The trip to La Casa del Suizo will depart from Quito, Ecuador’s capital, at 8am in private transportation by land. The first leg of our journey brings us to Papallacta, a small mountain village famous for its natural hot springs. The group will arrive here between 9am and 9:30am, and take some time to visit these springs for a soothing swim in their thermal waters before lunch at the Hotel Papallacta. Shortly after noon, we will continue our journey along a scenic stretch of road which takes us out of the majestic Andes highlands and down into the “Oriente”, or Amazon region. Along the way there will be several opportunities to stop for photographs, overlooking lush green valleys and beautiful sparkling waterfalls. The road ends at Punta Ahuano, a tiny port town on the North bank of the Napo River, where canoes await for a late-afternoon 15 minute ride downstream to la Casa del Suizo. The group will arrive with time to get settled, and enjoy a sunset from our swimming pool with a refreshing welcome cocktail. La Casa del Suizo is a tranquil Amazonian refuge located on the shore of Ecuador’s majestic Napo River and a stone’s throw away from the eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains. Perched comfortably above the riverbank and the small Quichua Indian village of Ahuano, La Casa del Suizo overlooks vast expanses of the surrounding tropical rainforest environment. Each of the lodge's modern rooms provides full electricity, hot water and ceiling fans to make your stay more comfortable, and an exquisite view which may be peacefully absorbed from the privacy of your own terrace. With a magnificent panorama of the Napo, guests may enjoy the swimming pool, outdoor dining area and pool bar, which offer an array of delicious tropical drinks. The hotel’s dining rooms offer a wide variety of both Ecuadorian and international dishes, and cater to vegetarians. Each morning guests may trek, paddle and swing through the lush, primary rainforest, which surrounds the Lodge. The native guides possess vast knowledge of the diverse local fauna and flora, as well as the medicinal uses of many plants.
Enjoy the jungle, various activities are available including hiking, canoeing, bird watching, cultural visits and swimming. Depending on time of year and weather, here are some examples of what a day is like at the Lodge: Option 1: Board a dugout canoe, and navigate 20 minutes down the waters of the scenic Napo River. The destination is Cosano, a private reserve where during an approximately two-hour walk through primary rainforest, visitors will have the opportunity to see actual hunting traps which were traditionally used by local natives in the past. The guides will demonstrate how they work and explain which type of animals was caught in each one. And of course, at all times we will be on the lookout for tropical birds, and point out important aspects of the surrounding vegetation. Lunch will be served at location. Later, you can float down the Arajuno River in a tube for about an hour or go to the Amazoonico, a rescue centre for wounded and displaced tropical rainforest animals. Here it is possible to see coatis, tapirs, and several species of monkey, snakes, and a variety of birds, many of which wander around freely! Entrance into this centre is approximately $2.50 USD. Return to Casa del Suizo at around 5pm. Option 2: This visit consists of a walk through primary and secondary forest trails, along which it is possible to observe distinct species of birds and insects as well as a great variety of trees and medicinal plants. The guides will explain how such plants are used not only in medicine, but also in construction and other important local activities. Along the trails guests may enjoy several opportunities for adventure, such as hanging bridges, and vines for swinging from tree to tree. Enjoy lunch in the jungle, and later live the incredible experience of building and navigating a raft! On a small river island your guide will show you how to tie balsa logs together, so those who wish can float down the Napo for about an hour back to La Casa del Suizo. The duration of this visit is around 5 to 6 hours. Option 3: In the morning guests will visit a local Quichua Indian family at the village of Ahuano. Here they will learn about several aspects of traditional Quichua culture. Our host will show us how to make chicha, a typical beverage (passengers are welcome to join in with the preparation and of course tasting of the finished product), and demonstrate the spiritual cleaning rituals still practiced today throughout the surrounding community. Finally, all may participate in a blowgun target-shooting contest – but don’t expect to beat the natives! Guests will also visit a ceramic handcraft factory were they will see the process and will be able to participate in the painting and making of the pottery. Next to the ceramic factory there is a wood carving were guests will also be able to participate in the creation of such handcrafts. Return to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon a 20 minute walk will take you to the new butterfly farm were guests will enjoy about 20 different species of butterflies and will learn about the metamorphosis process of the different stages of the butterfly.
We return to Quito by land transfer where you can be dropped off at a hotel or the airport.