Get a unique perspective on life in Ecuador on this Amazon community stay

Explore Tena, located in Ecuador’s Amazon Jungle, and experience the lifestyle of its inhabitants. Beginning in fascinating Quito, take some time to explore this charming city. Then travel by bus and motorised canoe to our remote hut accommodation. Go on walks through the surrounding jungle, searching out medicinal plants and wildlife during both day and night. Learn from the local inhabitants and gain a unique insight into jungle life. Try your hand at hunting or perhaps create some chocolate from the fresh cocoa plants.

Quito, Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador
Short Breaks
Physical rating
Min 12
Group size
Min 1, Max 4

Why we love this trip

  • Quito's World Heritage-listed Old Town is best explored on foot. Wander through its streets and plazas to discover old churches, colonial architecture and vendors selling local delicacies

  • A walk through the Amazon Jungle with an expert guide reveals extraordinary wildlife and insights into the area's importance to the local community

  • Staying in a remote rainforest community in the depths of the Amazon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that defines the saying of ‘off the beaten track’

Is this trip right for you?

  • As the name suggests, this is not a group tour, so it is just you and/or your booking party. Some of the travel will be unaccompanied. For more information, please see the detailed trip notes.

  • Travelling on the bus from Quito to Tena is unescorted, but you will have assistance at either end.

  • Temperatures in the Amazon can fluctuate. It can get really hot, humid, sticky during the day, and cold at night. Light cotton clothing is the best way to tackle the heat during the day, and base layers are ideal for keeping warm at night.

  • Insects, especially mosquitoes, abound in the Amazon. Bring tropical strength insect repellant and wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin.


Arrive in Quito and meet with your local Intrepid representative in the evening. Sitting at an altitude of 2,850 metres under the gaze of Volcan Pichincha, Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America. Long and incredibly thin, the city stretches along a central valley formed by the east and west ranges of the Andes. Although compact, Quito's Old Town is full of historic buildings – there are more than 30 churches to explore – not to mention the fascinating museums. In any free time, pass by the lively Plaza Grande and Plaza San Francisco, and see Ecaudor’s most impressive church – La Compania de Jesus – with an ornate facade and intricately decorated and gold-gilded interior. Look out for the 30-metre-high statue of ‘La Virgen de Quito’, which sits atop ‘El Panecillo’ hill. Maybe find a local restaurant on La Ronda Street for dinner tonight.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today will be an early start, with our local representative meeting you at the hotel and transferring you to the bus station (approximately 40 minutes away). Then catch a local bus from Quito Central Station to Tena, which will take around five hours. There’s no toilet on-board, but the bus will stop for one toilet break during the journey. You'll be met on arrival at Tena bus station and transferred approximately 20 minutes to Misahualli, where the lodge office is located. At the office you will given a pair of rubber boots to use for the duration of your jungle stay. Please note in Misahualli there are many monkeys around. Please be extra careful with your belongings, as they have been known to be a little cheeky! Next you will head to the river port where you'll meet your local guide. After a presentation you'll take a motorised canoe for approximately 10 minutes to the community of Shiripuno, your base for the next three days. Relax tonight in this beautiful location.

Notes: The community lodge is located right on the river surrounded by jungle. The accommodation is in simple rooms supplied with mosquito nets and shared facilities. The showers are refreshingly cold!
Included Activities
  • Jungle walk with local guide
  • Plantation visit and chocolate making
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Travel by motorised canoe along the Rio Arajno deeper into the Sinchi Jungle (in some conditions you might travel by car). The trek is relatively easy and, depending on the group’s pace, should take around three to four hours. During today’s hike, your guide will tell you all about the variety of medicinal plants, insects and wildlife found in this part of the jungle, which have been the primary source of food and medicine for local communities. Return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, travel by motorised caneo to the ‘Ceiba Centenaria', before tubing back to the lodge. Later, take a night walk in search of insects and snakes. Throughout the walk, you’ll come to understand the importance of the jungle to the local community as your guide provides in-depth knowledge and history.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Spend the morning experiencing the local lifestyle first-hand. Your local hosts will introduce you to the local community and take you on a walk around the farm – visit the yuca, coco and banana plantations, learn about local agriculture techniques, and take the opportunity to try some fresh fruit and, if you’re feeling brave, tree worms. Later, try your hand at making chocolate dessert from scratch. With the help of the host, you’ll roast, grind and conch chocolate beans into your own chocolate sauce. After lunch, get the skills to pay the bills when you learn local handcraft skills, before practicing your hunting technique.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel back to Tena the same way you arrived, and continue by local bus to Quito, where you'll again be met by our local representative and transferred to your hotel. Spend a final day and night in Quito – you might like to get out and enjoy the nightlife of this vibrant Latin city.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned for the final day and you're able to depart the accommodation at any time. As there's little time spent in Quito, we recommend staying a few extra days to make the most of your time in here. Not far from the capital, there are volcanoes, hot springs and Incan ruins to explore.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast


5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners


Bus, Motor canoe


Hotel (2 nights), Jungle Lodge (3 nights)

Included Activities

  • Jungle walk with local guide
  • Plantation visit and chocolate making

Dates & availability

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Important notes

This is an independent trip. You will not be traveling with a group. Some of the travel will be unaccompanied. For more information please see the detailed trip notes.

The bus trip to and from the community is unescorted however you will be met and transferred at either end.
The community lodge that we stay at on this trip is the same lodge used on the group itinerary GGRU

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.


Our Ecuador Community Stay trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 1 review in the last year.

Ecuador Community Stay, August 2016

Tegan McGrath