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Napo Wildlife Center - Birding Tour 4-Night Itinerary

Among the most exciting Ecuadorian birding tours are those in the country’s Amazon; a place whose name alone evokes images of pre-historic looking hoatzins on ox-bow lakes, or antbirds, antthrushes, small flycatchers and ground-cuckoos feasting on swarms of ants.

The beauty is that all of these images — as numerous as they are — can be found in the Ecuadorian Amazon at the Napo Wildlife Center, a real paradise for nature lovers.

On the 5-day/4-night birding tour overviewed here, you will be introduced to this magical place where you can revel in the wide range of natural habitats that provide ideal conditions for the highest diversity of birds.


“Thanks so much again! Surtrek, a realiable travel partner and service provider of Operation Earth for our Galapagos Expedition program!”Leon Chen


Ecuadorian Amazon, Kichwa Anangu Community, Canopy Observation Tower, Hiking, Paddle-Canoe Exploring, Parrot Clay Licks, Wildlife Watching

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Quito Departure – Rainforest Arrival – Napo Wildlife Center
Day 2: Kichwa Anangu Community – Canopy Observation Tower – Terra Firma Hiking – Paddle-Canoe Exploring
Day 3: Parrot Clay Licks – Interpretation Center
Day 4: Wildlife Watching – Paddle-Canoe Exploring
Day 5: Napo River Boat Ride – Departure
South America Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Quito Departure – Rainforest Arrival – Napo Wildlife Center

AM: This morning we’ll take a short 30- minute flight from Quito to the town of Francisco de Orellana (better known as “Coca”), the gateway to the Amazon. The town is named after Francisco de Orellana, who in 1541 set sail on a locally constructed brigantine to make the first voyage across the continent to the Atlantic Ocean. Your ride will be far more comfortable, though, as you will receive snacks and bottled water as you cruise in comfort and safety in a 40-seater boat powered by two 75 horsepower outboard engines. Roof and plastic side-curtains will offer a comfortable trip preventing you and your gear from getting wet if it rains; otherwise sit back and enjoy the breeze and views along the mighty Napo. Traveling for about 2-1/2 hours, we will finally reach the welcome station of the Napo Wildlife Center (NWC). Here, we will transfer to a smaller canoe and paddle up the Añangu Creek to the NWC lodge, which is situated on the shore of a tranquil lake amid a huge tract of primary rainforest within the Anangu Kichwa community. Once you reach the Napo Wildlife Center, you will be welcomed as a traditional drink and then shown to your cabin, where you will find stunning views of the wilderness and natural gardens bordering the lodge.

PM: In the late afternoon, you can go on a short walk to the Napo riverbank to enjoy a striking sunset over the shore and natural islands of the Napo River. Afterwards, we will return to the lodge for a delicious traditional dinner at the lodge’s restaurant. As the kitchen area is open to visitors, you will be welcome to see how the meals are cooked by the chef.

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2
Kichwa Anangu Community – Canopy Observation Tower – Terra Firma Hiking – Paddle-Canoe Exploring

AM: This morning you’ll have to get up early – at 4:30 am! – if you want to participate in one the most ancient customs of the Kichwa Anangu community. At this time, you can participate in the ceremony of making and drinking some energizing wayusa tea, and then participate in rituals of Kichwa singing as you learn to meditate about life. Afterwards, following a buffet-style breakfast at the lodge’s restaurant, we will climb the canopy observation tower, where you’ll experience life in the rainforest from above the jungle canopy. The 36-meter-high canopy tower is situated deep in the jungle, about 30 minutes from the lodge. In this place unlike any other, you will get a close-up view of colorful birds such as tanagers, toucans, macaws, parrots, flycatchers, as well as several monkey species, like the Spider or Howler monkeys that feed on the fruits and seeds found in the nearby trees.

PM: After visiting the canopy tower, we will return to the Napo Wildlife Center for a typical Ecuadorian lunch at the restaurant, which itself features a 360° view of the Anangu Lake and the surrounding nature. After lunch, you can choose from the many optional activities offered at NWC, including climbing the dining room observation tower for some more birdwatching or just relaxing with a good book in a hammock. Later in the afternoon, we will go hiking through a stunning terra firme forest, where you’ll discover the complex ecosystem of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, brimming with vines, orchids, bromeliads and ancient trees, in addition to insects, raucous birds, curious monkeys and more. After the hike, we will take a paddle-canoe ride on the surrounding creeks to explore the aquatic wildlife there. Afterwards, you can sit down for a hearty Amazonian dinner at around 7:30 pm.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3
Parrot Clay Licks – Interpretation Center

AM: This morning too, you’ll have to get up early to visit the most stunning parrot clay licks in the Ecuadorian Amazon! We’ll paddle downriver on Anangu Creek until reaching the Kichwa Anangu community; then, after a 10-minute ride in a motorized canoe, we’ll reach parrot clay licks, where you’ll find hundreds of wonderfully colored birds. They gather here every morning to lick minerals contained in the soil, which helps them to digest the fruits and seeds they feed on.

PM: After enjoying lunch, which will be served in the welcome area, we will visit the local Interpretation Center, where you will be welcomed by the women of the community. They will teach you about their customs and traditions as you enjoy typical rituals and dances of the community. Later in the afternoon, we’ll go back to the Napo Wildlife Center lodge for dinner and to rest up for the next day’s adventure.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4
Wildlife Watching – Paddle-Canoe Exploring

AM: This morning we will explore the Tiputini trail, passing through terra firme and swamp forests in search of more wildlife, such as monkeys, snakes, two- and three-toed sloths, squirrels and exotic plants and trees. Afterwards, we’ll return to the lodge for lunch and to rest up.

PM: In the afternoon, we will paddle along surrounding creeks to travel deeper into the Amazon in search of more of its unique wildlife. We will return to the lodge for dinner, at which time the lodge’s staff will present a video about the Kichwa Anangu community and the Napo Wildlife Center.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5
Napo River Boat Ride – Departure

AM: After an early breakfast, we will return to the town of Coca following the same route that brought us to the lodge. During this final excursion up the Napo River, you will see even more Amazonian flora and fauna.

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2019 - Price per person
5US$ 2,562 PPUS$ 1,632 PPUS$ 1,632 PPUS$ 3,036 PPUS$ 1,950 PPUS$ 1,950 PP
*Price per person based upon double occupancy.
*PP (per person)
Included in the price:
  • Accommodations at the Napo Wildlife Center
  • All meals indicated in the itinerary
  • River transportation to/from Coca – Napo Wildlife – Coca
  • Yasuni National Park entrance
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish-speaking) naturalist guide
  • All excursions and visits, indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance to parrot clay licks
Not included in the price:
  • Airfare (Quito – Coca – Quito), with assistance at the airport in Quito and Coca
  • Check-in and transfer services arriving in and departing from the city of Coca
  • Bottled drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Tips (i.e. for the guides and lodge staff)
  • Internet services
  • Laundry services

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Traveler Reviews

“I enjoyed the scenery and the exotic wildlife on the islands very much. The airport transfers in both directions went smoothly and the service on board was very good.”Nikola Dimitrov