Mainland Ecuador
Sacha Lodge

Remote yet accessible, unspoiled yet comfortable, this welcoming eco-lodge has protected the fabulous wildlife here for more than 20 years, enabling it to flourish.

The all-inclusive jungle lodge is the ideal base for you and your family to explore the fascinating rainforest in small groups, led by expert guides. Don’t miss the canopy walk for an entirely new and wonderful perspective on this incredible jungle setting.

Facilities & Activities

Named after the Spanish word for a raft, the Balsa is at the heart of Sacha Lodge – a covered al fresco lounge area with a breath-taking view over the shimmering Pilchicocha Lake. It’s the perfect place to read a book with a glass of wine, spot birds, caiman and giant otters, or to watch the crimson sunsets and tremendous thunderstorms.

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…

Adventure is a given at Sacha Lodge and the water is the thread that links each experience.  Expedition groups are never larger than six and are always accompanied by a naturalist guide and local guide. Some of the activities on offer:

Canopy Walk – Imagine crossing the rainforest by means of a bridge 94 feet (36 meters) high. 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.

Tree climbing – You will feel like you’re on the very top of the world on the 135-foot (43-meter) observation tower, a platform built on the highest branches of a giant kapok tree. Climb onto the crows’ nest for the 360-degree experience.

Yasuni Parrott Lick – A short distance from Sacha Lodge is Ecuador’s most accessible parrot lick, an exposed clay riverbank where technicoloured parrots of several different species gather in the early morning.

The Butterfly House – 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.

Forest Walks – Creeping along the jungle paths with the sun filtering down through the canopy, your nature guide will point out plants and insects and the fascinating symbiosis between them from crested owls to tarantulas!

Creek Paddling – Aside from being your means of transport between expeditions, creek paddling in dug-out canoes is a fabulous adventure, with the bonus that it requires little physical exertion!

Night-time caiman spotting – A night-time expedition to look for caiman on the lake is perhaps the most magical adventure!

Bird-watching – For avid birdwatchers, the Lodge can provide specialist guides, who know the best spots for the hard-to-find species and can easily identify species by both sight and sound.

 

Get In Touch

Feeling inspired? Start planning your next adventure by contacting us today.

Dining

The rustic, airy restaurant offers a relaxed atmosphere for dinner with open windows, allowing diners the chance to enjoy the jungle chorus. Using fresh and sustainable produce, breakfast and lunch buffets mix International cuisine with traditional Ecuadorian dishes and are served in the Balsa. There are light, healthy options as well as more substantial pasta and meat dishes. Every Wednesday and Saturday lunchtime, a full 3-course Amazon gourmet experience is laid on for guests.

An a la carte dinner is served in the restaurant, bringing fine dining to the jungle. Menus change daily, and will often include the popular paiche, a meaty white fish found in the Amazon region – with the all-important Green Seal of responsible fishing. Vegetarians are more than welcome, and the chefs will be happy to cater for any special dietary requirements on request.

Guests particularly love the regular BBQs on the lakeside Balsa, with grilled fish, meat and vegetables.

The safari-lodge style bar is found above the restaurant and fitted with cosy sofas and stools propping up the bamboo bar. Relax with an ice-cold beer or glass of wine or try a classic cocktail creation from the master barman.

Purified, safe drinking water is available at multiple points around the Lodge.

Rooms

Lodging at Sacha is basic but comfortable in keeping with the desire to preserve the rainforest setting and ambience. The cabins, with high thatched roofs and private shaded terraces with hammocks, are constructed with traditional materials and nestle discretely into the lush surroundings. Each of the 26 rooms, which include single, double and (upon request) triple accommodation and three family cabins (with A/C), provide a spacious private bathroom with flushing toilet and hot shower – some even feature floor-to-ceiling windows for an immersive jungle shower experience! All cabins are screened against insects and contain ceiling fans above two comfortable double beds.

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Family

Whilst the journey here is fascinating, it is not straight-forward and can be tiring. Additionally, guests need to appreciate the remoteness of the lodge, the fact that anti-malarials are likely to be needed and the basic nature of the accommodation. With these factors in mind, we only recommend this experience for families with older children.

Sustainability

Since its foundation in 1992, Sacha Lodge has proven that it is possible to sustain a healthy balance between economic development, rainforest conservation, community advancement and respect to local culture.

One example of their pioneering work is a collaboration with the University of San Francisco in Quito and Manchester University to observe the behaviour of pygmy marmosets, now endangered by deforestation and poachers stealing them as pets.

Sacha Lodge generates employment for over 60 families with most coming from local communities. This not only brings direct economic benefits to these communities, but also provides them with a practical alternative to harmful activities such as logging and oil exploration. In addition, having employees work as native guides offers them the opportunity to share their ancestral knowledge with others and an incentive to continue passing it on to their children.

Sacha has also invested heavily in acquiring land from neighbouring colonists who came from cities and would have relied on heavy farming and hunting to survive. Thanks to such efforts, they have saved over 5,000 acres from deforestation and are now the largest private reserve in the Ecuadorian rainforest. It’s no accident that the animals in the Reserve and around the Lodge are so plentiful and unafraid of humans – the land is protected by a team of guards, who prevent poachers from entering.

Sacha Lodge strives to make its practices as eco-friendly as possible, issuing guests with reusable water bottles and separating its waste, sending it inland to be recycled. Their hope is that future generations of both natives and visitors can continue enjoying the wonders of the tropical rainforest.

Location

A 25-minute flight from the Capital Quito takes you over the Andes Mountains’ majestic snow-covered peaks and down into the Amazon Region and the port town of Puerto Francisco de Orellana, locally known as Coca.  Here you will be met by a bilingual guide and taken to a private dock before boarding a covered motorised canoe for a 2-hour, 50-mile trip down the sediment-rich waters of the Napo, the largest river in Ecuadorian Amazonia.  During the ride it’s easy to spot handsome shore birds such as herons, kingfishers, spoonbills and ospreys between the scattered native huts as you travel steadily away from civilization.

Upon arrival to Sacha Lodge’s 5000-acre private reserve, guests will take their first walk along a raised boardwalk through dense flooded palm forest. Once you reach Pilchicocha lake, take a dugout canoe to your final destination and base for an exciting jungle experience.

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