DAY 1: ARRIVAL – JOURNEY TO THE AMAZON RAINFOREST – LEISURE OR OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES
Within 3 hours from Quito 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).
Skiping the rest, you arrive early in our jungle paradise you can add a tour by foot or by horse in the afternoon to your free day. The horseback riding you will choose one of the hotel owned horses and take a tour through the forest and rivers. 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). spot!
If you want, you can explore our 300 acre private reserve where you will find a private white sand beach by the Inchillaqui River. It is 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
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: START OF THE RAFTING ADVENTURE – FUN AT THE WATERFALL – RAFTING – CAMPING IN AN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY
You will start your day early in the morning with a balanced breakfast with homemade bread, eggs, coffee and fruits or cereal. Afterwards, you already have to say goodbye to the Lodge again, but only for the next two days. You will go to the Llanganates National Park and to the Jatunyacu River which flows from the glacier of the Cotopaxi volcano. This river will be your source of fun and excitement for the next days.
After you crossed over the river with the boat you mastered your first adventure. Then, you will take a walk along the Iany River until you reach a hidden waterfall. Back to your boat, the real rafting adventure start!
You will get an introduction in safety, behavior on board and how to paddle – now your tour can begin! Typically for a level 3 rafting, there are fast passages and parts where you can relax and enjoy the surroundings. After rafting for about 45 minutes you will reach a river crossing. There, on the waterside of the Iluachin River at a white sand beach you will enjoy your lunch .Recovered and re-energized like this you will keep on going for 30 minutes on the wild water river until you reach the community of the Shandia who are settled right by the river bank.
Before setting up camp there will be time to change cloth and get warm. Then it is time to light a campfire and you have a typical dinner with the community – enjoy this special evening. During a traditional dance performance you get the chance for a cultural exchange and to see the habits and customs of the jungle folk. At the end of the day, you will fall into a deep and recovering sleep, surrounded by the sounds of the rainforest.
DAY 3: INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY – RAFTING-TOUR THROUGH THE JUNGLE – RETURNING TO THE LODGE
After a deep rest you will wake up in the morning and have breakfast with the community again. Now that you are ready to start your day right you will discover the garden full of organic jungle produce, called “chacra”. You will find papayas, sweet potatoes and cocoa, to only name a few. Afterwards, they will show will show you the process of making chocolate.
After this culinary highlight you will go back to your original cause of the trip – rafting. Your second day will be the main part on the water and when you finished the whole tour, you will have left 25 miles behind you. In the language of the Quichuas the name of the river means “big water” which probably results from the rapids that you will experience today.
There are also slow and calm parts, where you can enjoy the landscape of the jungle and on a clear day, even the mountainous landscape, of the Andes. During a short lunch break after about 2 hours you will enjoy a picnic on the waterside of the river before you jump into the boat again to fight the waves on the second part of the trip today.
After 2 hours more your will arrive in Misahualli, a little village in the jungle. There you will be welcomed by capuchin monkeys and can witness how two rivers become one, the Jatunyacu River and the Misahualli River. After changing into dry clothes and relaxing for a bit you will drive back to the Lodge where your 3-course dinner is already waiting for you.
DAY 4: 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.