In 2008, Yachana Lodge & Center for Geotourism Training was a winner in the Ashoka and National Geographic Geotourism Challenge! Out of 323 entries from 83 countries, Yachana was selected amongst the three winners as the best example of Geotourism in the world. Now, completely integrated with the Yachana Technical High School, Yachana is the only lodge in Ecuador managed by students of Ecotourism and Sustainable Development.
"Yachana" is an indigenous Kichwa word that means "a place for learning," which is the best description of what we do. As you embark on your journey deep into the Amazon, you can be proud that your visit is helping to address education, conservation and sustainable development.
You will hike in primary and secondary rainforest with one of Yachana's English-speaking, native guides and discover the amazing symbiosis of the animals, birds, trees, plants and insects. You will visit Yachana's extraordinary and impressive Technical High School set up for the indigenous youth of the Amazon. You will also visit a traditional shaman or medicine man for a cleansing ceremony.
Come and take an unforgettable journey and experience the beauty and adventure of Yachana!
Alcoholic beverages not included.
Your professional guide will be by your side as you:
- Hike deep into primary and secondary rainforest to discover wildlife (7 species of toucan, Great Potoos, Long-tailed Potoos and many more animals, birds, insects, snakes and spiders await!)
- Discover native plants and trees including an extraordinary array of medicinal plants and their uses.
- Early morning birdwatching on an island upriver and see over 30 species of birds in an hour including Whitehawk eagles and Blackhawk eagles.
- Participate in an Amazon cooking class conducted by Yachana's indigenous chefs.
- Explore Yachana's 4,300-acre (1,700 hectare) Protected Forest and visit our biological research station where biologists are documenting thousands of species and and new species.
- Go on a night hike and discover another world that comes out only at night including the Tailess Whip Scorpion with its 20cm long antennae, snakes and frogs and enormous spiders.
- Participate in a traditional cleansing ceremony led by a local medicine man and test your skills at the indigenous arts of blowguns and spears used for hunting.
- Tour the Yachana Technical High School's campus and Organic Farm and interact with the students - learn about their lives in the rainforest that is their home.
- Learn to make traditional handicrafts with Yachana's students and weave your own basket from plant fibers collected from the surrounding forest.
- Visit the local community, elementary school, and the health clinic founded by the Yachana Foundation and other local villages.
- Observe a local family panning for gold - this is a genuine activity practiced by the poorest Amazon families who will genuinely enjoy your company and teaching you what they do.
- Enjoy a refreshing swim in the Napo River, the largest tributary to the Amazon River.
- Float downriver on an inner-tube and enjoy the sights and sounds of the rainforest.
- Stargaze from our fabulous riverside deck.
- Watch stunningly beautiful sunsets from a high overlook.
- Visit our butterfly house and learn about true symbiosis and the life cycle of a butterfly.
- Enjoy the beautiful botanical gardens that surround the Lodge and identify some of over 90 species flowers with our photographic guide.
Typically, visitors arrange a flight with a Yachana sales representative from Quito to Coca. Your guide will meet you at the Coca airport, escort you to the river port to board our comfortable, covered, motorized canoe and then accompany you up-river to the Yachana Lodge. The flight is 30 minutes, and the canoe ride is about 2.5 hours. Currently, round trip airfare is $136 and the canoe ride is included with your reservations. The fare includes transfers in Coca and a box lunch to enjoy during your canoe ride.
By public bus:
Visitors may also travel to Tena and then transfer to another bus to Comuna Los Rios. If you need assistance, a representative can meet you in Tena to help with the transfer. Upon arriving in Comuna Los Rios, your guide will join you and accompany you downriver in our motorized canoe to Yachana Lodge. The bus ride is about 5 hours from Quito to Tena, and 3 hours from Tena to La Comuna Los Ríos. Bus fare will cost about $20 round trip per person and the canoe ride is included with your reservations.
Please contact a Yachana sales representative.
- Children under the age of 5 - free
- Child under the age of 12 - less 50%
- Senior citizens - less 5%
Please contact a Yachana sales representative.
Yachana performs different green practices to encourage businesses and individuals to minimize water pollution, solid waste, energy consumption, water usage, and overly bright nighttime lighting. We want to advertise these measures in a way that attracts the large, environmentally sympathetic tourist market.
Electricity by solar panels and hydro-electric generator, waste management processes, preserving 1400 hectares of primary and secondary forest. Using local materials for construction, having purification processes for grey water.
Yachana has the Smart Voyager Certification for implementing the different green practices the Smart Voyager manual proposes.
We work with rainforest communities to improve education, develop community-based medical care, establish sustainable agricultural practices, provide environmentally sustainable economic alternatives, and conserve the rainforest.
We employ an innovative development model based on a non-profit/for-profit organizational structure. The non-profit Foundation is partially supported by Yachana's tour operations to finance its fight against poverty and disease and the destruction of Ecuador’s imperiled rainforest.
Any income generated supports the Yachana Foundation’s education, sustainable development and rainforest conservation projects, guaranteeing their long-term financial sustainability.
$200 - $500 USD