Kapawi Ecolodge is an award-winning community ecotourism enterprise in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador that offers conscious and responsible travelers the opportunity to engage in unique and authentic cultural experiences in an unspoiled natural setting, while directly supporting the sustainable development of the Achuar indigenous nation.
To get to Kapawi, we have to drive overland from Quito to the Andean town of Shell. This is a 4-5 hour drive that passes by the small city of Baños, one of Ecuador's main tourist destinations. Sometimes, people visit Baños before visiting us. Shell is a small Amazonian town from where we take a small chartered flight to the community of Kusutkau, one of several Achuar communities located near Kapawi Ecolodge.
This flight covers approximately 180 kilometers and takes roughly 50 minutes. This is the only type of transportation to access our ecolodge. We are located within one of Ecuador's last large tracts of rainforest, and we are located in Ecuador's last remote and isolated area, away from towns, roads, oil exploitation, farming, and other external activities. Once at Kapawi, you can enjoy a customized program, that usually offers a balanced menu of cultural and natural activities.
Kapawi Ecolodge is located within the Achuar indigenous territory in what represents Ecuador's last large tract of primary Amazon Rainforest. The ecolodge is located on the Capahuari river, a tributary of the larger Pastaza river, which is itself a tributary of the Amazon river. Our activities are custom made depending on your preferences, but we try to provide an Amazon experience that balances time spent in nature with a cultural experience.
We have different options for hikes in the forest, boat rides along our and surrounding rivers, paddling time in the Capahuari river, excursions to the parrot clay lick and birdwatching in the morning, and night hikes. We try to design an itinerary that will take advantage of this exposure to the rainforest with activities with the communities to learn and share with the Achuar people and their communities.
There are different options of programs that can incorporate personalized itineraries. Days usually start early at 6 am, with daily outings that combine these natural and cultural activities, returning to the lodge in the afternoon or evening after a day in the Amazon rainforest. We can modify these daily outings to take advantage of the best times of the day, which are usually very early in the morning (6-10 am) and later in the afternoon (3.30-6 pm). In the communities, activities can range (depending on the season and dates) from visits to families to learn about the Achuar way of life, learning about weavings, ceramics, medicinal plants, or just spend a half-day in the community in an authentic cultural exchange with your Achuar hosts.