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Hakuna Matata Tour Adventures
Tour 4 Days 3 Nights
The tour adventures goes through the Amazon rainforest is for all the bold, brave, fearless, energetic and venturous people out there! Be that as it may, your adventure in the rain forest is waiting for you! You will enjoy a hike down the Jondachi- Canyon. You will explore caves in the Amazonian lowland – experiences in caving are a benefit, but definitely not a must! After all, these exciting events are framed by the stay in our comfortable Hakuna Matata Lodge which is located less than 125 miles away from Quito. The Lodge is build amidst the lush Amazonian flora and offers a private beach, 300 acre of private protected forest, a pool shaped as a palm and a tropical garden – all in all a program full of adventure and excitement!
DAY 1: ARRIVAL – JOURNEY TO THE AMAZON RAINFOREST – LEISURE OR OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES
Within 3 hours from Quito, finally, you will arrive in our exclusive Lodge. In the meantime, you will notice how the vegetation changes from the landscape of the Andes into the rainforest. After passing the gate to the Amazon Rainforest you will be in a mountain jungle paradise – Hakuna Matata is your private hideaway in the tropical forest. However, during your trip you came closer to sea level by about 7,200 feet and are located on about 2,000 feet now. There are different options to reach our Lodge, you can take a public bus or order a private transfer. However, the last one you will have the option to stop at the hot springs of Papallacta to relax in these famous thermal waters (optional, entrance fee not included).
Nevertheless, if you decide to skip the rest in the hot waters and arrive early in our jungle paradise you can add a tour by foot or by horse in the afternoon to your free day. Taking the horseback riding you will choose one of the hotel owned horses and take a tour through the forest and rivers. Otherwise, if you rather take a walk you can explore the area on different hiking paths. Your guide will explain the flora and fauna and share ancestral information about plants
that are used for medical reasons. However, you can also participate in our chocolate tour (all tours are optional, please let us know if you want to add this tour to your program when booking).
However, if you arrive in the afternoon at the lodge or just want to spend the day without program, enjoying our lodge, go right ahead – the adventure can start now! You can begin exploring our 300 acre private reserve where you will find a private white sand beach by the Inchillaqui River, a tropical garden, a protected forest which belongs to the Lodge and a palm shaped pool which has a length of 88 feet and is 72 feet wide – only mosquitoes will be hard to stop!
In the evening you will enjoy a delicious 3 course gourmet meal in an exclusive atmosphere surrounded by the sounds of the jungle.
DAY 2: JONDACHI CANYON HIKE – CAVING
You will start your day with a balanced breakfast with homemade bread, eggs, coffee and fruits or granola. Energized by a good night sleep and a nutritious breakfast, the pick up will be around 9 am and start your drive from the Lodge to the “Gran Cañón del Jondachi” which is found in the Sumaco Reserve. In this enchanted place there are a lot of rivers which descend from the Sumaco volcano, as example the big Jondachi River or its branch, the Hollin River. The intricate trail will lead you to an old-growth forest, then passing by the edge of the canyon to next bypass a confluent stream of the big Jondachi River. On this 1.5 hour hike you will see lots of small birds, waterfalls and vegetation that is influenced by the volcanoes and is only found around here.
When you arrived in the lowest part of the canyon you will see a setting that you have never seen before: huge, natural pools that are fed by many different small waterfalls, surrounded by periwinkle vegetation. Consequently, you have time to relax, enjoy the silence and enjoy a delicious snack surrounded by this idyllic setting. However, if you want to refresh yourself, just jump off some little rocks into the water!
But you also can be more adventurous and climb up the waterfall and explore a small cave!
Additionally, you will pass the impressive Jondachi River with its smoothen giant stones. When you finally arrive in Mondayacu you will continue until you reach the “Cavernas Templo de Ceremonias”. Finally, when you are there you will enjoy your delicious lunch before the adventure begins. Equipped with helmets and headlamps you are ready to start! The dark, partly narrow caves are inhabited with small critters like bats, fireflies and spiders…all waiting for you.
Now you can choose between two chalk-caves: either you discover the cave “Templo de Ceremonia” or the “Cueva de Elefante”. If you decide for the first one, you will be underground for about 30 minutes. This cave provides a lot of space and is comparatively easy to walk-on – in the most parts you are able to walk standing up, only in one part you have to crawl. Due to the packing list that you read beforehand, you have the clothes to get wet and dirty in the caves. The rewards are stalagmites and stalactites!
To exit the cave you will mobilize all your strengths and climb up a rock wall some feet. In case that is nothing for you, you are welcome to turn around and walk back out the way you came in. Nonetheless, if you decide for the second cave, you will be underground for about 45 minutes. This cave is a so-called “water cave” and has narrow aisles, cracks, small steps, belly deep water pools and even some sections where walking is not possible and you have to crawl. In a word, the highlights of this cave are the reliefs on the walls and the fragile formations of stalactites. If it was raining heavily beforehand, it is only possible to visit the first cave.
After exploring the caves, your guide shows you a rock-labyrinth close by and on a short walk you will discover the giant ceiba tree, the walking palm, a liana which is classified in the family of ayahuasca and the tree from which “sangre de drago” is made. For the most part, this is used to heal wounds or fight germs and fungi.
DAY 3 OR 4 (DAY OF DEPARTURE): LEISURE – OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES AT THE LODGE – DEPARTURE
Today your time in Hakuna Matata Lodge comes to an end. After enjoying breakfast you still have time to take part in a Chocolate Tour (optional, not included). At this instant, you will learn to produce chocolate from the bean to the bar, starting with the pure fruit, the cocoa beans and ending up with the brown gold. You could also use your time differently and relax at the pool, in a hammock or just keep exploring the area. Finally, when you head out of the Lodge you have two options, either you go back on the same road to Quito or you drive back to the Andes on an alternative route to the quaint town of Baños to keep on traveling from there.
DAY 3 (AS EXTENSION): RAFTING TOUR THROUGH THE JUNGLE
After taking pleasure in a rich and flavorful breakfast again you will have the strength you need for this day full of adrenalin. For this reason, you will enjoy wild water rafting on the Jatunyacu River. On this 15.5 miles route with a level of 3 / 3+ you, as a beginner or advanced rafter, will enjoy the ride. However, you will get the instructions for the right behavior on board and safety instructions by a professional team, there is no previous knowledge needed.
In the language of the Quichuas the name of the river means “big water” which indicates the waves and rapids that will bring us a jubilant day!. However, there will be time for recovery in the natural pools and throughout your journey you can enjoy the landscape of the jungle – on clear days you might even see the mountainous landscape of the Andes.
On the other hand, if you desire more tranquility it is possible to ride on the Anzu River. This river offers a level 2 / 3 of rafting – ideal for families with kids. On both tours you will have a break to enjoy your lunch on the waterfront in form of a picnic. Finally, you will hit the water again and drive to your ultimate destination Puerto Napo.
After being back in the lodge you will enjoy a 3 course mean in a special atmosphere again.
THE PRICE INCLUDES
- Accommodation in chosen room category (Cabañas, Lodge, Supreme)
- Local, Spanish speaking field guide
- Activities mentioned in the program
- Entrance fees for activities mentioned in the itinerary
- Meals (starting with dinner on the day of arrival until breakfast on the day of departure)
- Use of all lodge facilities, including swimming pool, beach area, hiking trails
- Rubber boots up to size 12 (UK) / 14 (US – men)
- Transport from / to Quito or from / to Baños (following prices are for one way tickets)
- Private transportation with stopover – about 2 hours – in Papallacta
– 1-3 persons: 120 US$ per vehicle
– 4-6 persons: 150 US$ per vehicle
– Private transportation without stopover
– 1-3 persons: 90 US$ per vehicle
– 4-6 persons: 120 US$ per vehicle
- Public bus (approx. 6-8 US$ per person), additionally the costs for the cab drive from Archidona to the Lodge (approx. 5 US$ per cab)
- Lunch on the day of arrival and day of departure in the Lodge (15 US$ per person)
- All activities not mentioned or are optional
– Entrance fee hot spring of Papallacta (8 US$ per person)
– Guided walk through the private Rainforest Reserve (20 US$ per group)
– Horseback riding through the Jungle (27 US$ per person)
– Chocolate Tour (20 US$ per group)
- Drinks and meals that are not mentioned
Personal spending and tip
- Passport and copies
- Personal medications
- Sun hat
- Camera equipment (including memory card, cables and batteries)
- Fast drying clothes (Shirts and shorts; for the evenings and mornings you need light colored long-sleeved clothing
- Lightweight raincoat
- Rubber boots (up to size 12 (UK) / 14 (US – men) are in the lodge available)
- Fitting socks for rubber boots
- Sturdy footgear
- Sandals / flip-flops / crocs
FOR OTHER EXCURTIONS
- Small towel and shirt to change
- Plastic bags to protect cameras, binoculars
- Water bottle
- Insect repellent
- Loose change (in small shops it’s only possible to pay with up to 5 dollar bills)