A week at an Amazonian River Lodge is a wonderful experience. For the next 7 days and 6 nights we will have a lot of options in and around Sani Lodge. The flights to Coca usually leave in the late morning, and our journey starts with a 30-minute flight from Quito to Coca where we will be met and driven the short distance to the boat docks on the banks of the Napo River. It’s then a 2 ½ motorized boat trip on this, the largest Ecuadorian tributary of the Amazon.
From the 36 meter (118 ft.) Observation Tower to paddling the narrow waterways and on Challuacocha Lake in front of Sani Lodge and hiking the maze of nearby rainforest trails, we will see an incredible amount of wildlife during our week on the Napo River. Chestnut-fronted and Red-bellied Macaws are common and fly over every morning from their roosting and Russet-backed and Crested Oropendolas stream over every morning and evening on the way to good fruiting localities in and around the forest.
Over 565 species of birds have been seen around the Sani Community so far, including 5 species of macaws, 8 toucans, 7 jacamars, 50 antbirds, 30+ tanagers, 70+ flycatchers, and an excellent selection of mammals. The sounds of Red Howlers are a constant morning sound and it’s not uncommon to see family groups resting in the treetops. Squirrel Monkeys, Tamarins and Marmosets are also fairly common and the lake near the lodge is home to a family of Giant Otters and Black Caimans. Around the lodge there are also many alternatives for relaxing, such as birding from the bar, on the boat dock in front of the lagoon or to simply just relax in the hammocks. This week in the Amazon Basin will give us a great insight to the birds and wildlife of this incredibly diverse part of the world, as well as enable us to see how the local communities are preserving the forest for their future generations, and for visitors and naturalists to come down and enjoy.
Although we are dedicating the majority of our time to hummingbirds, we will still enjoy all of the other birds, which will include a wide range of tanagers, trogons, antbirds and many more.