YACUMA ECOLODGE & HUANTARO CAMP (6 DAYS)

HUANTARO-CAMP-750

Huaorani Tribe & Yasuni National Park              6 Days

The Ecuadorian 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 park is bordered on the north by the impressive Napo River. From the town of Francisco of Orellana (Coca) to New Rocafuerte the river travels approximately 300 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 proceed from the Andes and are known as white water Rivers due to the high quantity of sediment that 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 3 types of forest: the firm ground, located in 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.

FAUNA: The fauna of this park includes a great variety of fish: siluros, piranhas and various ornamental species. Reptiles include anacondas, boa constrictors, caymans, tortoises, 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 others.

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

6 Days Huaorani Expedition

This program creates a very unique experience, where visitors will learn about the Kichwa and Huaorani cultures and their close relationship with the rainforest, with the possibility to observe Amazon wildlife and flora, enjoy different activities and receive a conservationist interpretation of the ecology and actual situation of the primary Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest. With this tour you will experience the customs and traditions of an authentic Huaorani tribe in an environment with wildlife, amazing landscape and flora.

The Huaorani, Waorani or Waodani, also known as the Waos, are native Amerindians from the Amazonian Region of Ecuador (Napo, Orellana and Pastaza Provinces) who have marked differences from other ethnic groups from Ecuador. The alternate name Auca is a pejorative exonym used by the neighbouring Quechua Indians, and commonly adopted by Spanish-speakers as well. Auca – awqa in Quechua – means "enemy". Their population is estimated in 4000 inhabitants and speak the Huaorani language, a linguistic isolate that is not known to be related to any other language. In the past, Huaorani were able to protect their culture and lands from both indigenous enemies and settlers.

Fixed Departures: Wednesday & Friday

Diapositiva1Day1. Saturday: Quito – Yacuma Forest Reserve
Early in the morning we will pick you up from your hotel and then by bus we depart from Quito (Also we can arrange for you the return flight), travelling to the city of Tena, where 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), we will navigate for about 30 minutes downstream along the Napo River by canoe toward 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 will go to the Birds Island by canoe, where we will make a hike in the forest around the Laguna Escondida (Hidden Lagoon), an special place where we can observe different species of jungle birds: river Garzas (great egret), Great Blue Heron, King fisher, Garrapatero, Oropendolas, etc. One of the most interesting bird is The Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoatzin), the Amazon's weirdest birds and rather shy except in mating season. It has a punk hair-do, and a bright blue face. Due to its particular smells, this bird is known as the "Stink-bird." It only eats leaves, so is rather heavy, and hence a clumsy flyer. Later on, we will canoe 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.

Day 2: Yacuma – Huaorani Camp
At about 7 a.m. we will start canoeing on the Napo River for about 1 hour and 30 minutes to a small river settlement called Los Rios, 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.) as well as different kind of jungle birds. On the way we will have a box-lunch in the rainforest before we arrive to the main objective of this day, our Huaorani Tribe Camp. While the Huaorani 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.

Day 3: Huaorani Camp
After breakfast we will go with the Huaorani guides 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). After you have seen this spectacular show of birds, we will return to the Huaorani settlement, where you will have the unique opportunity to find out about their customs, way of living and ancestral secrets of the jungle. After lunch and continuing with our unique tour 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.

HUANTARO-CAMP-1-Day 4: 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 boas. Return to the camp for lunch and here in the afternoon we will focus on enjoying the way of living of the Huaorani Tribe, as part of it 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 their social farewell meeting known by the Huaorani in their native language as Kacharina, which means share all your feelings and experiences. 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 4 hours hike will take us to a 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, where we will 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.

Day 6: Yacuma Lodge - Quito
On the morning we will have our last breakfast and saying goodbye to our Indigenous friends we will depart continuing with our journey along the Napo River to Santa Rosa Village (or San Pedro), from where you will take your transport back to Tena and from there back to Quito (from those taking the flight option we will transfer to the new airport in Tena for your afternoon flight back to Quito). Breakfast.

Expedition Highlights:

•    Huaorani Indigenous Community
•    Amazon Rainforest
•    River Navigation
•    Wildlife Observation

•    Price per person: US$650.-

We offer guaranteed departures with minimum 2 passengers every week on Wednesday and Friday

•    Included in the price: All transfers; noted meals; in - out canoe transfers (San Pedro - Yacuma Lodge - San Pedro) and Yacuma Lodge – Los Rios; Native guides; English/Spanish speaking companion (from Tena); Public Transportation Quito - Tena - San Pedro and return; entrance fees.
•    Not included in the price: Return private transportation Quito - Tena - San Pedro (or Santa Rosa) and return; Alcoholic or bottled soft drinks; tips, extras, personal expenses; return flight Quito – Tena – Quito (estimated 2013 us$250. - per person); personal equipment; personal travel insurance

 

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