Natural history

Ecuador natural history tours - wilderness travel adventures

Sample itinerary natural history tour

This wonderfull trip takes us deep into the heart of the Choco rainforest, we will learn the conservation issues and what is being done to prevent logging companies from depleting this important biodiversity area. The Choco is one of the world to 10 hotspots for biodiversity and perhaps the wettest area on the planet. You will get a chance to interact with local Chachi and Afro Ecuadorian communities and learn their relationship with the environment.

Day 1 - Quito

Arrival and transfer in to San Jorge ecolodge, just 20 min. from the airport.

Day 2 - Quito - Condor House - Tundaloma Lodge

Today we depart north of Quito through the Andean highlands, we will visit the Condor House, a conservation project to rehab injured animals and re-introduce the Andean Condor into its habitat. The project is also working to protect other carrion birds of the Andes.

After visiting Condor House our trip will take us Northwest as we cross the Andean corridor and descend into the coastal lowlands into the Choco region. We will arrive at Tundaloma lodge, this is a wonderful place for birdwatching and getting a first taste of the tropical rainforest.

Overnight at Tundaloma lodge.

Day 3 - Tundaloma Lodge - Kumanii Lodge

Full morning exploring the area around our lodge. Great birdwatching with several endemics, if time permits we will also visit a mangrove habitat as well.

Around noon we will arrive at Borbon, a small riverport and our departure point on the Cayapas river. Enjoy scenery along the Río Cayapas, including views of primary and secondary rainforest, traditional Chachi and Afro-Ecuadorian dwellings, plantations and more.  Box lunch in the canoe.

Arrival and welcome reception at Kumanii Lodge, followed by room assignments and time to explore the grounds.

Departure in motor canoe for the Afro-Ecuadorian community of San Miguel. Dance of the Marimba.  Join our neighbors in celebration  with the sounds and movements of Afro-Ecuador, featuring song, dance, marimba and drums.

Return to Kumanii Lodge.

Day 4 - Kumanii Lodge - Choco rainforest

Departure in motor canoe for the Afro Ecuadorian community at Trinidad, here we will learn how this community has won the first round at fighting logging companies and denying access to their rainforest to loggers. We will be able to explore primary and secondary rainforest trails.  Walk through a pristine rainforest known for its fine wood and exotic animals, such as Capuchin and spider monkeys, the Harpy eagle and umbrella birds. Refreshments along the trail. Lunch will be served when we arrive at the lookout point. From here we will continue to visit the lower part of the reserve walking by river creeks. We will explore a cave system where we will find thousands of bats.

After a full day in the forest we will return to Kumanii Lodge in the late afternoon.

Optional evening activities include a night walk in the forest.

Day 5 - Kumanii lodge - Choco rainforest

Kumanii Trail.  Accompany our native naturist guides on a walk through the rainforest surrounding our lodge.  Learn as you touch, taste and smell the plants used traditionally by Chachi and Afro-Ecuadorian people for food, medicine and ceremonies.  Return to the lodge for lunch and free time.

Departure for the Chachi community of Loma Linda.  Join our guides on a ride downriver on rafts made of local balsa wood.

Chachi Cultural Presentation House.  Learn about the indigenous Chachi culture as the people of Loma Linda share with you their traditional activities and how they interact with the rainforest, from fishing and washing clothes in the river to weaving baskets and dancing in a marriage ceremony.

Late afternoon return to Kumanii Lodge. 

Optional evening activities.

Day 6 - Kumanii Lodge - Otavalo - Quito

After an early breakfast we depart on the river heading back to Borbon, here we will drive back up the to the Andes highlands. On our way back to Quito we will make a short stop at the Otavalo indigenous market for some cultural immersion and souvenir shopping. Possibilities to purchase handmade crafts, colorful textiles and the famous Andean Ponchos.

We will return to Quito in the late afteroon and check in at our eco lodge.

Day 7 - Quito - ?

Transfer out for your international flight. You also have the option to extend your trip and search the birds of southern Ecuador, or take a Galapagos nature cruise or a river cruise of the Amazon basin.

The above is a sample itinerary prepared for a conservation society. It can be customized to fit the needs and special interests of your travellers.