I couldn’t believe what my dad had given us for our honeymoon: a trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon, which, unlike its neighbors like Colombia, Peru, and distant Brazil, is only 30 minutes by plane from Quito, the capital of Ecuador.

Our private guide, Churi, met us at Coca airport to drive us to the banks of the Napo River and start our journey to Sani Lodge. After the welcome by the manager, we went to the suite to receive the first pleasant surprise. The room had been decorated with flower petals from plants that grow in their gardens, making it fragrant with the smell of nature.

The lodge dock is beautiful, with three levels, and I wanted to know if we could have something special there. So it happened, as our dinners were served uniquely in this beautiful corner, surrounded by a natural, exclusive atmosphere, with candles, champagne, and wine, moments that we will never forget.

The awakenings in the lodge are early to follow the rhythm of the Amazonian fauna; thanks to our program included a private guide, we had breakfast at 6:30 a.m. and left for the activity in the lagoon at 7:00 a.m. in a peaceful atmosphere accompanied by the sounds of parrots and macaws, to later walk in a path with millenary trees that shook by their size, where the squirrel monkeys in a troop of  200 gave us a show of skill. At the same time, they crossed the branches of the trees.

We returned at midday for lunch and to enjoy the suite overlooking the lagoon where Lucy, Sani’s pet alligator, guarded her nest in a back-and-forth search for food.  We lay down on the hammocks until we fell completely asleep when suddenly we heard a knock on our door; it was our guide to remind us that it was time to go to the canopy tower.

The arrival at the tower’s base was spectacular as it is built around an ancient Kapok tree considered by the Kichwa as the mother tree, whose buttress roots are so large that it would take 40 people with their arms outstretched to cover the diameter. When we reached the upper canopy, I received the biggest surprise as the community shaman was waiting for us to strengthen our relationship energetically through a spiritual cleansing ceremony. How beautiful!  The remaining time before sunset, we enjoyed an eagle’s eye view of the forest while observing beautiful creatures such as parrots, sloths, howler monkeys, and parrots with the help of the telescope.

The next day, we left the lodge at 6.30 am to visit the clay lick of the Yasuní National Park, where we watched hundreds of parakeets and parrots through binoculars from the motor canoe and later went on a two-hour nature walk in the most biodiverse place in the world. We saw the tracks of a jaguar, titi, wooly, spider monkeys, scarlet macaws, and centennial vines to finish with a master class on the plants used in the daily lives of the locals with Shungo, our local guide.

The final activity with the Sani Women organization was another surprise, as they had made exclusive handicrafts for us including a traditional Kichwa party with music, drinks, and food. What a feeling!

Back at the lodge around 3 pm, full of exceptional experiences, we stayed at the bar to drink caipirinhas under a spectacular tropical sun, which we enjoyed very much as we fled the cold of winter at home. A sunset in front of the lagoon with shades of orange, blue, yellow, and purple in the sky was the end of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

As we returned to Coca the following day, memories flowed through our hearts: the private dinners, the spiritual bonding ceremony, the fauna, the flora, the beautiful jungle, the people of the community celebrating with us, Lucy, the lodge… It is hard to list and much more challenging to describe so much love received.

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Sani Lodge
In our trips, you have the opportunity to explore untouched forests, understand the intrinsic relationships among plants and animals, search for stunning flora and fauna and learn from ancient cultures: the true treasures of the Amazon Rainforest. When you stay with us, you become part of our extended community where we share and teach you about our environment and culture. At Sani Lodge, you are not only choosing an amazing adventure, but also the opportunity to immerse yourself in our Amazon Kichwa lifestyle. Come and join us, support our indigenous community and the Rainforest conservation that you will love to call it home.


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