We leave El Coca town for a 2‐ 2½ hour (depending on river’s water level) down the Napo River. During the trip you will receive snacks and bottled water- in our comfortable and safe 40-seater boat powered by two 75 hp outboard engines. Roof and plastic side curtains will offer a comfortable trip preventing you and gear from getting wet if raining; otherwise sit back and enjoy the breeze and view along the mighty Napo. We arrive at the Napo Wildlife Center landing port, entry point to the Añangu territory and Yasuní National Park. Here you can stretch your legs, use restrooms and maybe have a first chance to meet one of the dozen species of primates that thrive in our territory. You and your group will be organized here in small paddle boats (motorized transport is not allowed within the Añangu Reserve) that will take you to the main lodge through Añangu Creek.
The Napo Wildlife Center experience really begins on Añangu’s black-water creek ride, as we paddle our way through waters that look like fine black tea, under the shaded canopy of the rainforest. This almost two‐hour ride, gives visitors one of the best chances of watching several bird, primate, reptile and large mammal species in Añanagu, quickly spotted by our guides as they silently paddle through the water. Electric eels and stingrays can be seen swimming past the boat as it silently slides through this always stunning trip (jaguars, tapirs, peccaries and anacondas have been spotted here by groups of arriving visitors. Really!!).
This is the perfect introduction to the Amazon ecosystems and wildlife! There are amazing trees and vegetation adapted to this flooded ecosystem. Keep a watchful eye for any movement in the branches, undergrowth or water: it may be a troop of monkeys, a pair of raucous macaws, crazy‐looking hoatzins as we get near the Añangu Lake, or a family of endangered Giant Otters leading your canoe’s path with their loud calls and curious look at the canoes. We also program canoe rides down other fascinating black‐water streams, and at night dozens of medium and large black-caimans can be safely approached as they patrol the waters for a bite on any fish that swims near their mouths.
The creek gradually widens, opening into the beautiful serene waters of Añangu Lake. You can finally see the lodge’s beautiful construction on the opposite side of the lake. The lake is home to hundreds of freshwater fish species (including piranhas, giant “pirarucú” lung fish, sting rays, peackok bass, etc.), otters, aquatic birds, endangered “charapa” turtles, etc. Bathing in the lake is unfortunately banned due to the increasing black-caiman populations, an outcome of our conservation policies that have helped so many endangered species recover in Añangu territory and its waters: a genetic reserve for all the Yasuní area as these species have been depleted elsewhere by hunting and developments. Evening paddle boat rides offer an excellent opportunity of safely getting closer to the caimans, watch night-monkeys and other wildlife of the margins of the lake: a unique experience under the stars with the back-music of hundreds of frogs, toads, insects, nocturnal birds and the splashes of fish and caimans as they feed and mate. This beautiful lake will always remain an ideal, picture‐perfect backdrop for your Amazonian adventure in the Napo Wildlife Center.