Here you are immersed in the natural world
Sacha Lodge is found within a 5000-acre private ecological reserve in Ecuador’s Amazon region, an accessible yet pristine rainforest sanctuary where you and your family may enjoy a true jungle adventure in safety and comfort.
Sacha Lodge (“Sacha” is the Quichua Indian word meaning “forest”) was a dream founded by Arnold Ammeter, or as he is more commonly known, “Benny.” Born in Interlaken, Switzerland, Benny boarded a ship and headed for Chile in 1963. After spending only three months there, his thirst for adventure and the forests of South America had been awakening.
Since its foundation in 1992, Sacha Lodge has proven that it is possible to sustain a healthy balance between economic development, rainforest conservation, local human advancement and respect to local culture. We pride ourselves by maintaining this social and ecological responsibility, which is the basis of true Ecotourism. Sacha Lodge is an Ecuadorian company which, generates employment to about 100 families who form a part of our team. Most Lodge employees come from local communities (the few exceptions being the administrator, chef and bilingual guides), making Sacha the largest tourism-sector employer in Ecuador’s Amazon region. This not only brings direct economic benefits to these communities, but also provides them with a practical alternative to harmful activities such as logging and oil exploration. In addition, having employees work as native guides offers them the opportunity to share their ancestral knowledge with others plus an incentive to continue passing it on to their children in a changing world.
Since 1995 Sacha has also invested heavily in acquiring land from neighboring colonists. Not to be confused with rainforest natives, these colonists came from cities and would have relied on heavy farming and hunting to survive. Thanks to such efforts, we have saved over 5000 acres from deforestation and are now the largest private reserve in the Ecuadorian rainforest. Through our efforts, we hope to help ensure that future generations of both natives and visitors have the opportunity to continue enjoying the wonders of the tropical rainforest.
Depart Quito´s airport at 11:00am (subject to change). A 30-minute flight over the Andes Mountains leads you to a bustling oil town called Coca located in the Amazon Basin. A quick lunch in Sacha´s private house and then it’s off to the town docks where you will board Sacha´s private canoes for the 2-hour journey down river to Sacha´s Lodges property.
A 30-minute hike through the rainforest leads you to lake Pilchicocha. Here, you are met by native workers to paddle you across the lake to your final destination. Arrive at Sacha Lodge around 15:30 or 16:00 pm.
Swim in Lake Pilchicocha, which is a black water lake home to many species of fish and animals. A refreshing swim after arriving may be just what you need after being in the equatorial heat all day. Bird observing from the mini tower offers guests an excellent opportunity to view several species of birds common around the lodge. Also, a great place to watch the sun set.
Visit the butterfly house with your naturalist guide to view the beautiful colors of many different species of butterflies.
After dinner, accompany your naturalist guide on a night walk through the rainforest to view the hundreds of different species of animals that can only be found at night. Or maybe a canoe ride on the lake to view the spectacled and black caimans with their glowing orange eyes as you silently paddle across the lake to get a closer view.
Begin morning activity between 6:00 and 7:00.
Begin walking on trail Liana Chica and arrive at the canopy walk, for spectacular views of the rainforest canopy and the many different species of vibrantly colored birds.
Designed to be a self-standing rigid suspension canopy walk. It is one of only a few in the world! Located within Sacha´s private reserve, 2 miles from the shores of the Rio Napo and 1 mile from the lodge, the bird walk gives guests the opportunity to get an up close and personal view of the rainforest canopy. Two of the three towers have observation decks every 12 meters making towers accessible for everyone. The canopy walkway is at 36 meters high and 275 meters long, giving guests a “bird’s eye view” of all the wonders and beauty the tropical rainforest has to offer. The canopy walk is designed as a sturdy walkway enabling guests to casually move along while enjoying the spectacular views.
After the canopy walk, Liana Grande through terra firma and igapo forest habitats where native guides will explain many different species of medicinal plants that have been being used in their culture for hundreds of years.
Liana Grande will turn into the trail Higueron, which will take you through pristine primary forest with huge Kapok and Fig trees towering hundreds of feet above your head.
After lunch, you may choose to take a leisurely hike along the Rio Napo, or choose a little more challenging hike on the trail Leoncillo to try and spot the elusive dusky titi monkey. Either way the trails will lead you back to the main boardwalk for your final hike and canoe ride back to the lodge.
Leaving the lodge after breakfast, you begin your hike on trail Lagartococha. This trail offers you the chance to learn more about the native people and their relationship with the forest. Learn about the trees where native people believe the spirits of their ancestors live, and the mysterious “dwende” or devil-man of the forest. After arriving at lake Lagartococha, take a tranquil canoe ride through a natural swamp, which is the home of anacondas, caimans, and capybaras.
After the canoe ride, a walk on the other side of Largatococha may give you the opportunity to spot capuchin or squirrel monkeys playfully jumping through the trees.
Return from the walk or canoe ride and head back to the lodge for a refreshing dip in the lake, or a nice relaxing nap in your personal hammock on your private balcony.
After lunch, your native guide will teach you how to fish for the infamous razor-toothed piranha. Keep in mind that piranhas will never attack a person and swimming at the same time is perfectly safe and fun!
Around 15:30 you will begin what many think is the best trail at Sacha, a silent canoe ride through the flooded Amazonian forest. Where you have a good chance of being surrounded by 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 your eye-popping ride through the flooded forest, you will arrive at Sacha´s 135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient Kapok tree. Get close up views of vibrantly colored birds through Sacha´s powerful scopes, and watch the sunset with an amazing view of Mount Sumaco, a volcano, and possibly a view of the snow-covered caps of the Andes!
Leaving the tower just before or after sunset will give you an experience not soon forgotten. A canoe ride back through the flooded forest at night will be an awe-inspiring experience. Listen to the symphony of frogs and insects as you navigate through the narrow-flooded forest trail, keeping your eyes open for caimans. Watch the several species of bats flying over your heads and listen to the many species of nocturnal birds making their eerie nighttime calls. Finally, after your mesmerizing canoe trip through the Amazon, you will arrive back at lake Pilchicocha and the welcoming lights of Sacha lodge.
A chance to view four different species of parrots at the same time is something that should not be missed. Sacha is close enough to Yasuni National Park that a 30-minute motorized canoe ride down the Napo to the parrot lick is well worth it. Leaving at six in the morning from Sacha and arriving at the lick around 7:30 will give you plenty of time to get close up views of the parrots eating the clay to neutralize the acids which they get from eating their many different types of fruits and leaves. Arriving back at the lodge around 11 am or so gives you plenty of time to swim or relax before lunch is served. Visit the butterfly house once again to photograph the beautifully colored butterflies.
For your afternoon activity, Pantano is the trail to take. Pantano offers you several different types of rainforest habitats. From secondary to primary forests as well as flooded forest and swampy areas. An excellent trail for monkeys and birds in the afternoon, your naturalist and native guides will intrigue you with their knowledge of the jungle and its inhabitants as well as provide you with an everlasting experience and memory of the neotropical rainforest.
Breakfast and a departure from the lodge at 7:30 am.for an easy walk on the boardwalk to watch monkeys one last time before your final departure. Arrive in Coca and be escorted to the Coca airport where all plane tickets will be in the hands of Sacha employees waiting to help you board the plane and a final farewell. Scheduled arrival at Quito´s airport is at 12:30 pm (subject to change).
Early breakfast, and last excursion canoeing back to the Napo river, the creek may reveal new sights of Giant otters, Monk Saki monkeys, hoatzins, blackcapped donacobius or other birds. The motorized canoe will take you back to Coca, for the flight back to Quito.
- We can begin and end our programs on any day of the week, except on Sundays
- Visit to the parrot clay lick is offered on Wednesday and Sundays at no extra cost (optional visit, if weather permitting)
- Sample Itinerary subject to change due to weather, specific interests and physical abilities of our guests
Double or triple occupancy $ 1290.00
Single occupancy $1935.00
Children under 12 years $903.00
Children under 5 hotel free
- All meals
- Welcome drink
- Water, tea and coffee in all meals
- Aquatic transportation
- Excursions with native and bilingual guides
- Impermeable poncho and rubber boots
- Activities: Treetop Walk, Kapok Tower, Forest walks, Nighttime caiman spotting, Piranha fishing, Butterfly house, Lake Pool
- Air tickets Quito-Coca-Quito with assistance from the airport in Quito
- Other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
- Other non-specified requirements
- Native community interpretation center entrance fee $5.00pp paid locally (optional visit)
Small day pack for excursions. Zip lock-type plastic bags to cover optics or other gear.
Insect repellent (Skin-so-soft or DEET product with at least 20% concentration). No inflammable sprays as they are not allowed by the airline. Sunscreen lotion with a high SPF factor.
Flashlight or headlamp bright enough for use on night walks.
Personal toiletries and medications (carry medications with you when arriving and leaving the lodge).
Extra batteries/film/video tapes as appropriate.
Original passport (always good to have while traveling)
Credit card Visa, MasterCard and Diners for bar bills and cash (US$) for Artesania purchases.