Hakuna Matata Rafting Tour

Hakuna Matata Rafting Tour

Hakuna Matata rafting tour is perfect for outdoor lovers and rafting enthusiasts. You will spend two out of four days paddling the Amazonian headwaters and will sleep one night in a tent in the jungle, sheltered by an indigenous community. To enjoy the rafting tour it doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or advanced river hound. All these activities are framed by the stay in our comfortable Lodge that is less than 125 miles away from Quito and that offers you a tropical garden, private beach at the river and protected forest all on a spacious ground. In this trip you will find the perfect combination of a classical jungle tour and a tour full of adrenaline – the perfect alternative for the knowledgeable jungle visitor.

Day 1 : Arrival – Journey To The Amazon Rainforest – Leisure Or Optional Activities

Hakuna Lodge

© Hakuna Matata

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.

Meals: B/-/-

Day 2 : Start Of The Rafting Adventure – Fun At The Waterfall – Rafting – Camping In An Indigenous Community

kayak - hakuna matata

© Hakuna Matata

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.

Meals: B/-/-

Day 3 : Indigenous Community – Rafting-tour Through The Jungle – Returning To The Lodge

Capuchin monkey

Photo: RoseRockett

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.

Meals: B/L/D

Day 4 : Leisure – Optional Activities At The Lodge – Departure

make chocolote

© Hakuna Matata

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.

Meals: B/-/-

4 Days


  • 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)
  • Taxes

Not Included

  • 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 (approx. 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
Additional Information


  • Night in a shelter tent
  • International certificated 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
  • Meals: 1x breakfast, 2x lunch (picnic), 1x dinner, as well as water and soft drinks
  • SPOT Satellite Messenger for emergencies
  • Kayak for safety
  • First aid kit


  • Passport and copies
  • Personal medications
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • 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)
  • Swimwear
  • 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


  • 20-liter backpack for all clothing and personal belongings
  • Sleeping bag, mattress (available for rent)
  • An extra set of clothes and sleeping clothes
  • Warm clothes for the evening
  • Swimsuit and towel
  • Flashlight and change batteries
  • Dry Bag – waterproof bag – to keep the items inside dry and safe
  • Waterproof digital camera
  • Water bottle
  • Insect repellent
  • Some plastic bags (for dirty and / or wet clothes)
  • Loose change (in small shops it’s only possible to pay with up to 5 dollar bills)