The Huaorani are a timeless tribe. Their origins are unknown and their language (Huaorani translates as ‘The People’) has no relation to any other known tongue. For thousands of years they have made their home in the lush forests of the Amazon, moving silently through the jungle, living amongst the animals and plants, leaving little trace of their presence.
‘The People’ still maintain their traditional lifestyle. But unlike some closely related tribes, who shun outside influences and can be dangerous to approach, they are no longer nomadic hunters. The Huaorani now lead a more settled and open existence in the humid tropical forests of Ecuador.
Huaorani territory takes in some 1.7 million acres, but the presence of western life can be felt even here. The missionaries, the loggers and the oil companies have all had negative impacts on this isolated, but culturally significant people and the health and diversity of its tropical environment.
Faced with the destruction of their surroundings and the possible disappearance of their way of life, the Huaorani have chosen to resist. By inviting small numbers of people to share their world for short periods of time, they intend to keep their culture alive. They have opted for sustainable tourism.
This is the Huaorani Ecolodge
Day 1: Getting to the Huaorani’s world is part of the experience. We drive from Quito to the town of Shell, passing through the spectacular ‘Avenida de los Volcanes’. Here we board a small plane, flying for 35 minutes to Quehueri´ono over spectacular rainforest panoramas. On arriving, a dugout canoe will take us to the Lodge where after settling in we get our first taste of the Amazon: explore one of the short forest trails close to the Lodge.
Day 2: This is the day we get a chance to know the people of the Huaorani Community of Quehueri’ono, join them in some of their daily activities and share their history, myths and magic.
Day 3: On the Hunting Trail. Accompanied by our guide and a member of the community (equipped with lance and blow pipe), we’ll enter the world that the Huaorani share with the forest and the animals.
Day 4: A visit to the community of Nenkepareand and a hike to a stunning waterfall are on the agenda. One of the highlights of the day is the early morning departure in dugout canoe, paddling silently as the sun begins to rise and the mist dissipates over the Shiripuno River, we may have a chance to see forest animals that are often active at this hour. We will camp overnight at Nenkepare in comfortable fully serviced tents.
Day 5: Leaving our fully serviced campsite in Nenkepare, we prepare to travel on the Via Auca to Coca and the flight back to Quito. This journey will be revealing. The road was constructed by Texaco in the nineteen seventies as a way to access the oil fields. As we move along its eroded surface we will experience what the oil industry brochures don’t show, and appreciate why the Ecolodge is so important.
Your time here is flexible. If you would like to get to know your hosts a little better, you can stay to for up to nine days. Or if you wish, for as little as four.
- Accommodations at the Lodge
- All meals & drinks (except soft drinks and alcoholic beverages)
- All activities
- Local Huaorani guide
- Bilingual naturalist guide
- Use of camping gear
- Use of rain poncho (from Quito on)
- Use of rubber/Wellington boots up to sizes: European 44;
American M 10.5 / F 12; British M 10 / F 9.5
- Use of umbrella (in cabin at Lodge)
- Biodegradable soap & shampoo
- Transportation outside of the vicinity of the Lodge area
- Entrance fee to Huaorani Territory (US$10 per person)
- Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
- Accommodations in Quito or Coca
- Transfers from and to airport in Quito
- Rubber/Wellington boots greater than sizes: European 44;
American M 10.5 / F 12; British M 10