Offices for Adventure Tour Galapagos

Huaorani's Amazon Kayak Expediction (C)

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Get Immersed in the Local Culture

Effort: Moderate to challenging
Activities: Expedition kayaking, wildlife watching, hiking, indigenous cultural exchange
Accomodation: Camping, river lodge, tourist hotel

Itinerary

DAY 1: TRANSFER TO COCA,INTRODUCTION TO THE RAINFOREST

From Quito, we board a morning flight to the
Amazon frontier town of Coca. A scenic two-hour
drive south brings us to the banks of the Shiripuno
River, where our kayaks are waiting for us. After
lunch and a safety briefing, we paddle down
the Shiripuno River, surrounded by breathtaking
jungle scenery. Our guide introduces us to the
magnificent plants and wildlife of the Amazon.
In the late afternoon, we reach our campsite near
the Noneno Community and receive a visit from
a Huaorani family. They share with us the stories
of creation that define Huaorani cosmology and explain how the Huaorani view their existence.
We may learn some traditional chants that detail
the creation of the jungle and the mountains. We
enjoy a fresh gourmet dinner together prepared
by our guides. (L, D)

DAY 2: PADDLE THE SHIRIPUNO,HUAORANI COMMUNITY VISIT

After breakfast, we visit the nearby Noneno
Community, a Huaorani settlement made up of
both traditional thatch huts and wooden houses.
From our encounters in the community, we learn
more about the Huaorani way of life and customs.
We exchange gifts and are taught how to use a
blow gun and spear – traditional hunting tools
of the Huaorani. We then try our hand weaving
with chambira, a palm tree fiber used locally
for a variety of purposes. After our community
visit, we continue paddling down the Shiripuno
in our kayaks. Meanwhile, the Shiripuno widens
as we move downstream, with small tributaries
feeding into the river. We are delighted by the
sights of tropical flowers and exotic trees, which
give cover to wildlife such as birds, monkeys, and
other mammals that our guides help us find. We
may also come across medicinal plants that our
guides show us how to use. At the end of the
day, we reach our fully equipped campsite and
prepare for dinner. (B, L, D)

DAY 3: PADDLE TO SHIRIPUNO LODGE,WILDLIFE NIGHT HIKE

After breakfast, we continue our journey down
the Shiripuno to explore another awe-inspiring section of the jungle. We keep an eye out for more
plants and wildlife with the help of our naturalist and
Huaorani guides, and stop to explore the microecosystem
of a giant Ceiba tree, many of which
are more than 500 years old. In the afternoon,
we reach the comfortable accommodations of the
Shiripuno Lodge, with a wooden observation deck
and social area with hammocks to relax in. In the
early evening, we set out into the rainforest for a
short guided hike in search of nocturnal wildlife,
such as frogs, snakes, spiders, owls, rodents, and
bats. (B, L, D)

DAY 4: RAINFOREST HIKE AND FLOODEDFOREST EXPLORATION

After an early breakfast, we travel by canoe to
reach a nearby trail head and begin a 4-hour-long
hike into the rainforest. During our hike, we explore
old growth forest, including varzea (flooded)
forest, and terra firme forest. We will appreciate
a variety of plant life, including Parkia, Ficus,
and Ceiba trees, which are common in this area.
As for wildlife, we are likely to spot the common
woolly monkey and white-lipped peccary, in
addition to numerous bird species. Jaguar tracks
are also a possible find. Our guides lead us to a
hill which overlooks the jungle to appreciate the
canopy from above. They also introduce us to a
wide range of medicinal plants, which help us to
understand the Huaorani’s practical, medicinal,
and spiritual relationship with the rainforest. After
returning to the lodge for lunch, we hike to a
group of small lakes and explore the ecosystem of
the flooded forest (also a popular fishing site with
the locals). If we are lucky, we will be able to see
tapir - South America’s largest land mammal. We
are also likely to spot Black Caimans (formerly
endangered crocodilian specie) and birdlife
including the Hoatzin (a prehistoric bird unique
to this area). We explore giant ant colonies to
learn about their social structure, as well as the
fascinating interaction between insects, animals,
and plants in the jungle. After a long day, we are
able to relax in hammocks before dinner. (B, L, D)

DAY 5: RETURN TO COCA
After an early breakfast, we head back to Coca
by motorized canoe. Along the way, we may stop
to observe more monkey species, or to say hello
to some of the Huaorani friends that we may have
made along the way. In the afternoon, we reach
the bridge across the Shiripuno River, where our
vehicle is waiting to take us to back to the frontier
town of Coca. We spend the night at a hotel and
enjoy one last evening recounting before our
return to Quito. (B, L, D)

 

DAY 6: TRANSFER TO QUITO

After breakfast, we drive to the Coca airport to board our return flight to Quito. (B)

Quick Facts

Included
Road and river transportation to and from Coca; all camping gear including sleeping bags, kitchen, social and bathroom tents; all meals as described (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner); expedition kayaks and safety gear; certified
professional bilingual guide; entrance fee to Huaorani territory; two nights camping, two nights basic lodge, and one night tourist class accommodations in Coca. For groups larger than 6, additional dugout canoes are taken for logistical support.

 

Not Included 
Hotel and restaurant beverages, round trip airfare
Coca-Quito, tips

 

Note
This itinerary is subject to change without notice due to seasonal changes, inclement weather conditions, and the discretion of the guide. While it is nice to have a schedule, you may find it more satisfying to let the forest and the weather set chart the course of this trip. Although we attempt to stick to the itinerary, changes may occur due to river conditions, health, or other variables. Being flexible in the Amazon will allow you to get the most from your experience. This program takes place in a remote and undeveloped area. Travelers must be aware of the risks of this type of travel, including limited medical facilities in the area, jungle and river travel, non-standard accommodations).

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