A place full of biodiversity, history and adventure
The Napo River, one of the most important tributaries of the Amazon, rises on the foothills of Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world. With a length of 1,130 km the river crosses the foothills of the Andes, moreover the Amazonian provinces of Napo, Orellana and Sucumbíos, spots of high biodiversity, to finally enter towards the Northeast of Peru through the entire department of Loreto and flows into the Amazon river.
The legend of El Dorado, the existence of spices such as cinnamon inspires greed Spaniards to venture into the most adventurous expeditions in the New World. Francisco de Orellana organized the expedition from Quito with 3000 men in search of the precious gold, despite all the contingent invested, the objectives were not met, however the end of the story was the discovery of the Amazon River in 1542.
Ahuano, located on the Upper Napo , is the place where the Andes meet the deep Amazon jungle, the river flows through extensive sand bars and valleys, and consequently spectacular geographical formations are formed with a mixture of Andean-Amazonian lanscapes producing unique scenery for photography along with with stunning sunsets. In addition to its natural wealth, ancient cultures provide an exotic touch to the Upper Amazon.
Due to its strategic position, the area became a corridor between the Andes and the Lower Amazon, therefore biological diversity is high. Hundreds of parrots, macaws, toucans as well as quetzals, weaver birds fly around early and late in the afternoon , not to mention the species of primates foraging on the trees: Squirrel, wooly, capuchin, black mantled tamarin monkeys, besides some other mammals like red brocket deer, peccaries, and the king of the jungle: the jaguar.
Important to know that the Ecuadorian Amazon has the easiest access comparing with Perú, Colombia or Brazil, in which the access distances are enormous and the logistics costs are high. Regardless of its small size Ecuador is a mega-diverse country, in an hour’s flight you can travel from the Andean snow-capped mountains to subtropical valleys to finally plunge into the virgin jungles of the Amazon, consequently the variety of microclimates is quite diverse.
The Amazonian Kichwa culture, with its own worldview, traditions, organic agriculture, gastronomy and crafts are part of the unique experience of the area. Finally, the jungles of the upper Napo in Ecuador are an extraordinary adventure to discover as a family or as a couple, Gaia Lodge, in addition to excellent accommodation, offers a real jungle experience, canoe rides, jungle walks, special birding trips.