Yachana Lodge and Center for Geotourism Training is an award-winning, Amazon ecotourism destination that inspires thousands of international and Ecuadorian visitors each year. A 2008 winner in the National Geographic Ashoka Changemakers Geotourism Challenge as the best example of Geotourism in the world, Yachana, now fully integrated with the Yachana Technical High School is the only lodge in the country run by students of ecotourism and sustainable development! Here students get practical, hands-on experience while managing the operation, guided by professional staff acting as their mentors and trainers and this is what helps make your stay with us a truly unique experience.
Yachana offers first-rate accommodations and a wide range of amenities all in the midst of incredible natural beauty of the rainforest. The lodge's main building offers 18 comfortable rooms or cabins each with its own porch, which is perfect for appreciating the beauty of the Amazon as you relax in your hammock. The rooms are nestled amid colorful botanical gardens located on the banks of the Napo River. Each room comes complete with a private bathroom, hot showers, and purified drinking water.
Your visit to Yachana includes a wide range of services and amenities, including three delicious meals every day, satellite wireless Internet and a gift shop. The lodge is the training facility for the young, Yachana Technical High School students in ecotourism who often assist lodge staff in providing you with the very best service but also a very human touch. Yachana has created a name for itself thanks in large part to its delectable Amazon cuisine. Indigenous chefs craft their dishes from fruits, vegetables, chicken and fish produced on our own organic farm. We also serve Yachana Jungle Chocolate in many forms at almost every meal that, needless to say, is a highlight for anybody who loves real chocolate! We can accommodate special dietary requirements if advised ahead of time.
We also offer shared accommodations in Sisa Wasi and Casa Quest for students, special groups and budget travelers. At Sisa Wasi there are eight triple and quadruple rooms with private baths. Casa Quest offers hostel-like accommodations with shared bathrooms and showers. Next to the Casa Quest building there's a traditional open-air thatched roof pavilion which is perfect for social gatherings.
Yachana Lodge offers many amenities to help make your stay even more memorable. The lodge offers spectacular views from lookout points or the deck where you can watch a breathtaking sunset while enjoying one of the many tropical cocktails offered at the bar before being served a gourmet meal. Other features include access to a high-speed wireless Internet connection and hammock on each room's private balcony.
Nearby attractions and activities:
Yachana Lodge is the only Ecuadorian Amazon lodge that hires virtually all local staff trainers and indigenous naturalist guides and the only lodge in Ecuador run by ecotourism students. Our students receive extensive and continuous training from permanent staff acting as their mentors. We have years of experience providing a true eco-tourism adventure and award-winning service. All of our guides are from the Amazon region, which means they have an intrinsic understanding of the rainforest. Additionally, they are fluent in English, Spanish, Kichwa and other indigenous languages.
Your professional guide will be by your side as you:
- Hike deep into primary and secondary rainforest to discover wildlife (many species of animals, birds, insects, snakes and spiders await!)
- Discover native plants and trees including an extraordinary array of medicinal plants and learn about their uses.
- Early morning bird watching on an island upriver and see over 30 species of birds in an hour
- Explore Yachana's 4,300 acre (1,740 hectare) Protected Forest and visit our biological research station where biologists are documenting information about the hundreds of species found throughout the reserve
- Go on a night hike and discover another world that comes out after dark including the scorpions, snakes, frogs and enormous spiders.
- Participate in a traditional cleansing ceremony led by a local medicine man and test your skills at the indigenous arts of blowguns and spears used for hunting.
- Tour the Yachana Technical High School's campus and organic farm and interact with the students and learn about their lives in the rainforest that is their home.
- Learn to weave your own basket from plant fibers collected from the surrounding forest.
- Visit the local community of Mondaña, its elementary school, and the health clinic founded by the Yachana Foundation.
- Observe a local family panning for gold - this is an activity still practiced by some Amazon families who will genuinely enjoy your company while teaching you their craft.
- Enjoy a refreshing swim in the Napo River, one of the largest tributaries to the Amazon River.
- Float downriver in a canoe and enjoy the sights and sounds of the rainforest.
- Stargaze from our fabulous riverside deck.
- Watch stunningly beautiful sunsets from a high overlook.
- Visit our butterfly house and learn about true symbiosis and the life cycle of a butterfly.
- Enjoy the beautiful botanical gardens that surround the Lodge and identify some of over 90 species flowers with our photographic guide.
Yachana Lodge one half hour by plane from Quito to the city of Coca and then two and a half hours by motorized canoe up the Napo River to the Kichwa community of Mondaña.
- Children below the age of 5: Free
- Children ages 6-12: 50% discount
- Senior citizens: 5% discount.
Supplementary Charges: In the case of passengers traveling alone we do our best to offer dates in which they can join existing groups. In cases where this is not possible, they must pay a supplementary charge of $70 to enter or leave in private vehicle.
- For cancellations made within 14 days of arrival date, no refund will be issued.
- Cancellations made between 15 to 30 days before the start of the tour must pay 50% of the price of the tour.
- Cancellations made 31 to 120 days before the start of the tour must pay 25% of the price of the tour.
- Cancellations more than 121 days in advance do not pay a penalty.
- In the case of a no-show, the cancellation fee will be 100% of the cost of the tour. Guests must also pay the value of the airline ticket should reservations had been previously confirmed.
Yachana means “a place for learning” in the native Kichwa language. We have developed all our tourist programs based on this idea, which is so fundamental to our mission of creating sustainability through education. The “Yachana Classic Tour” is rooted in teaching our visitor about the nature of the rainforest while learning about the community development projects the Yachana Foundation conducts in the area.
Day 1: Your journey into the Amazon Jungle starts in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. During the 30 minute flight over the Andes from Quito to the jungle town of Coca you'll enjoy amazing views of snow covered mountains and the endless green expanse of the rainforest as you begin your descent into the Amazon.
At the Coca airport you’ll be greeted by your Yachana guide and transported by taxi to the river port where you will board our 57 foot (18 meters) motorized canoe for 2-1/2 hour trip up river. A box lunch will be served as we navigate the Napo River. Life jackets are provided so you can fully relax and enjoy your ride along one of the largest tributaries to the legendary Amazon River.
At Yachana Lodge, you’ll receive a warm welcome from our staff who will serve you a refreshing beverage and snack while introducing you to the Lodge facilities. After you’ve had a chance to rest and wash up, your guide will take you on a short hike to an overlook where you can see the splendor of the rainforest reach out as far as the eye can see in every direction. On clear days you can even see Sumaco Volcano rising up in the distance. If you don’t want to take the hike up the hill to the overlook, you can also choose to visit our beautiful Butterfly House.
Day 2: After breakfast, your guide will lead you on a journey into the rainforest where he’ll explain the uses of various plants. You will be amazed by the diversity of birds and animals that inhabit the rainforest. Upon your return to the to the Lodge a traditional Amazon lunch will be waiting for you.
After lunch you’ll have an opportunity to rest or explore the Lodge grounds on your own. Later in the afternoon you’ll have the option of staying at the Lodge or visiting a local healer where you’ll participate in a traditional cleansing ceremony. This is an interesting cultural experience where you’ll also have the opportunity to practice your skills at using a blowgun and spear.
Afterwards you’ll have time to rest and clean up before dinner. Dinner is served between 7:00 and 7:30. On one of your evenings, you’ll have a chance to take a night walk to discover a totally different side of the forest. On this walk, you’ll see the small insects, amphibians, reptiles and other animals that only come out at night.
Day 3: You have the option to start your day early by participating in a bird watching excursion before breakfast, or you can sleep a little longer before enjoying another splendid breakfast, the first of the day’s Amazon culinary delights. After breakfast, your guide will lead you on a hike in search of the endemic hoatzin, a prehistoric-type bird found only in select areas of the Amazon, and then to the Yachana Technical High School, where you’ll have a chance to interact with the region’s next generation of social and economic leaders.
This will take most of the morning and will give you an opportunity to see how a meaningful education is making a difference in the lives of many young people from the Amazon region. You’ll then return to the Lodge before lunch and participate in an Amazon cooking class led by our chefs. After lunch, there’s time for a siesta before you try your hand at making a natural fiber basket. After dinner there’s free time for your own leisure activities or optional activities scheduled by the Lodge.
Day 4: You’ll have a hearty breakfast and then travel by canoe from Yachana to the city of Coca for your flight back to Quito. As you navigate downstream you’ll have one last opportunity to appreciate the vastness of the Amazon rainforest and reflect on your experience at Yachana.
Note: Please be aware that Yachana Lodge cannot guarantee that you 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.
10% discount for InfoHub customer. Request a free gift certificate.
- Standard packages are 4D/3N or 5D/4N
- Rates are per person, all-inclusive.
- Main Lodge: $690 - $910 (additional night: $225)
- Sisa Wasi: $480 - $640 (additional night: $150)
- Casa Quest: $375 - $500 (additional night: $120).
- Accommodation at Yachana Lodge
- 3 meals a day
- Roundtrip canoe transportation to Yachana Lodge from Coca and back
- Guided excursions with bilingual guides
- Rubber boots, poncho, and life jackets.
- Round trip airline ticket Quito/Coca/Quito (USD 136.00 per person, subject to change)
- Alcoholic drinks and personal expenses.
Joined InfoHub: Nov 2009
Client Request Served: 7
M19828 and Center for Geotourism Training is an award-winning, Amazon ecotourism destination that inspires thousands of international and Ecuadorian visitors each year. A 2008 winner in the National Geographic Ashoka Changemakers Geotourism Challenge as the best example of Geotourism in the world, M19828, is the only...
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