Visit With the Achuar Tribe
Ever heard the saying “the journey is the destination”? When traveling from Quito, Ecuador to visit the Achuar’s remote community in the Amazon Rainforest, this is especially true. The untouched beauty of Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest and taking time to visit with the Achuar community are the highlights of Gondwana’s Amazon Awakening tour.
From Quito to the Amazon
Going from the bustling, modern capital of Ecuador to a remote part of the rainforest is an otherworldly experience. From Quito, a drive through the countryside brings guests to the town of Shell, just outside the Amazon jungle. From there, Achuar guides accompany travelers in a small charter plane that glides above the untouched greenery. After landing, a 30-minute boat ride brings guests to Kapawi Ecolodge. Traveling by car, plane, and boat to reach the final destination is part of the epic journey to visit with the Achuar.
Sustainable Tourism through Kapawi Ecolodge
The long journey to a remote territory is a big reason why the Achuar have been so isolated from Western influences. Until Catholic missionaries arrived in the 1960s, the concept of a foreigner was, well, foreign to the tribe. This cultural exchange shaped the way that the tribe viewed the outside world, but they never lost touch with their beliefs and traditions.
Though there were few converts, the Achuar learned about Western business practices and customs from the missionaries. Fast forward to over 6 decades later, the Achuar have created a way to fuse their passion for the rainforest with a sustainable business model in the Kapawi Ecolodge. Made from materials found in the rainforest and built with a vernacular design custom to their traditional architecture, it almost feels like staying in a treehouse. To promote sustainability, the ecolodge is equipped with solar panels and electric outlets, though they don’t skimp on modern luxuries like WiFi. Guests on the Amazon Awakening trip will spend 3 nights at Kapawi, spending their days learning about the unique culture and environment of this region.
Explore Nature in the Amazon
Because the Achuar depend on the rainforest for all of their basic needs, they have a profound respect for nature. A collective stance against companies depleting the rainforest’s natural resources for oil, timber, and water (just to name a few) has protected their home.
The Achuar identity is rooted in the belief that they are one with their environment. The Achuar live off the land, and are great guides to the rainforest’s biodiversity, edible and medicinal plants. Some of the adventures on the Amazon Awakening tour include a night-time boat ride to look for nocturnal primates, reptiles, and birds, searching for the pink river dolphin in the Kapawari River, kayaking or hiking, and several birding trips. For visitors, having guides with limitless knowledge about the ecology of the Amazon Rainforest is an invaluable resource.
Visit the Achuar with Gondwana Ecotours
From exploring the the flora and fauna of the Amazon Rainforest to engaging with the locals and learning about daily life, a visit with the Achuar will be an eye-opening experience. What’s more, staying at a place like the Kapawi Ecolodge will give travellers a unique place to come home to after a day of adventuring. For a truly authentic travel experience, join Gondwana’s Amazon Awakening adventure!