By Nadine Kliffen, Reservations Coordinator at Latin Frontiers
Sacha Lodge is an idyllic lodge located at the border of the Yasuní National Park in the Amazon Rainforest. Last month I had the opportunity to spend a few days in this area to experience Sacha Lodge, visited by many of our passengers, in person.
If you want to visit the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador, you have different options. It is possible to visit Tena by car or, located deeper into the jungle, go to the national parks Cuyabeno or Yasuní. In the area of Yasuní you only find a handful of lodges, all offering first class services. To arrive to Sacha Lodge you first fly to Coca, which only takes
50 minutes from Quito. Subsequently you will be brought deeper into the
jungle with a small motor boat.
Sitting in this motor boat and watching the impressive nature around me, I felt really blessed to be able to visit this unique area. The National Park Yasuní exists out of primary rainforest and has the highest biodiversity on Earth. When we left the boat, a short trail through the forest led me and the rest of the group to a little canoe that brought us to the lagoon in which Sacha Lodge is located. The location couldn’t been have more idyllic: from the restaurant of the lodge you can see the sun’s reflection dance across the lagoon, with otters and caimans drifting through the water underneath you.
The same afternoon we left the lodge for our first expedition. In Sacha Lodge, you are guided in small groups with one naturalist guide and one local guide, both very knowledgeable about the area. We, a group of five women from Canada, The Netherlands and Cyprus, were guided by Joel and Ernesto. This first afternoon we went for a walk through the forest, while Joel and Ernesto told us about the medicinal plants and different species in the area. After this first impression of the Amazon it was time for a delicious `à la carte´ dinner in the restaurant. While I would have loved to talk with more passengers after dinner, the long day drove me to my cabin very early.
All cabins at Sacha Lodge have spacious rooms for couples, friends or single travelers. Some can be connected, making them the perfect accommodation for families up to six persons. All rooms are spacious and luxurious; some even with a panoramic shower, but all with a natural style that truly gives you the feeling to be part of the jungle.
The next morning breakfast was served at 5:30 am. However visiting Sacha is part of your holidays, the animals start their days very early. And although I am not a morning person, it was amazing to hear the sounds of the night pass into the sounds of the day; the jungle is never asleep.
That morning we visited the `Parrot lick´, a river bank where hundreds of parrots come every morning to eat the soil, which is full of minerals. After this colorful spectacle we continued to a project of the local Sani community. A young mother guided us around and showed us the projects the community is working on. The tour was closed with local snacks among which, for the daredevils, beetle larvae. Afterwards we returned to the lodge for a wonderful, more international, lunch.
The most unique activity in Sacha Lodge might be the `canopy bridge´ that allows you to walk 30 meters above the ground and experience the Rainforest from a totally different perspective. With 587 different species of birds in the area, this is the perfect place to observe toucans, parrots and many other birds. If you are lucky, a group of monkeys comes close so you can observe them from nearby. And even if they stay away: it is the most beautiful, humble feeling to hear the howler monkeys roar firmly while you are observing the rainforest from above.
The biodiversity of the area of Yasuní National Park is the highest in the world. Besides the impressive number of bird types, eight species of monkeys live around the lodge. Other animals that can be seen are caimans (both black and brown), anacondas, giant otters, turtles, beautiful colored frogs and butterflies and many, many others. When your guides take you for night tours by foot and canoe, you will discover totally different species, like bats and tarantulas.
Of course it is hard to predict what animals you will be able to see during your visit to the Amazon. This depends on the weather circumstances, how quiet you walk and, simply, luck. But it is very predictable that you will love Sacha Lodge, like I did, because of its knowledgably staff, delicious food, special location and interesting tours. With Sacha you experience nature in the best possible way.
Do you also want to visit the Amazon Rainforest? Check out our tours here!