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Sani Lodge

Deep within the Ecuadorian Amazon you will find a mysterious lake called Challuacocha, where floating water hyacinths and grasses obscure the shores. And if you venture out on this lagoon in a dugout canoe early in the morning when it is quiet and the light is still low, you just might see, somewhere out there, lying hidden in the vegetation a rare and wild Manatee or Anaconda. Float here for a while, scanning the horizon and you will probably notice the yellow banded chest of an Aracari or hear the hoarse whisper of the Hoatzin. Eventually, the day would pass and you could peer out across the shimmering black water towards the setting sun, and almost certainly see the gleaming orange eyes of the Black Caiman. Come to Challuacocha, feel the mystery and experience the world of Sani Lodge.

To the north of Challuacocha lies the massive Cuyabeno Reserve and along the southern border stretches the vast Yasuni National Park. In the corridor between, located on 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres) of untouched rainforest lies Sani Lodge. Here, the biodiversity will amaze you! On your adventure, you will walk through a pristine rainforest gallery that is home to 1,500 species of trees, hundreds of climbing vines, and exotic flowers, as well as 550 species of tropical birds, 13 species of monkeys and 1,000 species of beautiful butterflies.

Sani Lodge is truly a one of a kind Ecuador ecolodge dedicated to ecotourism, environmental conservation, and community projects in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. Sani Lodge is owned and operated by members of the Sani community, meaning that with their extensive knowledge of the Amazon wildlife and biodiversity they can give Sani Lodge guests the true experience of the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle. In addition to providing excellent service to its guests, Sani Lodge participates in community ecotourism - profits from the jungle lodge are reinvested into the community, improving the lives of all who live there.

Sani Lodge accommodates only up to 40 guests, between the cabins and the camping, emphasizing quality rather than quantity, and thereby offering you a more intimate experience with the rainforest. The lodge itself consists of ten, private, thatch-roofed cabanas, each with a modern bathroom. The cabanas are spaciously designed for double or triple occupancy, and have screened in windows to guard against insects while you sleep. Electric lights at the lodge run from ecological friendly solar energy instead of a noisy generator so the night sounds will be pure and natural. Oil lamps are also provided for those who appreciate that rustic feel. The bar, lounge, and dining room at Sani Lodge overlook the lagoon and offer both first class service, as well as, premier views of wild life and of the setting sun.

The cuisine during your adventure will be innovative, combining examples of fresh, local ingredients with an international style. Vegetarian, chicken, meat, and fish dishes will be served. Fresh bread, baked daily and scrumptious exotic fruits will greet you in the morning. At lunch, sip on refreshing exotic juices, like guanabana, guava, passion fruit, cactus fruit, citrus, and coconut. And in the evening after a beautiful meal, original deserts and fine Ecuadorian coffee will send you happily satisfied to a comfy chair or hammock in the lounge to reflect on the day's adventures in the Amazon.

Here are some of the accessories offered by the lodge:
Rubber boots and rain ponchos are provided.
Umbrellas.
Games at the Bar.
An Acoustic Guitar
A Library of wild life in the Amazon and others.
Professional binoculars for rent ( $10 per day).
Flashlights for sale.
T shirts, art crafts, bags and hats for sale.

Everything is offered with the intention of making your stay as comfortable as possible and supporting the comuna. For instance, all art crafts are made by the same people living at Sani Isla community. With your support, new working positions are created and their way of life is preserved.

First aid
At the Lodge, there is a First Aid equipment and staff trained to help anyone that has an emergency. We even have a medicine man that can help our guests using medicinal remedies from our forest. In case of a drastic emergency, 35 min. south from our lodge by boat we can access to medical facilities built by the oil companies in the community "El Edén".

Activities
(All itineraries are organized according to your interest and the climatic/seasonal conditions - please find an example itinerary below)

Birdwatching Tree Tower
A short, ten minute walk through the forest will bring you to our 30m (100ft) tree tower, built around a giant, emergent Kapok tree. Looking out across the rainforest canopy at this level, gives you a unique perspective, opening up a whole new world of Amazon biodiversity that is often difficult, if not impossible to see. White-throated Toucan, and Bare-necked Fruitcrow, to name just a few, and if you have a little luck, you might even see Red Howler Monkeys asleep in the treetops.

Parrot clay lick (Yasuni National Park)
See parrots and parakeets from special viewing blinds within camera range! They come here mostly all mornings to eat the clay that aids in digestion of some of the unripe seeds and fruits they eat. The nearest blind is just at 50-meter from the river. Here you will see Mealy Amazon, Yellow-crowned, Orange-winged and Blue-headed Parrots, as well as Dusky-headed and, occasionally, Cobalt-winged Parakeets. A second blind, reached by a 20-minute trail-hike through the forest, is typically visited by Cobalt-winged Parakeets, with Orange-cheeked Parrots.

Chorongo Trail (and others...)
After a relaxing canoe ride to the end of the lake you will arrive at Chorongo Trail, whose Kichwa name means “Woolly Monkey”. This is our longest hike, leading you across muddy swamps on log bridges, through the dense-jungle of natural tree-fall gaps, and the under story shade of pristine, primary rainfores. Along the way you will learn about medicinal plants, taste native, edible fruits and insects and discover how to weave traditional palm-fiber bags. As for wildlife, if you walk quietly and are alert, it may be possible to see Giant Anteaters (with great luck), Black-Mantled Tamarin Monkeys, poison-dart frogs, and countless other surprises that the forest may hold in store for you. More trails are available ranging from easy to difficult.

Fishing
If this activity is your hobby there are various places where you can practice it while you are at Sani lodge. These are: Pañacocha lagoon, Challuacocha lagoon, Napo river islands, and the small streams that take you to our diverse trails.
Canoe the Challuayacu Yacu is kichwa for stream, and from the Challua you will experience the rainforest in a whole new way. Sneak up on birds, amphibians, and other Amazon wildlife from a steady canoe paddled by an expert native guide and notice the difference in rainforest vegetation which grows along and overtop of the river. Caiman Watching - Whether from the bar with a pair of binoculars, or up close and personal in a canoe, you will be able to view the active and healthy Black Caiman population (a rare and endangered Amazon species) which resides in our lagoon. 

Night Caiman Watching
Our black-water oxbow lake is one of the increasingly rare havens for the endangered Black Caiman, supporting a healthy population of these large, up to 5-meter long, crocodilians. After the sun sets, these non-aggressive and shy reptiles become active along the water’s edge, hunting fish, mammals, birds, even anacondas, and sometimes can be seen swimming lazily across the lake. Take a dugout canoe out onto the water at night, with the moon casting an eerie glow into the humid fog, the frogs and nightjars singing, and you will see the glowing red eyes of baby, juvenile, and adult caimans.

Night Hiking
Many animals stay hidden away for most of the day, depending on their cryptic colouration and camouflage to avoid detection, sleeping motionless in the canopy, or under rocks, logs and leaf-litter on the forest floor. But at night the forest comes alive with a myriad of insects beyond your wildest imagination, tree frogs ranging from the size of your fingernail to the size of your whole hand, and mammals such as Night Monkeys, various bat species, and Kinkajous. A hike through the Rainforest at night is an opportunity to discover the mysteries of what happens in the dark, hidden behind the shadows, in the deep recesses of the forest, where few dare to venture.

Bar Observation
Because the Challuacocha is such a superb place to observe birds and aquatic wildlife, it is possible to see Magpie Tanagers, Cocoi Herons, Amazon Umbrella birds, freshwater turtles, and maybe even an Anaconda or Black Caiman while enjoying a cocktail and relaxing in our lakeside bar.

Native home
Visiting a native house is one of the most rewarding experiences, there you see how a typical kichwa family lives. Their food, drinks, customs, clothing and more will let you amaze of the culture of this community. The family of your native guide will welcome you into their world. One of the most important part of this visit is see how the family is self-sustainable.


Contact Ecuador Travel Prices 2017 per person

Tour (Double/Triple room) camping rates 2017
3 Days 644.00 498.00
4 Days 858.00 664.00
5 Days 1073.00 830.00
6 Days 1287.00 996.00
7 Days 1502.00 1162.00
8 Days 1716.00 1328.00

Flight Quito-Coca-Quito USD 180.-

Included in the price:
Transfer from Coca to the lodge and back, full board accommodation at the lodge, meals as mentioned in the program, water, private rooms with private bathrooms, native guide and bilingual naturalist guide, rubber boots.

Not included in the price:
Binoculars (for rent at the lodge), beverages, tips, travel insurance, international flight airport tax in Quito (USD 41.- per person), National Park entrance fee of USD 25.- only in the excursion to the parrot clay like.

What to bring:
Passport, raincoat or poncho, binoculars, flashlight, insect repellent, sun block, hat with wide brim, sunglasses, lightweight long and short sleeved shirts, lightweight pants (not jeans) and shorts, comfortable shoes and long socks, camera, day pack.
NB: Please read all itineraries as a guide only. All routes and programs can change without notice due to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety reasons and the wildlife encountered during the travel. Flexibility is the key to the success of any tour. Nevertheless the safety and the interest of our passengers is always our first priority.

Sani Lodge - Sample Itinerary

All our activities are adjusted and planned in accordance with the wishes,
preferences, and suggestions of our guests.

Day 01: Your adventure starts in the bustling oil town called Coca located in the Amazon Basin after your travel of your choice (flight or drive) from Quito. In Coca you will drive to the town’s docks where you will board a motorized canoe for the journey down the river Rio Napo to Sani Lodge. On your way you have a box lunch. After around 3 hours you enter Rio Chaullayacu, a small stream connecting the lagoon at Sani Lodge with Rio Napo. Following the small stream for about 45 minutes you arrive at Sani Lodge. After some welcome snacks and drinks and a short rest to settle down in your rooms you can already start your first exploration of the surrounding rainforest on an introductory canoe ride or forest hike. After dinner depending on the weather conditions you can take a short night trek around the lodge looking for frogs and other nocturnal animals. L/D

Day 02: After an early breakfast (06:00am) you leave the lodge for a hike through the rainforest. After a relaxing canoe ride (45 minutes) to the end of the lake you will arrive at the Chorongo Trail, whose Kichwa name means “Woolly Monkey”. This is the longest hike near the lodge, leading you in about 3 – 4 hours across muddy swamps on log bridges, through the dense-jungle of natural tree-fall gaps, and the under story shade of pristine, primary rainforest. Along the way you will learn about medicinal plants, taste native, edible fruits and insects and discover how to weave traditional palm-fiber bags. You return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you continue your jungle exploration, this time on the Swamp Trail who will lead you through the more humid areas of the rainforest. After dinner you can go for a night hike. Many animals stay hidden away for most of the day, depending on their cryptic coloration and camouflage to avoid detection, sleeping motionless in the canopy, or under rocks, logs and leaf-litter on the forest floor. But at night the forest comes alive with a myriad of insects beyond your wildest imagination, tree frogs ranging from the size of your fingernail to the size of your whole hand, and mammals such as Night Monkeys, various bat species, and Kinkajous. A hike through the Rainforest at night is an opportunity to discover the mysteries of what happens in the dark, hidden behind the shadows, in the deep recesses of the forest, where few dare to venture.

Day 03: In the early morning A short, ten minute walk through the forest will bring you to our 30m (100ft) tree tower, built around a giant, emergent Kapok tree. Looking out across the rainforest canopy at this level, gives you a unique perspective, opening up a whole new world of Amazon biodiversity that is often difficult, if not impossible to see. White-throated Toucan, and Bare-necked Fruitcrow, to name just a few, and if you have a little luck, you might even see Red Howler Monkeys asleep in the treetops. From the bird-watch tower you hike back to the lodge following the Aguila Trail. During this 2,5 hours hike your guide will share his vast knowledge of the flora and fauna of the rainforest with you and explain you the practical and medicinal use of the plants you find along the trail. After lunch you will try you luck fishing piranhas in the lagoon and enjoy the sunset floating over the lake. After dinner you can go on a tour to spot caimans. The black-water oxbow lake is one of the increasingly rare havens for the endangered Black Caiman, supporting a healthy population of these large, up to 5-meter long, crocodilians. After the sun sets, these non-aggressive and shy reptiles become active along the water’s edge, hunting fish, mammals, birds, even anacondas, and sometimes can be seen swimming lazily across the lake.

Day 04: Today you have an early breakfast and departure from the lodge (usually at 6:45am) starting with a 30min boat ride along the Rio Challuayacu. Yacu is kichwa for stream, and from the Challua you will experience the rainforest in a whole new way. Observe birds, amphibians, and other Amazon wildlife and notice the difference in rainforest vegetation which grows along and overtop of the river. Another 3 – 3.5 hour ride up the Rio Napo brings you back to the little harbor in Coca. From here you return back to Quito according to your preferences by bus or plane. B/L

Additional Day(s): Optional excursions such as hikes through different trails and forest types. Canoe rides exploring deeper areas of surrounding creeks with more wildlife possibilities, visits of the local community among other options.

NB: Please read all itineraries as a guide only. All routes and programs can change without notice due to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety reasons and the wildlife encountered during the travel. Flexibility is the key to the success of any tour. Nevertheless the safety and the interest of our passengers is always our first priority.


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