• Amazon
  • bathroom
  • canopy
  • entry
  • interiordouble
  • monkey

Overview

Sacha Lodge (“Sacha” is the Quichua Indian word meaning “forest”) was a dream founded by Arnold Ammeter, or as he is more commonly known, “Benny.” Born in Interlaken , Switzerland , Benny boarded a ship and headed for Chile in 1963. After spending only three months there, his thirst for adventure and the forests of South America had been awaken.

After a short time in Chile he decided to set off for Bolivia , where he remained until 1967. Later, his travels took him farther North into Peru , where he worked in the gold business. Towards the end of 1979 Benny once again packed his bags and this time headed for Ecuador , where he still resides today. Here he once again worked with gold, but also began distributing Coca Cola to isolated communities of the Ecuadorian Amazon along the Napo River. In 1985, Benny opened his first tourist lodge, ” La Casa del Suizo,” on the Upper Napo at the village of Ahuano . Today, La Casa del Suizo is still functioning there as a successful tourist resort.

As civilization slowly approached Ahuano, Benny, who was captivated by the wilderness, decided to search for a location to construct a lodge deeper in the forest. By 1989, his search had taken him throughout the entire Ecuadorian Amazon region, more commonly known as “El Oriente.” He visited Huaorani Indian territory, the Yasuní National Park and the Aguarico River region. While he liked many of the sights he visited, he found that they weren’t suitable for his vision of a rainforest lodge, since all of the land was government owned. One day after leaving Pañacocha (Iocated two hours downstream from Sacha Lodge) he stopped to speak with one of the locals living on the bank of the lower Napo . Benny spoke of his dream and the gentleman told him that he knew of the perfect place for a lodge. Together they hiked through a swamp, not knowing that the trail would soon become Sacha’s present day boardwalk (“El Anden”), and arrived at an isolated lagoon. Benny immediately fell in love with this lake, called Pilchicocha, and decided that it was the site he had been looking for. He then met with ten local landowners in nearby Coca, and purchased 500 hectares of their properties surrounding Pilchicocha. In October of 1991, 170 employees began construction of Sacha Lodge and it’s famous wooden tower (” La Torre “).

Six months later, the initial construction of Sacha was complete.

Itinerary 4 days:

Day 1

Depart Quito´s airport at 11:00am (subject to change). A 30 minute flight over the Andes Mountains leads you to a bustling oil town called Coca located in the Amazon Basin. A quick lunch in Sacha´s private house and then its off to the town docks where you will board Sacha´s private canoes for the 2 hour journey down river to Sacha´s Lodges property.  30 minute hike through the rainforest leads you to lake Pilchicocha. Here, you are met by native workers to paddle you across the lake to your final destination. Arrive at Sacha Lodge around 15:30 or 16:00 pm (subject to change).

Swim in Lake Pilchicocha, which is a black water lake home to many species of fish and animals. A refreshing swim after arriving may be just what you need after being in the equatorial heat all day. Bird observing from the mini tower offers guests an excellent opportunity to view several species of birds common around the lodge. Also a great place to watch the sun set. Visit the butterfly house with your naturalist guide to view the beautiful colors of many different species of butterflies.  After dinner, accompany your naturalist guide on a night walk through the rainforest to view the hundreds of different species of animals that can only be found at night. Or maybe a canoe ride on the lake to view the spectacled and black caimans with their glowing orange eyes as you silently paddle across the lake to get a closer view.

Day 2

Begin morning activity between 6:00 and 7:00. Begin walking on trail Liana Chica and arrive at the canopy walk, for spectacular views of the rainforest canopy and the many different species of vibrantly colored birds.  Designed to be a self-standing rigid suspension canopy walk, it is one of only a few in the world! Located within Sacha´s private reserve, 2 miles from the shores of the Rio Napo and 1 mile from the lodge, the bird walk gives guests the opportunity to get an up close and personal view of the rainforest canopy.

Two of the three towers have observation decks every 12 meters making towers accessible for everyone. The canopy walkway is at 36 meters high and 275 meters long, giving guests a “birds eye view” of all the wonders and beauty the tropical rainforest has to offer. The canopy walk is designed as a sturdy walkway enabling guests to casually move along while enjoying the spectacular views.  After the canopy walk, Liana Grande through terra firma and igapo forest habitats where native guides will explain many different species of medicinal plants that have been being used in their culture for hundreds of years.

Liana Grande will turn into the trail Higueron, which will take you through pristine primary forest with huge Kapok and Fig trees towering hundreds of feet above your head.  After lunch, you may choose to take a leisurely hike along the Rio Napo, or choose a little more challenging hike on the trail Leoncillo to try and spot the elusive dusky titi monkey. Either way the trails will lead you back to the main boardwalk for your final hike and canoe ride back to the lodge.

Day 3

Leaving the lodge after breakfast, you begin your hike on trail Lagartococha. This trail offers you the chance to learn more about the native people and their relationship with the forest.Learn about the trees where native people believe the spirits of their ancestors live, and the mysterious “dwende” or devil-man of the forest.  After arriving at lake Lagartococha, take a tranquil canoe ride through a natural swamp, which is the home of anacondas, caimans, and capybaras. After the canoe ride, a walk on the other side of Largatococha may give you the opportunity to spot capuchin or squirrel monkeys playfully jumping through the trees.

Return from the walk or canoe ride and head back to the lodge for a refreshing dip in the lake, or a nice relaxing nap in your personal hammock on your private balcony.  After lunch, your native guide will teach you how to fish for the infamous razor-toothed piranha. Keep in mind that piranhas will never attack a person and swimming at the same time is perfectly safe and fun!  Around 15:30 you will begin what many think is the best trail at Sacha, a silent canoe ride through the flooded Amazonian forest. Where you have a good chance of being surrounded by troops of squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys. Keep your eyes peeled for the shy and elusive river otter as well as the incredibly well camouflaged three-toed sloth!

After your eye-popping ride through the flooded forest, you will arrive at Sacha´s135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient Kapok tree. Get close up views of vibrantly colored birds through Sacha´s powerful scopes, and watch the sun set with an amazing view of Mount Sumaco, a volcano, and possibly a view of the snow-covered caps of the Andes!  Leaving the tower just before or after sunset will give you an experience not soon forgotten. A canoe ride back through the flooded forest at night will be an awe-inspiring experience. Listen to the symphony of frogs and insects as you navigate through the narrow flooded forest trail, keeping your eyes open for caimans. Watch the several species of bats flying over your heads and listen to the many species of nocturnal birds making their eerie nighttime calls. Finally, after your mesmerizing canoe trip through the Amazon, you will arrive back at lake Pilchicocha and the welcoming lights of Sacha lodge.

Day 4

Breakfast and a departure from the lodge at 07:30am. One last walk on the boardwalk to the river, and from there a 2 hour canoe ride back to Coca for your 35 minute flight back to Quito. Arrive Quito at 12:30pm (subject to change).

Itinerary 5 days:

Day 1

Depart Quito´s airport at 11:00am (subject to change). A 30 minute flight over the Andes Mountains leads you to a bustling oil town called Coca located in the Amazon Basin. A quick lunch in Sacha´s private house and then its off to the town docks where you will board Sacha´s private canoes for the 2 hour journey down river to Sacha´s Lodges property.  30 minute hike through the rainforest leads you to lake Pilchicocha. Here, you are met by native workers to paddle you across the lake to your final destination. Arrive at Sacha Lodge around 15:30 or 16:00 pm (subject to change).

Swim in Lake Pilchicocha, which is a black water lake home to many species of fish and animals. A refreshing swim after arriving may be just what you need after being in the equatorial heat all day. Bird observing from the mini tower offers guests an excellent opportunity to view several species of birds common around the lodge. Also a great place to watch the sun set. Visit the butterfly house with your naturalist guide to view the beautiful colors of many different species of butterflies.  After dinner, accompany your naturalist guide on a night walk through the rainforest to view the hundreds of different species of animals that can only be found at night. Or maybe a canoe ride on the lake to view the spectacled and black caimans with their glowing orange eyes as you silently paddle across the lake to get a closer view.

Day 2

Begin morning activity between 6:00 and 7:00. Begin walking on trail Liana Chica and arrive at the canopy walk, for spectacular views of the rainforest canopy and the many different species of vibrantly colored birds.  Designed to be a self-standing rigid suspension canopy walk, it is one of only a few in the world! Located within Sacha´s private reserve, 2 miles from the shores of the Rio Napo and 1 mile from the lodge, the bird walk gives guests the opportunity to get an up close and personal view of the rainforest canopy.

Two of the three towers have observation decks every 12 meters making towers accessible for everyone. The canopy walkway is at 36 meters high and 275 meters long, giving guests a “birds eye view” of all the wonders and beauty the tropical rainforest has to offer. The canopy walk is designed as a sturdy walkway enabling guests to casually move along while enjoying the spectacular views.  After the canopy walk, Liana Grande through terra firma and igapo forest habitats where native guides will explain many different species of medicinal plants that have been being used in their culture for hundreds of years.

Liana Grande will turn into the trail Higueron, which will take you through pristine primary forest with huge Kapok and Fig trees towering hundreds of feet above your head.  After lunch, you may choose to take a leisurely hike along the Rio Napo, or choose a little more challenging hike on the trail Leoncillo to try and spot the elusive dusky titi monkey. Either way the trails will lead you back to the main boardwalk for your final hike and canoe ride back to the lodge.

Day 3

Leaving the lodge after breakfast, you begin your hike on trail Lagartococha. This trail offers you the chance to learn more about the native people and their relationship with the forest.Learn about the trees where native people believe the spirits of their ancestors live, and the mysterious “dwende” or devil-man of the forest.  After arriving at lake Lagartococha, take a tranquil canoe ride through a natural swamp, which is the home of anacondas, caimans, and capybaras. After the canoe ride, a walk on the other side of Largatococha may give you the opportunity to spot capuchin or squirrel monkeys playfully jumping through the trees.

Return from the walk or canoe ride and head back to the lodge for a refreshing dip in the lake, or a nice relaxing nap in your personal hammock on your private balcony.  After lunch, your native guide will teach you how to fish for the infamous razor-toothed piranha. Keep in mind that piranhas will never attack a person and swimming at the same time is perfectly safe and fun!  Around 15:30 you will begin what many think is the best trail at Sacha, a silent canoe ride through the flooded Amazonian forest. Where you have a good chance of being surrounded by troops of squirrel, capuchin, and howler monkeys. Keep your eyes peeled for the shy and elusive river otter as well as the incredibly well camouflaged three-toed sloth!

After your eye-popping ride through the flooded forest, you will arrive at Sacha´s135-foot wooden tower built around an ancient Kapok tree. Get close up views of vibrantly colored birds through Sacha´s powerful scopes, and watch the sun set with an amazing view of Mount Sumaco, a volcano, and possibly a view of the snow-covered caps of the Andes!  Leaving the tower just before or after sunset will give you an experience not soon forgotten. A canoe ride back through the flooded forest at night will be an awe-inspiring experience. Listen to the symphony of frogs and insects as you navigate through the narrow flooded forest trail, keeping your eyes open for caimans. Watch the several species of bats flying over your heads and listen to the many species of nocturnal birds making their eerie nighttime calls. Finally, after your mesmerizing canoe trip through the Amazon, you will arrive back at lake Pilchicocha and the welcoming lights of Sacha lodge.

Day 4

A chance to view four different species of parrots at the same time is something that should not be missed. Sacha is close enough to Yasuni National Park that a thirty minute motorized canoe ride down the Napo to the parrot lick is well worth it. Leaving at six in the morning from Sacha and arriving at the lick around 7:30 will give you plenty of time to get close up views of the parrots eating the clay to neutralize the acids which they get from eating their many different types of fruits and leaves.  Arriving back at the lodge around 11am or so gives you plenty of time to swim or relax before lunch is served. Visit the butterfly house once again to photograph the beautifully colored butterflies.

For your afternoon activity, Pantano is the trail to take. Pantano offers you several different types of rainforest habitats. From secondary to primary forests as well as flooded forest and swampy areas. An excellent trail for monkeys and birds in the afternoon, your naturalist and native guides will intrigue you with their knowledge of the jungle and its inhabitants as well as provide you with an everlasting experience and memory of the neotropical rainforest.

Day 5

Breakfast and a departure from the lodge at 7:30am.for an easy walk on the boardwalk to watch monkeys one last time before your final departure. Arrive in Coca and be escorted to the Coca airport where all plane tickets will be in the hands of Sacha employees waiting to help you board the plane and a final farewell. Scheduled arrival at Quito´s airport is at 12:30pm (subject to change).

 

 

What’s Included:

  • All meals from lunch day 1 until breakfast last day
  • Filtered water
  • Accommodation
  • River transportation
  • Bilingual Naturalist Guide
  • All excursions
  • Rain poncho
  • Rubber boots

 

What’s Not Included:

  • International or domestic airfares
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Visa fees
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations
  • Alcoholic beverages / Snacks
  • Insurance of any kind
  • Laundry
  • Phone calls or messages reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature
  • National Park Entrance
  • Tips

 

What to bring:

  • Good binoculars for wildlife viewing (an absolute necessity). We suggest that each visitor carry their own binoculars.
  • Camera/video gear (if using film, lower ASA for open areas (50 or 100), higher ASA for forest (400 and up). [24 hour electricity (120v) is available for charging batteries and digital equipment.)
  • Two or three pairs of lightweight long pants.
  • Two or three long-sleeved lightweight shirts.
  • Two or three T-shirts.
  • One or two pairs of shorts (mostly for around the lodge).
  • Lightweight sweater or jacket.
  • Raingear (if you prefer not to use the ponchos provided).
  • Three or four pairs of cotton socks.
  • Sandals (Teva type or similar for around the lodge).
  • Three or four pairs of absorbent socks.
  • Small day pack for excursions.
  • A bottle or canteen to carry water on hike (1-quart size is sufficient).
  • Ziplock-type plastic bags to cover optics or other gear.
  • Insect repellent (Skin-so-soft or DEET product with at least 20% concentration).
  • Flashlight or headlamp bright enough for use on night walks.
  • Small, packable umbrella (can be useful in light rain – very useful!).
  • A hat for sun protection (and that will stay on during windy boat rides).
  • Sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen lotion with a high SPF rating.
  • Personal toiletries and medications (carry medications with you when arriving and leaving the lodge).
  • Extra batteries/film/video tapes as appropriate.
  • A photocopy of your passport (always good to have while traveling).
  • Money (in small US$ bills – ones and fives and coins) for bar bills and Artesania purchases.
  • We recommend using rechargeable batteries in your visit to the lodge so that you need not dispose of used batteries, thus contributing to the quality of our environment.

 

Costs:

  • 4 days = $950 per person in double or triple, $1425 in single
  • 5 days = $1190 per person in double or triple, $1785 in single
  • 6 days = $1390 per person in double or triple, $1990 in single
  • 7 days = $1600 per person in double or triple, $2400 in single

 

Note: Sunday departures are not available

Children under 12: 30% DISCOUNT ON HOTEL PRICES, 50% DISCOUNT ON AIRFARE ($90.00)
Children under 5: HOTEL FREE, 50% DISCOUNT ON AIRFARE ($90.00)