Kapawi is the largest community-based project ever developed in Ecuador and sets a new trend in eco-tourism - providing a monthly means of economic support and jobs to the Achuar tribespeople, as well as a high standard of service in one of the remotest and most pristine areas of Ecuadorian rainforest away from oil exploration and other destructive practices. 70% of lodge employees are from Achuar communities, and since 2011 all installations were transferred at no cost from the lodge owner over to the Achuar people.
The lodge is set within a 5000 sq. km reserve and accommodates up to 50 guests and was built in accordance to the Achuar concept of architecture. All rooms have private bathroom, terraces, sun heated showers, and electricity provided by a solar panel system.
The lodge embodies different landscapes and vegetation types such as big and small rivers, lakes and lagoons, flooded forests, terra firma forest as well as 8 different Achuar communities.
Kapawi represents a genuine alternative to the Achuar people against destructive deforestation practices. At present up to 70% of the workforce at the lodge are from the Achuar community, and up to 60% of local Achuar income comes from tourism.
The lodge itself is also built with ecological equilibrium in mind - built on stilts to minimise impact on surrounding vegetation, powered by a hybrid solar energy/diesel energy system, using biodegradable soaps and detergents, ecological sewage and waste disposal systems, and recycling of plastic/glass/metals.
As such Kapawi is the largest and most successful community based project ever developed within Ecuador. Internationally recognised tourism awards that the lodge boasts include: British Airways tourism for tomorrow 1998, Conservation international excellence award, 2004 sustainable tourism awards finalist, Skal international eco-tourism awards 2002.
The beauty of the Kapawi itinerary is that it is entirely flexible. You can design the most suitable program for your interests and fitness level when you are there. Activities range from a low physical level, to medium and high and are specially tailored for your group by the guide.
Maximum group size is 10 people, and groups are led by 2 guides - 1 naturalist, 1 Achuar local guide.
Some of the potential options include:
- visit to the Achuar communities
- treks in the rainforest - short hikes on well-defined trails or demanding hikes through poorly defined trails
- canoe / kayak trips
- optional overnight camping in Achuar community (advance reservation required)
- night safari
Kapawi is located close to the Ecuador/Peru border on the Pastaza River.
Due to its remote location the lodge can only be reached by air via the small town of Shell in a small 3, 5 or 7 person light aircraft. Note that due to the nature of this small-aircraft flight it is not uncommon for delays to occur to the flight times due to weather conditions etc.
Past Clients Feedback
"It was genuinely moving
to see the inspired vision of Kapawi
in action first-hand. The trip was
wonderful for our group from start
to finish and I wish future success
to this incredible project" (William
"Kapawi was wonderful! The service
was outstanding - everyone was well
trained and couldn't have been more
pleasant, professional and helpful.
The food was great also. We all loved
the whole experience and made memories
that will last a lifetime" (Arlene
"Wonderful lodge, people and food - a unique experience. Unforgettable!" (Jan Thiecke)