The astounding biodiversity of Sacha Lodge provides the opportunity to encounter those strange and exotic creatures prowling through your dreams. An incredible 600 species of birds and 50 of bats, Tiny Pigmy Marmosets and Giant Otters call the reserve home, a space six times the size of New York’s Central Park. The Lodge blends so seamlessly into its surroundings that to the resident wildlife it’s just another part of the forest.
Depart Quito on the flight to Coca. On arrival, you will be met by your Sacha Lodge naturalist guide who will transfer you to the lodge’s private house. Here you will have time for a quick lunch and restroom break before walking across the road to the long boat that will take you two hours’ down river to the lodge. Even if it is warm, bring a long-sleeved top or jacket for the boat ride, as the damp breeze can be quite chilly. Disembark on the shores of the Napo River and hike for 30 minutes to Lake Pilchicocha, where you will board native dugout canoes and paddle across the lake.
After dinner, accompany your naturalist guide on a night walk through the rain forest 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.
Today you will have an early start. This morning, you will take a beautiful walk through trail Liana Chica and arrive to the canopy walk, for spectacular views of the Rain forest. You will see vibrantly coloured birds. Designed to be a self-standing rigid suspension canopy walk, it is one of only a few in the world! Located within Sacha´s private reserve, the bird walk gives guests the opportunity to get an up close and personal view of the rain forest canopy. Two of the three towers have observation decks every 12 meters making towers accessible for everyone. The canopy walkway is 36 meters high and 275 meters long, giving guests a “birds eye view” of all the wonders and beauty the tropical rain forest has to offer. The canopy walk is designed as a sturdy walkway enabling guests to casually move along while enjoying the spectacular views.
After the canopy walk, continue through terra firma and igapo forest. Your local guides will explain and show you different species of medicinal plants. On the way, you will also see fig trees towering hundreds of feet above your head.
After breakfast, you will begin your hike on Lagartococha trail. 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. You will also 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. These waters are home to many creatures such us caimans, electric eels, and giant otters, among others. Swimming is possible as long as you follow your guide instructions and keep yourself always inside the designated areas. During giant otters and caimans breading time the lake could be closed for swimming.
In the afternoon, you will take a walk to Sacha’s tower built around an ancient Kapok tree. Here, you will get close up views of vibrantly coloured birds through Sacha ìs 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! On the way back, you will be able to hear a symphony of frogs and insects as you navigate through the narrow-flooded forest trail, keeping your eyes open for caimans.
Another early morning to visit a beautiful parrot clay lick. Leaving at six in the morning from Sacha and arriving at the lick around 7:30 will give you plenty of time to get close up views of the parrots eating the clay to neutralise the acids which they get from eating their many different types of fruits and leaves. Arriving back at the lodge around 11:00 am or so gives you plenty of time to swim or relax before lunch is served. Visit the butterfly house once again to photograph the beautifully coloured butterflies. For your afternoon activity, Pantano is the trail to take. Pantano offers you several different types of rain forest habitats. From secondary to primary forests as well as flooded forest and swampy areas. An excellent trail for monkeys and birds in the afternoon, your naturalist and native guides will intrigue you with their knowledge of the jungle and its inhabitants as well as provide you with an everlasting experience and memory of the tropical rain forest.
After breakfast you will depart the lodge in the morning, taking the canoe back across Lake Pilchicocha and the long boat 2 hours back upriver to Coca. Here you will board your flight back to Quito.