Kapawi Eco Lodge, Amazon
Embarking on an adventure to one of the world's most untamed jungle lodges in the heart of the Amazon
Welcome to one of the finest and most unique lodges in the Amazon jungle. At Kapawi Eco Lodge, you do not just stay in the rainforest – you become one with it. Operated by passionate indigenous Achuar people, it is located deep within Ecuador's Amazon jungle, with the nearest road accessible only after a 10-day hike.
When the small propeller plane touches down in Kapawi, it is like stepping into another world. It is a community in the heart of the Amazon rainforest where one truly reconnects with nature, a connection that may have been lost in our modern lives.
It is the encounter with the Achuar people and their unique way of life. It is jungle trekking and river sailing day and night. It is storytelling around the campfire. Above all, it is the feeling of being in the lungs of the world without other lodges, transportation, or similar facilities nearby. Such an experience is hard to find elsewhere.
Here, everything revolves around the ancient Quechua word, "Pachamama" – Mother Earth.
Unspoiled rainforest and wildlife
And there is more than one way to get to know her in Kapawi. From jungle hikes to kayaking along the world's veins and visiting the surrounding tribes who live precisely as they have for thousands of years. Due to its remote location and limited tourist impact, there are ample opportunities to spot wildlife - even up close. The untouched rainforest and its abundant wildlife await your exploration.
One can experience animals, plants, and rainforests in many places worldwide, but few are as uniquely authentic as here
If you are lucky, river dolphins - including the occasional pink ones - may come alongside your kayaks. The best chances of spotting wildlife are at sunrise and sunset when the animals seek shelter from the heat during the day. Therefore, most activities are scheduled to align with the rhythm of the sun.
Unique immersion in tribal culture and nature
The guides are from the Achuar tribe and were born and raised in the area, giving them a deep and special connection to the rainforest - their home. Consequently, they possess incredible knowledge about the flora and fauna, which they love to share with visitors. While one can experience animals, plants, and rainforests in many places worldwide, few are as uniquely authentic as here, unlike other jungle lodges in Ecuador.
Instead of "superficial" vacation photograph, guests are invited into the homes of the Achuar people, where they are offered the traditional "chicha" drink made from yucca root. This marks the beginning of a fascinating cultural exchange, where one learns what it means to live in total isolation, far into the jungle - a place where time holds no significance and nature provides everything we need.
Hammocks and storytelling
The Achuar people's knowledge of the jungle is extensive, their culture is unique, and their worldviews and beliefs are inspiring, leaving visitors deeply fascinated. The evenings around the campfire, where they share stories, create the most atmospheric and immersive end to the day one can imagine.
Family-friendly as well
And it is precisely these cozy and memorable moments that there is plenty of time and space for at Kapawi. The traditionally built Achuar huts can accommodate the whole family. With the many hammocks scattered around, there are ample opportunities to kick back and enjoy the sound of nature going about its business right outside the window.
Here, children's curiosity flourishes, while parents find themselves drawn back to the simple joys of childhood and life. It is a true escape from everyday life, allowing for uncompromised quality time together as a family.
The accommodation is more than just comfortable with beautifully decorated huts - it is simple, yet surprisingly luxurious. If you are looking for television, phones, and Wi-Fi, this is not the place for you, as these amenities in no way reflect Achuar's life and would undermine the unique experience of nature in its purest form.
The Achuar people's knowledge of the jungle is extensive, their culture is unique, and their worldviews and beliefs are so inspiring that one cannot help but be deeply fascinated
All the energy used on the site comes from the sun, so you cannot expect a warm shower on cloudy days. However, it is all part of the charm and unique nature experience at Kapawi.
The adventure begins in the small jungle town of Shell, from where you take a one-hour flight in a 3-, 5-, or 9-person propeller plane. The route stretches approximately 160 kilometers over the untouched rainforest and lands on a dirt airstrip in a small community called Kusutaku, a 20-minute canoe ride from Kapawi.
Despite being one of the most isolated jungle lodges in the world, the food is in a league of its own without being sophisticated. The lodge's chef, Marco, from the nearby Suwa tribe, has worked for Kapawi for over 20 years and prepares delicious meals using only local ingredients.
Driven by soul and a community far from deforestation, mining, and oil extraction, Kapawi is a true jungle luxury eco-lodge that contributes to protecting the rainforest and preserving the Achuar people's home and way of life.
Ecuador's largest ecotourism project
Kapawi is 100% owned and operated by the Achuar people, considered one of the most intact indigenous cultures in the world. The lodge was "born" in 1993 as an alternative source of income for the jungle community that sought to preserve both the rainforest and their culture instead of selling to oil companies or the like.
Initially created in collaboration with a small tour operator in Ecuador, the lodge was fully transferred to the Achuar people in 2008.
All 20 cabins are built with wood and palm leaves in the style of traditional Achuar homes, entirely without the use of modern tools – no plastic or metal, not even nails.
All the energy comes from solar power, further emphasizing the lodge's mission to maintain the highest standards of sustainability and the protection of its territory and culture.