Tortuga Tours Travelling in Ecuador
Tortuga ToursTravelling in Ecuador

COTOCHA LODGE


ITINERARY 3 DAYS/ 2 NIGHTS - STANDARD
DAY 1
Arrival to the Lodge in the afternoon. After the long drive we can relax for a while in our beautiful spacious bungalow built in a rustic native design surrounded by gardens full of amazing jungle plants and flowers. A delicious dinner will be served in a romantic candlelight setting at the attractively decorated restaurant. Afterwards we will enjoy a special welcome drink, relaxing ourselves around the elegant fireplace, to coordinate and discuss next day's activities with the local crew. We'll feel absolutely comfortable in this lovely peaceful setting filled with nightly sights and sounds of the Amazon jungle.

 

DAY 2
After breakfast, we depart by canoe upstream for ten minutes, arriving to a small shore where we begin a fun and thrilling one hour walk, marvelling ourselves with the jungle's secondary forest diverse flora and fauna. After our short hike, we'll find ourselves in a breathtaking cascade "La Cascada de Latas" where we will take a refreshing bath in its clear crystal waters and enjoy the surrounding views, which, mixed with the jungle sounds, makes it a unforgettable experience. We return along the same way to have lunch at the lodge.

 

After lunch we put on our "wet gear" (rubber boots & rain poncho) to start an exciting walk in the rainforest ready to find the secret wonders of the mysterious hidden jungle, finding amazing plant species with medicinal properties, which will be explained in detail by our expert native guide: their characteristics and how the jungle inhabitants used them in ancient times. We'll also observe a great variety of insects, small groups of monkeys weaving around the giant trees; though we will need some luck to observe them, we must stay very quiet to admire these beautiful creatures. Dozens of curious colourful birds tag along with us during our walk whistling enchanted notes delighting our senses. After about three hours of walking we come back and arrive to the Lodge. At night, dinner and gathering around the fireplace. It's time for a good and peaceful rest delighted by the nightly sounds of the jungle.

 

DAY 3
After breakfast, we will have to prepare our return trip. End of program.

 

 

ITINERARY 4 DAYS/ 3 NIGHTS – STANDARD
DAY 1
Arrival to the Lodge in the afternoon. After the long drive we can relax in our bungalow. Dinner. A very special welcome drink is served while sitting around the open fireplace to coordinate and discuss next day's activities with our crew, plus an introductory speech about the Amazon Jungle by our Lodge's Administrator.

 

DAY 2
Early in the morning we'll have breakfast. Afterwards we must prepare our gear: boots, raincoat so we can be ready to begin the adventure! We will board a canoe and start our journey downstream through the enchanted Amazon Jungle along the imposing Napo River. Arrive to Misahualli, where we make a short stop to check our papers with local Marina, so don't forget your passport!! Continuing our canoe-trip we arrive to Arajuno River.

Visit to Animal Rescue Centre "AmaZOOnico" which is specialized in the rescue of wild animals for specie conservation and reintegration into the wild. In here we will observe a great variety of species such as: toucans, all kind of colourful parrots, various kinds of monkeys, jaguars, capybaras and much more!

Afterwards, we will enjoy a delicious lunch in the river shore, picnic style. We'll have the opportunity to swim in the river or just resting peacefully surrounded by a wonderful natural atmosphere.

 

After concluding this day's experience, we'll head back to the Lodge, but first we will visit a Quichua family and learn about their millenary culture and traditions such as gold rinse in the river shoreline, traditional pottery making, making of typical drink "chicha" made of yuca (a traditional Ecuadorian manioc), and the use of the "serbatana" (blowpipe for hunting use). After this amazing encounter with Quichua culture, we return to the Lodge by foot over secondary jungle pads. Upon arrival enjoy a snack. At night, after dinner, we'll have our usual meeting around the fireplace to share our day's experiences.

 

DAY 3
After breakfast, we depart by canoe upstream for ten minutes, arriving to a small shore where we begin a fun and thrilling one hour walk, marvelling ourselves with the jungle's secondary forest diverse flora and fauna. After our short walk, we'll find ourselves in a breathtaking cascade "Las Latas" where we will take a refreshing bath in its clear crystal waters and enjoy the surrounding views, which mixed with the jungle sounds, makes it a unforgettable experience. We return to have lunch at the lodge.

 

After lunch we put on our "wet gear" (boots & rain coat) to start an exciting walk in the jungle forest ready to find the secret wonders of the mysterious hidden jungle, finding amazing plant species with medicinal properties, which will be fully explained by our expert native guide: their characteristics and how the jungle inhabitants used them in ancient times. We'll also observe a great variety of insects, short monkey groups weaving around the giant trees; we must stay very quiet to admire these beautiful creatures. Dozens of curious colourful birds tag along with us during our walk whistling beautiful notes delighting our senses. After about three hours of walking, we come back and arrive to the Lodge. At night, a delicious dinner and relax by the fireplace while enjoying an exotic cocktail or drink from our bar.

 

DAY 4
After breakfast, we must prepare for our drive back to the city. End of program.

 

 

ITINERARY 5 DAYS/ 4 NIGHTS – STANDARD
DAY 1
Arrival to the Lodge in the afternoon. After the long drive we can relax in our bungalow. Dinner. A very special welcome drink is served while sitting around the open fireplace to coordinate and discuss next day's activities with our crew, plus an introductory speech about the Amazon Jungle by our Lodge's Administrator.

 

DAY 2
Early in the morning we'll have breakfast. Afterwards we must prepare our gear: boots, raincoat so we can be ready to begin the adventure! We will board a canoe and start our journey downstream through the enchanted Amazon Jungle along the imposing Napo River. Arrive to Misahualli, where we make a short stop to check our papers with local Marina, so don't forget your passport!! Continuing our canoe-trip we arrive to ArajunoRiver. Visit to Animal Rescue Centre "AmaZOOnico" which is specialized in the rescue of wild animals for specie conservation and reintegration into the wild. In here we will observe a great variety of species such as: toucans, all kind of colourful parrots, various kinds of monkeys, jaguars, capybaras and much more!

Afterwards, we will enjoy a delicious lunch in the river shore, picnic style. We'll have the opportunity to swim in the river or just resting peacefully surrounded by a wonderful natural atmosphere.

 

After concluding this day's experience, we'll head back to the Lodge, but first we will visit a trap museum in a Quichua Community, is a very interesting exhibition of how they used to hunt for centuries. We return to the Lodge by canoe. At night, after dinner, we'll have our usual meeting around the fireplace to share our day's experiences.

 

DAY 3
After breakfast, we get ready with our rubber boots and water ponchos for 3 hours walking in a jungle forest. With an experienced native guide, you will be able to learn many interesting subjects about plant uses, insects' variety, bird watching, and the species that lives in this unique forest. We will enjoy a delicious picnic lunch in this natural surrounding.

 

After lunch we come back and arrive to the Lodge to rest. At night, we are going to enjoy a delicious dinner and a relaxing time by the fireplace while enjoying a tropical cocktail or drink from our bar.

 

DAY 4
After breakfast, we depart by canoe upstream for ten minutes, arriving to a small shore where we begin a fun and thrilling one hour walk, marvelling ourselves with the jungle's secondary forest diverse flora and fauna. After our short walk, we'll find ourselves in a breathtaking cascade "Las Latas" where we will take a refreshing bath in its clear crystal waters and enjoy the surrounding views, which mixed with the jungle sounds, makes it a unforgettable experience. We return to have lunch at the lodge.

 

In the afternoon we will visit a Quichua family and learn about their millenary culture and traditions such as gold rinse in the river shoreline, traditional pottery making, making of typical drink "chicha" made of yuca (a traditional Ecuadorian manioc), and the use of the "serbatana" (blowpipe for hunting use). After this amazing encounter with Quichua culture, we return to the Lodge by foot over secondary jungle pads. Upon arrival enjoy a snack. At night, after dinner, we will have our usual meeting around the fireplace to share our day's experiences.

 

DAY 5
After breakfast, we must prepare for our drive back to the city. End of program.

 

 

ITINERARY 4 DAYS/ 3 NIGHTS – ANDES AND AMAZON TOUR
DAY 1
We leave Quito in the morning and start with a drive up the Eastern Cordillera, where we will go over a 4065 m. high mountain pass. It can be foggy up here but when the weather is clear we will be amazed by the magnificent views of the Antisana volcano and the surrounding paramo wetlands. Within two hours we will reach Termas de Papallacta, Ecuador's most beautiful thermal hot springs Resort and Spa, located in between spectacular mountain forests of the Eastern Andes slopes.

We will enjoy a very nice morning hike through the surrounding mountain forests and grassy paramo near our resort. This ecological reserve is managed by a local foundation and harbors many peculiar species of flora and fauna (more than 160 bird species, mountain tapirs, spectacled bears and many other species).

 

In the afternoon we have free time to dip into the amazing hot springs or enjoy some of the optional health and beauty treatments in Termas de Papallacta. The spa and hydrotherapy area offers a variety of different sensations from streams of water, water hydro massage or hydro massage with air bubbles. It has been certified that the thermal waters of Termas de Papallacta have medicinal properties that guarantee healthy benefits!

 

DAY 2
In the morning we will depart from Papallacta to continue through the lush and green cloud forests of the Eastern Andes. After a short drive we will make a stop at a very nice cloud forest lodge where we can observe many species of hummingbirds. It is really amazing to see these small birds flying around us at a very close distance. Moreover we will have the opportunity to see the famous sword-billed hummingbird, which has even a longer beak than its body! If time permits we can also make a short hike before we continue our journey through the last hills of the Eastern 'Cordillera' towards the great Amazon basin. At midday we will arrive at Cotococha Amazon Lodge, a lovely retreat located on the shores of the Napo River, offering very spacious and comfortable bungalows, built in native design.

After lunch we put on our rubber boots to start an exciting walk in the rainforest ready to find the secret wonders of the mysterious hidden jungle, finding amazing plant species with medicinal properties, which will be explained in detail by our expert native guide: their characteristics and how the jungle inhabitants used them in ancient times. We'll also observe a great variety of insects and small groups of monkeys weaving around the giant trees; although we will need some luck to see them, for this reason it is important to remain very quiet to admire these beautiful creatures. Dozens of curious colorful birds tag along with us during our walk whistling enchanted notes and delighting our senses. After about three hours of walking we will arrive at the lodge again. At night, the amazing jungle sounds and the illumination with lots of candles, torches and oil lamps, create a unique and romantic atmosphere at Cotococha Amazon Lodge. Enjoy dinner and gather around the cozy fireplace.

 

Alternative excursion:
If a jungle hike is too strenuous for you we offer a great alternative. We depart by canoe downstream for thirty minutes, arriving at the Shiripuno community, where we will pay a visit to the Quichua indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon village. The local women will receive us and give us explanations of their ancient lifestyles with different demonstrations such as food preparation, weaving techniques and typical dances. Moreover a huge stone has been found nearby hiding various petroglyphes, different ancient designs made by the ancestors of the local indigenous expressing their nature-oriented beliefs. After this enriching cultural experience we will return by canoe to our lodge, enjoying the Amazon scenery from our canoe.

 

DAY 3
After our delicious breakfast we depart by canoe upstream for fifteen minutes, arriving to a small shore where we begin a fun and thrilling one hour walk, marveling ourselves with the jungle's secondary forest diverse flora and fauna. After our short hike, we'll find ourselves in a breathtaking cascade "La Cascada de Latas" where we will take a refreshing bath in its clear crystal waters and enjoy the surrounding views, which, mixed with the jungle sounds, make it an unforgettable experience. We return along the same way to get back at the lodge. For the adventurous: we can go tubing off the river. Float easily and enjoy the small rapids and great sights of the Amazon rain forest surroundings us!

After lunch we will leave the Cotococha Amazon Lodge and continue our journey to Baños. On route we will make a short stop in Puyo, where we will visit a small Balsa wood factory. The local workers will show us how they make beautiful souvenirs of this extreme light lightweight wood specie. There is also a store where some of their hand made souvenirs can be bought. After Puyo we will enjoy spectacular views of the Pastaza gorge, the surrounding cloud forests with thousands of orchids, dramatic waterfalls, cliff side farms and untouched views of Sangay and Llanganates National Parks. This spectacular stretch through the Pastaza Corridor has been declared by the WWF 'A Gift to the Earth', a transition from rainforest to the Andean Mountains in less than 50 kilometers. In the beginning of the evening we will reach Baños, and arrive at Luna Runtun, the Adventure SPA, spectacularly located on a hill above Baños nestled within the Sangay National Park, which has been declared a World Natural Heritage Site. Surely we will be enjoying the magnificent views of Baños deep below in the valley, the active Tungurahua volcano (5016 m.) and the Llanganates National Park, the inaccessible mountains that hide the lost gold of the Inca Emperor Atahualpa. We will enjoy dinner at Luna Runtun in a great setting.

 

DAY 4
In the morning we will leave Baños for another day full of diversity driving along the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes', through the central Andean valley. On our way we will come first along the Salasaca community, where we will have a look at the many tapestries and other woven products made by the local indigenous people who still maintain many ancient traditions. Afterwards we continue towards the central valley where with clear weather we will be able to see at least 11 of Ecuador's 55 volcanoes. At noon we will arrive at an ancient hacienda, for an early lunch. The hacienda was a former Inca fortress and palace from the 15th century and nowadays still holds original Inca walls and a complete chapel, built in the imperial style of the Incas. We will delight ourselves with a delicious lunch between the ancient Inca walls before we continue to the Cotopaxi National park. Arriving in the park we will pay a short visit to a little museum which informs about the park; its nature, geology, history and the eruptions of the centerpiece of this park; the Cotopaxi volcano (5897 m.), the world's highest active and snowcapped volcano!

We continue our way into the park and stop at the Limpiopungo lake at 3800 meters altitude. Here we can make a short walk while observing semi-wild horses, a variety of ducks, hummingbirds and the Andean gull and lapwing. If we feel fit enough we can continue our drive to the parking lot at 4600 m. from where it is a strenuous 45 minute walk up to the José Ribas refuge at 4800 m., a mountain refuge halfway the volcano. Here we will have some incredible picture opportunities and spectacular sceneries at the immense ice walls and deep crevasses of the glaciers above us as well as the surrounding countryside of the Ecuadorian Andes with its many volcanoes and lovely green valleys filled with patchwork cultivated fields. Afterwards we return to our vehicle for our drive back to Quito. Drop off at the hotel of our choice.

 

 

ITINERARY 5 DAYS/ 4 NIGHTS – ANDES AND AMAZON TOUR
DAY 1
We leave Quito in the morning and start with a drive up the Eastern Cordillera, where we will go over a 4065 m. high mountain pass. It can be foggy up here but when the weather is clear we will be amazed by the magnificent views of the Antisana volcano and the surrounding paramo wetlands. Within two hours we will reach Termas de Papallacta, Ecuador's most beautiful thermal hot springs Resort and Spa, located in between spectacular mountain forests of the Eastern Andes slopes. We will enjoy a very nice morning hike through the surrounding mountain forests and grassy paramo near our resort. This ecological reserve is managed by a local foundation and harbors many peculiar species of flora and fauna (more than 160 bird species, mountain tapirs, spectacled bears and many other species). In the afternoon we have free time to dip into the amazing hot springs or enjoy some of the optional health and beauty treatments in Termas de Papallacta. The spa and hydrotherapy area offers a variety of different sensations from streams of water, water hydro massage or hydro massage with air bubbles. It has been certified that the thermal waters of Termas de Papallacta have medicinal properties that guarantee healthy benefits!

 

DAY 2
In the morning we will depart from Papallacta to continue through the lush and green cloud forests of the Eastern Andes. After a short drive we will make a stop at a very nice cloud forest lodge where we can observe many species of hummingbirds. It is really amazing to see these small birds flying around us at a very close distance. Moreover we will have the opportunity to see the famous sword-billed hummingbird, which has even a longer beak than its body! If time permits we can also make a short hike before we continue our journey through the last hills of the Eastern 'Cordillera' towards the great Amazon basin. At midday we will arrive at Cotococha Amazon Lodge, a lovely retreat located on the shores of the Napo River, offering very spacious and comfortable bungalows, built in native design.

 

After lunch we put on our rubber boots to start an exciting walk in the jungle's rainforest ready to find the secret wonders of the mysterious hidden jungle, finding amazing plant species with medicinal properties, which will be explained in detail by our expert native guide: their characteristics and how the jungle inhabitants used them in ancient times. We'll also observe a great variety of insects and small groups of monkeys weaving around the giant trees; although we will need some luck to see them, for this reason it is important to remain very quiet to admire these beautiful creatures. Dozens of curious colorful birds tag along with us during our walk whistling enchanted notes and delighting our senses. After about three hours of walking we will arrive at the lodge again.

At night, the amazing jungle sounds and the illumination with lots of candles, torches and oil lamps, create a unique and romantic atmosphere at Cotococha Amazon Lodge. Enjoy dinner and gather around the cozy fireplace.

 

Alternative excursion:
If a jungle hike is too strenuous for you we offer a great alternative. We depart by canoe downstream for thirty minutes, arriving at the Shiripuno community, where we will pay a visit to the Quichua indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon village. The local women will receive us and give us explanations of their ancient lifestyles with different demonstrations such as food preparation, weaving techniques and typical dances. Moreover a huge stone has been found nearby hiding various petroglyphes, different ancient designs made by the ancestors of the local indigenous expressing their nature-oriented beliefs. After this enriching cultural experience we will return by canoe to our lodge, enjoying the Amazon scenery from our canoe.

 

Alternative excursion:
We depart by canoe upstream for fifteen minutes, arriving on a small shore where we begin a fun and thrilling one hour walk, marveling ourselves with the jungle's secondary forest diverse flora and fauna. After our short hike, we'll find ourselves in a breathtaking cascade "La Cascada de Latas" where we will take a refreshing bath in its crystal clear waters and enjoy the surrounding views, which, mixed with the jungle sounds, make it an unforgettable experience. We return along the same way to return to the lodge. For the adventurous: we can go tubing off the river. Float easily and enjoy the small rapids and great sights of the Amazon rain forest surroundings us!

 

DAY 3
After our delicious breakfast we'll be more than ready to start today's adventure! We will start with a canoe ride down the imposing Napo River crossing the enchanted Ecuadorian jungle. Soon we arrive at the village of Misahualli, where we'll have to make a short stop for routine inspection by the local Marine officers. With a stroll through this tranquil little town we will be able to see a group of Capuchin Monkeys, who live in harmony with the friendly inhabitants. We continue our canoe ride until we reach the Arajuno River. Here we will visit the animal rescue center "AmaZOOnico". This is a specialized organization dedicated to the rescue of wild animals and restoring them into their natural habitat. We will observe a great variety of species such as toucans, parrots, all kinds of monkeys, ocelots, capybaras and much more.

After our visit to this beautiful sanctuary, we'll enjoy a scrumptious picnic by the river shore. Afterwards, we can swim in the refreshing river waters or simply rest ourselves in the peaceful surroundings.

We'll head back to our lodge, making a short stop in one of the many local indigenous communities by the Napo River. One of the native Quichua families will show us their ancestral costumes like gold washing, pottery techniques, the making of the typical drink "chicha" made of yuca and blowpipe hunting. After this fascinating cultural exchange with the Quichuas, we'll continue our way to Cotococha Amazon Lodge via a path on secondary forest. After dinner there will be some free time to relax around the fireplace or enjoy an exotic cocktail at the bar.

 

DAY 4
After breakfast at the lodge we will leave for Baños. On route we will stop in Puyo, where we will visit a small Balsa wood factory. The local workers will show us how they make beautiful souvenirs of this extreme lightweight wood type. There is also a store where some of their hand made souvenirs can be bought. After Puyo we will enjoy spectacular views of the Pastaza gorge, the surrounding cloud forests with thousands of orchids, dramatic waterfalls, cliff side farms and untouched views of Sangay and Llanganates National Parks. This spectacular stretch through the Pastaza Corridor has been declared by the WWF 'A Gift to the Earth' a transition from rainforest to the Andean Mountains in less than 50 kilometers. Around midday we will reach Baños, and arrive at Luna Runtun, the Adventure Spa, spectacularly located on a hill above Baños nestled within the Sangay National Park, declared a World Natural Heritage Site. Surely we will be enjoying the magnificent views of Baños deep below in the valley, the active Tungurahua volcano (5016 m.) and the Llanganates National Park, the inaccessible mountains that hide the lost gold of Inca Emperor Atahualpa.

After lunch at Luna Runtun we will have a free afternoon for an optional excursion such as hiking, mountain biking, horse back riding. Optionally there is also the opportunity to take a massage or other health treatment in Luna Runtun's SPA, there are even volcanic ash foliations available, a truly local experience! Moreover the four pools and Jacuzzi at the border of Luna Runtun's property offer us one of the most amazing views of the whole valley.

 

DAY 5
In the morning we will leave Baños for another day full of diversity driving along the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes', through the central Andean valley. On our way we will come first along the Salasaca community, where we will have a look at the many tapestries and other woven products made by the local indigenous people who still maintain many ancient traditions. Afterwards we continue towards the central valley where with clear weather we will be able to see at least 11 of Ecuador's 55 volcanoes. At noon we will arrive at an ancient hacienda, for an early lunch. The hacienda was a former Inca fortress and palace from the 15th century and nowadays still holds original Inca walls and a complete chapel, built in the imperial style of the Incas. We will delight ourselves with a delicious lunch between the ancient Inca walls before we continue to the Cotopaxi National park. Arriving in the park we will pay a short visit to a little museum which informs about the park; its nature, geology, history and the eruptions of the centerpiece of this park; the Cotopaxi volcano (5897 m.), the world's highest active and snowcapped volcano! We continue our way into the park and stop at the Limpiopungo lake at 3800 meters altitude. Here we can make a short walk while observing semi-wild horses, a variety of ducks, hummingbirds and the Andean gull and lapwing.

 

If we feel fit enough, we can continue our drive to the parking lot at 4600 m. from where it is a strenuous 45 minute walk up to the José Ribas refuge at 4800 m., a mountain refuge halfway the volcano. Here we will have some incredible picture opportunities and spectacular sceneries at the immense ice walls and deep crevasses of the glaciers above us as well as the surrounding countryside of the Ecuadorian Andes with its many volcanoes and lovely green valleys filled with patchwork cultivated fields. Afterwards we return to our vehicle for our drive back to Quito. Drop off at the hotel of our choice.

 

 

ITINERARY 6 DAYS/ 5 NIGHTS – ANDES AND AMAZON TOUR
DAY 1
We leave Quito in the morning and start with a drive up the Eastern Cordillera, where we will go over a 4065 m. high mountain pass. It can be foggy up here but when the weather is clear we will be amazed by the magnificent views of the Antisana volcano and the surrounding paramo wetlands. Within two hours we will reach Termas de Papallacta, Ecuador's most beautiful thermal hot springs Resort and Spa, located in between spectacular mountain forests of the Eastern Andes slopes. We will enjoy a very nice morning hike through the surrounding mountain forests and grassy paramo near our resort. This ecological reserve is managed by a local foundation and harbors many peculiar species of flora and fauna (more than 160 bird species, mountain tapirs, spectacled bears and many other species).

In the afternoon we have free time to dip into the amazing hot springs or enjoy some of the optional health and beauty treatments in Termas de Papallacta. The spa and hydrotherapy area offers a variety of different sensations from streams of water, water hydro massage or hydro massage with air bubbles. It has been certified that the thermal waters of Termas de Papallacta have medicinal properties that guarantee healthy benefits!

 

DAY 2
In the morning we will depart from Papallacta to continue through the lush and green cloud forests of the Eastern Andes. After a short drive we will make a stop at a very nice cloud forest lodge where we can observe many species of hummingbirds. It is really amazing to see these small birds flying around us at a very close distance. Moreover we will have the opportunity to see the famous sword-billed hummingbird, which has even a longer beak than its body! If time permits we can also make a short hike before we continue our journey through the last hills of the Eastern 'Cordillera' towards the great Amazon basin. At midday we will arrive at Cotococha Amazon Lodge, a lovely retreat located on the shores of the Napo River, offering very spacious and comfortable bungalows, built in native design.

 

After lunch we put on our rubber boots to start an exciting walk in the rainforest ready to find the secret wonders of the mysterious hidden jungle, finding amazing plant species with medicinal properties, which will be explained in detail by our expert native guide: their characteristics and how the jungle inhabitants used them in ancient times. We'll also observe a great variety of insects and small groups of monkeys weaving around the giant trees; although we will need some luck to see them, for this reason it is important to remain very quiet to admire these beautiful creatures. Dozens of curious colorful birds tag along with us during our walk whistling enchanted notes and delighting our senses. After about three hours of walking we will arrive at the lodge again. At night, the amazing jungle sounds and the illumination with lots of candles, torches and oil lamps, create a unique and romantic atmosphere at Cotococha Amazon Lodge. Enjoy dinner and gather around the cozy fireplace.

 

Alternative excursion:
If a jungle hike is too strenuous for you we offer a great alternative. We depart by canoe downstream for thirty minutes, arriving at the Shiripuno community, where we will pay a visit to the Quichua indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon village. The local women will receive us and give us explanations of their ancient lifestyles with different demonstrations such as food preparation, weaving techniques and typical dances.

Moreover a huge stone has been found nearby hiding various petroglyphes, different ancient designs made by the ancestors of the local indigenous expressing their nature-oriented beliefs. After this enriching cultural experience we will return by canoe to our lodge, enjoying the Amazon scenery from our canoe.

 

DAY 3
After our delicious breakfast we'll be more than ready to start today's adventure! We will start with a canoe ride down the imposing Napo River crossing the enchanted Ecuadorian jungle. Soon we arrive at the village of Misahualli, where we'll have to make a short stop for routine inspection by the local Marine officers. With a stroll through this tranquil little town we will be able to see a group of Capuchin Monkeys, who live in harmony with the friendly inhabitants. We continue our canoe ride until we reach the Arajuno River. Here we will visit the animal rescue center "AmaZOOnico". This is a specialized organization dedicated to the rescue of wild animals and restoring them into their natural habitat. We will observe a great variety of species such as toucans, parrots, all kinds of monkeys, ocelots, capybaras and much more.

 

After our visit to this beautiful sanctuary, we'll enjoy a scrumptious picnic by the river shore. Afterwards, we can swim in the refreshing river waters or simply rest ourselves in the peaceful surroundings. We'll head back to our lodge, making a short stop in one of the many local indigenous communities by the Napo River. One of the native Quichua families will show us their ancestral costumes like gold washing, pottery techniques, the making of the typical drink "chicha" made of yuca and blowpipe hunting. After this fascinating cultural exchange with the Quichuas, we'll continue our way to Cotococha Amazon Lodge via a path on secondary forest. After dinner there will be some free time to relax around the fireplace or enjoy an exotic cocktail at the bar.

 

DAY 4
After our delicious breakfast we depart by canoe upstream for fifteen minutes, arriving on a small shore where we begin a fun and thrilling one hour walk, marveling ourselves with the jungle's secondary forest diverse flora and fauna. After our short hike, we'll find ourselves in a breathtaking cascade "La Cascada de Latas" where we will take a refreshing bath in its crystal clear waters and enjoy the surrounding views, which, mixed with the jungle sounds, make it an unforgettable experience. We return along the same way to get back at the lodge. For the adventurous: we can go tubing off the river. Float easily and enjoy the small rapids and great sights of the Amazon rain forest surroundings us!

 

After lunch we will leave the Cotococha Amazon Lodge and continue our journey to Baños. On route we will make a short stop in Puyo, where we will visit a small Balsa wood factory. The local workers will show us how they make beautiful souvenirs of this extreme light lightweight wood type. There is also a store where some of their handmade souvenirs can be bought.

 

After Puyo we will enjoy spectacular views of the Pastaza gorge, the surrounding cloud forests with thousands of orchids, dramatic waterfalls, cliff side farms and untouched views of Sangay and Llanganates National Parks. This spectacular stretch through the Pastaza Corridor has been declared by the WWF 'A Gift to the Earth', a transition from rainforest to the Andean Mountains in less than 50 kilometers. In the beginning of the evening we will reach Baños, and arrive at Luna Runtun, the Adventure Spa, spectacularly located on a hill above Baños nestled within the Sangay National Park, which has been declared a World Natural Heritage Site.

Surely we will be enjoying the magnificent views of Baños deep below in the valley, the active Tungurahua volcano (5016 m.) and the Llanganates National Park, the inaccessible mountains that hide the lost gold of Inca Emperor Atahualpa. We will enjoy dinner at Luna Runtun in a great setting.

 

DAY 5
Today we wll have a free day to spend in Baños. This friendly town is also known for its thermal hot springs with healing powers, but has much more to offer. From Luna Runtun many different optional adventure tours are organized, such as hiking, mountain biking, horse back riding, visit to the San Antonio cloud forest reserve and much more! There is also a possibility to hike to a viewpoint from where we can see the immense Tungurahua volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Ecuador. With some luck we may be observing an ash eruption! Optionally, you can undergo a massage or other health treatment in Luna Runtun's Spa, there are even volcanic ash foliations available, a truly local experience! Moreover the four pools and Jacuzzi at the border of Luna Runtun's property offer us one of the most amazing views of the whole valley.

 

DAY 6
In the morning we will leave Baños for another day full of diversity driving along the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes', through the central Andean valley. On our way we will come first along the Salasaca community, where we will have a look at the many tapestries and other woven products made by the local indigenous people who still maintain many ancient traditions. Afterwards we continue towards the central valley where with clear weather we will be able to see at least 11 of Ecuador's 55 volcanoes. At noon we will arrive at an ancient hacienda, for an early lunch. The hacienda was a former Inca fortress and palace from the 15th century and nowadays still holds original Inca walls and a complete chapel, built in the imperial style of the Incas. We will delight ourselves with a delicious lunch between the ancient Inca walls before we continue to the Cotopaxi National park.

 

Arriving in the park we will pay a short visit to a little museum which informs about the park; its nature, geology, history and the eruptions of the centerpiece of this park; the Cotopaxi volcano (5897 m.), the world's highest active and snowcapped volcano! We continue our way into the park and stop at the Limpiopungo lake at 3800 meters altitude. Here we can make a short walk while observing semi-wild horses, a variety of ducks, hummingbirds and the Andean gull and lapwing. If we feel fit enough we can continue our drive to the parking lot at 4600 m. from where it is a strenuous 45 minute walk up to the José Ribas refuge at 4800 m., a mountain refuge halfway the volcano. Here we will have some incredible picture opportunities and spectacular sceneries at the immense ice walls and deep crevasses of the glaciers above us as well as the surrounding countryside of the Ecuadorian Andes with its many volcanoes and lovely green valleys filled with patchwork cultivated fields. Afterwards we return to our vehicle for our drive back to Quito. Drop off at the hotel of our choice.

 

 

ITINERARY 7 DAYS/ 6 NIGHTS – ANDES AND AMAZON TOUR
DAY 1
We will start this amazing Andes & Amazon package with a fabulous daytrip to the highlands of the Antisana volcano (5704 m.). We leave Quito in the morning and start with a drive up the Eastern Cordillera, towards the seldom visited Antisana. The highlands surrounded by this impressive volcano are dominated by the paramo wetlands and filled with birdlife. This area is one of the few places left in Ecuador where we can observe the famous 'King of the Andes' the Condor, though we will need a bit of luck to see it. Moreover these paramo lands also hide great flocks of highland birds, such as Andean Gulls, Lapwings, Caracaras and the Black faced Ibis. The spectacular views at the enormous glaciers of the Antisana, together with the rich birdlife and abandoned paramo landscapes make this area the perfect setting for an unforgettable hike. As we are at least 4000 m. above sea level, we will take it easy. After enjoying our box-lunch we will continue by vehicle for more than two hours to reach Termas de Papallacta, Ecuador's most beautiful thermal hot springs Resort and Spa, located in between spectacular mountain forests of the Eastern Andes slopes. Here we will enjoy dinner and stay for the night.

 

DAY 2
Today we have a free day on our own rest and relax and enjoy the amazing hot springs or optionally, take some of the varied health and beauty treatments in Termas de Papallacta's SPA and hydrotherapy area with different sensations from streams of water, water hydro massage or hydro massage with air bubbles. It has been certified that the thermal waters of Termas de Papallacta have medicinal properties that guarantee healthy benefits! For the active hikers, there is the opportunity to hike through the surrounding mountain forests and grassy paramo near the resort. This ecological reserve is managed by a local foundation and hides many peculiar species of flora and fauna (more than 160 bird species, mountain tapirs, spectacled bears and many other species). Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner at Termas de Papallacta.

 

DAY 3
In the morning we will depart from Papallacta to continue through the lush and green cloud forests of the Eastern Andes. After a short drive we will make a stop at a very nice cloud forest lodge where we can observe many species of hummingbirds. It is really amazing to see these small birds flying around us at a very close distance. Moreover we will have the opportunity to see the famous sword-billed hummingbird, which has even a longer beak than its body! If time permits we can also make a short hike before we continue our journey through the last hills of the Eastern 'Cordillera' towards the great Amazon basin. At midday we will arrive at Cotococha Amazon Lodge, a lovely retreat located on the shores of the Napo River, offering very spacious and comfortable bungalows, built in native design.

 

After lunch we put on our rubber boots to start an exciting walk in the rainforest ready to find the secret wonders of the mysterious hidden jungle, finding amazing plant species with medicinal properties, which will be explained in detail by our expert native guide: their characteristics and how the jungle inhabitants used them in ancient times. We'll also observe a great variety of insects and small groups of monkeys weaving around the giant trees; although we will need some luck to see them, for this reason it is important to remain very quiet to admire these beautiful creatures. Dozens of curious colorful birds tag along with us during our walk whistling enchanted notes and delighting our senses. After about three hours of walking we will arrive at the lodge again.

At night, the amazing jungle sounds and the illumination with lots of candles, torches and oil lamps, create a unique and romantic atmosphere at Cotococha Amazon Lodge. Enjoy dinner and gather around the cozy fireplace.

 

Alternative excursion:
If a jungle hike is too strenuous for you we offer a great alternative. We depart by canoe downstream for thirty minutes, arriving at the Shiripuno community, where we will pay a visit to the Quichua indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon village. The local women will receive us and give us explanations of their ancient lifestyles with different demonstrations such as food preparation, weaving techniques and typical dances. Moreover a huge stone has been found nearby hiding various petroglyphes, different ancient designs made by the ancestors of the local indigenous expressing their nature-oriented beliefs. After this enriching cultural experience we will return by canoe to our lodge, enjoying the Amazon scenery from our canoe.

 

DAY 4
After our delicious breakfast we'll be more than ready to start today's adventure! We will start with a canoe ride down the imposing Napo River crossing the enchanted Ecuadorian jungle. Soon we arrive at the village of Misahualli, where we'll have to make a short stop for routine inspection by the local Marine officers. With a stroll through this tranquil little town we will be able to see a group of Capuchin Monkeys, who live in harmony with the friendly inhabitants. We continue our canoe ride until we reach the Arajuno River. Here we will visit the animal rescue center "AmaZOOnico". This is a specialized organization dedicated to the rescue of wild animals and restoring them into their natural habitat. We will observe a great variety of species such as toucans, parrots, all kinds of monkeys, ocelots, capybaras and much more.

 

After our visit to this beautiful sanctuary, we'll enjoy a scrumptious picnic by the river shore. Afterwards, we can swim in the refreshing river waters or simply rest ourselves in the peaceful surroundings. We'll head back to our lodge, making a short stop in one of the many local indigenous communities by the Napo River. One of the native Quichua families will show us their ancestral costumes like gold washing, pottery techniques, the making of the typical drink "chicha" made of yuca and blowpipe hunting. After this fascinating cultural exchange with the Quichuas, we'll continue our way to Cotococha Amazon Lodge via a path on secondary forest. After dinner there will be some free time to relax around the fireplace or enjoy an exotic cocktail at the bar.

 

DAY 5
After our delicious breakfast we depart by canoe upstream for fifteen minutes, arriving on a small shore where we begin a fun and thrilling one hour walk, marveling ourselves with the jungle's secondary forest diverse flora and fauna. After our short hike, we'll find ourselves in a breathtaking cascade "La Cascada de Latas" where we will take a refreshing bath in its crystal clear waters and enjoy the surrounding views, which, mixed with the jungle sounds, make it an unforgettable experience. We return along the same way to get back at the lodge. For the adventurous: we can go tubing off the river. Float easily and enjoy the small rapids and great sights of the Amazon rain forest surroundings us!

After lunch we will leave the Cotococha Amazon Lodge and continue our journey to Baños. On route we will make a short stop in Puyo, where we will visit a small Balsa wood factory. The local workers will show us how they make beautiful souvenirs of this extreme light lightweight wood type. There is also a store where some of their hand made souvenirs can be bought.

 

After Puyo we will enjoy spectacular views of the Pastaza gorge, the surrounding cloud forests with thousands of orchids, dramatic waterfalls, cliff side farms and untouched views of Sangay and Llanganates National Parks. This spectacular stretch through the Pastaza Corridor has been declared by the WWF 'A Gift to the Earth', a transition from rainforest to the Andean Mountains in less than 50 kilometers. In the beginning of the evening we will reach Baños, and arrive at Luna Runtun, the Adventure Spa, spectacularly located on a hill above Baños nestled within the Sangay National Park, which has been declared a World Natural Heritage Site. Surely we will be enjoying the magnificent views of Baños deep below in the valley, the active Tungurahua volcano (5016 m.) and the Llanganates National Park, the inaccessible mountains that hide the lost gold of Inca Emperor Atahualpa. We will enjoy dinner at Luna Runtun in a great setting.

 

DAY 6
Today we will have a free day to spend in Baños. This friendly town is also known for its thermal hot springs with healing powers, but has much more to offer. From Luna Runtun many different optional adventure tours are organized, such as hiking, mountain biking, horse back riding, visit to the San Antonio cloud forest reserve and much more! There is also a possibility to hike to a viewpoint from where we can see the immense Tungurahua volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Ecuador. With some luck we may be observing an ash eruption! Optionally, you can undergo a massage or other health treatment in Luna Runtun's Spa, there are even volcanic ash foliations available, a truly local experience! Moreover the four pools and Jacuzzi at the border of Luna Runtun's property offer us one of the most amazing views of the whole valley.

 

DAY 7
In the morning we will leave Baños for another day full of diversity driving along the 'Avenue of the Volcanoes', through the central Andean valley. On our way we will come first along the Salasaca community, where we will have a look at the many tapestries and other woven products made by the local indigenous people who still maintain many ancient traditions. Afterwards we continue towards the central valley where with clear weather we will be able to see at least 11 of Ecuador's 55 volcanoes. At noon we will arrive at an ancient hacienda, for an early lunch. The hacienda was a former Inca fortress and palace from the 15th century and nowadays still holds original Inca walls and a complete chapel, built in the imperial style of the Incas. We will delight ourselves with a delicious lunch between the ancient Inca walls before we continue to the Cotopaxi National park. Arriving in the park we will pay a short visit to a little museum which informs about the park; its nature, geology, history and the eruptions of the centerpiece of this park; the Cotopaxi volcano (5897 m.), the world's highest active and snowcapped volcano!

We continue our way into the park and stop at the Limpiopungo lake at 3800 meters altitude. Here we can make a short walk while observing semi-wild horses, a variety of ducks, hummingbirds and the Andean gull and lapwing. If we feel fit enough we can continue our drive to the parking lot at 4600 m. from where it is a strenuous 45 minute walk up to the José Ribas refuge at 4800 m., a mountain refuge halfway the volcano. Here we will have some incredible picture opportunities and spectacular sceneries at the immense ice walls and deep crevasses of the glaciers above us as well as the surrounding countryside of the Ecuadorian Andes with its many volcanoes and lovely green valleys filled with patchwork cultivated fields. Afterwards we return to our vehicle for our drive back to Quito. Drop off at the hotel of our choice.

Contact

Just give us a call:

 

+593 (0) 987048121

 

or write us an e-mail:

 

info@tortugatours.de

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