AAEJ02  Huaorani Adventure  5, 6 or 7 days

Huaorani-600

The Yasuni National Park is made up of an infinite succession of small, smooth hills that are the result of the age-old flowing of the rivers and that are the general background to this area of immense biodiversity.

The park covers important basins of the rivers Napo, Yasuní, Tiputini, Nashiño, Cononaco and various tributaries of the Curaray River, which forms the southern border of the Park. The impressive Napo River borders the park on the north. From the town of Puerto Napo (on the vicinity of the city of Tena) to New Rocafuerte the river travels approximately 350 km, creating more than 120 islands along the way. This river is navigable all the way, until it flows into the great Amazon River. The rivers in the Yasuni National Park have different origins; some are originated from the Andes and are known as white water Rivers due to the high quantity of sediment they drag from the mountain range. Others are born in the Amazon region itself and are known as clear water rivers given that they are tinted by a certain degree of contact with fallen leaves. Finally, there are the black water rivers, which have the color of tea owing to their constant contact with “hojarasca” and to the tannin that they acquire from the leaves. The blackest water of all is the one that comes from the palm swamps or “moretales”.

The totality of the Park is classified as tropical rain forest. Within it, one can differentiate three types of forest: the firm ground, located on the higher parts; the seasonally flooded forest (or varzea); and the permanently flooded forest (or igapo). In spite of the good state in which all this biodiversity is maintained in the Park, there are also threats, which put great pressure on these resources; colonization and the oil exploration are the most evident.

FACTFILE: YASUNI NATIONAL PARK, Napo Province. The western edge of the Yasuni National Park lies only at 306kms from Quito, the capital of Ecuador. It has an area of 679751ha.

FAUNA: The fauna of this park includes a great variety of fish: siluros, piranhas and various ornamental species. Reptiles include anacondas, boa constrictors, crocodiles, tortoise, and there are also various amphibians, invertebrates and insects. Birds include royal buzzards, harpy eagles, giant “tinamúes”, falcons, kingfishers and herons. Among the mammals there are tapirs, monkeys, giant armadillos and wild boars.

FLORA: Different types of vegetation: riverbank vegetation, forest flooded or varzea, and firm forest ground, among others. The vegetable species vary considerably from the hills to the plains. Common species include the cecropia, chonta, silk tree and rubber tree, the capirona, the jacaranda, the “sangre de drago”, cinnamon, cacahuatero and many vegetables.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS: This reserve is the area with greatest biodiversity that exists in Ecuador. The Huaorani Indians live inside the limits of this park, along the river basins of the Tiputini, Yasuní, Cononaco, Shiripuno and Nashiño.

Our 6 days day Huaorani Expedition Yacuma Lodge & Camping Program:

This program creates a very unique experience, where visitors learn about the Kichwa and Huaorani cultures and their close relationship with the forest, with the possibility of observing Amazon wildlife in the hikes and different activities, and receive a conservationist interpretation of the ecology and actual situation of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest.

Departures: Wednesday or Friday

Day1.  Quito – Yacuma Forest Reserve: Early morning we will pick you up from your hotel and then by bus we depart from Quito (Also we can arrange for you a return flight Quito – Tena – Quito - at extra cost) or private transportation - extra cost) towards the city of Tena. Here we will have lunch and afterwards we will continue our overland trip to the small indigenous village of Santa Rosa (or San Pedro), where we will be arriving around 3 p.m. From Santa Rosa (or San Pedro), by canoe we will navigate for about 30 minutes downstream along the Napo River towards Yacuma EcoLodge, where our staff will welcome you with a typical cold drink. There will be time to settle in the lodge’s typical Quechua bungalows for two people. After a short rest, and with the company of one of our expert’s Indigenous guides, we go for a visit to typical Kichwa family home. Here we can learn about their way of life, see the interesting small “traps” museum. We also will observe different kind of plantations such as bananas, cacao, coffee, etc. Later on with our canoe, we go back to the lodge for a well-deserved dinner. After dinner and weather permitting, we can go in the night for silent canoe navigation on the nearby lagoon. This gives us a very special feeling in the rainforest. Lunch, Dinner. 

Day2.    Yacuma Forest Reserve – Huaorani Camp: At about 7 a.m. we will start canoeing on the Napo River for about 1:30 hours to the small river settlement called Comunidad de Los Rios. From here a 30 minutes pick-up ride will take us to the village of Selva Amazonica from where we will start a 6 hours trekking into the primary rainforest to the Huaorani Camp. This trekking is full of adventure crossing small streams, rivers and different kind of hilly terrains, on the way we will be able to observe several species of plants and trees, some of them more than 600 years old. With small luck and depending on the weather, we may see some mammals (capybaras, armadillos, different species of monkeys, etc.) and different kind of jungle birds. On the way, we will have a lunch box in the rainforest before we arrive to the main objective of this day, our Huaorani Tribe Camp. While the Huaoranis give us a friendly welcome with a traditional dance and the typical drink called chicha (base on cassava and ripe plantain), the staff of Yacuma (member of the Huaorani tribe) will prepare dinner. After dinner, we will have a rest in our comfortable tents to recover the energies for the next day. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner .

Day3. Huaorani Camp: Early morning and accompanied by an expert Huaorani guide, we walk into the rainforest to a natural mineral salt lick (Collpa in Spanish), where you will be able to enjoy the fascinating spectacle of birds liking the Collpa. The number of birds and species will depend on the weather, the season and the time of the year (best time for bird watching July - September). Return to the lodge for breakfast and then our hike will take us to the shores of a small lagoon where we can observe turtles (charapas). From here, we go to the shores of the Shiripuno River where we take our canoes for navigation to a very special place where we can observe dozens of Hoatzins. The Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoatzin), is the Amazon's weirdest birds and rather shy except in breeding season. It has a punk hair-do, and a bright blue face. Added to that, it smells bad, so that is why it is also known as the "Stink-bird." It eats only leaves and it is rather heavy, and hence a clumsy flyer. Later on we go back to the camp for a well deserved lunch and after a short rest we will continue with our unique tour on the Huaorani territory where, and as part, of their secret way of living, you will be able to see how they light up fire at their own unusual way. Now it is time to learn the process of how to make the curare (paralyze poison) and practice the traditional way of hunting of the Huaorani tribe with the blowgun (cerbatana). Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. .

Day4. Huaorani Camp: In the morning we will go to a very special place, the Huaorani Sacred Waterfall, this is a special place where this tribe celebrate their rituals and ceremonials festivities, and where the shamans (medicine man) enter in contact with the spirits, here you can have a refreshing bathing to take out all the bad energies, as it is their tradition. Afterwards we will do a 2 hours hike into the rainforest looking for wildlife and birds. With little luck we will be able to observe different kind of monkeys, capibaras, perhaps spot some anacondas and other wild animals. Return to the camp for lunch and here in the afternoon we will focus on enjoying the way of living of the Huaorani Tribe. They will show us their own techniques of making pottery. In the evening the hosting tribe will invite you for dinner and try the local drink while sharing yours feeling at our social farewell meeting known by the Huaorani in their native language as Kacharina, which means share all your feelings and experiences. Our main Wao guide and chief of the Huantaro Tribe will tell us some legends of the region.  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 5: Huaorani Camp – Yacuma Lodge: After breakfast we say goodbye to our native Huaorani friends and then we will begin our return hike through the primary rainforest reserve of the Wuaos tribe. Our 6 hours hike will take us back to the small community called Selva Amazonica, where a pickup truck will be waiting for us for a car ride towards the village of San Pedro, from where our canoe will take us back to Yacuma Ecolodge. Enjoy a well deserved dinner and later on we will invite you to have a farewell typical drink at our informal social farewell evening. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day6. Yacuma Ecolodge - Quito: After breakfast, we say goodbye to our Indigenous Kichwa friends and then we will begin our return journey along the Napo River to Santa Rosa Village (or San Pedro) from where you we will transport back to Tena. From here, you can take your transport back to Quito. For those taking the flight option we will transfer to the new airport in Tena for your afternoon flight back to Quito.

Gross price per person: us$ 650. - (Commission: 10%) 

Participants Number:  minimum 2 and maximum 16 participants.

Included

Public bus transport Tena - San Pedro - Tena

 Spanish/English speaking companion

 Indigenous community entrance fee

 Indigenous Kichwa guides at Yacuma Forest Reserve

 All meals in Yacuma Ecolodge and at our Huaorani Camp

 3 nights accommodation in Yacuma lodge in bungalows with private facilities

 2 nights Tents accommodations at our Huaorani Camp

 Huaorani Territory entrance fee

 Huaorani Indigenous Guide

 Noted excursions

 Canoes

 

Not Included

 Private or Public transport Quito – Tena - Quito

 Return flight Quito – Tena - Quito

 Bottled drinks or alcoholic drinks

 Personal expenses, tips.

• Personal equipment

 Personal travel insurance


Departures: On every week on Wednesday and Friday.

 

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