La Selva Eco Lodge (Ecuador)

Established in 1986, La Selva Jungle Lodge was one of the first eco lodges established in Ecuador’s Amazon region, long before ecotourism became a buzzword. At La Selva you see ecotourism at its finest: living and walking in the Amazon rain forest with the best naturalists and native trackers. Through more than twenty years of refinement, the lodge has achieved a oneness with the environment and has won the Ecotourism Award.

Located in the pristine Napo rain forest area its motto says it all: “In the jungle anything is possible!”  such as “you are as far away from civilization as you can possibly be and a gourmet meal arrives at your table with only the freshest ingredients.” The food is a major event at La Selva.

Typical stays are 4, 5, or 6 days (longer stays are always available.) Each day you’ll choose from a variety of hikes, canoe excursions, and activities at a level that’s comfortable for you, led by a bi-lingual English speaking guide and a native guide. You come as close to nature as possible as you explore the virgin rainforest with its animal wildlife, lakes, rivers and flora.

La Selva takes up to 40 people, but each group excursion takes a maximum of 8 people per guide. There are many optional activities such as visiting the butterfly farm, night excursions, birding, and more. Swimming in the lake bordering the lodge is a popular activity at any time, and you can piranhas in it too! (Not to worry, the piranhas are very friendly to guests.)

La Selva prides itself on providing a family atmosphere where every guest feels at home, and especially caters to families from children to grandparents. The staff knows how to make the rainforest come alive for children — to excite, educate, stimulate and surprise not only children, but all guests. The food is appropriate for all people too — gourmet for the adults, and the best Amazon pizza, French fries and great desserts for the kids.

Scheduled Departures: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat (***Tue & Thu departures at additional cost; no deparatures on Sundays)

2016-2017  Rates, per person (rates are the same both years)

4 Days / 3 Nights, $1,215 (Wed-Sat, Fri-Mon)

5 Days / 4 Nights, $1,510 (Mon-Fri, Sat-Wed)

Extra Night: $340 (you can add any number of additional nights)

Single Rate: +30%

Airfare Quito/Coca/Quito: $200 (subject to change)

Children under age 12: 30% discount

***Canoe cost for non-operating days per person (Tue & Thu) subject to change:

1 passenger, $124

2 passensgers $62

3 passengers $42

4-5 passengers $32


Private guide: on request. Please contact us for rate.


Day 1

Arrive at Quito Airport for the flight to Coca. A representative from La Selva will meet you and assist with check-in. You fly on either of the following private airlines: ICARO, VIP, AEROGAL or TAME, all using modern planes for the 25 minute flight.

At Coca airport you’ll be met by La Selva staff for a 15 minute transfer in a Chiva (open bus) to a private dock. There you board a motorized canoe for the trip down the River Napo (2 to 2½ hours). A box lunch will be provided for you to eat during the river excursion.

Upon Arrival at the La Selva dock, the staff will carry your luggage (carry on, as well as camera gear, is guest’s responsibility.) Naturalist guides welcome you, as you sip a complimentary cocktail in the bar, then receive an introduction to the facilities and activities.. The first excursion follows after you’ve settled into your cabins. Return to the lodge for a delicious dinner, then a well-deserved rest.

Day 2

6:00 AM: early wake-up call

6:30: breakfast

7:10: departure for excursion

1:00 PM: lunch

Afternoon: Leisure time until 4:00 excursion

4:00 PM: afternoon activity/excursion.

7:00 PM: dinner

After dinner: night excursion

Day 3

6:00 AM: early wake-up call

6:30: breakfast

7:10: departure for excursion

1:00 PM: lunch

4:00PM: take another excursion, or an optional activity such as fishing, canoeing, the observation tower, or simply relaxing with your guide and discussing the lodge’s ecotourism efforts.

7:00 PM: dinner

After dinner: night excursion

Day 4

Early wake up for the return Quito. Reversing your steps from arrival day, transfer by morotized canoe to Coca, fly from Coca to Quito, arriving around noon The 5-day program follows the same itinerary as above, adding one more day the same as day 3. You depart on Day 5 (same as Day 4 above.)

Included in the Land Cost:

All meals and beverages with meals

River travel from Coca

Daily excursions led by English Speaking naturalist guide & local guides

Use of kayaks, fishing droplines, canoes, rubber boots, rain ponchos, etc.

Not Included:

Air ticket Quito/Coca/Quito $200

Yasuni National Park entrance fee

Beverage service from the bar (sodas and alcoholic beverages)

Laundry service

Personal expenses

Tips to guides and staff


Depending on your preferences, you can choose from day adventures, night adventures, physical challenges, long or short walks, or anthropological visits. Advise La Selva of your preferences and they will arrange a native or naturalist guide to accompany you on your choice of adventure.

Below is a partial list of activities:

Walk by a local house

Cross Garzacocha Lake. 2½ to 3 hours walk on a purposely-underdeveloped trail, which is somewhat physically challenging. Half of the walk is in primary rainforest and the other half passes the huts of the indigenous neighbors along the Napo River.

Mandicocha Trail

An easy trail close to the Lodge, which is usually filled with wildlife at any time of day.

Night Excursions

Every night after dinner you can view the nocturnal wildlife such as caiman, monkeys, insects and owls via canoe or walking. These are among our most popular excursions.

Pedro’s Trail

Choose either the long or short version.

Long Version: cross Garzacocha Lake, then walk through virgin forest, looking for what might be just beyond the next tree. Arrive at the tower – 4 Hours.

Short version: pass the Butterfly farm and you will join Pedro’s Trail in the middle – 2 Hours.

Chawamango’s Trail

Head east at Mandicocha trailhead and walk along the Mandicocha Lake to the Napo River. Return to the lodge by an elevated walkway and cross Garzacocha by canoe – 3 Hours.

Little Chawamango

This short trip skirts the edge of Lake Garzacocha. Return by canoe to the lodge.

El Salado

El Salado Excursion — 2-hours, crossing the Napo River, with a picnic lunch. Visit a site where, with a little luck, parrots and parakeets, by the thousands can be seen.

High Forest Trail

The duration of the High Forest Trail can vary between 3 to 5 hours. Cross the Napo River and arrive at a challenging mountainous trail, which offers yet another ecosystem. Here are birds and wildlife seen nowhere else. Try eating the lemon ants!

Pilche Trail

Take the Pilche Trail across Garzacocha Lake and walk for one hour or more. Along the way you will see an enormous colony of leafcutter ants and whatever wildlife may come your way.


Come to La Selva, where world-renowned bird guide author, Ned Wheatley has stated in the book, “Where to Watch Birds in South America?”, that La Selva Jungle Lodge is “Quite simply one of the world’s best birding sites.”

Birding is a different kind of adventure, often relished on a level the uninitiated can’t imagine. La Selva is renowned for its excellent birding, and cater to those passionate about birding.

At La Selva you’re surrounded by forest that is home to an amazingly rich and diverse number of birds. La Selva’s native birding guides are there to take you on the best birding excursions available. Some of these specialist birding guides have been leading birding expeditions in the Amazon for twenty years.


–    long-tailed potoo

–    ochre striped ant-pitta

–    cocha antshrike

–    zig-zag heron.


La Selva’s Butterfly Farm was designed to present an ecologically sound, sustainable alternative way to help preserve Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest. It is another step in the lodge’s ongoing effort to find viable ways (besides ecotourism) to help save Ecuador’s priceless Amazon rain forest.

At the farm you will see this miracle of nature and possibly witness the marvel of metamorphosis. Here you may find the best photo opportunity that the lodge has to offer!

La Selva breeds its own butterflies. It was the first professional enterprise of its type in South America, the only one in the world located in the primary rainforest. And currently, La Selva produces as many as 20,000 butterflies per year from egg to caterpillar to pupae for exportation.

They send pupae to such diverse locations as a zoo in Holland, a castle in France, and Cypress Gardens in Florida where they fly in enclosed botanical gardens, spreading the message of beauty and the importance of the Amazon jungle with every beat of their wings and providing another example of ecotourism for our guests.


The Canopy Breakfast

For a real thrill have your breakfast 135 feet (45 meters) high above the forest in the canopy tower at dawn. The tower is one of the most coveted spots at the lodge for viewing wildlife from the high perspective. So bring your camera and enjoy the delicious food and impeccable service.  ($25 per person, 6 people maximum)

Candelight Dockside Dinner

Partake of a private romantic candlelit dockside dinner for two on the lake. The entire dock is  lit with a trail of candles that leads to your table. Complimentary Cocktails and Wine & excellent service by your waiter. ($80 per couple)

Campout Overnight

Leave the lodge after lunch with camera, change of clothes, everything you need for a one night camp out. Hike to our campsite about 1 hour or more where everything has been prepared, tents, latrine, cold water shower for your overnight stay. Then you go to Madicocha lake and explore upper Mandiyacu stream by canoe. After dinner, a gourmet safari event, return to the lake for a nighttime exploration. Sleep to the sounds of the rain forest in full orchestration. Arise to a hearty breakfast early and hike the most distant trail from the lodge. Return to the lodge for lunch. ($100 per person / 4 couple limit / 2-person tents)


La Selva Jungle Lodge is the perfect place for honeymoon trips and romantic excursions. Here you’ll enjoy solitude, fun and relaxation, along with introspection that fosters a shared vision: rediscovering together a sense of belonging to something much larger than yourselves.

A sampling of some of the special amenities:

– flower petals decorating your room

– breakfast on top of the largest tree while the sun is rising

– a private sundowner cocktail.

– Secluded honeymoon bungalow with queen bed, in a spectacular natural environment.

– experience private adventures together based on your personal preferences and style of travel.

– private visit to the Butterfly Farm with a special display by the farm director.

– the Amazon Gondolier excursion —  an indigenous guide takes you out before dusk in a dugout canoe or kayak and paddles you slowly & quietly around beautiful tranquil Lake Garzacocha.

– candlelit dockside dinner over the lake with a private waiter and a table just for two. The entire dock is lit with a trail of candles that leads to your table. Complimentary cocktails and wine.

– breakfast at dawn, at 135 feet high, above the forest in the canopy tower

– massage for each in the spa

Quick Facts

  • 4 & 5 Day all-inclusive typical packages
  • Daily hikes, canoe rides, birding led by expert naturalist and local guides
  • Kayaks, Butterfly Farm & lookout tower above canopy
  • Excellent birding excursions led by expert native bird guide specialists
  • Established in 1986, the first full-service eco lodge in Ecuador’s Amazon
  • Comfortable cabins with private balconies & panoramic windows
  • Excellent food & service
  • Family-friendly