Sacha Lodge … Your home in the Wild!
Sacha Lodge’s story begins in the 1970s when Swiss founder Benny came to Ecuador in search of adventure. He was captivated by the Napo River, and in 1985, Benny opened his first tourist lodge, La Casa del Suizo, on the Upper Napo.
But soon, civilization approached, and to satisfy his appetite for wilderness, Benny went in search of a place to build a lodge deeper into the forest. Months later, he was taken to a stretch of forest some two hours from Coca. Benny immediately fell in love with the mysterious black water of Pilchicocha Lake and purchased 500 hectares of land surrounding it. With the help of 170 local employees, Sacha Lodge was officially opened in 1992 with six guest rooms.
The Sacha Lodge has rivers so wide you can barely see the other side; supersized kapok trees and electric blue morph butterflies; tiny insects that roar and gentle giants who only venture out at night. Each acre of these forests along the banks of the Napo River has more biodiversity than almost the whole of North America, yet the thrill of spotting tamarind monkeys, giant otters, toucans, boa constrictors, caimans or owls never diminishes. Here, dark water creeks are the canals that lead you further away from civilization and deeper into the wild.
The Sacha Lodge mixes luxury and comfort with adventure like no one else, will provide top-notch guides, and has some of the finest dining experiences in the entire Amazon Rainforest!
Come and enjoy the very best Amazon Rainforest Experience in Ecuador!
Sacha Lodge Activities
Adventure is a given at Sacha Lodge, and all guests, from those happy to relax in their own comfort zone to the most intrepid will reap tremendous rewards from our spectrum of activities. The water is the thread that links each experience: you’ll become an expert at hopping in and out of the canoe and manning the oars, and will come to love the surreal peacefulness of paddling down streams through the virgin wilderness. Expedition groups are never larger than six and are always accompanied by a naturalist guide and a local guide. We strive to match guests with others of similar ages, interests, and abilities in expedition groups.
Canopy Walk – A Walkway on the Wildside
Imagine crossing the rainforest across a bridge 94 feet (36 meters) high over the treetops. This 940-foot (275-meter) sturdy walkway is fixed to the ground by three metal towers and offers an astounding opportunity to spot dozens of animals and epiphytes seldom seen from the ground, immersed in the canopy. You might even follow along with troops of monkeys as they forage through the forest canopy. And if you don’t see them, you’ll almost certainly hear them: howler monkeys roaring through the sunset like true kings of the jungle.
Kapok Tower – EPIC tree-climbing
You’ll feel like you’re on the very top of the world on our 135-foot (43-meter) observation tower, a platform built on the highest branches of a giant kapok tree. From here, magnificent, panoramic views of the forest unfold all around, while the 500 species of birds registered in the area, including rainbow-colored toucans and parrots, become easy to spot. Climb onto the crows’ nest for the 360-degree experience, the captain of the Amazon.
Parrot Clay Lick – A Sound and Color Spectacle
A short distance from Sacha Lodge is Ecuador’s most accessible parrot lick, an exposed clay riverbank where technicolored parrots of several different species gather in the early morning. In ideal conditions (sunny and dry) hundreds of parrots will perch on and eat the exposed clay in a spectacular show of sound and color! The lick is located on the edge of Yasuní National Park, which is accessible from Sacha by a short canoe trip down the Napo River.
The Butterfly House – A Live Exhibition Conservatory
Sacha Lodge is home to one of the largest butterfly farms in Ecuador. Designed as a live exhibition conservatory, the Butterfly House is now successfully breeding nearly 40 local butterfly species. Guests will be shown how these beautiful insects are bred and raised and may roam through ‚”the flying room” where hundreds of colorful butterflies flutter from flower to flower. Transparent glass-wing butterflies, spectacular blue morphs, striking tiger longwings, bright yellow swallowtails and giant nocturnal owl butterflies are only a few of the species you’ll encounter here, up close and personal.
Forest Walks – Walk into a world abuzz with Life
Creeping along the jungle paths through the spotlights of sun filtering down through the canopy, careful not to tread on an army of marching ants, your nature guide will point out plants and insects and the fascinating symbiosis between them. He might take you through the territory of the crested owls or spider monkeys, expertly mimicking the creatures’ call to win their trust and coax them out of hiding. When darkness falls, have your flashlight ready to spot creatures of the night, from tarantulas and boas to stick insects and frogs.
Creek Paddling – Venture into unchartered waters
Besides being your means of transport between expeditions, creek paddling in dug-out canoes is a fabulous adventure in itself, with the bonus that it requires little physical exertion. Paddling down the streams is like entering into a tunnel leading to a lost world. Birds call in surround-sound and vast families of monkeys leap from branches overhead, a show to coincide with the setting of the sun.
Caiman Spotting at Night – A Magical adventure under starlight
A night-time expedition to look for caiman on the lake is perhaps the most magical experience of an adventure already filled with wonder. Under cover of darkness, you will take a canoe out onto the water, your way lit by glittering stars. The eyes of the caiman glow ghoulishly red in the torchlight, as the amphibious creatures float along the swampy shallows.
Birdwatching – Spotting exotic and multi-colored birds
Of the incredible 1,600 bird species registered in Ecuador, 600 (37 percent) have been seen at Sacha Lodge. That’s almost 7 percent of the species found in the entire world!
For avid birdwatchers, we can provide specialist bird guides, who know the best spots for the hard-to-find species and can easily identify species by both sight and sound. Oscar Tapuy, our local expert who has been with at Sacha since 1995, estimates that he spots 60 species per day on average. Your guide will lead you through a variety of habitats where mixed flocks are common, and generally begin before sunrise to take full advantage of the morning peak. The guides carry telescopes, and have become dab-hands at taking photos with your camera or phone through the lens!
Providencia Community Visit
Our visit takes us to Shipati Warmi project, an initiative run by and benefiting the women of the Providencia community of Yasuní. Through an unobtrusive dialogue, we learn about their day-to-day lives: how they dry clothes in the jungle and the challenges of getting to school, before helping to prepare and trying traditional food. It’s an intimate, unique experience, in which we discover both the differences and similarities between our own and another culture. The Shipati Warmi project asks that each guest donates $ 5.
Ideal for families, the Lake Pool is the only one of its kind in the Amazon region. The plunge pool, protected by a mesh cage, allows you to cool off and relax in the black shallows of the Pilchicocha Lake, without the fear of encountering the unknown. You could even spot caiman and giant otters swim by the other side of the net.