The tour to La Casa del Suizo will depart from Quito, Ecuador’s capital, at in the morning in private transportation. The first leg of hte journey brings you to Papallacta, a small mountain village famous for its natural hot springs. Upon arrival you can take some time to visit these springs for a soothing swim in their thermal waters before lunch at the Hotel Papallacta. Shortly after noon, you will continue the journey along a scenic stretch of road which takes you out of the majestic Andes highlands and down into the Oriente – the Amazon region. Along the way there will be several opportunities to stop for photographs, overlooking lush green valleys and beautiful sparkling waterfalls. The road ends at Punta Ahuano, a tiny port town on the North bank of the Napo River, where canoes await for a late-afternoon 15-minute ride downstream to la Casa de Suizo. You will arrive with time to get settled and enjoy the sunset from the swimming pool with a refreshing welcome cocktail. -/L/D
After breakfast you will board a dugout canoe, and navigate 20 minutes down the waters of the scenic Napo River. The destination is Pangayacu, where during an approximately three-hour walk through primary Amazon rainforest, visitors will have the opportunity to see actual hunting traps which were traditionally used by the local natives in the past. The local guides will demonstrate how they work and explain which type of animals was caught in each one. And of course, at all times you will be on the lookout for tropical birds, and point out important aspects of the surrounding vegetation. The trail leads to the home of a Quichua Indian family, whose garden contains many medicinal plants still commonly used today. The naturalist guide will explain how they are prepared. Later, you will continue on to the village of Ahuano, where you may learn about several aspects of traditional Quichua culture. A local host will show you how to make chicha, a typical beverage (which of course all may taste). Finally, all may participate in a blowgun target-shooting contest – but don’t expect to beat the natives! B/L/D
This tour consists of a walk through primary and secondary forest trails, along which it is possible to observe distinct species of birds and insects as well as a great variety of trees and medicinal plants. The guides will explain how such plants are used not only in medicine, but also in construction and other important local activities. Along the trails you may enjoy several opportunities for adventure, such as hanging bridges, and vines for swinging from tree to tree. After the walk you may choose to eat lunch in the jungle, and later live the incredible experience of building and navigating a raft! On a small river island your guide will show you how to tie balsa logs together, so those who wish can float down the Napo for about an hour back to La Casa de Suizo. The duration of this tour is around 4 hours, and from 5 to 6 hours if you choose to have lunch in the forest. For the more physically limited guests, who do not wish or are not able to participate in all of the activities listed above, you have alternatives such as The Island: A one-hour walk along a totally flat river island, where one may observe a great variety of plants and insects. It is also possible to visit an artisan in the village of Ahuano, who will demonstrate how the traditional Quichua ceramics are created, painted, and hardened. B/L/D
After breakfast you will depart for the trip up the mountains and back to Quito. About halfway there the bus will stop at a lookout to stretch your legs and enjoy a box lunch before continuing on to Quito. B/L/-
B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / D: Dinner
Note: The activities on day 2 and 3 may be inverted, depending on the number of guests present.
ENERGY: The lodge is powered by solar energy. Sixty-four solar panels of 75 watts each cover 80% of all the lodge’s energy needs. Every room has 4 lamps: 1 in the bathroom and 3 in the bedroom. We kindly request you to conserve energy by using no more than three lamps at a time.
WATER: The tap water is filtered through charcoal filters and purified with UV rays. Bottles of drinking mineral water are available in your room. Solar showers provide 5 gallons of hot water per person each day. For your convenience we recommend that you take showers at the end of the day.
RAIN: Each room is provided with an umbrella that you can use to go to different areas of the lodge.
NIGHT: No artificial illumination exists along the boardwalks since it could modify the behaviour of nocturnal animals. You should carry a flashlight with you.
SWIMMING: Swimming can be safely done in lakes and calm rivers. Nevertheless, as the water level goes down in the dry season, this activity can is not always available.
MEALS: We serve a tasty combination of international food and traditional plants. A wide variety of exotic fruits are also available. Soft drinks, snacks and hot water for coffee and tea are available all day.
BREAKFAST: Starting at 5.00 a light breakfast is provided to birdwatchers. A full breakfast is available from 7.00 on.
LUNCH: Lunch is provided in the dining room from 12:30. Box lunches are provided to visitors taking full-day trips.
DINNER: Dinner is served from 19:00.
LIBRARY: A well-endowed library is open all day long. Paperbacks, magazines and books are available.
BOUTIQUE: A small boutique stocks essential items you may have forgotten (film, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sunscreen, insect repellent, hats etc.), as well as handicrafts and souvenirs.
SOAP: All soaps used in the lodge are biodegradable. In the shower as well as in the sink you will find shampoo and soap dispensers. Please do not use non-biodegradable soaps.
TRASH: Trash is sorted into two classes: biodegradable (food, paper, etc.) and non-biodegradable (metal, plastics, glass, etc.). Please deposit garbage in the appropriated trash containers, which you will find in your room.
It is always advisable to consult your physician about health measures and vaccinations before traveling to a foreign country. Although tropical diseases are rare around La Casa del Suizo, during your stay in Ecuador you may pass through areas of slightly higher risk.
Please take any medication you may need with you, as the selection of medicines in our first-aid kit is very limited.
La Casa del Suizo now has direct radio contact with Quito , as well as permanent telephone communication. In case of a medical emergency, there is a medical center in the town of Ahuano (adjacent to La Casa del Suizo) where guests may be treated.
In the tropical rainforest is best to be prepared for all kinds of weather. A common question we receive is about the “dry and rainy seasons” of the Amazon, but it is best not to trust such generalizations to plan a trip. At times it can be hot and sunny, but a cool rainstorm may appear at a moment’s notice during any time of the year.
We have ceiling fans in each room for hot afternoons, but at night (especially after the rain) some guests are surprised at the need for a sweatshirt!
Lightweight pants and long sleeved cotton shirts are ideal for walks in the forest. However, if you are more comfortable wearing short sleeves, remember that exposed skin may need a light dousing with insect repellant.
During the rain, full waterproof clothing can be uncomfortable as it often gets you wet with sweat instead of water, but rain ponchos are recommendable for tropical cloudbursts. We supply rubber boots up to men’s size 14 for walks in the forest interior.
Comfortable shoes (or sandals), shorts and t-shirts are fine for around the hotel during meals and free time. And don’t forget your bathing suit!
La Casa del Suizo now provides laundry service (washing and drying) for our guests. Please consult costs with our hotel administrator.
Drinks are not included in your package, and may be paid on the last night of your stay in cash (U.S. dollars), or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club or American Express).
There is free WIFI connection in the common areas, please ask at the front desk for the username and the password.
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