Sacred Earth Travel - Sustainable Nature and Adventure Travel

ECUADOR QUICKLINKS



Sani Eco-Lodge - a hidden treasure
sani (26K)

Sani Lodge is truly a one of a kind eco-lodge, dedicated to ecotourism, environmental conservation, and community life in the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. The wildlife at Sani Lodge is outstanding, although it is obviously not possible to say exactly what the average visitor is likely to see due to the tremendous general biodiversity and the scarcity of some particular Amazon species.

On the other hand, all the major mammals endemic to the area can be found here. There are also many types of monkeys and most visitors will be able to see at least a few varieties. Bird life is also excellent and Challuacocha is home to 5 species of Kingfishers, many species of parrots, macaws and toucans as well as tanagers, cormorants, cotingas and many others. All told, some 550 species of rainforest birds can be found in the area - making it an excellent place for bird watching.

In the lagoon Caiman, frogs, turtles and strange looking fish can all be seen. Snakes are seldom apparent, but may be encountered on night walks. Don't worry though, poisonous snakes are quite rare. Terrestrial Amazon mammals, like Jaguars, Tapirs and Capybara are all here, but are mostly nocturnal and difficult to see, but then again, you never know.

sanicanoe (35K)

Facilities:

Clustered on the shore of a remote black water lagoon are our 8 newly constructed private, thatch-roofed cabañas. Each is equipped with twin beds, hammocks, electric lights, and modern bathrooms with showers. Our open-air dining room and bar offer exquisite views of colorful sunsets over our beautiful lake. And since the facility is powered entirely by solar panels, there is no noisy generator to drown out the magical night sounds of the jungle.

Getting There

The Lodge is located on a black water lagoon that feeds a small stream or "Yacu" that empties into the Napo. At the confluence of the Yacu and the Napo you will be transferred to a small, motorized dugout, suitable for navigating the winding black water stream. After a brief 30-minute motor up this beautiful yacu, where large blue morpho butterflies and various species of neotropical birds and monkeys are often seen, the yacu widens into a sweeping lagoon.

Saniroom (39K)

Staying at Sani Lodge

Once arrived at the lodge you can settle into your modern cabaña and then join your guide for an orientation talk, light snack, and a free "welcome drink" in the bar at the water's edge. After being fitted in rubber boots, it's off for an afternoon excursion into the jungle. All expeditions are guided by a bilingual naturalist AND an expert Quichua native, who will introduce you to the ecology of the tropical rain forest. Learn of medicinal and traditionally useful plants treasured by the Quichua community, observe unique birds, unusual insects, and fascinating animals. Don't worry your guides will be sure to get you back to the lodge in time for a shower and a cocktail before dinner is served at 7:30 p.m.

Relax in our comfortable dining room or bar. Take in the beautiful panoramic views of our large and mysterious lake. Enjoy a leisurely four-course meal featuring an international cuisine that is enhanced with samples of traditional forest and Quichua foods to give you a better understanding of life in the jungle. All meals are attended by a full wait staff, and bar service is available any time during the day.

Organized activities during your stay at the Lodge are customized to your interests. Our program includes early morning hikes, canoe trips around our lagoon, piranha fishing, and night walk adventures. Climb our 30-meter high canopy observation tower, built around a mighty Kapok, for a bird's eye view of the area. Our extensive network of trails provides easy access to many different ecological zones, from Tierra Firma, to aqueous swamps, ecosystems teaming with unique wild life and plant diversity. An expert bird guide is available for all who are interested in viewing the large diversity of avian species that inhabit the area.

All travelers to Sani Lodge spend a day on the opposite or south side of the Rio Napo. The Napo divides the region and segregates animal populations and plant communities. Here on the south side for example, you can find 4 different species of monkey that cannot be seen to the north, and observe geological variations in terrain. There is also a clay lick on the south side of the Napo that welcomes many species of parrots. You may observe, without disturbing these beautiful birds from a thatched blind.

The final day of your tour begins early, generally about daybreak. After breakfast your luggage is loaded, and you will embark on your final float down the Yacu. Floating quietly on this pristine stream in the early morning light offers you a last chance to view wildlife and take in the beauty of the unspoiled rainforest. At the mouth of the Yacu, you are met by the larger canoe for the trip upstream to Coca and the flight to Quito.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Day 1:

Your journey starts with a 35-minute flight from Quito at 7:30 am to Coca where the sta will pick you up and transfer to a local hotel located on the banks of Napo River. There, your bilingual guides will explain about safety before embarking for a 2 ½ boat trip on the largest Ecuadorian auent of the Amazon, the Napo River. During the journey you get a taste of the Amazon; ancestral communities, birds such as: herons, egrets, vultures, while enjoying delicious packed lunch. The canoe ride is followed by a 15 minute walk through flooded forest and 20-minute paddle canoe across our beautiful Lake. The sta will welcome you with refreshing cold drinks and snacks before you settle down in your cabins.
Late afternoon, you will have a short walk on the nearby trails or a canoe ride with many chances to observe primates, Amazonian birds, black caimans and a close encounter with the amazing flora represented by cedar trees, orchids, and bromeliads. Return to the lodge, where our chef will be happy to oer a wide variety of national and international cuisine that caters vegetarians and vegans. Briefing about Amazonia will be given by one of our bilingual guides, while enjoying Ecuadorian beers, spirits and cocktails prepared by our bartender.

Day 2:

After breakfast, experience the life on the tree tops from the 36 meter (118 ft.) observation tower. To get there your leaders will paddle on our Lake for 30 minutes followed by a short 10-minute walk. Over 565 species of birds have been registered so far, including colorful birds such as macaws, toucans, honeycreepers, tanagers, flycatchers, hummingbirds and with a bit of luck a close view of howler, squirrel monkeys or sloths resting on the canopy. The tower gives you a unique perspective, opening up a whole new world of Amazon biodiversity that is often dicult, if not impossible to see from the understory. The journey continues exploring the nearby trails searching for more Amazonian creatures. Return to the lodge for lunch.
After lunch there are many alternatives for your enjoyment, bird-watching from the dining hall or simply get relaxed on the hammocks. In the afternoon, hike on our trails, fantastic terra-firme forest to discover the relationships among the dierent living creatures and the role they play in this complex ecosystem. Orchids, vines, strangle figs, ancient trees; bromeliads are all part of this fabulous tropical rainforest. Dinner at the lodge. After diner explore our black-water Oxbow Lake, one of the increasingly rare havens for the endangered black caiman, supporting a healthy population of these large up to 6 meter (18ft.) long south-American crocodilian. Back to the lodge.

Day 3:

Explore the hidden corners of our Lodge in a 7 hour hike on our Largest trail for a close encounter with stunning wildlife represented by woolly monkeys, troops of Squirrel and white fronted capuchin monkeys, parrots, macaws, toucans and with a bit of luck tapirs and even peccaries. Discover the magic world of untouched and virgin forest in a life-time experience. For your total enjoyment lunch will be served in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by tree ferns, ancient kapoks, palms, and tons of magical energy at all levels. Return in the afternoon to the lodge for diner. After diner take a night walk to see how myriads of insects, spiders and frogs come alive.

Day 4:

After breakfast head back to the Napo River to board the boat and visit the parrot wall at Yasuní National Park for a wonderful view of hundreds of parrots searching for a gap to land and eat the earth. Here you will see Mealy Amazon, Yellow-crowned, Orange-winged and Blue-headed parrots. Head back to our Community Center to visit a native house to get a taste of how a typical Kichwa family lives. Enjoy their food, drinks, customs, and culture of the community and learn how the lifestyle of the locals is environmentally sustainable. Learn how to make organic chocolate from the Cocoa seed and visit the natural pool where they grow the Cachama typical fish species of the area that you will try later in a typical dish named Maito. Depart on time to get your flight back to Quito at 11:40am


 

 

Rates per person for 2017
Package Double or Triple Single
4d/3n US$1058 US$1270
5d/4n US$1324 US$1589
6d/5n US$1587 US$1905
7d/6n US$1852 US$2223
8d/7n US$2115 US$2538

Children under 5 years old stay free, 5 to twelve years old have 50% discount, 12 and up pay full price. Price includes accommodation, 3 meals per day, a native guide, a bilingual guide, rubber boots for the walks, excursions and transportation from Coca’s airport to the lodge and vice versa (on operating days).

Included:

Not included:

*Departures: Mondays and Fridays. Starting the program on other days incurs an extra fee for unscheduled river transport, except for groups of at least 6 passengers, which can depart at any time. For boat transfers of fewer than 6 passengers on any days except Mondays and Fridays there is an additional flat fee fuel surcharge of $400.

For booking inquiries and further information please contact Sacred Earth

What Makes Sani Different?

Sani Lodge is an ecoturism facility owned and operated by the Sani Isla Quichua community. With a vast land holding of over 16,000 hectares (40,000 acres), Sani Lodge controls and protects the largest, privately held area of rainforest in all of Ecuador. The Lodge is an important first step toward meeting the goals this indigenous community has set for the future; first is the preservation of the land, the plants, and the animals, and second is the advancement of an improved educational system for the community. Profits generated by the lodge will be used to help further the education of the young people of the community. There are plans for an indigenous high school in Coca, where community members will be prepared for university as well as educated in traditional Quichua culture and knowledge. This means that by visiting Sani Lodge you are participating in the direct conservation of both the rainforest and its peoples.

However, the community also recognizes the need for outside guidance and assistance. Therefore, the Quichua have hired English speaking administrators and naturalist guides with extensive "five star" ecotourism experience, from outside the community, to insure the highest standards of quality valued by European and American guests.

Finally, what makes Sani truly remarkable and utterly different is the forest. In addition to being home to over 550 species of birds, Sani Lodge offers a wildlife community that cannot be found at many other lodges along the Rio Napo-or anywhere in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The area surrounding Sani Lodge supports many healthy populations of animals which are critically endangered throughout the Amazon. Several groups of Woolly Monkeys, the largest, most gregarious, and most endangered monkey species in the region, reside in the trees above the trails at Sani. Black Caiman, the largest relative of the alligator in South America, sometimes reaching 5 meters in length are rare elsewhere, but common in our lagoon and can easily be seen at night, sometimes even during the day. And waterfowl such as Wattled Jacana, Sungreb, Anhinga, and Neotropical Cormerant, difficult to see in smaller lagoons, are generally common and easy to view at Sani.