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August 22 - 26
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1805

Yasuni Rainforest Trails

0
  • 5 Days / 4 Night
  • Group : Semi-Private
  • Comfortable Camping
  • Difficulty : 2+
  • Pickup: Coca
  • Min Age : 8+

The Yasuni rainforest will take your breath away. It is the largest protected area of continental Ecuador and shatters all biodiversity records. Nowhere else on earth so many species have been registered per square meter. Yasuni National Park is home to 610 species of birds, 204 mammals, 150 amphibians, 121 reptiles, while new species are discovered every year. The unparalleled diversity is also expressed in an abundant vegetation, with over 2000 tree species, including more than 500 species of lianas climbing to the forest canopy.

The remote Mandari Panga camping site on the banks of Río Tiputini, is the perfect base to explore the wonderful world of Yasuni. It is owned and run by the Quichua community with the same name. They will share a wealth of knowledge about the astonishing nature and their ancestral culture.

Starting Place

Coca

 
What to Expect

The 5-day program to Mandari Panga campsite in Yasuni National Park is a mix of adventurous hiking trails with canoeing and optional kayaking. Don´t expect to break any distance records – not just because hiking in the jungle involves negotiating fallen trees and hanging vines, but especially because there is so much to see along the trail!  

The spacious safari-style tents with comfortable beds ensure a great stay. After the activities there will be time to relax and take in the beautiful river views from your hammock.

  • Distance: 15 km / 9.3 mi
  • Trail type: small trails with some muddy parts, crossings creeks, fallen trees or branches
  • Altitude range 200 m / 656 ft
  • Average day temperature: 27° C / 80° F
  • Average night temperature: 20° C / 68° F
  • Best months: January – March, August - December
Photos
Itinerary

Day 1Journey to Mandari Panga & Swamp Trail

The local guide of Mandari Panga meets you in Coca (pickup from hotel, airport or bus station depending on your arrival). Transfer of about 90 minutes by pickup truck to the entrance of Yasuni National Park. Here we board a motorized canoe for the 90-minute journey downstream the Tiputini river to the campsite. Have your camera ready as you will have good chances to spot birds such as kingfishers and tanagers, and the crushing blue Morpho butterflies. On the shores you may spot river turtles (charapas) and the Amazonian tapir, one of the largest mammals in South America. Arrive at the campsite, welcome drink and settle into your tent. After lunch, we cross the small Yitsu Yacu river to start our first rainforest hike. During the 2-hour walk along the Swamp Trail you will discover why rubber boots are the essential footwear in the Amazon rainforest! Return to campsite and enjoy dinner with candle light.

Day 2Peccary Trail & Pishña Lagoon

Enjoy the spectacular sunrise and birdsong at dawn. After an early breakfast we head to the Peccary trail. This is a 4-hour hike in primary rainforest, between huge trees covered with petrified mushrooms and lianas that can get as thick as a tree stem. The forest is home to bristly peccaries, playful monkeys, squawking toucans, colorful poison frogs, whole armies of leafcutter ants, bizarre grasshoppers, sunbathing anacondas, and other amazing animals. Most of them will hide from human presence and likely they have noticed you long before you spot them! With some patience and the help of the trained guide you will be able to identify a variety of interesting species.

We return to the campsite for lunch and time to relax. In the afternoon, you can make a traditional canoe trip in the Pishña lagoon (giant otter oxbow lagoon), take a kayak for some paddling, or try your luck fishing.

Day 3Explore Río Tiputini

Early breakfast, we then board the traditional canoe for a trip along the meandering Tiputini River. Floating downstream, without using the motor, we will have excellent chances to see wildlife. Binoculars are indispensable to identify the diverse species of primates – Red Howler monkeys, Squirrel monkeys, Dusky Titi monkeys, Golden Mantle tamarins and others – playing in the tree tops. Birdlife includes neotropical species such as the White-throated Toucan, Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Scarlet Macaw to name a few. Meanwhile, look out for river animals like otters, river dolphins and turtles. After about 3 hours on the river, we return to the campsite on foot, exploring for another 3 hours the primary forest on the northern banks of the Tiputini.

Back in Mandari Panga there will be time to take a swim in the river, practice the use of the traditional blowgun, or learn how to make a beautiful bracelet from the chambira palm fiber.

After dinner, we venture out on a night hike of about 1 hour, looking for nocturnal animals like tree frogs, caimans, tarantulas and other amazing creatures.

Day 4Parrot Clay Lick & Rainforest Hike

After an early breakfast we will travel upstream by canoe to Rumiyacu, a small river that gives access to one of the many parrot clay licks found in Yasuni. Colorful species of parrots and parakeets come here to lick the clay, as a natural detox and food supplement. An awe-inspiring show of colors and bird sounds!

Return to campsite for lunch. In the afternoon we take a 4-hour hike in the rainforest, up and down small hills, discovering plants with medicinal properties and palm trees that provide useful material to the indigenous inhabitants of the forest. Notice the perfect mimicry of several amphibians and insects – at first sight, they look like a leaf as this protects them from predators, or gives them an advantage to attack their natural enemies.

Our last dinner in Mandari Panga will be a gastronomic exploration of the flavor-packed and nutritious Amazonian cuisine, with a diversity of herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables that grow in the rainforest.

Day 5Return to Coca

After the last breakfast, we say goodbye to our wonderful hosts of Mandari Panga. During the 2-hour canoe ride, upstream the Tiputini river, you will be able to spot the last animals and birds. At the park entrance, the pickup truck will be waiting to return to Coca. Arrive at about noon, from Coca you can fly back to Quito or continue your journey overland (drop off at airport or bus station).

Prices

Price

  • 1 person (private tour): USD 1500
  • Party of 2 – 3: USD 790 per person
  • Party of 4 – 5: USD 760 per person
  • Party of 6 – 8: USD 730 per person

Price Includes

  • Private transfers by car from Coca to the park entrance and return to Coca
  • Transfers by canoe on Tiputini river
  • Certified naturalist guide
  • Accommodation in small jungle camp; spacious tents (double or single occupation) on elevated and sheltered platforms to protect you from sun and rain; shared baths with composting toilets and open-air showers
  • Meals full board plus coffee, tea, filtered water
  • First quality camping equipment
  • Use of rubber boots and life vests
  • Entrance permit Yasuni National Park

Price Excludes

  • Travel insurance
  • Tips (optional)
  • Optional kayaking