The Napo Wildlife Center [NWC] is a renowned, award-winning Amazon rainforest lodge in Ecuador. It is located adjacent to 82 sq miles of Yasunì National Park and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the largest tract of protected tropical rain forest in Ecuador. The Napo Wildlife Center is a true Ecuador adventure tour located on Anangucocha Lake within the ancestral territory of the Anangu Kichwa Community. At NWC the local indigenous community is your host as lodge staff and guides. The lodge received the First Choice Responsible Tourism Award for its success in creating an exceptional experience for guests while providing a sustainable means of living for the native community.
Lodging at Napo Wildlife Center offers privacy and comfort for your Ecuador vacation featuring lake and forest views from private porches surrounded by verdant jungle. Ten large luxury cabanas accommodate double occupancy or can be arranged in advance as a triple for family adventures. Rooms include a king bed or twins with private bath and hot water, and ceiling fan. Electricity is provided 24/7 by a hybrid system combining solar panels, batteries, and silent generators; there are plenty of lights and 120v outlets with screened windows and mosquito nets over the beds.
Buildings are designed according to traditional native architecture with harmonious modern amenities. Inviting hammocks hang in cool shaded terraces with ample space to observe the surroundings. Lounging on your Ecuador vacation in your cabana you may look out to see a group of giant otters, a large black caiman crossing the lake, a capybara near the lake edge, or the graceful flight of blue and yellow macaws overhead. The public area has a library with books on local birds and tropical ecology and the lounge serves ice-cold beer, wine, soft drinks, and cocktails.
Meals are prepared catering to the variety of tastes and preferences of international visitors especially including traditional Ecuadorian dishes and fresh ingredients from the forest. Vegetarian dishes or special dietary requests can be accommodated. Reverse osmosis water filtration system is used to purify drinking water.
Your Ecuador adventure to Napo Wildlife Center begins in Quito with a 35 minute flight over the snow capped volcanoes of the Andes, crossing the equator to the headwaters of the Amazon basin. From the Coca airstrip it's 2 hours by covered motorized canoe down the Napo River, the largest tributary of the Amazon in Ecuador. Many birds can be spotted along the way including herons, kingfishers, ospreys, and more as you enter into more pristine and remote habitat.
Upon arrival at the northwest boundary of the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve guests may either take a guided 2½ km (1.5 mile) walk or a quiet paddle by dugout canoe about 1½ hours along a creek with dense flooded palm forest. Following either route, as you get deeper into this protected forest you begin to see monkeys of several species, colorful birds, and other wildlife.
Small groups of guests are led by native Anangu guides who are also Yasuni National Park Rangers. As indigenous natives of the rainforest they share traditional knowledge about medicinal plants and other useful items of the rain forest. Resident bilingual naturalist guides also share their scientific knowledge in tropical forest ecology.
One of the highlights of an Ecuador adventure at Napo Wildlife Center is going out very early to parrot clay licks. These are two of over a dozen clay licks found on the Anangu Community territory. The Napo Wildlife Center has constructed well established and comfortable blinds exclusive for its guests in each parrot lick in order to provide visitors the best viewing and high quality photo and video opportunities.
Species here often include mealy, blue headed, yellow-crowned, orange-winged, and orange-cheeked parrots, cobalt-winged, dusky-headed and white-eyed parakeets, with the occasional rarities like scarlet-shoulder parrotlet and scarlet macaws. In dry weather conditions flocks of at least 800 individuals including most of the species can be spotted.
Other activities on an Ecuador trip to the Napo Wildlife Center include canoeing on local lakes and creeks, hikes through a variety of forest types, and exceptional bird watching with up to 562 species recorded at the Napo Wildlife Center, more than 1/3 of all species found in Ecuador.
Ascend a sturdy, steel staircase anchored next to a giant Kapok tree over 125 feet high in the rainforest canopy where an ample platform provides space for 15 people with cameras, spotting scopes, tripods, and binoculars to enjoy the canopy of the rain forest!! You'll be at eye level with large toucans, macaws, colorful tanagers, monkeys, and the gently moving Three Toed Sloth. Active feeding bird flocks frequent the vicinity around the tree; as many as 80 species were listed in one single morning. Wildlife activity is best in the tower at dawn or sunset.
On a clear day, the immense tropical scenery affords views of the Andes where Gran Sumaco and the snow-capped Antisana and Cayambe volcanoes are a spectacular sight.
THE AÑANGU COMMUNITY
The Anangu people are active participants in the conservation and management of a large territory within the park as well as partners in your Ecuador holiday. You will be invited by them to visit their community, possibly to join families on their daily activities when harvesting bananas, coco, or manioc, a starchy jungle root and staple food for Amazonian people. Or, you might help prepare chicha, a traditional drink based on cooked and fermented manioc. Experience this amazing Ecuador adventure tour with the Anangu locals, masters of the tropical forest.