Ecuador contains the far west section of Amazon Rainforest, where the forest presses up against the Andean mountains and the first trickles of the Amazon River begin. The highest diversity of animals and plants has been found in this western side and Yasuni National Park, the most well known protected area of Ecuadorian Amazon, contains a record breaking number of species.
Coca is the gateway to Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest where you will enjoy some of the top rated Amazon lodges and river cruises. On these tours, you will travel in or near protected areas to see an amazing level of biodiversity. The two main protected areas of Ecuador’s Amazon are the Yasuni and Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, which lay on either side of the Napo River. This river later merges with others to form the mighty Amazon and provides your way of entering this fantastic forest.
Both the Cuyabeno Reserve and Yasuni National Park contain impressive wildlife where you can see a high diversity of animals and plants. The Yasuni area contains different clay licks to see various colorful parrots and you will enjoy guided walks through the rainforest to spot colorful birds, different monkeys, interesting reptiles and fascinating frogs.
There are some excellent lodge and cruises in Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest. Here we will mention our pick of the top lodges and cruises in one of the world’s most incredible tropical forests.
Canopy Towers & Walkways
All of the lodges and cruises we will mention have access to a rainforest tower where you can gaze out over the canopy to spot many different birds and simply enjoy this fascinating bird’s-eye perspective on an incredible forest. Perhaps the most fascinating take on a canopy tower belongs to the canopy walkway system at the Sacha Lodge. The walkway is supported by three large canopy towers connected to each other by a 940-foot (275-meter) long canopy walkway suspended 94 feet (30 meters) above ground level. This provides a fantastic place to spot birdlife and some visitors are lucky enough to spot troops of monkeys making their way across the forest.
On Amazon tours from the Sacha Lodge, you will head out on guided tours into the Amazon Rainforest to spot various monkeys, toucans, parrots, and other rainforest wildlife, including some of the 500 bird species recorded around the lodge.
You don’t need to be at a rainforest lodge to access canopy towers, as you will also get the opportunity to gaze out over the canopy aboard both our recommended Amazon cruises.
Aboard the Manatee Cruise, you will enjoy traveling to different areas of rainforest and into the magnificent Yasuni National Park. Enjoy the Yasuni clay lick, canopy tower, an option of a comfortable take on camping called glamping, the comfortable Manatee Cruise vessel itself, and many guided expeditions into the rainforest to find forest wildlife.
Community Owned Lodge
You can also find some community owned rainforest lodges in Yasuni and one of our favorites is the Sani Lodge. Near the Challuacocha Lake, you will enjoy staying at the Sani Lodge, which is owned and operated by a the Kichwa community. You will be guided into the Amazon Rainforest of the rainforested corridor between Yasuni National Park and the Cuyabeno Reserve, which acts as a way for wildlife to get between the protected areas. Enjoy rainforest walks to spot Amazon animals and plants, the canopy tower for excellent birding, visiting the Yasuni clay lick, trying your hand at an indigenous blowgun, and visiting the local community.
Luxury Lodges & Cruises
Now we have a few of the upper end tours for a more luxurious experience of the Amazon Rainforest. If you would like to fully relax on a very comfortable tour or want a honeymoon in virgin Amazon Rainforest then these are our recommendations.
Both the Napo Wildlife Center and La Selva Lodge offer a very comfortable experience in the Amazon. Enjoy the canopy towers, guided tours in the rainforest scouting for howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, capuchins, tamarins, parrots, toucans, orchids, and more with your professional Amazon Rainforest guide. Both of these lodges are hailed by nature lovers and tourists wanting a little more comfort on their vacation, while in keeping with environmental responsibilities.
La Selva Lodge then goes a little further in terms of a luxury experience by providing a spa service, small hot water pools in the family suites, a customizable itinerary, and a special honeymoon program.
If you would prefer a luxury cruise over a lodge, where you can visit different rainforest areas while retiring to a more contained living area and still enjoy the rainforest on expeditions, clay lick visits, and by visiting a canopy tower, we recommend the Anakonda Amazon Cruise.
Combine with Galapagos
To fully experience Ecuador’s most famous nature sites, you can also combine La Selva Lodge and Galapagos Islands on the Amazon Rainforest & Galapagos package. Enjoy three nights at La Selva Lodge, three nights on the Galapagos, and three nights at a hotel in Quito. Also enquire to modify the program.