The Kapawi Ecolodge and Reserve is on the Pastaza River close to the Peruvian border in one of the most remote parts of the Amazon Basin. Kapawi was originally set up as a partnership between a private company and the Achuar, a local tribe of Amazonian Indians and is now managed completely by the Achuar community.
The 18 double and triple cabins have been constructed along traditional Achuar lines, without a single metal nail! They are located on the edge of Kapawi Lake, and each has a wide terrace with a hammock. All rooms are screened with insect netting, and the beds are furnished with individual mosquito nets. They have private bathrooms with flush toilet and sun-heated showers, stocked with biodegradable toiletries.
A tasty combination of international and Ecuadorian food is served in the dining room, with an emphasis on local products. Soft drinks, snacks, and tea and coffee are available all day. A well-stocked library is open all day, and a small boutique stocks essential items as well as handicrafts.
Being so remote there is a great variety of wildlife in the surrounding rainforest, which you will explore with both a native and a naturalist guide. You can follow forest trails and explore by canoe, take bird watching tours and night walks. The lodge arranges visits to Achuar communities to give you an insight into their fascinating way of life.
Open: Kapawi Ecolodge is open all year.
Location: Kapawi Ecolodge is in a remote private reserve in the territory of the Achuar people in the Amazon rainforest. It is near the confluence of the Pastaza and Capahuari Rivers. As the nearest road is 10 days walk away and the rivers here are not navigable, the lodge is accessible only by air. Flights operate from the town of Shell and take about 50 minutes. There is then a 30 minute canoe ride to the lodge.
Rooms: The lodge provides accommodation for about 50 guests. Guest cabins are built in traditional Achuar style using local materials. They have thatched roofs, are well ventilated and have a screened sleeping area and screened windows, to keep insects out. They include creature comforts such as modern beds with mosquito nets and en-suite bathroom with solar-heated water available most afternoons. There are biodegradable soaps and shampoos in the bathrooms. Every room has a security box. There is a veranda with a hammock. There are sockets for recharging batteries. Cabins are on raised platforms and are linked by a series of boardwalks. These are not lit at night so you will need a torch.
Activities: The lodge offers bird watching trips including a visit to a clay lick close to the lodge which is active with macaws all year. Kayaking in the rivers, lakes and creeks is a good way to observe wildlife. Swimming and tubing are possible. There is a self-guided forest trail suitable for all ages. You can explore by night with a guided walk or canoe ride. There is the opportunity to visit a local Achuar village and take part in traditional ceremonies of drinking guayusa, a black tea, around the camp fire. You can also purchase handicrafts made by the Achuar people. Tours are led by a native guide and a naturalist guide.
Facilities: The lodge provides breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves a variety of traditional and international dishes in the dining room. There is a lounge where you can chat to other guests and a separate bar. There is a library. The boutique sells clothes, handicrafts and postcards. Kapawi uses solar energy and has a generator as backup. Drinking water is filtered and purified. Kapawi is completely owned and run by the Achuar people.
Dining: Meals are taken at set times and are eaten at individual tables.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome, but there will be age limits on certain activities. Families with young children need to hire a private guide.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is satellite internet and phone communication for use in emergencies.
Backing the Achmar tribe of this Amazonian region (by whom it is now owned) as well as protecting their sensitive environment, this remote lodge has a very positive part to play in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Smart Voyager certified through the Rainforest Alliance.
Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499