Hakuna Matata Adventurous Jungle Tour
About the Hakuna Matata Amazon Lodge:
In the middle of the beautiful flora and fauna on our property, you can go for a walk, with or without a guide and ride a horse. All activities are adapted to the interests and possibilities of our guests. The crystal-clear water of the unpolluted Inchillaqui River and the white sand beach guarantee you that real relaxation is no longer an illusion. Feel free to enjoy!
In the immediate proximity of your cabaña and the beach, you will find Pre-columbian petroglives. Even anthropologists, biologists and ornithologists have lost their hearts in Hakuna Matata. We offer several kinds of jungle trips: compact and interesting daytrips, as well as customized adventure trips of several days.
Hakuna Matata has a unique swimming pool, for guests only. Warm spring water (about 77° F / 25° C) flows into the 88 feet long and 72 feet wide pool night and day.
Cabañas Hakuna Matata’, ‘Hakuna Lodge’ and ‘Hakuna Supreme’ offer you spacious rooms with excellent mattresses, hot showers and toilet.
Hakuna Matata lies on the shores of the crystal-clear Inchillaqui River, at an altitude between 1968 and 2789 feet, which makes it free of all tropical diseases.
Short itinerary of the 4 days Adventure tour:
Day 1: Journey to the Amazon Rainforest, arrival at Hakuna Matata and optional activities
Day 2: Jondachi Canyon Hike – Caving
Day 3: Rafting Tour through the Jungle
Day 4: Day of departure
Day 1: Journey to the Amazon Rainforest, arrival and optional activities (D)
The journey from Quito to our exclusive Lodge takes about 3 hours.
Along the way you will notice how the vegetation changes from the rough landscape of the Andes, into the lush rainforest.
Hakuna Matata is your private hideaway in the sub-tropical forest, located at around 700 m altitude.
You can reach our lodge with public transport (please ask for more detailed information), or we can arrange a private transfer. If you choose for private transport, you will have the option to stop at the beautiful located hot springs of Papallacta to relax in these famous thermal waters (exclusive entrance fee).
Another option is to arrive early at our jungle lodge and plan an extra excursion for the afternoon. This could be a guided hike through the beautiful Amazon rainforest, learning more about the plants that can be used for medicinal treatments, making tools and/ or building houses.
You can also decide to go on a horseback riding tour with one of our own horses. These horses are well trained and you can easily take them through the forest, or even shallow rivers!
As a last option, you can participate in our chocolate tour. Did you know that the cocoa of Ecuador has been elected as best cacao in the world?!
All tours are optional, please let us know with your booking if you want to add one of these tours to your program.
Our famous restaurant ‘Pangaea’ serves absolutely delicious meals from all corners of the world. You will be pampered with top- quality products. The bar offers soft drinks, fresh juices, cocktails and beers. Our liqueur and wine selection is truly unique in Ecuador! Hygiene and freshness are Hakuna Matata’s priorities. Salads and ice cubes are no longer taboo here!
Day 2: Jondachi Canyon Hike – Caving (B/L/D)
After a good night of sleep, you will start your day with a nutritious healthy breakfast, including homemade bread, eggs, coffee and fruits or granola.
At 9:00 am you will be picked up from the Lodge to drive towards the “Gran Cañón del Jondachi” . This canyon is located in the enchanted Sumaco Reserve, surrounding the Sumaco Volcano and origin of the Jondachi and Hollin Rivers.
A spectacular trail leads you through primary rainforest, past waterfalls, along the edge of the Jondachi canyon and crossing the river.
During the 1h30 min. hike you will see many small birds and unique vegetation that is influenced by the volcanic soil and only found in this area.
When you arrive at the lowest part of the canyon you will be rewarded with spectacular sceneries that are hard to describe with words! Try to imagine the view of huge, natural pools, fed by many different small waterfalls and surrounded by periwinkle vegetation.
This is a great place to relax, enjoy the sound of nature and enjoy a delicious snack in this idyllic setting. If you want to refresh yourself, you can just jump into the water!
The adventure continues with climbing up the waterfall.
On your way out of the canyon you will follow the impressive Jondachi River, until you reach Mondayacu. From here it isn’t far anymore to the entrance of “Cavernas Templo de Ceremonias”. Upon arriving, you will enjoy your delicious lunch.
Then it’s time for the most adventures part of today’s tour.
Equipped with helmets and headlamps you are ready to choose between two chalk-caves: either you discover the cave “Templo de Ceremonia” or the “Cueva de Elefante”.
The dark, partly narrow caves are inhabited with small critters like bats, fireflies and spiders… all waiting for you.
If you decide to enter the “Templo de Ceremonia” cave, you will be underground for about 30 minutes. This cave provides a lot of space and is comparatively easy to walk through. In the most parts you are able to walk straight up, only in one part you have to crawl.
Due to the packing list, that you read beforehand, you are dressed to get wet and dirty in the caves. The rewards are stalagmites and stalactites!
To exit the cave you will mobilize all your strength and climb up a low rocky wall. In case that is nothing for you, you are welcome to turn around and walk back out, the way you came in.
If you decide to visit the “Cueva de Elefante” cave, you will be underground for about 45 minutes. This cave is a so called “water cave” and has narrow aisles, cracks, small steps, belly deep water pools and even some sections where walking is not possible and you have to crawl. The highlights of this cave are the reliefs on the walls and the fragile formations of stalactites.
If it recently rained heavily, it is only possible to visit the Templo de Ceremonia cave.
Experience in caving are a benefit for this tour, but definitely not a must.
After exploring the cave, your guide will lead you to a rock-labyrinth close by.
On the way back you will see a giant ceiba tree, walking palms, a liana which is classified in the family of ayahuasca and a special ‘bleeding’. It’s ‘blood’ is called “sangre de drago” and in many South American countries this is used to heal wounds or fight germs and fungi.
In the evening you will enjoy a delicious 3 course gourmet meal in our exclusive atmosphere, accompanied by the mysterious sounds of the jungle around us.
Day 3: Rafting Tour through the Jungle (B/L/D)
After a good breakfast you will have the strength you need for this day full of adrenalin. The action will take place on the Jatunyacu River. In Quichua, the local indigenous language, the name of the river means “big water”.
After a safety briefing, practicing how to paddle as a team and how behave on board of the raft, you will start the spectacular tour. Pulled by the strong current of the river, you will travel through the rainforest and have to conquer level 3 and 3+ rapids.
The exciting ride is about 25 km long and brings you through beautiful sceneries.
During this tour you will be accompanied by members from a professional rafting team. They belong to the same company that also organizes rafting championships. For this tour you will clearly have to follow the instructions of your rafting guide, but you don’t need to have previous rafting experience.
Lunch will be a tasty picnic on the shore of the river and our final destination is Puerto Napo. On a clear day, you will have a great view over de massive Andean Mountain Range, rising up from behind the rainforest.
After returning to the lodge you will have time to refresh yourself, before enjoying a 3 course meal in a special atmosphere, prepared by our experienced kitchen staff.
Day 4: Departure to Quito or Baños and optional activities (B)
You can also decide to book an optional tour. This can be another interesting hike through the Amazon rainforest, horseback riding, or the Chocolate Tour (optional, not included). During this tour you will learn to produce chocolate from the bean to the bar, starting with the pure fruit, the cocoa beans and ending up with the brown gold.
When you head out of the Lodge you have two options, either you go back on the same road to Quito, or your drive further along a very scenic road, past the Pastaza River and towards Baños.
Inclusive in this Amazon tour and recommended to bring with:
The price includes:
– Accommodation in chosen room category (Cabañas, Lodge, Supreme)
– Local, Spanish speaking field guide
– All activities mentioned in the program
– All entrance fees for activities mentioned in the itinerary
– All meals (starting with dinner on the day of arrival until breakfast on the day of departure)
– Use of all lodge facilities, including swimming pool, beach area, hiking trails
– Rubber boots up to size 12 (UK) / 14 (US – men)
A rafting extension, incl.:
– Internationally certified rafting guide, bilingual (Spanish and English)
– Quality equipment (paddles, helmets, life jackets, spray jackets)
– Transportation between starting /end point of the rafting and the Lodge with a vehicle
– Lunch (picnic), including water and soft drinks
– SPOT Satellite Messenger for emergencies
– Kayak for safety
– First aid kit
The price does not include:
– Transport from / to Quito or from / to Baños (following prices are for one way tickets)
– Private transportation with stopover – about 2 hours – in Papallacta
1-3 persons: 120 US$ per vehicle
4-6 persons: 150 US$ per vehicle
– Private transportation without stopover
1-3 persons: 90 US$ per vehicle
4-6 persons: 120 US$ per vehicle
– Public bus (approx. 6-8 US$ per person), additionally the costs for the taxi ride from Archidona to the Lodge (approx. 5 US$ per taxi)
– Lunch on the day of arrival and day of departure in the Lodge (approx. 15 US$ per person)
– All activities which are not mentioned or are optional
– Entrance fee hot spring of Papallacta (8 US$ per person)
– Guided walk through the private Rainforest Reserve (20 US$ per group)
– Horseback riding through the Jungle (27 US$ per person)
– Chocolate Tour (20 US$ per group)
– Drinks and meals that are not mentioned
– Personal spending and tip
– Passport and copies
– Personal medications
– Sun hat
– Camera equipment (including memory card, cables and batteries)
– Fast drying clothes (Shirts and shorts; for the evenings and mornings you need light colored long-sleeved clothing)
– Lightweight raincoat
– Rubber boots (up to size 12 (UK) / 14 (US – men) are in the lodge available)
– Fitting socks for rubber boots
– Sturdy footgear
– Sandals / flip-flops / crocs
In addition, for the excursions
– Swimsuit and possibly a change of clothes
– Good headlamp and spare batteries
– Head protection / helmet (in the lodge available)
– Dry clothes bag – waterproof bag – to keep the items inside dry and safe
– (Optional) waterproof digital camera
– Water bottle
– Insect repellent
– Some plastic bags (for dirty and / or wet clothes)
– US$ bills in small change (1, 5 and 10 US$), because in many small shops it will be hard to find change