight back to Quito.

DAY 4
06H00 – WAKE UP CALL
06H30 – BREAKFAST
07H00 – DEPARTURE FOR COCA: In accordance with your last night briefing, you will have an early wake up call, breakfast and departure from the lodge.

The lodge staff will assist you with your checked luggage. Motorized canoe ride upstream to go back to Coca, where our representative will take you to the airport to help you with your checked luggage and boarding passes.
Arrive in Quito, or continue to your next destination.

Itinerary: 5 days / 4 nights
Quito-Coca La Selva jungle Lodge
At the Quito International Airport you will be met by La Selva representative in the National departure area in order to assist you with the check-in process and give you a short briefing about the journey.

After a 30 minute commercial flight to Puerto Francisco de Orellana “El Coca”, our representative will transfer you by private transportation to the city’s main dock. Our representative will take care of your luggage and will provide you with life vests and fresh water bottles.

An amazing fluvial journey of approximately two and a half hours in a motorized canoe will be the beginning of a great experience in the tropical rainforest. A delicious boxed lunch will be provided.

At the end of the motorized canoe ride, you will be dropped off at La Selva’s main dock. After using the facilities and putting mosquito repellent on, a short 15 minute jungle walk will lead you to a creek where a small canoe will be taken to enjoy an unforgettable 20 minutes paddle canoe ride across “Garzacocha” (the heron´s lagoon) in order to reach the lodge area.

Do not forget that the only thing you must take care of is your carry-on and camera equipment. Your other luggage will be transported by our lodge´s staff.

Approximately 15 minutes later, the resident manager will greet you with a delicious welcome cocktail. From there you will continue on to relax in the bar area with a fresh tropical fruit snack and a short briefing with general information about the lodge and activities, provided by one of our bilingual naturalist guides.

16H30 – MATAPALO TRAIL: This trail was named after the Spanish name of the famous Strangler fig (Ficus sp) one of many remarkable trees that you will find during this short introductory walk, where your native and naturalist guides will start to share with you part of their knowledge about flora and fauna of the tropical rain forest.

18H40 – NIGHT WALK: A flashlight and a camera will be the most important tools you will need to enjoy all of the insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals that you might see during an hour walk in the darkness of the forest.

19H30 – DINNER

06H00 – WAKE UP CALL
06H30 – BREAKFAST
07H00 – CHAGUAMANGO TRAIL: This trail begins behind the lodge and finishes at the edge of the lake. During the walk your guides will talk about the neo-tropical pharmacy that we find in the rainforest. Many plants have been used by the indigenous groups of the Amazonia to cure different ailments, some of them will be spotted on the way. At the end of the walk, we will head back to the lodge by canoe. If you are lucky, you might see big troops of squirrel monkeys approaching the water, allowing you to take the best photos of wildlife.

12H30 – LUNCH
16H30: CHARAPA TRAIL: This trail lasting one and a half hours, starts at the butterfly farm and ends on the edge of the lake. It’s a wonderful loop that begins with a walk, returning to the lodge by canoe. Along the way we will try to sight different groups of mammals, monkeys and birds that in the afternoon hours get close to the lakeshore to look for food. Apart from a clear afternoon, you can also enjoy a beautiful sunset from the canoe.

18H40: NIGHT CANOE RIDE: With the help of a spotlight, your guides will take you in a paddle canoe around the lagoon looking for caimans, boas, bats, owls, night mammals and more nocturnal wildlife. If the sky is clear, we might have the chance to do some star gazing.

19H30 – DINNER

06H00 – WAKE UP CALL
06H30 – BREAKFAST
07H00 – PARROT CLAY LICK: It is time to visit the most biologically diverse spot in the earth, the Yasuni National Park. A 20 minute canoe ride plus a 15 minute walk will head you back to the Napo River. A motorized canoe ride lasting 10 minutes will let you enjoy one of the most amazing displays of the wild world. Hundreds of parrots and parakeets will approach the treetops and later will come down to a clay bank to eat this soil rich in minerals. It is essential to have binoculars to enjoy it.

Once you identify the different species of parrots and parakeets, your naturalist guide will provide a lot of interesting information about this spectacular birds´ behavior. The motorized canoe ride will continue for approximately 30 more minutes of birdwatching along the river banks.

It has been a wonderful morning, full of parrots, parakeets and other birds. Now it is time to enjoy a CULTURAL ACTIVITY. An Amazonian Kichwa family will receive you in their home. A visit to the garden “chacra” followed by a visit to the house is going to show you that part of the Amazonia that you do not find on the maps: the Amazon people. Motorized canoe ride, walk and a paddle canoe ride will lead you back to the lodge

12H30: LUNCH
16H00 – BUTTERFLY FARM: It is the moment to learn about the biology of this amazing insect. Our farm will show you the different stages of the butterfly complemented with important information provided by your naturalist guide. You will not want to leave the flying area without taking your best photos of our colorful butterflies.

Now that you have enchanting photos for your album, the adventure continues with FISHING FOR PIRANHAS in the Garzacocha Lake. Fishing lines will be provided by your native guide, to let you catch your own piranha. Depending on the size of the fish, you will put it back in the water or if it is big enough you can give it to our gourmet chef and enjoy a tasty fish dinner. Keep in mind that the fish is much more delicious when you catch it yourself.

18H30:LECTURE: A cup of coffee, a piece of paper and a pencil will help you to take note of important extra details provided by your naturalist guide in an interesting nature lecture.

19H30: DINNER

06H00 – WAKE UP CALL
06H30 – BREAKFAST
07H00 – MANDIÑAN AND COTO TRAIL:

We do a combined route of these two excellent trails. The Coto trail, like the charapa trail begins next to the butterfly farm and ends on the edge of the lagoon. It is also a loop where you start out walking and come back to the hotel by canoe. With luck we will have mammal and bird sightings close to the lake. These trails last three to four hours depending on the animal sightings that happen along the way. We observe flora and fauna typical of the tropical rainforest.

12H30: LUNCH
16H30: GARZACOCHA LAKE: 2 hour canoe ride around Garzacocha Lake, waiting for the chance to spot herons, flycatchers, birds of prey, the famous Hoatzin, troops of squirrel monkeys, red howler monkeys perched on the top of the highest trees, among other interesting fauna you might see during your lake trip. Do not forget your binoculars and your camera.

19H30: DINNER

20H30: DEPARTURE BRIEFING: Your naturalist guide will provide all the necessary information for your departure to Coca and flight back to Quito.

06H00 – WAKE UP CALL
06H30 – BREAKFAST
07H00 – DEPARTURE FOR COCA: In accordance with your last night briefing, you will have an early wake up call, breakfast and departure from the lodge.

The lodge staff will assist you with your checked luggage. Motorized canoe ride upstream to go back to Coca, where our representative will take you to the airport to help you with your checked luggage and boarding passes.
Arrive in Quito or continue on to your next destination.

Notes

– Please note that rainforest itineraries might vary slightly so as to maximize wildlife sightings, depending of the reports of our naturalists guides, your main interests and weather conditions.
– Departures every day, except SUNDAY.
– Timing is subject to change without notice and should be used for reference only
– No malaria risk.
– Wildlife encounters cannot be guarantee.

Recommendations

– Passport
– Comfortable walking shoes or tennis
– Rubber boots and rain ponchos (provided on board as a courtesy)
– Long pants, 3 or 4 lightweight (not Jeans)
– Long and short sleeved cotton shirts or blouses, 3 or 4
– Windbreaker or sweater
– Cotton socks, a pair per day
– Shorts, 2 or 3
– T-shirts, 3 or 4
– Bathing suit
– Cotton underwear
– Hat or cap
– Suntan lotion
– Sunglasses
– Flash light with extra batteries
– Binoculars (available for rent)
– Waterproof small backpack
– Insect repellent
– Cameras with extra batteries and memory cards
– Personal first aid kit
– Plastic bags for wet clothes and cameras

Included

Transportation in the Amazon, accommodation, meals, excursions, a bilingual (English) naturalist guide, and a native assistant.

Not Included

Bar bill, drinks, personal expenses, tips and non program motor canoe transfers.

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