Itamandi Full Jungle Experience
Day 1 : Arriving at Itamandi Ecolodge
Arriving-Itamandi-Ecolodge - 3:00pm We start our trip to Itamandi EcoLodge at the Arajuno Bridge, where we will take a motorized canoe going upstream for 20 minutes to begin our great experience in the tropical forest. On this ride you can appreciate the magic and beauty of the Amazon rainforest driving along a zigzag river that flows in the jungle like a giant snake, considered the vein system of the Pacha Mama (mother Earth).
Once we arrive at the dock area of Itamandi EcoLodge, the resident manager will greet you with a delicious welcome drink. From there we will continue to relax in the bar area with a snack and a short briefing will be held with general information about the lodge and activities, provided by one of our naturalist guides.
6:30pm Night walk (optional) A flashlight and camera are the most important tools on this night excursion, which allows guests to hear the nocturnal sounds and to look for fishing bats, owls, some insects, tarantulas, toads and frogs, and possibly snakes. If the sky is clear, we might have the chance to do some stargazing.
Day 2 : Cultural Encounter with a Kichwa Parrot
5:45am – 6:00am (if the climate it permits) Parrot Clay Lick Early in the morning we take a canoe ride for 15 minutes upstream to visit a parrot clay lick (Saladero) to appreciate a unique site where parrots and parakeets gather in order to obtain the minerals that will help them to digest the fruits or seeds they have consumed. Hundreds of parrots and parakeets will approach the treetops and later will come down to the clay bank to eat this soil rich in minerals. It is essential to have binoculars to enjoy it.
8:00am Breakfast After a scrumptious breakfast we head out for a hike through the primary and secondary Rainforest. Our expert naturalists teach you about the ecology and flora and fauna of the Rainforest along the trail. You will observe a great variety of insects, a diversity of birds flying around us and with some luck reptiles or monkeys. This activity takes about 2 ½ -3hours.
Back at Itamandi EcoLodge for Lunch and a siesta.
In the afternoon it is time to enjoy a cultural activity. An Amazonian Kichwa community will receive us and we learn about their way of life and the interaction they have with the forest. This encounter is going to show you that part of the Amazonia that you do not find on the maps: the Amazon people.
Part of our visit to the community involves the demonstration of the famous “Chicha”, a fermented yucca drink that has become part of their festivals and daily use. We will take part in the preparation of this beverage and also try some of the local cuisine.
We finish the visit with a traditional dance performed by the kids in this community and you also have some time to buy some handicrafts, made by the indigenous. This little business is to support the indigenous people in their daily life.
6:30pm Making of artisanal chocolate (optional)
Day 3 : Canoe Trip to the city of Coca arajuno-river
9:00am Check-out from Itamandi Ecolodge to take a motorized canoe ride for about 6 hours to the city of Coca. We navigate the Arajuno River downstream to get to the majestic Napo River, where we will look out for wildlife, like monkeys, turtles and herons. Also we will observe the flora on the way and Indians washing gold and local natural style of life.
The lunch is offered on a beach, and it is possible to swim.
Once we arrive in Coca we will check in in our hotel and the afternoon is free to explore the town of Coca.
Day 4 : ransfer to Jamu Lodge, Cuyabeno jamu-lodge
8:00am Pick up and transfer to Cuyabeno
We will go by private transportation to the entrance of Cuyabeno River (ca. 3 hours), where we will have a box lunch. At this point the visitors have to register in the Reserve’s office. Our Naturalist Guide will give information about the Reserve, important recommendations and other tips to begin the two hours navigation on the Cuyabeno River to reach Jamu Lodge in the afternoon. At that time you will be shown to your rooms and you can relax a little. After a siesta, we will leave the camp for a swim in the lagoon and to watch a beautiful sunset in the middle of the Laguna Grande. You will then return to the camp for dinner. You will spend the night in bungalows with double beds and Mosquito nets.
Day 5 : Jungle Expedition
After breakfast we will take a trek in the primary forest for 3 to 4 hours, where your guide will explain how the complex tropical ecosystem works. You will be able to learn about medicinal plants and might be able to see some exotic birds or monkeys. We will then return to the camp for lunch and a siesta. In the afternoon, we will go to the lagoon and watch the sunset. With a little luck you can observe the pink river dolphins or an anaconda sunbathing in a tree. You will return to the camp for dinner, and take a canoe night ride to look for caimans.
Day 6 : Visit to Siona Community
We depart to head to the Siona Community of Puerto Bolivar, the largest ethnic group in the Reserve. During this tour you will learn their customs, traditions and way of life. You will be part of the elaboration of the Casabe; local dish made of yucca (carbohydrates are the principal food of the community). A visit to the Shaman is also included. He will explain some more about life in the jungle. The trip takes 1 hour navigation downstream to get there, on the way it will be possible to admire the existing fauna along the Rio Cuyabeno such as: birds, monkeys, snakes, pink dolphins, tortoises and many others. This is a full day excursion with lunch in the Community. After that we return to the lodge to go for a nocturnal hike through the primary forest in search of insects, spiders, geckos or scorpions, and listen to the night sounds of the jungle. We will have dinner and spend the night in the lodge.
Day 7 : Time to say goodbye
Early in the morning before breakfast a bird-watching excursion is optional. Back at the lodge we have breakfast and you will start the journey back upstream on the Cuyabeno River. Lunch (box lunch) at the bridge. The bus will take you to Lago Agrio, where our tour ends.