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Trip

The Amazon

Kayaking, Stand-up Paddleboard

Trip Ecuador
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Kayak or SUP through the heart of Yasuni National Park with the Huaorani tribe.

Journey into the unknown, learn from tribal elders, and live as our ancestors did on this 5-day adventure into the magical and untouched Ecuadorian Amazon. Powered by our local partners at ActivExpedition, we’ll experience the home of the Huaorani indigenous people -- fierce protectors of the past, of nature, and of their cultural identity. Kayak or stand-up paddleboard, it’s up to you. Paddle the Shiripuno River searching for wildlife such as monkeys, otters, tapir, jaguars, and colorful birds. 

Get immersed in each day’s unique activities alongside local warriors and learn about how they survive in the wilderness of the Amazon. On this unique adventure, we’re treading lightly and intentionally keeping each group small, with 6 guests maximum. A world away from the hustle and bustle of the city this is a truly unique experience to an area where few have dared to go!


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Itinerary
Itinerary
Note: Even though we have a detailed itinerary, changes can be made by your guides, due to weather or safety reasons. Please also note that none of the wildlife sightings mentioned on the itinerary are guaranteed.
  • 1
    Day number 1
    Day 1: Arrival to Coca

    Our expedition begins in the city at the heart of the Amazon: Coca. After meeting up with the group we will travel by car for two hours to the Shiripuno River. From there we will kayak or SUP for about five hours down the river, looking out for wildlife that dot the riverside and water below us. With some luck we might see troops of squirrel monkeys as well as colorful birds such as toucans, macaws, flycatchers, and others. Our guides will teach us about the different species of plants that grow on the side of the river and their meaning to the local people. In the late afternoon we will arrive at the campsite and have a delicious dinner.

    Overnight: Campsite
    Meals included: Lunch and dinner
  • 2
    Day number 2
    Day 2: Anaconda Lagoon

    Today we take a short hike into a pristine forest where we will explore a black water lagoon by kayak. Being their natural habitat, on sunny days anacondas can be found resting upon the shore. The anaconda or “ove” in Huao language holds special importance to the local Huaorani people who believe it to be a very powerful animal embodying the spirit of a god. Here we will also have the chance to go fishing for piranha, which are an important staple in the local diet. If you are very lucky you may even be able to catch a catfish! Later we go back to the campsite for lunch and some rest, and in the late afternoon, we will go for a walk and search for insects and amphibians.

    Overnight: Campsite
    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • 3
    Day number 3
    Day 3: Early Paddling Exploration To View Wildlife

    Rising to the mist that gently grazes the river’s surface, we start our day with a delicious and nutritious breakfast before paddling along the river. Keep an eye out for more wildlife species that tend to make their way out at this time of day. If we are lucky, we will be able to spot a variety of birds such as trogons, quetzals, eagles, hawks, tanagers, macaws, parrots, kingfishers, and others. We may also have the pleasure of happening upon a tapir as this nocturnal animal likes to take a bath in the river every morning before going to sleep. We will go back to the campsite by canoe and have lunch. This afternoon we will join the Huaorani women and take a short walk to their yucca crops, there we will help them harvest this important product to make a traditional drink called Kene in Huaorani. If it is the right season we will also pick some fruits such as, lemons, naranjilla, pineapple, plantains and banana. Tonight we will go on search for caimans, as it is easier to spot them with the reflection of the flashlight on their eyes.

    Overnight: Campsite
    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • 4
    Day number 4
    Day 4: Hike To The Animal's Clay Lick And Lesson On Hunting Practices

    Today we hike to the Clay Lick, a mineral rich mud pit. Many animals that live in the region sustain themselves through a diet of seeds and other small plants but supplement their diets with minerals by the clay. Due to it being such a popular spot for animals this is a prime area for hunters to catch their prized meal - the peccary, which according to locals is a delicacy. We will spend some time here in hopes of spotting one of the many animals that frequent the zone before returning to the campsite. Spend the afternoon with the family as we learn about blowguns, darts, and curare, a natural sedative, which are used in the hunting of monkeys before winding down for the evening.

    Overnight: Campsite
    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • 5
    Day number 5
    Day 5: Departure

    Today after an early breakfast, we will take a canoe for 3 hours to reach back to the Shiripuno bridge, where we will take a car ride to go back to Coca. If you need assistance planning your return to Quito, Activexpedition will be happy to help.

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
Trip Package Includes
  • Experienced, certified English-speaking guide
  • Huaorani guides
  • Land and water transport while in Coca
  • Camping accommodations for four nights
  • Meals per itinerary 
  • Water and snacks
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Paddling gear: NRS expedition kayaks, NRS paddleboards, paddles and life jackets
  • Camping gear: Eureka tents, air mattresses and blankets (we do have a proper bathroom at the campsite)
  • Rubber boots for hiking
  • All fees to reserves and museums
Trip Package Does Not Include
  • International or domestic flights
  • Transfer from/to Quito
  • Meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Travel insurance (mandatory, we recommend World Nomads)
  • Optional activities
  • Tips for guides and drivers
     

Questions? Call or email us!
Area Information

The Amazon


Situated along the Northwest coast of South America, Ecuador is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, and is home to a vast variety of magnificent land and marine animals. Here we will travel through beautiful landscapes of the Andes, to the magical tropics of the Amazon rainforest. We will have the opportunity to canyoneer across spectacular gorges, bathe in enchanting waterfalls, raft the rivers at the heart of the jungle, bike through national parks and hike volcanoes for spectacular views of the landscapes that encompass this beautiful country. As well as being enriched with an array of wildlife and landscapes that allow for plenty of outdoor activities, Ecuador is equally rich and diverse in its cultural heritage, with 14 Indigenous nationalities as well as deep-rooted African and European influences that make for colorful markets, traditional villages, and cosmopolitan cities. This adventure really does have it all!
 
Trip Planning

Trip Planning

 The weather in the Ecuador Amazon Basin can be quite variable and the Amazon’s incredible biodiversity is largely due to its climate. As weather conditions vary by day, month, and year, regardless of average temperature and rainfall, we recommend you prepare accordingly. Sunshine and rain showers during the day and slightly chilly temperatures at night are a good rule of thumb to go by. Keep in mind that when it does rain, it only does so for part of the day.

Year-round temperature average is 82°F (28°C), however nights can be cooler. Since Ecuador is located right on the equator, the country does not experience extreme weather changes aside from a slightly rainier and wetter season. During a visit to this region, in a 5-day visit, you will often see more or less the same amount of rain and sunshine. The rainier season in the Amazon Runs from December to June, with temperatures ranging from 23°C (73°F) to 30°C (86°F) and frequent rains throughout April and May. The rainy season has its pros because many plants have evolved to fruit and flower during the rainy season, a phenomenon which often attracts birds and primates to the water’s edge and grants visitors the chance to observe them more frequently. The dry season in the Amazon lasts from July to November, with temperatures from 26°C (78°F) to 40°C (104°F), with less rain, though showers are still possible. The dry season also offers its own set of benefits, for it is during this time that the water gets lower and attracts animals that you won’t often see during the rainy season. Beach nesting birds are everywhere, as there are more beaches present during this time.

We recommend travelling light for this expedition. A duffel bag of 50 liters for your luggage and a backpack of 20 liters for daily activities should be sufficient. In the Amazon, the weather can change drastically from very sunny to super rainy so please pack accordingly.


We recommend travelling light for this expedition. A duffel bag of 50 liters for your luggage and a backpack of 20 liters for daily activities should be sufficient. In Ecuador the weather can change drastically especially when you are moving from the Andes into the cloud forest, so make sure to pack layers for both warm and cold weather.

Gear & Clothing
Personal
FAQ
FAQ
  • Are departures guaranteed?
    There is a minimum of 2 people required per departure date. Please wait to make travel arrangements until you have received confirmation.
  • Can you accommodate other date requests beyond those that are listed?
    Yes, with a minimum of 2 people this trip can be offered every week, all year-round (with Day 1 always starting on Fridays). If you have other dates you’d like to request, please let us know.
  • How do I meet up with the group on Day 1?
    On Day 1 the group will meet in Coca, at the lobby of The Hotel El Auca at 07:00am. This hotel is next to the main plaza in the city of Coca. Alternatively, if you are flying in that day from Quito to Coca you can be picked up at the airport
  • What are the accommodations like?
    This expedition takes place in a remote location and the accommodation is very basic, but our staff will try to provide the best service possible. Your camping gear will include a Eureka tent, air mattresses and blankets, and we do have a proper bathroom at the campsite as well. Our goal is to tread lightly in this sacred, natural environment.
  • What is local transportation like?
    We use wooden and fiberglass canoes that belong to the local families, with timing of the rides dependent on water levels.
  • What skill/experience level is required for this trip?
    This trip is rated as 4 out of 5. The kayaking is on flat water, but the days are filled with long activities; paddling can be up to 6 hours a day, the hiking is on irregular terrain and most of the time can be muddy, your guides will always be there to tell you important tips and give you safety talks when needed.
  • What are the guides like?
    All guides have a professional background from Ecuador’s University of Tourism; meaning they have a degree in guiding, with top-notch skills and knowledge. Each guide has many years of leading experience, including additional courses taken for other outdoor activities and International First-Aid certifications. On top of all of this, all guides are extremely personable and strive to deliver exceptional travel experiences for each guest.
  • How do you address sustainability on your trips?
    We do our best to not produce any trash; we believe that recycling is not enough so we try to avoid using any plastic or materials that pollute our environment. Every day we work towards being a zero waste tour operator and our staff is well trained to leave the least impact possible in our service areas. We also work with local indigenous communities in the different regions. By doing so we are able to teach our guests about the rich culture of Ecuador, all the while helping the people preserve their traditions and lands. By working directly with local peoples we are able to create a sustainable touristic income for the community.
  • What if I need to cancel?
    evoTrip upholds Activexpedition’s policies regarding cancellation, which have been made more flexible given the challenges we know are presented by Covid-19. Guests may postpone their existing trip to a future trip, at no extra cost, up until 30 days prior to departure. For cancellations, guests have: 72 hours to cancel with no fee 3 days after the booking until 60 days before the trip; $100 USD cancellation fee would be charged 59 days until 30 days before the trip; 50% of the trip cost would be charged 29 days or less before the trip; 100% of the trip cost would be charged
  • What will the food be like?
    As we get deep into the Amazon we will bring the majority of supplies with us. For breakfast we will always have: coffee, tea, cereal, and eggs. Plantains and yucca are also common when the Huaoranis share. For lunch we have normally a main course including: rice, potatoes, yucca, beans, meat or fresh fish. And for dinner we prepare a hot soup, salads and vegetables, pastas, and some carbohydrates. On top of these we have snacks, fruits and beverages available at all times.
  • What is the minimum and maximum number of guests per trip?
    Minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 6
  • Is there a minimum age required for this trip?
    Yes, 8 years old.
  • Do I need a visa, passport and vaccinations? What about a Covid-19 test?
    A valid passport for at least six months past the planned date of departure is required. Make sure you check your passport validity and expiration date prior to travel. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Ecuador and travelers can stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days without a visa. However, sanctions including fines and deportation can occur if you stay past this time period. You must have vaccination of yellow fever and malaria medication to enter this region. You must also provide proof of Covid-19 vaccine certificate or a negative PCR test.
Testimonials
An incredible and unforgettable experience. All the people who take care of you are spectacular and give you a super personalized treatment. They always follow safety and health protocols. Our guide Christian was a wonderful human being who helps you with anything you need and makes you live the experience 100%. Highly recommended!
Andre C.
evoTrip guest
The truth is this is one of the best experiences of my life for the activities, the connection with nature and the camaraderie! Each place we went to had its magic.
Shirley R.
evoTrip guest

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