Beqa Lagoon Resort

Imagine walking across a bridge suspended over the rainforest canopy, paddling through creeks in search of monkeys and river otters, climbing to the very top of a giant kapok tree or swimming in a black-water lake, threading your way through trees in search of the world’s tiniest monkey… You’ll find these exclusive experiences, plus many more, only at Sacha Lodge, within the pristine 5,000-acre (2,000-hectare) ecological reserve in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The Lodge blends so seamlessly into its surroundings that to the resident wildlife it’s just another part of the forest. Watch giant otters duck, dive and call to each other as you eat breakfast; caimans glide under the walkway as you head back to your room; monkeys chattering outside your balcony; and even giant sloths hanging out on trees by the cabins.

The Balsa, named after the Spanish word for a “raft”, is at the heart of the Sacha Lodge experience: a covered al fresco lounge area with a breath taking view over the shimmering Pilchicocha Lake. It is 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 thunder storms.

Lodging at Sacha combines the highest comfort to the traveller with the preservation of the environment and rainforest ambience. All of our cabins, with high thatched roofs and private shaded terraces with hammocks, are constructed with traditional materials and nestle subtly into the lush surroundings. Each of the 26 the rooms, which include single, double and (upon request) triple accommodations and three family cabins, provides 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.

Adventure is a given at Sacha Lodge, and all guests, from those happy to relax in their own comfort zone to the most intrepid will be reap tremendous rewards from our spectrum of activities. The water is the thread that links each experience: you’ll become an expert at hopping in and out of the canoe and manning the oars, and will come to love the surreal peacefulness of paddling down streams through virgin wilderness. Expedition groups are never larger than six, and are always accompanied by a naturalist guide and a local guide. We strive to match guests with others of similar ages, interests and abilities in expedition groups.

Canopy Walk

Imagine crossing the rainforest across a bridge 94 feet (36 meters) high over the treetops. 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, immersed in the canopy. You might even follow along with troops of monkeys as they forage through the forest canopy. And if you don’t see them, you’ll almost certainly hear them: howler monkeys roaring through the sunset like true kings of the jungle.

Kapok Tower

You’ll feel like you’re on the very top of the world on our 135-foot (43-meter) observation tower, a platform built on the highest branches of a giant kapok tree. From here, magnificent, panoramic views of the forest unfold all around, while the 500 species of birds registered in the area, including rainbow-colored toucans and parrots, become easy to spot. Climb onto the crows’ nest for the 360-degree experience, the captain of the Amazon.

Yasuni Parrot Lick

A short distance from Sacha Lodge is Ecuador’s most accessible parrot lick, an exposed clay riverbank where technicolored parrots of several different species gather in the early morning. In ideal conditions (sunny and dry) hundreds of parrots will perch on and eat the exposed clay in a spectacular show of sound and color! The lick is located on the edge of Yasuní National Park, which is accessible from Sacha by a short canoe trip down the Napo River.

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. Guests will be shown how these beautiful insects are bred and raised, and may roam through ‚”the flying room” where hundreds of colorful butterflies flutter from flower to flower. Transparent glass-wing butterflies, spectacular blue morphs, striking tiger longwings, bright yellow swallowtails and giant nocturnal owl butterflies are only a few of the species you’ll encounter here, up close and personal.

Forest Walks

Creeping along the jungle paths through the spotlights of sun filtering down through the canopy, careful not to tread on an army of marching ants, your nature guide will point out plants and insects and the fascinating symbiosis between them. He might take you through the territory of the crested owls or spider monkeys, expertly mimicking the creatures’ call to win their trust and coax them out of hiding. When darkness falls, have your flashlight ready to spot creatures of the night, from tarantulas and boas to stick insects and frogs.

Creek Paddling

Besides being your means of transport between expeditions, creek paddling in dug-out canoes is a fabulous adventure in itself, with the bonus that it requires little physical exertion. Paddling down the streams is like entering into a tunnel leading to a lost world. Birds call in surround-sound and vast families of monkeys leap from branches overhead, a show to coincide with the setting of the sun.

Night Safari

A night-time expedition to look for caiman on the lake is perhaps the most magical experience of an adventure already filled with wonder. Under cover of darkness, you will take a canoe out onto the water, your way lit by glittering stars. The eyes of the caiman glow ghoulishly red in the torchlight, as the amphibious creatures float along the swampy shallows.

Bird Watching

For avid birdwatchers, we can provide specialist bird guides, who know the best spots for the hard-to-find species, and can easily identify species by both sight and sound. Oscar Tapuy, our local expert who has been with at Sacha since 1995, estimates that he spots 60 species per day on average. Your guide will lead you through a variety of habitats where mixed flocks are common, and generally begin before sunrise to take full advantage of the morning peak. Our guides carry telescopes, and have become dab-hands at taking photos with your camera or phone through the lense!

Lake Pool

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…

Jungle Romp - 4 days / 3 nights

Delve into jungle life with our four-day, three-night adventure. Forest walks, caiman-spotting and the one-of-a-kind Canopy Walk are essentials of the expedition, though we recommend at least four nights to take advantage of our off-site activities, like the Community Encounter.

Once you have arrived at Sacha Lodge, you are free to create your own itinerary with your guide, choosing from our list of activities. Please note, some activities are dependent on the weather.

*Longer itineraries available.

Includes:

* Transfer to and from Sacha Lodge from Coca airport

* Local taxes

* Accommodation

* Meals

* Water, instant coffee or tea

* Activities: Treetop Walk, Kapok Tower, Forest walks, Nighttime caiman spotting, Piranha fishing, Butterfly house, Lake Pool

SAMPLE DAY:

After making your reservation, Sacha Lodge will book your flight from Quito the Coca. From the moment you set foot at Quito airport you will be in the safe hands of one of our bilingual team members, and will be guided all the way to the Lodge. After arriving at Sacha Lodge around lunchtime and meeting your guide – who stays with you for the entirety of your trip – you will take your first excursion into the forest. Once you have returned and had dinner, you will set out for your first nighttime adventure.

A typical day at Sacha begins at sunrise or earlier, taking advantage of the cool morning hours when the rainforest’s animals are most active. Each group agrees on a wake-up time, when their guide will knock on their door for a rude awakening! Breakfast will begin half an hour after that. Wherever the destination, our excursions proceed slowly in order to appreciate the fascinating details that our guides point out around you.

You might begin the day paddling dugout canoes along tannin-rich black-water creeks and lakes, where luxuriant lianas, orchids, bromeliads and palm trees thrive, always with the possibility of spotting animals, from the tiny pygmy marmoset to the feared ocelot or puma. Then, you could board the motorized canoe for a short ride along the Napo River to visit the Providencia Community of Yasuní, learning about their jungle way of life and testing out their cooking techniques, stopping to watch the parrot disco of the clay lick along the way.

You will return to the Lodge in the late morning, in time for a 1PM lunch. In the time between lunch and your afternoon adventure, you are free to enjoy the Lodge, lounging on sun chairs with a book on the Balsa, or cooling off in the Lake Pool. Activities begin again between 3:00PM and 4:30PM and often continue into the evening, when the nocturnal insect and frog chorus begins. An afternoon excursion might see you trekking through pristine Terra Firme forest, where 150-foot kapok trees tower above and roots form huge buttresses to give trees support, your guide pointing out the crest owl territory and calling to the howler monkeys. You could then climb 94 feet (30 meters) up to the Canopy Walk, a 940-foot (275-meter) bridge across the treetops from where you can spot dozens of animals and birds.

Days at Sacha Lodge do not end with the fading of the light, or even with dinner. Night walks and canoe trips, with the aid of flashlights, often reveal creatures seldom seen during daylight. Caimans (of the alligator family) and giant insects rule the jungle after sunset. Do you dare search for them?

*Please note: activities are subject to weather, though Forest Walks, the Kapok Tower, and Canopy Walk are the keystones of the Sacha Lodge experience.

Community Service
Sacha Lodge is proud to have forged meaningful ties with local communities and offer guests the opportunity to meet local people and learn more about their lives. What’s more, Sacha Lodge generates employment for about a 100 families and is the largest tourism-sector employer in Ecuador’s Amazon region, as almost all employees come from local communities.

Sacha Lodge is easily accessible from Quito. After an easy 25-minutes flight from Quito and a two-hour journey speeding up the Napo River in a motorized canoe leaving civilization far behind, by lunchtime you will be in a hammock listening to the chatter of the tamarind monkeys.