Ecuador: Napo Wildlife Center

Ecuador

Napo Wildlife Center

It is a place unlike any other, located in the heart of one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet. Ecuador’s Yasuni National Park is rich with extraordinary wildlife and vibrant local culture. Spanning nearly 2.5 millon acres of Amazonian rain forest. This is truly a gem to be cherished. And the Napo Wildlife Center is the only lodge with in Yasuní National Park boundaries that can take you there.

Designed for nature lovers, travelers will be able to experience Wildlife and Amazon unique landscapes. The lodge has many activities visitors can do while staying in the lodge, such as canoe riding, meeting and sharing time with our community, and much more!

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The lodge

Electricity: 24 hours electricity by a hybrid power system, soNapo Wildlife Center roomlar panels – batteries and last generation noiseless diesel engines You will find 110 volts-plugs either in the bathroom and the living area of each cabin, 220 volts-plugs only in certain area of the lodge, for using those please contact the lodge manager.

Water: Even if there’s plenty of fresh water in the Amazon, we use water of the lake in front of us for the bathrooms at the lodge, this water its clean and safe for your own use, after using it we treat the water with a system of wetlands, to avoid any lake pollution. Drinkable water is always available in big plastic containers so you can refill your own bottles, the idea is to use as less plastic as we can to reinforce our environmental policy. Hot water available all the time.

First aid kit: In case of any eventuality, we have at the lodge, first aids kits that will be taken to the excursions; our excursion leaders have basic medical training to help in case of emergency. How ever, please inform the lodge manager or your excursion leader about any allergies or important medical conditions.

Ceiling Fan: There are ceiling fans on every room and also in all the dining room area.

Boutique: A wide variety of items for personal care, souvenirs, coffee mugs, t-shirts, vests, caps, hats, key holders, flashlights, sun block, mosquito repellent, etc. Are available. Those will be included in your bar bill, the payment will be made at the end of the cruise in cash, travelers checks or credit card.

Communications: The Napo Wildlife Center has a two-way radio (vhf and hf) that connects the Lodge, our office in Quito, our office in Coca and all the facilities. Also there is satellite internet connection, in case of using this service it will also be added to your bill.

Library: Open all day long our library offers a wide variety of books, Natural history, biology, conservation, cultural books same than magazines, paperbacks and scientific reports are available, we suggest not to take the books to the rooms for all the guests to have the opportunity to enjoy them.

 Special Services

The naturalist logbook: At the Napo Wildlife Center you can help our naturalist guides monitoring the physical and biological process of the forest, you will find a “Sights logbook”, where you can register together with our naturalists uncommon sights so future guests will appreciate the wide biodiversity of the Amazon.

Special food: If you request vegetarian food or special diet, please report this information to the lodge manager, anything can be arranged.

Internet Service: Internet service available at the lodge at a reasonable fare, the system is always connected for our guests to use it anytime.

Laundry: In your room you will find a white sac and a form to fill, laundry will be added to your bar bill and we will try to bring the clothes back as soon as possible, reasonable prices.

 More information

The lodge complex is located by the Anangucocha lake, within the unique ancestral territory of the Anangu Quichua Community, part of the Yasuni National Park. In the early 90’ the community envisioned building their own lodge to provide themselves jobs and protecting their land. With great effort they built back then 4 well established shelters and a large house for kitchen and dining room, however buildings remained incomplete there at that early stage for many years as they had no more money to finish them or to establish a proper infrastructure to call it a first class jungle hotel. They wanted high quality facilities and accommodations, to provide an exclusive and personalized rain forest experience, intimate with nature, under a dedicated private and unique lodge, but only to a selected number of guests. Finally in year 2000 after several local and international contacts the project was able to move forward and establish the community’s and its nature tourism leaders dream. The community, entitled by its constitutional rights over their land, approached Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment which through its National Park service declared them honorific park rangers and approved the project signing a renewable management agreement of this territory part as well of the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve. Thanks to the Anangu Community initiative, their manpower, supported by the best technical assistance, financed with donations in partnership with the independent Ecuadorian non profit conservation organization, EcoEcuador, Napo Wildlife Center was born in 2003. The most carefully designed first class Amazon lodge in Ecuador.

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4 days itinerary

Inquire us for 5 and more days itineraries!

Day 1 Arrival in the lodge / Alligator spoting
Day 2 Parrot clay licks / Quichua community
Day 3 Canopy tower/hike along primary forest
Day 4 Canoeing excursion through the Napo River / Return to Quito
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Activities per day

 

Parrot Blinds at the Napo Wildlife Center

We have constructed blinds at two of the clay licks of the Napo Wildlife Center Reserve Area – the most accessible parrot and macaw clay licks in Ecuador (map). Visiting these clay licks helps to support an 82-square-mile private reserve and also supports Yasuní National Park, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Clay licks like these are scattered throughout western Amazonia. Although locals have always known about the clay licks and the ability to see parrots well at these sites, clay licks did not gain the attention of scientists until 1984.

Napo Wildlife Center Bird List

The list below contains 568 species actually seen in the Napo Wildlife Center Reserve area (map), or in the immediate vicinity along the Napo River or on the river islands immediately adjacent to the Reserve. Pearl Kite (which would be #569) has been included because it is often seen by our guests in the open areas around the Coca Airport, but is not found further down the Napo River.

Some obvious highlights include the world’s largest and most reliable population of Zigzag Herons (0.6Mb Quicktime video), frequent sightings of Agami Herons (six were seen in one day by well known recordist John Moore), virtually guaranteed sightings of all five kingfishers found in the Amazon, and a better population of mixed-species understory flocks and ant-swarm specialists than you will find at any other lodge in the Napo region. And, of course, 51 species of antbirds.

The Canopy Tower was installed in November 2004, and since then has produced some amazing sightings including Black-faced Hawk, Crested Eagle, and Harpy Eagle in addition to the cotingas and canopy tanager flocks that pass right through the tree. The Parrot Clay Licks are an experience that one would not want to miss, and the clay licks at the Napo Wildlife Center are most accessible in Ecuador (they are incorrectly identified in Birds of Ecuador as belonging to La Selva Lodge). Simply put, there is no better birding destination in Eastern Ecuador. Be sure to take a look at the mammal list as well. The bird list was prepared by Jiovanny Rivadeneira and Peter English.

Napo Wildlife Center Mammal List

The list below contains a list of mammals both found at the Napo Wildlife Center and species that we expect to be found there based on literature searches. All of the monkeys have been found at the lodge, including the Golden-mantled Tamarin which is the featured on the logo of the Napo Wildlife Center. This stunning little monkey is only found South of the Napo River, and so the Napo Wildlife Center is the only lodge on the Upper Napo River to have this species. Upwards of six species of monkeys have been seen in a single afternoon from the Dining Hall tower, so you have a very good chance of seeing lots of monkeys. Take a look at the Howler Monkey video (1.5Mb Quicktime video)

Giant Otters are also seen at the Napo Wildlife Center. There are two family groups that move among their dens, and they are found in all of the streams and in the lake in front of the lodge. These Giant Otters are one of the reasons that no motorized boats are allowed on the streams or lake, and appear to be curious (rather than scared) when visitors happen upon them. Again, Giant Otters are not found on the north bank of the Napo, so Napo Wildlife Center is the only lodge on the Upper Napo River to have this species. Take a look at the Giant Otter video (1.5Mb Quicktime video).

Capybara come into the lodge compound almost every night. You will have to stay up relatively late to see them, but they are almost always there. Peccaries, Tapir, Brocket Deer, and all of the Cats are difficult to find, but when found are generally seen quite well. There has been no hunting in the Napo Wildlife Center Reserve for well over a decade, so these animals are not abnormally scarce or frightened by humans.

Manatees are present in the lake at Napo Wildlife Center, but are extremely difficult to see. Many other mammals are nocturnal and require special effort (or luck!) to find. The one thing that you can be certain of is that there is no better lodge in Eastern Ecuador to find wildlife. With its prime location on the South Bank of the Napo River and its placement within the 82 square mile reserve, the Napo Wildlife Center is among the wildest places in the world. Be sure to take a look at the bird list as well. The mammal list was prepared by Norby Lopez and Peter English

The Canopy Tower at the Napo Wildlife Center

The 120-ft. (36m) high canopy tower opened to guests in November 2004 and is a great way to experience the life above the forest floor. This is the second tower at the Napo Wildlife Center (the first is attached to the dining hall and allows great views of the lake). The canopy tower is located about 20 minutes from the lodge deep within the terra firme forest.

As you ascend the 12-story tower, you pass through different levels of the forest and emerge on top of a huge Ceiba tree. Here you cross onto a wooden platform that is actually built into the crown of the tree and experience the view formerly reserved only for the birds and monkeys.

The metal tower itself was constructed to the highest standards, galvanized, and carefully inspected by engineers. Safety is the priority, but so is ecological sensitivity. Most of the canopy towers in Ecuador encircle the tree with a scaffolding of wood. In addition to the obvious issues with using wood in the tropics, the weight of the scaffolding also compresses the roots of the tree that is encircled. We chose to do things differently, dug down below the roots of this Ceiba tree and put the cement base of the tower below the level of the tree roots – the result is that the tree is sustaining no damage from this tower. The platform in the top of the tree was constructed by tree platform specialists brought from Peru and incorporates bumpers to make sure that the platform does not scar the tree. From top to bottom, there is no finer canopy experience in Eastern Ecuador.

Flocks of colorful tanagers pass right through the canopy of the tree, Blue-and-yellow Macaws fly past, in nearby trees Spider and Howler monkeys search for fruit, two species of large toucans call in the early mornings and afternoons, and the life of the forest canopy opens before you (lucky guests have even seen both Harpy Eagles and Crested Eagles in a single morning!). Animals that are virtually impossible to see from the forest floor far below are suddenly right beside you, oblivious to your presence. The canopy tower opens a whole new world to guests of the Napo Wildlife Center. Many of the photos in the Wildlife Photo Slideshow were taken from this tower.