Today we visit what is thought to be the most biologically diverse spot on earth: Yasuni National Park. A 20-minute canoe ride plus a 15-minute walk takes us back to the Rio Napo, where we board a motorized canoe for a short ride to a trailhead that leads to one of most remarkable wildlife displays in the world. Hundreds of parrots and parakeets perch in the treetops and then descend to a clay bank to ingest the mineral rich soil. This allows the birds to digest forest seeds, some of which have toxic components that elements of the clay help neutralize. The naturalist guide will help you identify the various subspecies present and explain their behaviors in detail. Returning to the motorized canoe, we cruise along the riverbanks of the Napo, bird watching along the way (the currents in the Napo render this unsafe for the kayaks but an experience not to be missed). Next, we’ll pay a visit to an Amazonian Kichwa family. A tour of their garden “chacra” (small farm), followed by a visit to the house will let us experience the Kichwa tradition of hospitality and open a window into the everyday lives of the people that make their homes in Amazonia. Returning to the lodge there will be time to relax before dinner. After dinner, we’ll take a night paddle by canoe around the lagoon looking for caimans, boas, bats, owls, night mammals, and other nocturnal wildlife. If it’s clear, we’ll have a chance to view the blaze of stars in the equatorial night sky accompanied by an unforgettable Amazon night chorus of frogs—a place like no other on earth.
Overnight: La Selva Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner