Yachana Lodge is an award-winning, Amazon ecotourism destination that inspires thousands of international and Ecuadorian visitors each year
With a visit to the NEW Yachana Lodge, you’ll be granted a window into the lives and environment of the people living in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador.
The NEW part refers to the completely rebuilt, upscale ecolodge cabins with spectacular views of the Napo River located in Yachana’s 2500 acre rainforest reserve.
Choose from 4 Day or 5 Day all-inclusive packages, and you’re in for an unforgettable introduction to our world of “Geotourism”, for which Yachana won the Geotourism Challenge, a worldwide award given by the National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations.
Yachana’s Non-Profit Mission
“Yachana” means “a place for learning” in the indigenous Kichwa language. Since 1995, the mission of the Yachana Foundation has been dedicated to finding sustainable solutions in the struggle between the ideals of rainforest preservation and the realities of life in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Yachana Lodge was created to be a source of financial support to projects of the Yachana Foundation and 100% of the proceeds from your visit will go to supporting the foundation’s non-profit programs. Projects include education, sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and entrepreneurialism that benefit local indigenous and mestizo youth from the Amazon region.
Yachana Training Center
The Yachana Training Center was originally designed to house students of the Foundation who now have their accommodation near the training workshops, which are more comfortable and practical. It consists of 3 units of brick and cement, divided into 2 bungalows and 1 “casita” conveniently away from the workshops, so that passengers can enjoy quieter and comfort. It works as a hotel-school, so there is an enormous interactivity with students who are eager to make contact with people from other cultures, customs and languages, especially English. It has wide open spaces to enjoy hiking. The goal of the Yachana Training Center is to provide a place where their guests can enjoy the unique aspects of the Amazon Basin’s nature without sacrificing comfort during a stay with us.
The Eco-Lodge is located on the 2,500 acres Yachana Preserve. It includes 14 upscale cabins that are tucked into a dense jungle that provides privacy and escape. Each cabin includes a private bathroom, hot water, Wi-Fi and a large porch where you take in the stunning scenery all around you while relaxing on the hammocks. Remember to keep an eye out for our little nature friends, like the colorful toucans or the very rare glass frog.
A short walk from the cabins is the thatch-roofed dining pavilion where you can enjoy your meals with amazing views of the Napo River. All of the cuisine is made from ingredients that are purchased locally. The world class and on-site chef has invented unique and delicious dishes by using the techniques and ingredients of the local cultures. For those interested in cooking, ask about the “Lost Foods of the Amazon” program, where you will have a chance to learn the traditional cooking methods that have existed in the region for thousands of years.
All the hardwood cabins and buildings on-site were constructed locally by students at the Yachana Foundation.
At Coca airport, you’ll be meet and then transported to Yachana by private car. This will take 1 hour and a half. At Yachana, you’ll receive a warm welcome from our native staff that will serve you a refreshing beverage and snack while you are introduced to the facilities. After you’ve had a chance to rest in your room, your guide will take you on a short hike. The hike will take you to a place where there is a giant and beautiful Ceibo tree (kapok tree). Your guide will amaze you explaining a lot of things along the way. Dinner is served between 7:00 – 7:30 PM.
You have the option to start your day early by participating in a bird watching excursion or sleep little longer before enjoying another splendid breakfast, the first of the day’s Amazon culinary delights.
After a traditional breakfast from the Amazon, you will board our ranchera (typical local bus) and accompany your guide as he leads you on a journey into the rainforest stopping to observe birds, and possibly monkeys, along the way.
During your rainforest trek your guide will explain the uses of various medicinal plants and amaze you with his knowledge of the several species of birds and animals that inhabit the rainforest, which he calls home. Return to Yachana for lunch and an opportunity to rest before the next activity. In the afternoon, the administrative will give an explanation about how the Yachana Training Center and the Yachana Foundation with his educational program. After this you will take our ranchera to Agua Santa community in order to board a raft downriver to observe a local family doing panning for gold.
From there, using either inner-tubes, a small rubber raft or just life jackets, you can float/swim as you continue down river enjoy the spectacular scenery that surrounds you. At some point, you will get on board of a motorize canoe to head back to Yachana.
Dinner is served at 7:00 – 7:30 PM. In the evening your guide will offer to take you on a night walk to discover a totally different side of the forest that only comes alive after dark. On this walk, you have the chance to see many small insects, amphibians, reptiles and other animals.
After breakfast, you will onboard our ranchera go to a farm where you can see and harvest so many products you have probably never seen or prepared before like the cacao plants. You will be part of a culinary activity fixing your own typical lunch from the amazon under the supervision of our chef.
In the afternoon after lunch, you will travel by canoe to the home of shaman and his family to learn about local Kichwa culture and traditions, and to participate in a cleansing ceremony. Afterwards, try your skills on the art of using a typical blowgun and spear. This is a wonderful cultural activity to know a local family and learn more about the kichwa culture.
Return to Yachana for dinner. Rest before dinner and enjoy the sunset from or dining hall.
In the evening, you will a spectacular opportunity to learn how to make dark chocolate using organic cacao harvested from the local families. Turn the cacao beans into delicious jungle chocolate, one of the main ingredients for several of the delectable deserts served at the Yachana. This is one of our highlight activities as you prepare chocolate in a traditional way.
After a wonderful breakfast depending on weather condition you may choose from: a) A deep hike on our 1000 hectares protected forest. b) Visiting a community bank (for this activity we will ask for a donation of 50 USD per person). c) Explore more deeply the Napo River enjoying a canoeing. Choosing from either activity you will come back to Yachana to have lunch.
In the afternoon, you will get on board on our ranchera to visit the Cacao Collection Center and then you will hike for about 10 minutes to La Paz Waterfall. Time to enjoy the waterfall and if are lucky you will see a lot of parrots!!
Then you will hike back to the main road where the ranchera will be waiting for us to go back to Yachana for dinner.
Then after dinner sit around the campfire prepare some delicious coffee, be aware you have to roast, grind it then you will enjoy it as your guide tells you some of the stories and legends of the Amazon and be amazed by the sounds of the jungle at night.
After a hearty breakfast and then travel by a private car from Yachana back to the city of Coca for your flight back to Quito. If traveling by land, you’ll have the chance to observe Amazon life from a different prospective.
- All prices are per person
- For Yachana Training Center minimum 10 pax
- Prices are based in double accommodation
- Yachana Lodge single supplement 40%
- Yachana Lodge single supplement 60%
- Babies from 1 month to 1 year free sharing room with parents
- Children from 2 to 6 years 75% discount sharing room with parents
- Children from 7 to 12 years 50% discount sharing room with parents
- Discounts not applicable to special packages
To fit your specific needs you can also request for Yachana special programs such as:
Kichwa Cultural Immersion – This journey (not included in the regular package tours) takes 1 1/2 days. It includes a 3-4-hour journey down the Napo River to a deep Amazon Kichwa Community. You will have the chance to fully immerse yourself in the culture and learn about the community’s way of life and cultural practices. Your night will be spent sleeping in tents around the community.
The Honeymoon Package – This trip is perfect for those newly married couples who want a little extra privacy to spend time with one another. It includes all the full lodge activities, a private deluxe cabin, private waterfall and canoe tour, and romantic candlelight dinners topped off with a bottle of wine.
White Water Rafting and Transfer – This whitewater rafting adventure includes private one-way transport and a full-day white water adventure on the Upper Rio Napo. Beginners and expert rafters can find a trip that suites them.
Service Learning – The Yachana lodge and foundation gives school students the chance to take part in educational and interactive trips. Yachana’s goetourism and educational programs immerse students in the Amazon’s culture and nature.
Amazon Culinary & Gastronomy Tour – This tour gives guests a chance to take part in the preparation for their meals. The “Lost Foods of the Amazon program” uses a variety of natural ingredients and indigenous cooking methods to teach you about the local Amazon cuisine and culture.
Teenagers Jungle Tour – This 4 days & 3 nights’ package helps teenagers explore the Amazon through cultural and social exchange. It includes a variety of recreational activities and immersion in the local communities.
Please be aware that Yachana cannot guarantee that you will see wildlife because of the unpredictable nature of animals and due to the fact that the area around the Lodge has been impacted by human presence. Lodge activities may vary in order or due to weather conditions but rest assured your guide will do everything possible to maintain the established itinerary whenever possible.
Yachana Lodge / Jungle view $488.00
Yachana Lodge / River view $608.00
Yachana Training Center / Bungalow $304.00
Yachana Training Center / Casita $364.00
Accommodation double / triple basis
Airport transfer in and out at Coca, by private car
3 daily meals; beverages with breakfast, lunch & dinner
Road and river transport for visits and activities, by motor canoe, canoe and car.
Guided excursions with bilingual guides
Rubber boots, rain ponchos and lifejackets
10% donation to the Yachana Foundation to support its education and conservation programs in the Amazon
Complimentary 24 hours Wi-Fi in room
Unlimited ozonized water
Admissions and Entrance Fees
Personal Expenses, Souvenirs
Alcoholic Beverages & Sodas
Other not specified
Cash in small denominations (Visa & MasterCard are accepted at the Lodge)
Sunhat + Sunblock
Walking Shoes/Sneakers + Waterproof Sandals
Socks: Tall socks that don’t slip easily inside rubber boots. Two pairs per day are ideal
Light-weight, Earth- or Darkcolored, Long-sleeved Shirts and T-shirts
Light-weight Quick-dry Hiking Pants
Binoculars (waterproof) + Backpack
Headlamp (or Flashlight) + Extra Batteries
Inexpensive Magnifying Glass (optional)
Personal First Aid Kit + Medication
Camera + Dry Bags
Swimwear to use in the Spa or Hot Tub
Rubber Boots are supplied at the lodge. Available size: 5 to 11 DO NOT BRING FOOD! It attracts unwanted guests.