Hakuna Matata 3 DAYS
Hakuna Matata Lodge Comfortable lodging Jungle, Hiking, Horse riding and Rafting
|2-3 persons – $341, 4 or more – $312 per person|
|Minimum age is 12 years|
Descend into the Amazon jungle
Your adventure begins with a remarkable descent into the jungle. But it’s not all downhill as you traverse the World Heritage-listed Sumaco Biosphere Reserve experiencing dramatic temperature and vegetation changes across altitudes from 4100m to 600m. Climbing up out of Quito we cross the Virgin de Papallacta pass, wind down into the Valley of Waterfalls, climb up to the Guacamayo (Spanish for macaw) pass and finally descend into the steamy Amazon basin passing through Quichua villages and tropical rainforest to the lodge.
After enjoying a delicious lunch in the lodge’s Restaurant Pangaea you’ll be refueled for your first jungle exploration on horseback. This excursion is suited to both beginner and experienced riders. Accompanied by our professional guide and on well trained horses you’ll take a very varied ride of about three hours. The route crosses small rivers and traverses mildly sloping hills amidst rich jungle flora.
Alternatively you can choose to take a guided hike. The medicinal properties of plants and trees, insects and age-old customs are explained by our English-speaking local guide. Walking through private jungle, secondary forest and fields, step by step you’ll get closer to that unique wisdom that distinguishes the indigenous people of the area from the non-natives.
Live a day in the life of Ecuador’s jungle
You’ll start the day with a delicious breakfast before driving for a couple of hours into the jungle. In a small native village on the banks of the Río Arajuno, you’ll board a motorized canoe, the preferred mode of transport to navigate the extensive waterways of the Napo river and its tributaries. Depending on weather conditions, number of participants and specific interests of the group, your guide will design a route for the day.
Rich flora, in primary and secondary forest, and fauna, in the form of birds, insects, amphibians and reptiles, will be introduced by your guide during walks and canoe trips. Explanations of the use of medicinal plants, trees and herbs by the native people will be given. Tubing on one of the quiet rivers through primary forest is an especially serene experience.
Raft the Upper Napo river
After an early morning breakfast we drive up into the jungle to the start of our rafting adventure on the Upper Napo river, also known as the Jatunyacu, which means “Big Water” in Quichua. BIG is probably the best word to describe this river: big waves and tons of fun! This jungle river shows no signs of contamination as it flows from the Llanganates National Park – an extremely rugged and uninhabited mountain range believed by some to be the hiding place of Inca gold. You’ll finish the day by climbing back up over the rim of the Amazon basin into the Andes and Quito.