- Culinary activities take place in a traditional Kichwa “choza” or thatched-roof hut, which is fully equipped to prepare the traditional dishes of the Ecuadorian Amazon
- After planning your menu with the help of a local chef you will go to Yachana’s organic farm to collect the food you will later prepare. On the farm you will have the opportunity to harvest many different fruits and vegetables, fish for tilapia and even gather aquatic snails
- Back at the “choza” your chef will teach you the ancestral techniques and processes used in the preparation of dishes such as maito de tilapia or piranha, chontacuros (grubs), heart of palm, and the many other vegetables you have harvested that day
- After lunch, during the afternoon you will toast coffee beans and learn to make chocolate using organic cacao harvested on Yachana’s farm.
- Visit the 1,740-hectare (4,300 acre) Yachana Ecological Reserve on Yachana’s one of a kind double-decker bus and hike through primary and secondary rainforest to observe the Amazon’s amazing flora and fauna including countless species of native plants and trees and learn about extraordinary medicinal plants and their uses. The trip includes a visit to our biological field station, where our scientists are documenting thousands of species of birds, reptiles and other animals, including new discoveries
- Visit a lagoon inhabited by the peculiar hoatzín bird where you can observe the life of the back water ecosystem known as “igapó”
- Visit our butterfly house to learn about the metamorphosis and life cycle of various species of butterflies found in the region.
- Participate in a traditional cleansing ceremony led by a local shaman and test your skill at the indigenous art of using a blowgun and spear
- Visit a local family as they pan for gold. This is an activity practiced by the poorest families of the Amazon and they sincerely enjoy your company while teaching you about what they are doing. Afterwards, enjoy the adventure of tubing down the river to return to the lodge.
Development Project Activities:
- Visit Yachana Technical High School and its organic farm. Spend time getting to know the students while you learn about life in the rainforest they call home. Participate in diverse micro-enterprise projects and learn to make traditional handicrafts and how to weave baskets of natural fibres collected from the surrounding forest
- Visit the local community of Mondaña and its elementary school, as well as the medical clinic founded by Yachana in collaboration with residents of the local area.
- Yachana Lodge and Center for Geotourism is a Smart Voyager-certified ecolodge that implements sustainable tourism practices and holds the distinction of being the only lodge in Ecuador run by ecotourism students
- Yachana´s comfortable, spacious rooms have ventilation, lighting and private bathrooms with hot water
- Enjoy a spectacular view of the Napo River from Yachana´s dining area and bar. The kitchen staff prepares traditional dishes with organic products grown by the students of Yachana Technical High School. A wide variety of dishes are offered, most of which exemplify the traditional cuisine of the Amazon region
- Transportation is by motorized canoe that is covered and equipped with comfortable seats, life jackets and is operated by a highly experienced canoe operator
- The local indigenous, native guides have many years of experience working with groups. They intimately know the forest and the species that inhabit it. Because several of them have studied in the United States, their English is excellent.
$415 - $540 package includes:
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South America Ecuador Local Culture Food & Wine Rainforest
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