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Home Amazon Amazon Kayaking Trip

Amazon Kayaking Trip

Season(s)
Nov-Jan / Apr-May
Length
10 Days
Level
Intermediate
Airport
Quito UIO
75000

Trip Highlights

Welcome to the Amazon, the world's largest and most biodiverse tropical rainforest in the world.

Explore the Amazon by Kayak

Have you ever dreamed of being a jungle explorer? Here is your chance to glide soundlessly down a rainforest river in a kayak with only the sound of bird calls and rustling of troops of monkeys in the treetops overhead to break the silence. We’ve put together an adventure that no one else offers. This Amazon kayaking trip gives you the chance to paddle the river systems of the Ecuadorian Amazon around the Yasuni National Park in Feathercraft® tropical expedition sea kayaks.

Kayaking the Amazon in Style -  The story of Tofino Expeditions' award winning Amazon kayaking tour

Concentration of Species

Kayaks offer unrivaled access to the small tributaries and the mysteries of the flood forest in the famed Amazon, and their silent progress makes for outstanding wildlife viewing and encounters that are missed by passengers who travel in motorized craft. Each day you’ll explore a new and fascinating aspect of this extraordinary ecosystem, which has the highest concentration of flora and fauna species in the world.
Amazon kayakers on jungle lake.

The Floating Forest

You’ll paddle through sections of forest that are actually floating, slip across mirror calm lakes to look for pink Amazon river dolphins, and scan the jungle for flocks of brilliant macaws as well as over 12 species of primates. You’ll be led by a team of naturalist and aboriginal guides that can identify the plants and creatures you’ll encounter and describe in detail the fascinating relationships that make up the ongoing drama of life in the Amazon rainforest.

Three Luxury Ecolodges

At the end of each day’s Amazon kayaking adventure, you’ll return by motorized dugout canoe to the comforts of one of the three deluxe jungle ecolodges that make up the accommodations on this trip. There will be time to take a hot shower, enjoy a cold drink, and discuss the day’s highlights before sitting down to a dinner featuring local ingredients in an international cuisine.
Amazon ecolodge

Birding and Expert Interpretation

Along with kayaking, you’ll have an opportunity to explore the entire forest, from the floor to the jungle canopy, all with expert interpretation. You will also engage in world-class birding that is guaranteed to bolster the life list of even the most avid birder.

Small Group Wildlife Adventure

A visit to the Amazon rainforest is a life-changing experience and small group size is the key to the success of this wildlife adventure. Just 10 guests will be fortunate enough to participate in a very special kayak exploration of the sea of green that is the Amazon.

Trip Itinerary

Everything you need to know about your Amazon kayaking trip.
Day 1

Quito Arrival

You’ll be met at Quito’s new airport (UIO) and transferred  the very short distance to the Wyndham Quito Airport. Arrivals are typically quite late and there are no activities so you'll be able to get to bed.  There will be a welcome letter at the hotel front desk with specifics of the next day’s plan.
Overnight: Wyndham Quito Airport
Meals: None
Day 2

Fly From Quito To Coca – Napo River – Sacha Lodge

In the morning, we will meet the naturalist/kayak guide in the lobby of the hotel and after a brief orientation head to the airport for the flight over the Andes to the Amazon Basin. Landing in the town of Coca we’ll be met by our native guide. A few minutes from the airport is the Napo River (Rio Napo), the largest tributary of the Amazon in Ecuador. Here, we will board a motorized canoe for the ride to Sacha Lodge. The trip takes approximately 2 hours including a 30-minute hike through the rainforest to Lake Pilchicocha where the lodge is located. In the afternoon, we will board our sea kayaks for a short familiarization paddle through the lake and creeks around the lodge. After dinner, we have the option of a night walk through the rainforest to look for the many different species of nocturnal animals or take a canoe ride on the lake and creeks to look for spectacled and black caimans by spotlight.
Overnight: Sacha Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 3

Kayaking The Indillana River

After breakfast, we’ll walk through the rainforest back to the Rio Napo and board a motorized canoe that will take us to our put-in point for the descent on the tranquil Indillana River. Running slowly from the Andes to the Rio Napo, the Indillana is one of the rivers that define the limit of Yasuni National Park. Wide, and bounded by magnificent forest on both sides, the Indillana is a great example of how the fresh (white) water from the Andes meets the igapo-blackwater of the jungle. This paddle will give us the chance to enjoy the beauty and mystery of the Amazon jungle and its abundant wildlife. Once we reach the Rio Napo, we will reboard our motorized canoe for the 30-minute ride back to the trail to the lodge.
Overnight: Sacha Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4

Pilchicocha Lake and Trails – Canopy Walk – Bird Observation Tower

Dedicated to optimal wildlife observation, the day at Sacha Lodge starts early. Setting off not long after dawn, we will take our kayaks and paddle through one of the most interesting creeks in the area around the lodge. On the way, we’ll have the opportunity to see squirrel monkeys, white-bellied spider monkeys, and several different species of birds. After roughly an hour of paddling, we will start walking toward Sacha’s magnificent 100-foot high and 900-foot long canopy walkway. Arriving during prime morning birding hours, we’ll have spectacular—literally, treetop—views of the rainforest and many different species of vibrant, tropical-colored birds. Equipped with a spotting scope, the naturalist and native guides will point out the many canopy residents and offer interpretation. We will be back at the lodge in time for lunch. In the afternoon, we will kayak a small blackwater creek that many people consider the best route at Sacha. Along the way, there is a good chance of seeing large 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 this amazing ride through the flooded forest, we’ll leave the kayaks for a short walk to a 135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient Kapok tree. The observation platform structured around the massive limbs of this tallest of canopy trees makes for a breathtaking vantage point for late afternoon bird watching. We will paddle back to the lodge for dinner.
Overnight: Sacha Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5

Pañacocha Lake – Pañayacu River

Early in the morning, we will check out from Sacha Lodge to take a boat ride for about 1.5 hours to the Amazon Dolphin Ecolodge. A more basic lodge than Sacha, the Amazon Dolphin is very comfortable and located in one of the most pristine parts of the Amazon basin. After checking in we will venture out by kayak to explore Pañacocha Lake in search of wildlife. There will be chances to find and float with the pink freshwater dolphins, to observe colorful hoatzin birds and various other avian residents of the lake as well as monkeys and numerous other small creatures.
Overnight: Amazon Dolphin Ecolodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6

Pañayacu River and Piguali Lake

Departing early we’ll set off by boat to the headwaters of the Pañayacu River where our kayaks will be waiting. We then paddle into a pristine igapo-blackwater lagoon and riverine system located in the narrow gap between Ecuador’s two largest Amazon protected areas: the 982,000-hectare Yasuni National Park and the 600,000-hectare Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. Traversing several distinct forest zones that illustrate how the complex ecosystem of the Amazon is a constant, multifaceted cycle of competition and renewal. Descending the slow current, we will have the opportunity to see several species of birds, troops of howler monkeys, Charapa turtles (Podocnemis expansa), common otters, and if we are lucky, we’ll kayak with the pink freshwater dolphins in Piguali Lake.
Overnight: Amazon Dolphin Ecolodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7

Pañayacu River – Garzacocha

We will continue our descent of the Pañayacu River until we reach the broad Napo River where we will board a motorized canoe to ride downstream and then paddle by kayak to Garzacoha Lake and La Selva Lodge, our luxurious home for the next two nights. Upon arrival we will check-in and enjoy a late lunch on lakeside terrace and a maybe a refreshing swim. In the afternoon we will enter the rainforest and explore the “Chaguamango” trail that begins behind the lodge and finishes at the edge of the lake. During the walk we will talk about the various uses of neo-tropical plants by the indigenous groups of the Amazonia as medicine, food, ornamental. At the end of the walk, we will head back to the lodge by canoe. If we’re lucky, you might see large troops of squirrel monkeys approaching the water in the late afternoon.
Overnight: La Selva Lodge
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 8

Parrot Clay Lick – Night Canoe Ride

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
Day 9

Departure For Coca To Quito – Quito Old Town Tour

This day starts with an early wake up call, breakfast, and then departure from the lodge. The lodge staff will assist with your checked luggage as we begin our journey back to Quito. A motorized canoe takes us back upstream to Coca, where our representative will take us to the airport to help with checked luggage and boarding passes. Once in Quito we will be transferred from the airport to the Hotel Real Audiencia , a restored grand colonial house in the heart of Quito’s Old Town. UNESCO declared the Old Town a World Heritage site in 1978 and it is one of the best preserved colonial cities in Latin America. For the balance of the afternoon we’ll tour the sites of Old Town, then return to the hotel for our farewell dinner.
Overnight: Hotel Patio Andaluz
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 10

Departure

Your tour leader will assist with luggage, transfer you to the airport, and ensure that check-in goes smoothly.
Overnight: N/A
Meals: Breakfast

Itinerary Notes

Please note that rainforest itineraries might vary slightly in order to maximize wildlife sightings, depending of the reports of our naturalists’ guides, your main interests, and weather conditions.
Overnight: N/A
Meals: None

Trip Accommodations

Your home away from home in the heart of the Amazon.

Wyndham Quito Airport

The brand new Wyndham Quito Airport is adjoining the airport itself and so couldn’t be more convenient for late evening arrivals and early Amazon flight departures. Comfortable state-of-the-art rooms and a friendly staff complete the picture of this ideal starting point for your Amazon kayaking adventure.
Hotel Website

Sacha Lodge

This lodge has a well deserved worldwide reputation amongst birders because of its forest canopy that literally lets you walk through the treetops. A large property set on jungle all of Sacha’s nicely appointed rooms have a view onto the forest. Comfortable common areas include decks, a bar with comfortable seating and a dining room.
Lodge Website

Amazon Dolphin Ecolodge

A more basic lodge than Sacha, the Amazon Dolphin is very comfortable and it’s location affords us the best chances to see Amazon freshwater dolphins and giant otters.
Lodge Website

La Selva Lodge

La Selva is very nice, what you would expect from an internationally reviewed eco-lodge spa. Beyond a very nice range of amenities the lodge is close to a parrot clay-lick in Yasuni National Park.
Lodge Website

Hotel Patio Andaluz

Located in the heart of Quito’s old town the Patio Andaluz is an elegantly renovated grand colonial home. The hotel is walking distance from most of the old town’s historic attractions and features comfortable rooms plus very good restaurant.
Hotel Website

Trip Extensions

Not ready for the real world? Extend your trip!
At this time we do not offer any extensions for this trip but please feel free to call us about added travel options at 1-800-677-0877. We have spent a lot of time in and around the destinations we offer and are more than happy to share our experience.

Depature Dates, Pricing and Availability

We can help you find the perfect trip, call (800) 677-0877 or email us.
Dates
Trip Length
Price
Availability
Notes
4/21/17 - 04/30/17
4/21/17 04/30/17 10 days
4990
Available
10/27/2017 - 11/05/2017
10/27/2017 11/05/2017 10 days
4990
Available
12/14/2017 - 12/23/2017
12/14/2017 12/23/2017 10 days
5150
Available
NOTE: Trips showing as 'Available' have at least 4 places open. All prices are $USD unless otherwise stated.

What's Included?

  • Tour leader and local naturalist guides
  • Double accommodation in hotels and lodges
  • Meals detailed in the itinerary above
  • Motorboat transportation
  • Kayaking and safety equipment 
  • Visits to attractions
  • Airport transfers
  • Bottled water

What's Not Included?

  • International flight to / from Quito (UIO)
  • Tips for guides and staff: $90 suggested
  • International Airport Tax (will be included in your international ticket)
  • Beverages
  • Insurance of any type
  • Personal expenses
  • Cost of hospitalization and evacuation if necessary
  • Flight Quito – Coca – Quito: $220 (subject to change)
  • Yasuni Park entrance fee: $25  (subject to change)
Amazon Kayaking Awards
Award Winning Trip
National Geographic Traveler "Best Trips in South America"
Trips of a Lifetime 2015

Guest Review
"Thank you for the amazing Amazon kayaking trip!  Weaving through the narrow natural channels and meandering down the rivers surrounded by jungle was quite an adventure.  The native guides brought a new dimension to the experience with the critters they could see in the jungle and the stories they told of plants and their culture. And the sounds!... exotic birds, insects and howler monkeys.  This was our third kayak trip with Tofino Expeditions and they have all been amazing adventures."
Peg Gerlock, Friday Harbor, WA
October 2014 - Amazon Kayaking
Copyright 2016 © Tofino Expeditions (USA), Inc. • All Rights Reserved • 1567 NW Elgin Ave • Bend OR • 97703
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