ADVANTAGE ECUADORMETROPOLITAN TOURINGThe rivers of the Ecuadorian Andes flow down into the Oriente, in the Amazon basin. A true wilderness of rainforest and remote indian communities, this is nevertheless an easily-accessible area of jungle for visitors. You can travel by air or land, journeys are short; although when you arrive in the lowlands there may be a longer canoe or light-aircraft journey to reach some of the more isolated lodges or cruise starting points.The isolated Kapawi Lodge is on a lagoon fed by the Rio Pastaza and is accessible only by air. Here live around 60 communities of the Achuar people who only came into contact with the 'modern' world 30 years ago but who now operate the lodge to show visitors their way of life. Activities here can be tailored to suit your interestsThe well-run Sacha and La Selva Lodges' offer the sort of remote wilderness experience you hope for at a jungle lodge. Comfortable accommodation is in thatched cabins and both lodges offer a menu of land and water-borne jungle excursions. Sacha has a 275m long canopy walkway (right), La Selva has a tower canopy.The Napo Wildlife Centre, a comfortable lodge on the Napo River in the Yasuni National Park, was built in a private reserve and is part of a community-based ecotourism project. There are two claylicks on the property where up to 800 individual birds may congregate. Also on the banks of the Napo is the Swiss-founded La Casa del Suizo, with electricity and pool: this is not a deep jungle experience but it is ideal for those who want a taste of jungle life whilst enjoying a drink in the local village.The MV Manatee, purpose-built for cruises in the Ecuadorian rainforest, takes up to 30 guests. Relax as you float down the river or join on-shore excursions, including nocturnal jungle walks, canoe trips into the Yasuni National Park, and piranha fishing. The Ecuadorian Amazon Napo Wildlife Centre was quite outstanding! And a privilege to be able to support the local community. DW, Finchley98 EcuadorTROPIC
TROPICSACHA LODGESACHA LODGE.QuitoMindo.Casa del Suizo.GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS..GuayquilECUADOR huaorani ecolodge The Huaorani are historically a nomadic people who, until recent incursions by the oil industry, roamed their territory south of Coca with no contact with the outside world. Nowadays they are taking steps towards establishing a dialogue with tourism to benefit their community. Based at the locally operated lodge, where you stay in thatched tented cabins, you will learn about the Huaorani way of life, guided by naturalists and looked after by the people themselves. There are canoe trips and kayaking opportunities and walks along forest trails with wildlife to be observed. Nature and wildlife: jungle and the Galápagos 15 days, 13 nightsQuito 1 night, Mindo 1n, Quito 1n, jungle lodge 3n,Quito 2n, Galápagos cruise 4n, Guayaquil 1n.Day 1 Fly from the UK to Quito. Accommodation is at Hotel El Crater, a minimalist hotel with a tranquil location facing Pululahua Volcano. Days 2&3 By road northwest to Mindo Nature Reserve, descending through cloud forest in the protected forest of Mindo-Nambillo. Over 2 days based at a lodge in the area there are guided bird-watching walks, and optional horse-riding trip passing waterfalls and farms with tropical plantations. Return by road to Quito and stay at Hotel Patio Andaluz. Days 4-6 Drive down the flanks of the Andes to the rainforest lodge Casa del Suizo for 3 nights with full board and a programme of excursions included. It's a great experience without having to fly deeper into the Amazon. Days 7&8 Return to Quito; half day city tour. Days 9-12 Fly to the Galápagos Islands and board the Monserrat, a bright modern motor cruiser with accommodation for 16 guests. 5 day cruise around the islands with guided shore excursions, full board. Day 13 Fly to Guayaquil, overnight. Day 14 Fly to the UK, arriving day 15. Prices from £2,752pp based on two sharing, excluding transatlantic flights. Regular departures from the UK 020 8747 8315 / journeylatinamerica.co.uk bookings, consultant advice and additional information 99how about?» Extending your Galápagos Islands cruise to 7 nights. » Exploring the Ecuadorian highlands with a drive down the Avenue of Volcanoes (p88).Below La Casa del Suizo.