Sacha Lodge – Napo River, Ecuador
Civilization in the Heart of the Amazon
Set on its own spread of 3,000 acres, amid hundreds of species of birds, fish, and mammals, the Sacha Lodge provides a unique base from which to explore the world’s largest and most biologically diverse rain forest, located in the steamy tropical lowlands of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Local Quechua- and English-speaking naturalists will lead you on daily, varied jungle walks – getting you back to the lodge’s stunning lakeside location in time for some great (if basic) Ecuadorian cuisine. Dugout canoes take guests on river and lake safaris, past local communities of Quechua Indians and salt licks that attract hundreds of vivid parrots and parakeets in a whirl of color and noise.
The breadth of the virgin property encompasses a variety of habitats, and a 135-foot observation tower has made the forest canopy accessible as well. From the tower you can discover a world of treetop bromeliads and orchids and the exotic birds they attract; the view stretches to the snow-topped peak of Sumaco, an extinct volcano 100 miles away. All this, and hot showers and electricity, too.