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The Amazon of the Huaorani

5 days from £995pp plus international flights.

This holiday gives you an insight into the lives of the Huaorani, an indigenous tribe in a remote part of the Ecuadorian Amazon. You'll learn survival skills and spend time getting helping them as they go about their everyday lives. all this in the knowledge that your visit is providing vital financial support for this vulnerable community. 

While these cultural aspects form the undoubted core of the holiday, you'll also have time to enjoy the varied bird and animal life of the rainforest, spotting caiman in the river, squirrel monkeys in the trees, and marvelling at the bright colours of parrots and macaws. Your guide to this richness is a Huaorani naturalist expert, eager to share his knowledge and enthusiasm.
Exploring is a mix of hiking and canoeing, and you'll have the chance to bathe beneath a waterfall, go for a nocturnal walk in the forest and spend a night in a campsite constructed by a local community, for a truly immersive experience of nature. 
For anyone with an interest in culture and conservation, this is a wonderful opportunity to experience life with a tribe forging an existence in a remote, wild location and living in harmony with nature. 

Itinerary
First expoerience of the rainforest near Huaorani Ecolodge

DAY 1: ARRIVE AND TRANSFER TO HUAORANI ECOLODGE

You'll be collected from your hotel in Quito for a drive through the impressive Avenue of the Volcanoes and city of Banos. The journey continues through lush landscape with areas of cloudforest, fast flowing rivers and photogenic waterfalls. You'll perceive a rise in temperature as you head into the Amazon basin. At Shell you board a 35-minute flight to the Huaorani community of Quehueri'ono. The next stage of the journey is by dugout canoe, bringing you to Huaorani Ecolodge in time for lunch. Later you have an introductory talk about the Huaorani. Enjoy dinner at the lodge and an optional nocturnal hike, before retiring to bed. Lunch, dinner
Meet the Huaorani

DAY 2: SPEND TIME WITH THE HUAORANI PEOPLE

This morning local guides explain how the Huaorani live in the rainforest, and demonstrate hunting and survival techniques, showing you how to set a trap, make a fire, use a blowgun and build a shelter. This is followed by a forest hike to a favourite swimming spot, and then lunch.
Later you visit a Huaorani community where you're given a warm welcome and have a glimpse of daily life. There's an opportunity to visit the handicraft market to buy some souvenirs and thus provide valuable support to the community. Travel back to the lodge by canoe, arriving in time to shower before dinner. Afterwards there's a choice of nature talk from your guide or a forest hike. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
See macaws in the Amazon jungle

DAY 3: HIKING AND CANOEING

Another busy day as you take a 3-hour walk in primary forest, accompanied by birdsong and led by your guide. You'll emerge at the top of a hill where a huge ceibo tree towers 40 metres into the sky. On the way down look out for peccaries and leaf-cutter ants, before returning to the lodge by canoe for lunch.
Later you're canoed to Cocha Pequena, an oxbow lake where you can hope to see hoatzins, capybaras, caimans, squirrel monkeys and macaws. The excitement continues as you observe birds and animals gathering at a lick to feast on the mineral-rich clay. As you travel back to the lodge you have chances to spot nocturnal species including frogs, kinkajous and owls. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Visit a Huaorani settlement

DAY 4: VISIT APAIKA AND CAMP OUT IN THE AMAZON

An early breakfast is followed by a canoe ride along the Shiripuno River watching out for birds, usually active at this time of day. If you prefer you can travel by kayak, at no extra charge. You arrive at the Apaika Huaorani community, where you have a quick snack and spend time at the interpretation centre learning about life in Yasuni National Park. You also have time to get to know the people here and help out in some of their daily tasks, as well as find out about their history, culture and beliefs.  
You then continue to the Huaorani settlement of Nenquepare. The campsite here is part of a community initiative and you'll enjoy an unforgettable night beneath the stars in the remote Amazon. Breakfast, lunch, dinner 
Swim by a waterfall

DAY 5: MORNING SWIM, FLY BACK TO QUITO

Breakfast in camp is followed by a hike to a nearby waterfall, one of special significance to the local community. There's time for a refreshing swim here before heading back to the campsite. From here you travel downstream by canoe to the Acua Road, built in the 1970s by companies searching for oil. Your guide explains how this search has affected the Huaorani and their lands, a threat still present today, underlining their vulnerability and the importance of your visit and support. After about 2 hours you reach Coca, for your late afternoon flight back to Quito where the tour ends. Breakfast
Price & Dates

Guide price from (pp sharing): £995 (ex. international flights)

Includes: 

4 nights accommodation (3 at Huaorani Lodge and 1 at a community campsite) on a twin-share basis; meals as specified; transport as specified; flight Coco-Quito and flight taxes; entrance fee to Huaorani Territory;services of an English-speaking guide; guided activities including camping; use of camping equipment (tent, mattress, sheets); use of rain poncho, Wellington boots and umbrella if needed; biodegradable soap and shampoo; water carrier.

Excludes: 

International flights and taxes; visa (not currently needed by UK passport holders); travel insurance; drinks (soft drink and beer at the lodge); tips; items of a personal nature. 

Getting there: This tour starts and ends in Quito. Return flights from London start from around £900 per person, depending on season and availability. We usually book these flights for you. 

You will be collected in Quito early on day 1, so will need a night's accommodation before the tour which we are happy to book for you. 

 

Departure dates: This holiday can begin on any day of the week except Sundays.

places you will see

places you will see

The Huaorani of the Shiripuno River
The Huaorani of the Shiripuno River
The Huaorani are a remote tribe of Amazonian Indians living in small communities. They remain the most isolated of Ecuador's indigenous peoples and were untouched by western civilisation until the 1950s.
map
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holidays with heart
holidays with heart

How this holiday helps

If you want to see the Amazon rainforest from the perspective of some of its indigenous inhabitants, come and visit the Huaorani tribe in Ecuador.  

Only contacted in 1956, Huaorani means ‘people’or ‘human beings’.  They are few in number, fiercely independent and proud, warm, friendly and funny. Not many visitors come here, and if you do, you’re guaranteed a warm welcome by the community who will show you how they live in the forest, show you the flora and fauna, take you in dugout canoes and generally let you try your hand at being a human being!
You’ll not stay in the village (which is too intrusive for the community) but in a simple, small palm-thatched eco-lodge which the community has built.
It’s an over-used phrase, but this really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience which proves to be life-changing for many.

customer rating

5/5 from 42 reviews

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facts and information

Time: GMT -5 hours

Flight time: There is an international airport at Quito and at Guayaquil. KLM and Iberia have routes via Europe to both cities. The flying time is about 14 hours. It is also possible to fly via America.

Language: Spanish is Ecuador's official language.

Visas: Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if visiting the rainforest. Malaria prophylactics are also recommended in the rainforest.

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Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
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Telephone: 01473 890499

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