Pangayacu Cultural Visit
After breakfast the group will board a dugout canoe, and navigate 20 minutes down the waters of the scenic Napo River. The destination is Pangayacu, where during an approximately three-hour walk through primary rainforest visitors will have the opportunity to see actual hunting traps which were traditionally used by the local natives in the past. The guides will demonstrate how they work and explain which type of animals was caught in each one. And of course, at all times we will be on the lookout for tropical birds, and point out important aspects of the surrounding vegetation. The trail leads to the home of a Quichua Indian family, whose garden contains many medicinal plants still commonly used today. Your guide will explain how they are prepared, and afterwards serve lunch (which will be sent from the hotel) near the edge of the Napo. Later, the group will continue on to the village of Ahuano, where we may learn about several aspects of traditional Quichua culture. A local host will show us how to make chicha, a typical beverage (which of course all may taste), and demonstrate the spiritual cleaning rituals still practiced today throughout the surrounding community. Finally, all may participate in a blowgun target-shooting contest – but don’t expect to beat the natives!
This visit consists of a walk through primary and secondary forest trails, along which it is possible to observe distinct species of birds and insects as well as a great variety of trees and medicinal plants. The guides will explain how such plants are used not only in medicine, but also in construction and other important local activities. Along the trails guests may enjoy several opportunities for adventure, such as hanging bridges, and vines for swinging from tree to tree. After the walk you may choose to eat lunch in the jungle, and later live the incredible experience of building and navigating a raft! On a small river island your guide will show you how to tie balsa logs together, so those who wish can float down the Napo for about an hour back to La Casa del Suizo. The duration of this visit is around 4 hours, and from 5 to 6 hours if you choose to have lunch in the forest.
For our more physically limited guests, who do not wish or are not able to participate in all of the activities listed above, we have alternatives such as "The Island": A one-hour walk along a totally flat river island, where one may observe a great variety of plants and insects. It is also possible to visit an artisan in the village of Ahuano, who will demonstrate how the traditional Quichua ceramics are created, painted, and hardened.