Coca is the gateway to explore Ecuador’s incredible Amazon Rainforest. The region is thought to contain more animals and plants than anywhere else in Amazonia, making it the perfect place to experience the world’s largest container of wildlife.
Also known by its official name of Puerto Francisco de Orellana, Coca is a port city of the Napo River. This river later merges with others to form the great Amazon River and travels west through Peru, along Colombia, and through Brazil before emerging into the Atlantic Ocean at the far east of the continent.
From Coca, you have fantastic protected areas to explore, and even the forest in between offers an almost equal level of animal and plant life. The Yasuni National Park is the most famous protected area, which is home to a breathtaking amount of wildlife and some of the only clay licks in the northern Amazon. To experience the Yasuni Amazon Rainforest from Coca, you can organize a lodge stay or voyage to different areas of the Amazon Rainforest on an Amazon River cruise. Just north of this national park is the Cuyabeno National Park which again contains incredible biodiversity. The forest in between these areas then forms a corridor for animals to travel from one protected area to the other.
Yasuni National Park is home to a record breaking amount of wildlife and is recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The park measure around 6,500 square miles and contains many different animals, including jaguar, caiman, toucans, macaws, turtles and a variety of different Amazon Rainforest monkeys, such as tamarins, howler monkeys, squirrel monkeys, sakis and marmosets. The park is home to a healthy population of the Amazon’s most sought after wildlife sightings of jaguar and harpy eagle.
We will first summarize some of the top Amazon Rainforest lodges from Coca and then mention two fantastic cruise options. Each of the tours take you on excellent guided expeditions into the Amazon Rainforest and include food and accommodation. After your chosen Amazon Rainforest tour, you will then return to Coca for your return flight home. Each of the Amazon Rainforest tours offers something a little different, so here is a summary of the top 5 Amazon Rainforest tours from Coca.
La Selva Lodge
La Selva Lodge offers a little more luxury in the Amazon Rainforest. Located inside Yasuni National Park, La Selva Lodge is Rainforest Alliance certified and provides spacious suites with your own bathroom and private balconies. The Family Suite is also fitted with your own private hot tub. Enjoy guided rainforest tours, the canopy observation tower, parrot clay lick, many rainforest trails and canoeing the Amazon’s waterways. La Selva also operate a fantastic rainforest & Galapagos package tour.
Napo Wildlife Center
The Napo Wildlife Center offers a very comfortable base to explore the Amazon Rainforest from Coca. Located inside Yasuni National Park, you will head out with your naturalist guide to find fantastic wildlife of the protected area, such as several different monkeys, sloths, colorful parrots, toucans, giant otters and pink dolphins. You will first be collected from Coca airport and after a 2 hour boat trip you will reach the Napo Wildlife Center on the bank of the Napo River. Enjoy very comfortable rooms, private bathrooms with hot water, and fantastic views of the rainforest and river. Enjoy visits to the nearby parrot clay lick to find parrots, parakeets, and macaws, the Napo Wildlife Center canopy tower, many rainforest trails to find animals and plants, and boat tours.
Sacha Lodge offers the largest canopy walkway in the Amazon Rainforest and expertly guided Amazon Rainforest tours. Enjoy the Yasuni clay licks to see colorful parrots, rainforest trails to find different rainforest monkeys, canoeing the lake, and of course the canopy walkway, which reaches 94 feet (30 meters) above ground and stretches out for an impressive 940 feet (275 meters) through the rainforest. This is a great platform for birdwatching and 37% of all Ecuador’s birds have been seen from Sacha Lodge.
Manatee Amazon Cruise
Aboard the Manatee Amazon Cruise, you will explore the Amazon Rainforest of Yasuni National Park to see the parrot clay lick, climb canopy towers to gaze out over the Amazon Rainforest, and head out into the rainforest on expertly guided wildlife tours to find monkeys, otters, and a diversity of rainforest animals and plants.
Anakonda Amazon Cruise
The Anakonda Amazon Cruise is the Manatee Cruise’s more luxurious partner, which offers a similar experience but in a higher degree of comfort. The Anakonda Amazon Cruise provides the only luxury cruise vessel in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest. You will enjoy the parrot clay licks, canopy towers, kayaking the waterways, and guided rainforest walks to find a diversity of different animals, such as monkeys, toucans, and river dolphins.