It's easy to access La Selva Jungle Lodge and include it in any trip to Ecuador. You take a short 30-minute fight from Quito to Coca, and then travel on the Napo River downstream about two hours. Located across the wide Napa from the Yasuni National Park, La Selva Jungle Lodge is an award winning Amazon lodge that was completely rebuilt in 2012 to demanding standards. A short paddle from the Napo itself up a small creek brings you to a secluded black-water lagoon. Located on the edge of this lagoon, La Selva Jungle Lodge offers high-quality service and superb facilities. Each one of the thatch-roofed cabin is beautifully appointed inside with very comfortable beds and furniture. The meals in the dining room are delicious and prepared by professional chefs who are happy to meet any dietary requests you may have.
A big part of the lodge experience are the outings led by expertly knowledgeable naturalist guides. These activities include walks in the rain forest, canoeing on the lagoon, a visit to the butterfly farm and the opportunity to climb up the observation tower. The bird life in the surrounding forest is bountiful and even from the comfort of your cabin you see a wide variety of birds including oropendolas, hoatzins, nighthawks, warblers and more. When out on the lagoon, or walking through the jungle, you are likely to see several species of monkeys including Capuchin, howlers and squirrel monkeys. As the sun rises in the morning you may find that you are waking up to the vibrating call of the howler monkey which is truly a rare delight.
With just 18 cabins, La Selva Jungle Lodge provides an intimate experience. A unique aspect here is that each group that arrives at the lodge has their own naturalist guide as well as a local guide, both of whom serve as your own private guides during your entire stay. A typical day starts with an early wake-up call followed by breakfast. Then it's outside for a walk or canoe ride as the sun lightens the sky. By late morning you return to the lodge for rest time, lunch and then optional activities such as kayaking on the lagoon, fishing, or your own visit to the butterfly farm . Around 4:00 pm you meet with your guides once again for another late afternoon / early evening activity, returning to the lodge about half an hour prior to dinner.
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Custom Trips Available: The following is one of the popular itinerary options we offer at La Selva Jungle Lodge in Ecuador. If you'd like to stay longer or adjust the daily activities, we can customize any experience.
If needed, transportation will be available from your hotel to the Quito airport. Once at the airport, a La Selva representative will be there to assist you with your luggage and tickets. After a short (approximately 35 minute) flight to Coca, you will be met by another rep of La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, who will welcome you to Coca, help you with your luggage, and escort you to the pier, where our motorized canoe is waiting to take you to the lodge. La Selva Lodge is located about two hours from Coca by way of the motorized canoe. The canoe is covered, so you will be protected in case of rain or strong sunshine. The ride itself is enjoyable and interesting! A box lunch is provided for you during the ride. As the canoe cannot go into the lagoon where the lodge is located, you will disembark on the river for a short walk and a ride in another, smaller canoe. During this time, your luggage will be taken care of for you.
Once you reach the lodge, there will be a welcome cocktail and a brief orientation meeting. You will then be shown to your airy rooms and given the chance to take a rest and/or explore a bit before dinner at 7:30. During dinner, your group and guide will be able to discuss the activities for the next day. After dinner there may be a short activity such as night wildlife walk or a canoe ride near the lodge – this will be dependent on the weather and how your group is feeling. Many guests prefer to relax in the lounge area with a drink from the bar or have a relaxing massage in the spa!
Breakfast will be served early each morning because there is so much to see and do! There are a vast number of activities that you are able to choose from, including a visit to the parrot clay lick, a trip to a local community, or an excursion to the observation tower to see birds and monkeys. See all of the activities below. What activity you end up doing might depend on many factors, such as the weather and what the group wants to do. If you do not want to participate in the morning activity, you do not have to do so! Many guests prefer to remain in the spacious lodge and relax.
A delicious lunch will be served in the lodge dining room at 12:30. After lunch, you may try your hand at fishing for piranhas, take a nap or read a book. These are the hottest hours of the day, so do whatever you feel comfortable with.
The afternoon activities are generally more low-key than the morning ones. Some activities you might do are go for a canoe ride around the lagoon, take a short trail to hopefully view some pygmy marmosets, or visit the nearby butterfly farm. Again, the activity will be decided at the last moment by your guide, depending on the different circumstances.
A delicious, gourmet dinner awaits you each evening in the dining room.. After dinner, again depending on the weather and the will of the group, there may be a short activity such as a night wildlife walk or canoe ride near the lodge. As stated before, these are not mandatory, and we encourage you do choose whatever is most comfortable to you – be it participating in the activity, lounging with a drink, or enjoying a massage in the spa!
Parrot Clay Lick: Because of their diet, Amazonian parrots frequently need to eat salty clay to aid their digestion. There are some of these famous “clay licks” near the lodge and they are a favorite of our guests. On a good day, you can see hundreds of brightly-colored birds fluttering about the clay and squawking loudly all the while.
Community Cultural Visit: Several indigenous communities live near the La Selva Amazon Ecolodge. Our guides like to take our guests there, because the communities are always excited to receive visitors and our guests enjoy seeing another way of life – the Amazon way. You might visit a local home or school, see some of the projects the locals are working on, try local foods and drinks (roasted wood grubs, anyone?) and even shoot a blow dart gun! A highlight comes at the end of the tour, when guests have the opportunity to purchase hand-made handicraft souvenirs directly from the people of the community.
A delicious lunch will be served in the lodge dining room at 12:30. The afternoon is free for you to choose an activity. Maybe another hike, go on a canoe ride or just take in the Rainforest and enjoy a massage!
For some, this will be their last day at La Selva. If you booked a 5 day package, however, you'll have one more day of lodge activity, relaxation and delectable food!
You leave the lodge early to allow you time to make the travel back to Coca in time for your flight, but of course breakfast will be served before you leave. You will head out the way you came: a canoe ride, followed by a short walk, and then a two-hour ride on the motorized canoe to Coca. A representative will accompany you during this travel. Once you reach Coca, you will be taken to the airport, where you will check in and be directed to the waiting room for your return flight to Quito.
That is the end of your Amazon Rainforest adventure! Extend your trip to the Galapagos Islands or go up to the Andes highlands for a hacienda stay in Cotopaxi!
Activities at La Selva Lodge:
CANOE RIDE: Enjoy a canoe ride around our lagoon, Garzacocha, and learn about the great variety of plants and animals in two diverse settings and ecosystems.
NIGHT EXCURSIONS: Hikes and canoe rides allow you to hear the nighttime sounds and to look for fishing bats, nightjars, and insects. You might even get a glimpse of the caimans. Walking excursions give you the chance to meet nocturnal creatures such as: Tarantulas, Whip-scorpions, toads and frogs, and maybe even some snakes.
WALK TO SILVERIO'S HOUSE: In this activity, you will cross Garzacocha Lake and begin a two and a half to three hour walk on a rocky trail with a few physically challenging portions. Half of the walk takes place in the forest and the other half passes by huts of our native neighbors adjacent to the Napo River.
SACHA HUAGRA TRAIL: Once again, cross Garzacocha Lake, and walk through the beautiful forest to observe the Giant Kapok Tree (Ceiba Pentandra) and the Strangler Fig Tree (Ficus sp), as well as additional plant and animal types that can be seen along the trail. You will arrive back at the lodge for lunch. To walk the whole loop takes about four and a half hours.
PARROT CLAY LICKS: Visit the Yasuni National Park, which is a unique site where parrots and parakeets gather in order to gain the minerals that helps them digest the fruits or seeds they have eaten. There is the option to enter into an indigenous community inside the Park where other species of parrots and macaws can be observed. (Additional park entrance fees apply).
CHAWAMANGO TRAIL: You will head east at the Mandiñan trailhead, and follow a trail on a walk back to Garzacocha lake. Depending on your pace it is a 3 - 4 hour walk. You can view many different surprises along the way.
MATAPALO TRAIL: This is a walk that is perfect for your arrival day and will introduce you to many of the plants and animals you will see during your stay. You will have the chance to view the unqiue Strangler Fig (Ficus sp), Azteca Ants (Azteca Trigona), lots of bright and beautiful heliconia plants and the Rubber Tree (Hevea Brasiliensis).
TOUCANETA'S TRAIL: This is a short 2 hour walk that you take around the lodge where you will get an overall view of the tropical rainforest (plants, wildlife and other creatures).
CHARAPA TRAIL: This is a short walk around the edge of Lake Garzacocha. You will return to the lodge by canoe.
OBSERVATION TOWER: This is newly renovated and ready for your arrival! The observation tower offers great views 35 meters up, overlooking the stunning canopy of the surrounding rainforest. Here you will see and hear many different species of birds, insects, and monkeys, as well as view different kinds of flowers. While atop of the tower, you will have great opportunities for photography, filmography, and bird watching. The tower is located only 10 minutes away from the lodge. Guides will accompany you to the observation tower morning or afternoon. For safety reasons, only 10 people max plus two guides are allowed on top of the tower.
The observation tower is made from a type of wood called black and white "Pechiche" and was built around a large Kapok tree. We believe in practicing ecological sustainability, so it was very important that no environmental footprint be left during the renovation of the observation tower.
BUTTERFLY FARM: You may visit here during the afternoon. A short walk from the lodge, you can watch and photograph butterflies of various patterns and colors. You may also witness the butterflies in each stage of metamorphosis.
COTO TRAIL: This trail, similar to the Charapa trail, begins next to the butterfly farm and ends on the edge of the bay. You start our walking and then will come back to the hotel by canoe. Depending on the guest's interests, the trail can be walked in the morning or in the afternoon. It lasts about two hours, and is perfect for observing diverse plants and wildlife. Hopefully, we will have mammal and bird sightings close to the lake.
MANDIÑAN TRAIL: This hike lasts three to four hours depending on the animal sightings that may happen along the way. Once again, you may view wildlife and plant species that are typical of the tropical rainforest.
Great Bird Watching Destination
Birdwatching in the Amazon Rainforest is on the bucket-list of many birdwatchers, and there is no better place to view them in the Amazon than La Selva Lodge. La Selva Lodge is located right in the heart of the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve. There are more species of birds in Ecuador alone than in all of North America combined and a large section of those birds make the Amazon their home. You are sure to see dozens of species of birds just on your canoe trip from the town of Coca down to the lodge on your first day!
We love having birdwatchers at the lodge! Here are just a few of the things we do to make your birdwatching experience extraordinary:
- Private, specialized birdwatching guides
- Local guides: they may not speak much English, but they know the local names of all of the birds, and where to find them!
- Early breakfasts for those wanting an early start
- Box lunches (or even lunches delivered to you in the jungle!)
- Telescopes in the lodge for birdwatching
- Birding guidebooks in our library
- An observation tower high in the rainforest canopy
- Quiet, hand-paddled canoes for seeing birds on the lagoon and the creeks
- This is the place where the Long-tailed Potoo was first seen
- It’s also the place where the Ochre Striped Ant-pitta and the Cocha Antshrike were first documented
- It is the world capital of the spectacular Zig-zag Heron.
- The Yasuní Biosphere Reserve is home to hundreds of types of birds, from tiny hummingbirds to massive Harpy Eagles
- Our guests often see stunning species such as macaws, toucans and tanagers
Dates & Rates
- $1280 per person (4 day - 3 night itinerary)
- $1590 per person (5 day - 4 night itinerary)
- $440 private guide (optional)
- Single Supplement add 30%
Our regular departure days are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. We also have departures on Tuesday and Thursday with an extra cost.
- All meals listed in itinerary
- English speaking guide
- Guided activities
- Transportation to the Lodge ($220 per person-subject to change)*
- Alcoholic and not alcoholic beverages
- Tips or personal expenses