We are nominated in 2 categories!
Hakuna Matata Tour Classic
4 days 3 nights
The Hakuna Matata tour Classic offers you a superb time with the highlights of the Amazon rainforest – wildlife, flora, and culture – “Experience the Luxury of Nature”. Hakuna Matata Wildlife
Less than 125 miles away from Quito you will find our homelike Lodge nestled in a lush surrounding including a tropical garden and a private protected forest and beach on the river. Due to the short distance to Ecuador’s capital you are able to enjoy a complete jungle experience, but in a classy way – our unique location at about 2,000 feet above sea level means there are no tropical diseases and no mosquitoes – ideal terms for a family trip with kids or for your first journey to the jungle.
Less than 125 miles away from Quito you will find our homelike Lodge nestled in a lush surrounding including a tropical garden and a private protected forest and beach on the river. Due to the short distance to Ecuador’s capital you are able to enjoy a complete jungle experience, but in a classy way – our unique location at about 2,000 feet above sea level means there are no tropical diseases and no mosquitoes – ideal terms for a family trip with kids or for your first journey to the jungle.This program offers you a superb time with the highlights of the Amazon rainforest – wildlife, plants, rivers, and culture – “Experience the Luxury of Nature”. Hakuna Matata Wildlife
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. During your drive, 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. 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. If you choose 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).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 a horse in the afternoon to your free day. Once you decide on horseback riding, you will choose one of the hotels owned horses and take a tour through the forest and rivers. Rather if you prefer taking 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).
If you arrive in the afternoon at the lodge or just want to spend the day without the 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: Local market in Tena – canoe tour – Jungle walk – animal rescue center “Amazoonico” – indigenous community
You will start your day with a well-balanced breakfast, containing homemade bread, eggs, coffee, and fruit or granola. Afterward, you and your guide will enter the largest rainforest of the world – the Amazon Rainforest. Then, you will drive to the provincial capital Tena to discover the local marked with its specialties. You will find exotic and domestic fruits as well as vegetables like mangos, bananas, yucca or guayusa.
You will have the possibility to try various products, like the Chontacuro-worm which is a culinary specialty in this area – they are offered from the bbq or alive – dare yourself!. The guayusa leaves are used to prepare tea and are known for their ability to constrain hunger. You will get to know the leaves “hojas de bijao” better this afternoon, but feel free to buy them for your own use. Additionally, you can find “Sangre de Drago” – Dragon blood, a liquid extracted from trees bark that is used for curing wounds, stomach ulcers and revitalize germs and fungi in many South American countries.
After this first experience, you will continue to your second stop, Napo River. In this region, it is only possible to move along with a canoe, so that’s what you will do! After the ride, you will start to hike through the jungle and the protected forest “Selva Viva” for about 2 hours. During that time your guide will explain you the world of insects and the flora of the area whereas you will see impressive uniqueness like the strangler fig that is wrapping around trees to then kill them, the walking palm that moves up to 4 inches a year, the ceiba which is the giant of jungle trees and has impressive buttress roots or the lemon ants which can be part of your meal.
Therefore your guide will bring you to the “AmaZOOnico”, a rehabilitation center for rescued animals. Here you will be able to spot different kinds of monkeys, parrots, toucans, tapirs, ocelots, anteaters, anacondas and much more. Afterward, you will be back in your canoe in search for a quiet place to have a picnic lunch on the banks of the river. You will enjoy a typical jungle lunch, Maito, which is rice and chicken wrapped in the leaves “hoja de bijao”. Also, you will have a variety of fruit with it.
Strengthened by this delicious and wholesome meal, you will continue your adventure and visit an indigenous family that is part of the “Quichuas” tribe. You will get to know them in their urban settlement and see how and where they live their everyday life. Due to that, you will get to know the traditions and customs of the tribe, witness how and help to make “chicha”, a typical drink, and try it afterward. After this refreshment, you will explore the vegetable garden, test your skills at the blow gun and fade out your trip in a marsh to watch out for the hoatzin bird. After all these exciting experiences you will return to the Lodge and enjoy your 3-course dinner in the special atmosphere of the jungle again.
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). 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. 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.
(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. You will enjoy wild water rafting on the Jatunyacu River. This 15.5 miles route has a level of 3 / 3+. As a beginner or advanced rafter yyou willenjoy the ride. Given that you will be introduced to paddling, 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!
But don’t worry, 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.
If you desire a little bit more tranquility it is possible to ride on the Anzu River which 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. Afterward, 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.
- 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)
- Internationally certified rafting guide, bilingual (Spanish and English)
- Quality equipment (paddles, helmets, life jackets, spray jackets)
- Transportation between starting /end point of the rafting and the Lodge with a vehicle.
- Lunch (picnic), including water and soft drinks.
- SPOT Satellite Messenger for emergencies.
- Kayak for safety.
- First aid kit
- 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 which are 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
In addition for excursions
- 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)