Concept: truly a one of a kind Ecuador ecolodge dedicated to ecotourism, environmental conservation, and community projects in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. Sani Lodge is owned and operated by members of the Sani community, meaning that with their extensive knowledge of the Amazon wildlife and biodiversity they can give Sani Lodge guests the true experience of an Ecuadorian Amazon jungle tour.
Location: in Amazonian Ecuador. Take a 30 minute flight from Quito to Coca, then a 3 hour motor boat ride along the Napo River to a small stream called Challuayacu.
Accommodations: Sani Lodge accommodates a maximum of 30 guests (at the cabins), emphasizing quality rather than quantity, and thereby offering you a more intimate experience with the amazon rainforest. The lodge itself consists of ten, private, thatch-roofed cabanas and 4 family size cabins, each with a private bathroom.
The cabanas are spaciously designed for double or triple occupancy, and have screened in windows to guard against insects while you sleep. Electric lights at the lodge run from ecologically friendly solar energy.
Dining: The Chef will delight you with 3 exquisite meals. The staff has more than 15 years of experience in first class Ecoturism, therefore the cuisine is in line with the highest quality standards. Any special diet is not a problem. Our open-air dining room offers exquisite views of colorful sunsets over a beautiful lake.
- Birding: you will be able to see in a regular trip of 4 days, around 120 species out of the 550 existing in the area. However, this number might vary enormously for avid birders, reaching 250 different species in a 5 day trip.
- Observation Tower: At our 37m (100ft) tree tower, built next to a giant, emergent Kapok tree, one can look out across the rainforest canopy, this gives you a unique perspective, opening up a whole new world of Amazon biodiversity that is often difficult, if not impossible to see. White-throated Toucan, and Bare-necked Fruitcrow, to name just a few, and if you have a little luck, you might even see Red Howler Monkeys asleep in the treetops.
- HIking: Guided hikes will start after a relaxing canoe ride across the Challuacocha lagoon. Sani offers various trails depending on your desired level of difficulty. Guided hikes will lead you across muddy swamps on log bridges, through the dense jungle of natural treefall gaps, and beneath the understory shade of pristine, primary rainforest. Along the way you will learn about medicinal plants, taste edible fruits and insects and discover how to weave traditional palm-fiber bags.
- Fishing: here are various places where you can practice it while you are at Sani lodge, including Pañacocha Lagoon, Challuacocha Lagoon, and the small streams that take you to our diverse trails. Our guide will give you pointers on how to catch the fish of the Amazon.
- Caiman Watching: black-water Oxbow Lake is one of the increasingly rare havens for the endangered black caiman, supporting a healthy population of these large, up to 4-meter long crocodilians. After the sun sets, these non-aggressive and shy reptiles become active along the water’s edge. At night, they can be seen swimming lazily across the lake.
- Night Walks: Many animals stay hidden away for most of the day, but at night the forest comes alive with myriad insects and other animals, beyond your wildest imagination, including tree frogs ranging in size from that of your fingernail to the size of your whole hand. A hike through the rainforest at night is an opportunity to discover the mysteries of what happens in the dark, hidden recesses of the forest where few dare to venture.
- Community Visit: A visit to Sani community and the Kichwa people provides a unique opportunity to come face to face with the local culture. The women´s organisation invites you to experience the overlap of traditional Kichwa culture with current everyday life in the community. This is a fascinating insight into the world of the indigenous people and a chance to see, hear, touch and taste some of the aspects of life in the Amazon.
- $470 per person in double occupancy for 3 days / 2 nights
- $715 for 4 days / 3 nights
- $915 for 5 days / 4 nights
Ask for single occupancy and longer stays
- Included: Accommodation, 3 meals per day and snacks for the excursions, a native guide, a bilingual guide, internet Wi-Fi in our cabins and bar, rubber boots for the walks, excursions and roundtrip transportation from Coca's airport to the lodge.
- Not Included: Airfare to/from Quito/Coca (currently $170 roundtrip), gratuities, bar bills.
Sustainability: During the past 15 years, members of the Sani Isla community have been working as guides, canoe men, chefs, and others for first class lodges in the Napo Area. About ten years ago, a community member, Don Orlando Gualinga, began a dream about a project of their own. The first step was to hire qualified management and organize the financing. Funding to start the construction of 4 cabañas, the bar and the dining room, was provided by an oil company who made an agreement with the community, and after things got started, the Lodge reinvested money to build 6 more cabañas and improve services. This ecotourism based project, has other advantages for the community other than economic benefits. "Sani Isla" has developed a sense of pride for their forest and their culture. The lowland Kichwa culture is one tied directly to the jungle.