The booking of this tour supports the community owned initiative of the Achuar ethnic group in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Thanks for being a sustainable traveler!
PICK UP: You will be picked up from your hotel in Quito beginning at 6:00 am.
Departure from Quito: You will be driven along the new “Oriental” highway, passing through Tambillo, Latacunga, Ambato, and Baños before arriving in Shell. Breakfast will be provided for every passenger. Short stops will be made during the trip for bathroom breaks and photo opportunities. Arrival in Shell. You will be welcomed by our Achuar representatives and will be assisted onto small planes.
The 50-minute flight from Shell will pass over unbroken pristine rainforest, arriving at the airstrip of the local Achuar community. Once there, you will be welcomed by our guides, who will escort you on the final leg of your journey – a beautiful 30-minute canoe ride that heads into the majestic tranquility of the rainforest. Lunch at Kapawi Ecolodge & Reserve will be served upon arrival. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to relax, unpack, and familiarize yourselves with the surroundings.
Afternoon: You will have a quiet activity where you can walk along the shores of the Pastaza River. Here, our guides will give you an introductory orientation session with information about the rainforest and the Achuar culture, all while enjoying a beautiful sunset. Dinner will be served afterwards.
Early morning: Your guides will escort you on a 30-minute motor boat ride to reach one of the best natural attractions: the Claylick. Here, you will see different species of macaws and parrots such as the Cobalt-Winged Parakeet, Chestnut-Fronted Macaw, Yellow Crowned Amazon.
After breakfast you will take a walk that lasts approximately 2-hours with stops; on this trek you will learn about medicinal plants of the area and tropical forest ecology.
Lunch at the Ecolodge & Reserve followed by a resting period.
Afternoon: you will be able to explore, via kayak, the Kapawari River and its connecting lagoons. On the journey you will be looking out for the local wildlife such as the pink river dolphin. As the river is quite calm, swimming is completely safe.
After dinner: you will partake in a spectacular night walk, observing the many different kinds of insects and amphibians that are found around the hotel.
Early morning: You will have the opportunity to find and spot the widest variety of birds that the southeast Rainforest of Ecuador offers. Birds like the Hoatzin, Aninga, Speckled Chachalaca, White Eared Jacamar, Cocoi Heron, Neotropical Cormorant, and the Great Egret are viewable.
After breakfast you will take a walk (approximately 2 hours with stops) where you will learn about the benefits and uses of the palms of the Achuar and the important ecological role insects and animals play in the forest. Lunch at the Hotel will be served afterwards.
In the afternoon some activities will be offered. Fishing is one activity where you can reel in piranha or catfish. Alternatively, you can learn the art of making crafts with the staff at the Achuar Hotel.
At night after dinner, you will explore the Kapawari River in search of nocturnal animals such as monkeys, alligators and birds. All this will be done under a fantastic and starry night sky.
On this day you have the option of going bird watching up the Kapawari River or going to the Claylick. Afterwards you’ll have breakfast and prepare for today´s exciting adventures.
This day will be a day full of activities. First, your guides will escort you along the Pitzacocha trail. During this time you can learn about the forest and its benefits for the Achuar people. Your guides will also teach guests about Achuar hunting techniques and the Arutam spirit of the forest.
You’ll then have a picnic lunch in the forest. After lunch, you will visit one of the Achuar communities that is located close to the lodge. This is one of our most popular activities offered in Kapawi, mainly because of the significant cultural contribution it offers the Achuar people. You will have a chance to see an authentic community along with its members, and even be able to purchase some traditional handicrafts. Return to the lodge followed by dinner.
After dinner: Cultural activities (legends in hammock house, traditional greetings)
Early morning: Your guides will bring you to specific points near the hotel in order to locate various species of birds. Shortly thereafter you’ll return and have breakfast and begin your preparation for departure.
In the last few hours before departure from the Achuar territory, you can participate in a blowgun contest to find the best hunter among the guides and guests. You will also be able to learn the art of Achuar face painting and how it relates to their different activities.
The return trip will normally have you leaving the lodge mid-morning by canoe, then flying by small plane from Achuar territory to Shell. From there, you’ll transfer to your private overland transportation in order to start your comfortable trip back to Quito accompanied by one of our tour guides. The overland transport to Quito has an estimated arrival time of mid or late afternoon, depending on weather conditions. Your entire return journey will provide one final opportunity to experience the beauty of this unique part of the world.
Note: In the event that weather conditions prevent us from getting all guests into the lodge on the scheduled day, we will provide accommodations at a comfortable hotel in Puyo (a 10 minute drive from Shell) and reschedule the flights to the lodge as early as possible the next morning.
Due to the type of weather in the tropical rain forest, some delays can be expected and we highly recommend adding an extra day to your itinerary after visiting this lodge to make sure you reach your flight in Quito to your next destination (Galapagos Islands, international, etc.) on time.
Because of the size of the aircraft, it is imperative to limit your luggage to a basic minimum weight: the maximum allowed is 25 pounds (11 kilograms) per passenger including hand luggage. We strongly suggest traveling with backpacks instead of suitcases.
To see more pictures click here to go to our flickr account!
- All meals
- Bilingual naturalist guide
- Native guide
- Daily activities and hikes
- River transportation
- Alcoholic beverages & souvenirs
- International flights
- Round trip from Quito, land transportation to Shell USD 111 per person
- Round airfare ticket from Shell USD 380 per person
- Achuar community entrance fee USD 35 per person