Located in the rain forest of Ecuador's Rio Napo, about two hours down river by fast dugout canoe from Coca. La Selva is one of the more easily reached destinations in the Amazon and ideal for the birder traveling alone, rather than as part of an organized bird tour. The Lodge has 17 cabins built in the traditional style, each with its own toilet and hot shower, all located on a hill overlooking a lake named Garzacocha (Heron) lake. Around this region it is possible to find 14 species of monkeys, 600 of birds, 4.000 of fish and 15.000 species of plants.
When you get to La Selva Jungle Lodge's isolated dock, a half mile boardwalk of bamboo slats keeps you above a vast mysterious palm swamp as you make your way to the lake. The boardwalk ends at Garzacocha Lake where paddle canoes await you to take you across.
A quarter mile along, La Selva Jungle Lodge begins to peek out at you. It is your first expedition of discovery in what will be a vacation filled with marvel and wonder.
Accommodation and Facilities
Despite of our small size (which will remain unchanged despite great demand) and our vast experience, LA SELVA also offers you as much world class efficiency as you want. The cabanas come of native design; rustic, authentic, confortable with unexpected amenities such as hot water and sanitary facilities that are not commonly encountered deep in the jungle.
The food is our pride. It blends the finest ingredients Ecuador has to offer with French, North American and Ecuadorian culinary skills. Expect to try most of these fruits: uvillas, guayabas, guanabanas, naranjillas, morete, obos, taxo, granadilla and tomate de arbol. We make Amazonian pizza that will rival any; veal milanesa a l'Amazon; and local fish, when available, prepared with one of our numerous original recipes (Vegetarian and special diets are available request).
What to do at La Selva Jungle Lodge:
Surrounding the lodge and across the lake are extensive trail systems, which offer many wildlife viewing opportunities for birdwatchers and naturalists. Many of the trails are purposely underdeveloped, increasing the chances of wildlife encounters. The rivers and lakes offer yet another way explore the surroundings from the perspective of the canoeing. Also within reach of the lodge are challenging mountainous excursions, which offer a completely different ecosystem and species diversity. The possibilities are endless.
- TREK IN THE VECINITY OF THE INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY:
- To begin the tour, we will cross Garzacocha Lake. We will then set off on a 2-3 hour walk on a purposely-underdeveloped trail, which provides some physical challenge. Half of the walk takes place in primary forest and the other half passes the huts of our indigenous neighbours along the Napo River.
- MANDICOCHA TRAIL:
- An easy trail close to the hotel in an area which is usually filled with wildlife no matter what hour of the day you do it. The excursion can last as long as you want.
- A 3 to 4 hour trip. Follow the Mandicocha trail until you reach Mandicocha Lake, which has a completely different ecosystem from Lake Garzacocha (where the hotel is located). Board paddle canoes for a one and half hour glide down Mandiyacu stream. One easily sees the myriad of wildlife that presents itself along the shores of the stream. Arriving at the Napo River, board a motorised canoe for the trip back to LA SELVA.
- EL SALADO:
- This is a two-hour excursion often combined with a picnic lunch and trips across the Napo River (see following activities). Visit a site where, with a little luck, parrots, parakeets and macaws can be seen by the thousands.
- HIGH FOREST TRAIL:
- The duration of this trail can vary from 3 to 5 hours. Cross the Napo River and arrive at a challenging mountainous trail, which offers yet another ecosystem. This is a chance to see birds and other wildlife seen nowhere else ... as well as a chance to eat lemon ants!
- CHALLUACOCHA LAKE:
- This is a motorised canoe trip down the Napo River, followed by a walk and a paddle canoe trip to Challuacocha for a picnic at a shelter overlooking the lake. You will then have the opportunity to enjoy some relaxing canoeing, fishing for piranhas, or a two-hour hike through yet another unique forest.
- PILCHE TRAIL:
- On this tour we'll firstly cross Garzacocha Lake and then walk for one hour or more. We'll see an enormous colony of leafcutter ants and whatever wildlife may come our way.
- NIGHT EXCURSIONS:
- There are opportunities to go on canoe or walking trips after dark to view nocturnal animals such as caimans, monkeys, insect and owls. Sample the LA SELVA nightlife!
- 135 FOOT OBSERVATION TOWER:
- Not far from the lodge you can spend many hours observing birds flying by at eye-level, wildlife of all kinds, and yes, a bird's-eye view of it all.
- BUTTERFLY FARM:
- This activity is available every afternoon. Close to the lodge, you'll be able to watch and photograph butterflies at close range. With a little luck, you'll also witness the miracle of metamorphosis.
- PEDRO'S TRAIL:
- Two versions of this trip are available. You can either cross Garzacocha Lake, walk through virgin forest, and arrive at the tower in about 4 hours or pass by the Butterfly Farm and join the trail in the middle, which will take just 2 hours.
- CHAWAMANGO'S TRAIL:
- On this trip we head east at Mandicocha trailhead and walk parallel to the lake, arriving at Napo River. We'll then return by elevated walkway and cross Garzacocha by canoe. This trip takes about 3 hours.
- LITTLE CHAWAMANGO:
- This is a short trip by foot around the edge of Lake Garzacocha. We return to the lodge by canoe.
- RUTH'S TRAIL:
- Across Mandicocha, the trail just goes on and on and on... This is a very good place to look for jaguars. The trail is named after the owner's mother.
Please try to pack just what you need for the program, and kindly find below La Selva Jungle Lodge suggested packing list:
- Dollars in small denominations, as well as travel checks for bar service and gratuities
- Prescription medicine (make sure you have sufficient supplies)
- Personal first aid kit
- Flashlight with Alkaline Batteries (available for sale at La Selva Jungle Lodge). If you wish you can get a headlamp model that is suggested by the guides.
- Camera, enough film and batteries (suggested film ASA 400)
- Binoculars and a pocket knife
- Rain poncho (available for sale at La Selva Jungle Lodge)
- Umbrella (guest suggestion)
- Insect repellent
- Suntan lotion or sun protector
- Plastic bags with zip loc: to protect gear for rain
- Rubber boots (most sizes available for free at La Selva Jungle Lodge - enquire about your size)
- Camp shoes: sneakers, watershoes, tevas or thongs, etc.
- Arrival and departure shoes if different from camp shoes
- At least one pair of underwear and socks for each day (knee socks are good if you wear shorts with your boots)
- 3 long sleeve (lightweight) shirts
- 2 T-shirts
- 1 long pant for arrival and departure
- 1 lightweight pant for night use around La Selva Jungle Lodge
- 2 Field pants - old or durable and not of jean material because it will not dry if wet
- 2 shorts
- Handkerchief (bandanna) and brim hat or cap (available for sale at La Selva Jungle Lodge)
- Bathing suit
- Light sweater & lightweight jacket
- Small backpack
- Bio-degradable soap and shampoo are a MUST (for camping)
It is always hard to talk about clothing because of the number of ways you can see and be at La Selva Jungle Lodge.
The clothing will vary according to how much adventuring you plan to do. If you plan to paddle around the lake, eat and take "siestas": a pair of shorts, a bathing suit, and not a whole lot else will be necessary.
However, if you choose the take excursions, La Selva Jungle Lodge suggests:
- At least one pair of socks for each day
- Long pants and shorts
- Rubber boots (most normal sizes available at La Selva Jungle Lodge)
- Tennis, running or other comfortable shoes
- A couple of long and short sleeve shirts and t-shirts
- A bathing suit
- A sweater and/or jacket
Forest colors help to blend into the surroundings and may increase the chances of seeing wildlife; however, no special purchases are required.
Rates per person in 2013:
|4 days/3 nights
|5 days/4 nights
|4 days/3 nights
|5 days/4 nights
|4 days/3 nights
|5 days/4 nights
For single rates add 30% to regular rates.
- 4 days / 3 nights program:
- Wednesday - Saturday
- Friday - Monday
- 5 days / 4 nights program:
- Monday - Friday
- Saturday - Wednesday
- Airport assistance (Quito and Coca)
- All meals
- Native guide and bilingual naturalist guide
- Transportation Coca - La Selva - Coca
- Airfare Quito - Coca - Quito (US$ 160 per person, subject to change)
- National Park Entrance Fee (approx US$50)
- Extras and personal expenses
Prices may vary due to currency exchange rate fluctuations.
For terms and conditions click here.
For booking inquiries and further information please contact Sacred Earth