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Napo Wildlife Center

The Amazonian rainforest is pulsing with life in all directions. While traveling here, you might hear the eerie roar of a troupe of howler monkeys overhead, while beneath your feet find certain medicinal roots that can relieve a toothache. Forging further ahead, you’re likely to come upon a remote indigenous village, and while exploring by canoe, you’re sure to be eyed by a caiman resting on the riverbank. Exploring the rainforest, you’ll discover wonders of all types!

Unrivaled in scale, complexity and diversity, the Amazon is a place of near-mythical status among travelers. Roughly the size of the forty-eight contiguous United States, the Amazon includes not only Brazil but parts of seven other South American countries as well.

Among these nations is Ecuador, whose portion of the Amazon is regarded as the most accessible. For example, you can leave the Ecuadorian capital city in the morning and find yourself kicking back in the hammock of an Amazonian lodge by lunchtime. Ecuador is also a leader in community-based tourism initiatives, where the value of both the rainforest and the heritage of its inhabitants’ is recognized and prized.

In the Ecuadorian Amazon, one of the finest lodges is unquestionably the Napo Wildlife Center (NWC). Situated in the northern part of the country’s Amazonian region, the NWC is the only Napo River lodge located within the famed Yasuni National Park. The lodge is reached after a 40-minute flight from Quito to the town of Coca, followed by a scenic 2-1/2hour motorized canoe trip down the majestic Napo River (a major tributary to the Amazon River). The upscale eco-lodge sits on the edge of its own private lake and is close to the local Añangu Kichwa indigenous community – whose members are the owners and operators of the facility and grounds.

Upon landing, your local guide will be waiting, ready to lead you on excursions on which you’ll experience everything from an authentic shaman ceremony to parrot clay licks, as well as birding, forest trail treks, nocturnal safaris, piranha fishing, canoe exploring and so much more.

The lodge itself offers luxurious, five-star accommodations in every respect. The Napo Wildlife Center was built according to traditional architectural principles – but with all the modern conveniences needed to enjoy the most biodiverse spot on the planet. It consists of 16 thatched luxury bungalows, each with a spotlessly clean private bathroom, mosquito nets, and a private balcony for soaking up the views of the surrounding lake and rainforest. The rooms – or rather cabanas – provide complete intimacy. In fact, you’ll feel as if you were the only guests in the middle of the jungle. Scary? We would rather say thrilling and exciting. The lodge also features two observation towers that will humble you after you glimpse the boundless “sea of green” from above the forest canopy.

It can be overwhelming even to think about this unknown vastness of the Amazon, let alone plan a trip here. The word “Amazon” alone conjures up fearsome images in even the most intrepid travelers. How do you even begin coming to grips with this expansive region, the lungs of planet Earth? 

We at Surtrek are here to say that Ecuador can be a user-friendly place for exploring this last untamed miracle of nature. Surtrek travel professionals are more than happy to assist in customizing your journey “from soup to nuts” – meaning, from the moment you touch down in Quito until the time you leave. We will oversee the tiniest details and assure that you have the very best guides, excursions, trip itinerary, city and rainforest lodging, and the most efficient and comfortable air, ground and river transportation. Custom-designed adventures are Surtrek’s specialty, and we’re here to work with you to create your perfect Amazonian experience. 

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“My parent wanted to go to Peru and see Machu Picchu, Titicaca lake and Nazca Lines. Surtrek made a perfect customized plan for them. ”Nakyoung Park

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