Kapawi EcoLodge

Kapawi Ecolodge is an award-winning indigenous community ecotourism enterprise in the Amazon Rainforest. Responsible travelers will have the unique opportunity to engage in authentic cultural experiences with the local people in an unspoiled rainforest setting, while directly supporting the sustainable development of the Achuar indigenous nation. A primary part of the mission is to invite guests to reconnect with nature, discover the abundant Amazon Rainforest wildlife, learn new ways of environmental stewardship and ultimately contribute to the protection and respect of the Amazon Rainforest.

Guests are welcomed into each of the handcrafted bungalows, furnished with expert craftsmanship and woodwork. All buildings at Kapawi are designed with traditional Achuar architecture and built by the local community. The bungalows are either double cabins (2 beds) or triple suits (3 beds). The Gathering Hut is the communal area for family-style dinners, happy hour, breakfast, lounging after a day of adventure, reading, a meeting place pre-adventure, group adventure planning and more.

Before sunrise, guests gather at the Hearth Hut around the fire for an Achuar Wayusa tea ceremony to discuss your dreams plus detox & re-energize for the day ahead. During the day, this is the go-to adventure meeting place to plan the day's events before setting off from the dock below. At night, you may find yourself relaxing in hammocks as guests and guides mingle around the fire to tell stories of the forest and share the day’s adventures.

Kapawi Eco Lodge has 20 locally resourced bungalows, which are built on stilts in the water to minimize the impact on the area. To further ensure conservation of the environment, eco-friendly methods of power generation and waste disposal are utilized. Located near the Ecuador-Peru border in the heart of Ecuador’s most pristine rainforest, Kapawi is accessible only by plane.  The cabanas, each built of wood and palm leaves in a style similar to traditional Achuar homes, are arrayed atop a lagoon formed by two effluents of the Amazon River.

Cabanas are solar powered, completely screened in, and equipped with mosquito netting for beds, a hammock or deck chair to lounge in over the lagoon, a balcony, and a private bath. And if you’re feeling more social, there’s a main lounge to mingle. Kapawi Ecolodge is the ultimate home for travelers seeking the highest-quality experience of another culture, while reveling in a beautiful, tropical environment.


The Amazon River is one of the largest rivers in the world, and it is the largest drainage system in terms of volume and flow. Kapawi Ecolodge, located in the Sacred Headwaters of the Amazon, allows visitors to spend time in nature exploring 4 different rivers. The  river explorations take place in the Pastaza, Capahuari, Kusutkau, and Ishpingo Rivers. Through active adventures as well as relaxing explorations, our visitors explore these calm rivers as part of a learning experience about the Amazon, its people, wildlife and biodiversity.

Every river exploration from Kapawi takes guests through the winding veins of this dreamlike landscape and deep into the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest.  Launch from our dock and into the Capahuari river for magnificent animal & wildlife encounters. You might even spot a river dolphin! Paddle a Kayak upriver to a secluded stream or sit back and relax on a sunset ride down the Capahuari. Join a birdwatching boat ride at dawn for a glimpse into the unique biodiversity that is all around Kapawi.

Once the sun sets, our guests have the opportunity to take a night ride along the moonlit passageways encompassed in the lively nocturnal sounds of crickets, toads, kaymen, and screechers.


Some of our most unique experiences at Kapawi are those closely connected with the Achuar People, Achuar culture and the Achuar's unique connection with the spirit of the Amazon Rainforest.  Guests can spend a day with the Achuar, visit an Achuar house & farm, or go explore the forest with a community member. On special occasions, guests have the opportunity to spend the night at either of the Wayusentsa, Tiinkias or Sharamentsa communities.



Wellness at Kapawi Ecolodge means participating in the active process of becoming aware of your self and your surroundings. The Amazon Rainforest's biodiversity and natural settings are sources of restoration, well being, relaxation, and disconnection from the stress of life.

From the architecture and design of our facilities to our wellness programs, we offer an experience focused on providing our guests with a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Wellness is more than being free from suffering and illness; it is a dynamic and mindful process of change and growth.

Guests have access to peaceful & silent communal spaces for yoga & meditation. We host yoga retreats, workshops, and classes at different times throughout the year. Please inquire with us directly to find this specific experience at Kapawi.


No two Kapawi hikes and treks are the same. That’s because the way you experience Kapawi will be designed to fit your particular interests while connecting you with the rainforest and with the Achuar people. Kapawi is located in southeastern Ecuador, in a region of lowland Amazon Rainforest characterized by meandering rivers like the Pastaza, Capahuari, and Kusutkau rivers. The 20 km. trail system offers a wide array of hikes of varying lengths and levels of difficulty.



Night activities offer a very different experience of the rainforest. Some species of amphibians, reptiles, insects, and mammals are active at night. We offer boat rides, hikes, and sometimes more adventurous experiences (night kayaking) for our clients.

Our Achuar Wayus House by the river allows for different activities during the day and night. It is a great place to relax, observe wildlife, listen to the sounds of the forest, meditate, or even practice yoga, overlooking the Capahuari river. Every afternoon we light a fire and the house is always open. The Achuar culture involves a daily routine of drinking wayusa tea every morning before dawn and before starting the day's activities. We offer this optional activity every day, together with the local staff.

Also offered at the Achuar Wayus House, after dinner, your Achuar guide will offer a conversation about the Achuar culture, often including an Achuar story, myth, tradition, or answering any questions you may have about the Achuar way of life.

You can enjoy the Amazon Rainforest and the Achuar culture from within the grounds of the lodge. Our Wayusa House by the river is an excellent place for relaxing day or night.  Our cabins have outside decks, great places for relaxing and enjoying the sounds and views of the Amazon Rainforest.  Kapawi Ecolodge is owned and run by the Achuar, so hanging out with the hosts is also a great way to learn about the Achuar culture and its relationship with the Amazon Rainforest.

This sample itinerary shows our travel experience that starts in the town of Shell, when you board the small chartered plane that will take you to Kapawi. You can work with our partner tour operator, Trek Ecuador, to make overland travel arrangements to Shell and then from Shell to your next destination after the Kapawi experience. 

Our experience starts in the town of Shell, from where we fly to the Achuar territory on a small 3-, 5-, or 9-seater small chartered plane. The flight covers approximately 160 kilometers as we enter to the last area of isolated Amazon Rainforest.  We fly deep into the southeastern region of the Ecuadorian Amazon. The Pastaza river can be seen as the plane flies into the Achuar territory.

We will fly to the community of Kusutkau, located 20 minutes upstream from Kapawi. Upon arrival to the ecolodge, you will be taken to the main gathering and dining area, where we give you an introductory talk about the Ecolodge, the Achuar territory, and the different possibilities for activities, both natural and cultural. After the introductory briefing, you will be shown to your cabins, and lunch will be served in the dining area.

After lunch, you will choose, together with your guides, the best activities for the afternoon. Kapawi offers a wide range of activities in the trails surrounding the ecolodge, and also in the Capahuari river. We usually start with a hike in the forest, to understand the incredible ecology of the Amazon Rainforest. Some hikes start right from the lodge, while others start near the lodge a few minutes away by motorized boat.

Return to the lodge after the activity for some free time. Swimming in the river right from our dock is always available, as well as relaxing in our social areas by the river or in the main area where our dining area and bar are located. We will have dinner at the lodge at 7.30 pm, and after dinner you can go over the next day's plan and activities together with your guides. Overnight at Kapawi Ecolodge.

DAY 2, 3, & 4...up to 7(IN OUR WEEK LONG ITINERARY)
Every day, we will have an optional early activity, which involves time in the river (birdwatching and looking for wildlife). The early activity is usually between 6-8 am, followed by breakfast at the lodge. After breakfast we can include a full-day or a half-day activity. The activities vary every day between time in the forest, kayaking and paddling in a river, or visiting a community. You plan these activities the night before together with your guides. For example, you can choose from several 1-6 hour hikes, or a 2-3 hour visit to a local community.


Squirrel monkeys are one of 7 different species of primates that you can find around Kapawi Ecolodge on the river and inside the forest.

Kayaking the smaller Kusutkau river requires paddling upstream a flowing river, and is usually an activity that requires medium kayaking experience.  Kayaking the wider and bigger Capahuari river is an easy activity that can range from 1 hour to 3-4 hours in the river enjoying the scenery and looking for wildlife (birds, primates, and pink river dolphins, among other possibilities.  The Capahuari and Pastaza rivers can be explored with our motorized boats.

A spectacular strangler fig can be found in the trails that start from the cabins, and it's a great and easily accessible hike that can be done before breakfast, during the day or at night.

Our self guided trail has been designed to allow easy hiking right from the lodge inside primary Amazon Rainforest.

A visit to a local community allows a close interaction with an Achuar family to learn and experience the Achuar way of life.  Weaving different types of baskets is done by the men and is a cultural tradition in all communities.  Handicrafts and pottery are made by the Achuar women and are for sale in the communities around the ecolodge.

Local food tasting is another great experience of the Achuar culture. "Maitos" wrapped with native leaves and used for cooking fish, heart of palm, native cocoa beans, chicken, and even grubs collected in the forest, and served with manioc, plantain, squash, and other products from the local gardens. The experience includes visiting a local garden and helping in the harvest of local products.


We will offer the usual early activity (river or forest) at Kapawi, followed by breakfast at the lodge. We will leave the lodge after breakfast for a boat ride upstream to the community of Kusutkau. From there we will take the flight to Shell. Weather permitting we should arrive back in Shell before noon.