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Activities & Wildlife Exploration

every day is an adventure at La Selva!

Our experienced guides will accompany you on the following activities, depending on the time of day, season, weather, physical abilities of the group and where they believe wildlife is more likely to be found. Each activity was designed to showcase the best of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Note: All of these activities are included in the regular program prices (apart from the Pañacocha Lake and Charapa Turtle visit).


1. Canoe rides

Enjoy a canoe ride on our lagoon, Garzacocha, and discover a great diversity of plants and animals in two different landscapes and ecosystems.

2. Trails

Heading out from the lodge, your guides can lead you on half-a-dozen trails that wind their way through the surrounding rainforest and connect with the lake. You never know what you might find along the way… A giant ceiba tree, strangler figs, walking palms, Azteca ants, heliconias, bromeliads, and maybe even some forest fauna — if you’re lucky.

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3. Kichwa community visit

Several indigenous communities live near La Selva and guests are able to visit to learn about their way of life. We like this quote that perfectly sums up why our guests enjoy the community visit so much; “People travel because it teaches them things they could learn no other way.” – Lance Morrow

4. Our amazon observation tower

Our tower offers amazing views from its platform 35 meters (115 ft) up from the forest floor. It’s nestled into the branches of a giant kapok tree, allowing us to observe life in the surrounding forest canopy. From here, we can spot many different species of birds, insects, and monkeys, as well as different types of flowers. The tower offers great opportunities for photography, filming and bird watching. The tower is located a 15-minute walk from the lodge. Guides will accompany you to the observation tower either in the morning or the afternoon.

5. Parrot clay licks

One of the most amazing sights in the Amazon that is relatively easy to enjoy is observing parrots coming to feed on clay, on the banks of rivers or streams. There are two places on the south bank of the Napo River (inside Yasuni National Park) where parrots, parakeets and even macaws gather. They come to obtain the minerals in the clay that help them to digest the fruits and seeds better.
For this excursion, we take motorized canoes along the Napo and enjoy a box lunch in the forest.

6. Night-time canoe excursion

You’ll go out with the guides in canoe with a spotlight onto Garzacocha Lagoon to spot caimans, bats, owls and more.


At La Selva, we are proud to have created unforgettable moments for families to share together for more than a quarter of a century. We regard ourselves as the most child-friendly lodge (ages 5 and up) in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Our youngest guests can participate in our junior naturalist program, while older children will find dozens of activities to keep them busy, from hiking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing and exploring the tree tops from our observation tower.

Family Program

8. Kayaking

This is a great way to do some exploring on your own time. The kayaks are kept by the dock. Ask reception for the paddles and life jackets to go out on your own. You’ll have the opportunity to see monkeys, Hoatzins and many other tropical rainforest birds. Swimming: Please inform reception you will be going for a swim. You can ask them for a towel instead of using one from your suite. The water is very refreshing after a jungle hike and feels silky smooth due to the blackwater.

9. Star gazing

The night sky at La Selva is perfect for viewing constellations in the Southern Hemisphere. Ask your guide to help point them out! We are currently working on new star gazing kits for the Junior Naturlist Children’s Program.

10. Night excursions

Hikes and canoe rides allow guests to enjoy the nocturnal choruses and sounds of the forest as well as trying to spot bats, nightjars, some insects and possibly to get a glimpse of the caimans that lurk at the lake’s banks. Walking excursions give us the chance to encounter nocturnal creatures such as tarantulas, whip-scorpions, toads and frogs, and possibly snakes.

11. Charapa turtle adoption

This is a relatively new initiative within the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve in which La Selva participates. Guests can adopt an endangered Charapa Turtle and set it free into the wild once hatched. Guests MUST mention this activity when booking. The program can only be arranged ahead of time in order to properly coordinate with the organization. Guests are welcome to make a donation to the program at the end of their visit.

12. Private visit to pañacocha

Pañacocha is located between the two largest protected areas in the Amazon, Yasuni National Park and Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. Established in 1994, Pañacocha offers rare exceptional views of 9 different species of primates, 500 species of birds, and 100 different species of fish in the protected waterways, including Lake Pañacocha. Pañacocha also boasts tropical butterflies with endless varieties of colors and patterns. Join one of our local naturalist guides to experience the beauty found within this 140,000 acre protected rainforest.
Please note that there is an extra fee for this activity and it is subject to availability. Please contact us.



a magical realm to explore together

Looking to add some romance to your jungle discovery? Check out our Romantic Extras or Honeymoon Package!

Romantic ExtrasHoneymoon Package


comments from our guests

  • 5 star ratingWonderful stay at La Selva Ecolodge We just returned from a wonderful stay at La Selva, we were two families traveling together. Considering the ... read more


    5 star ratingUnbelievably Magical Experience The staff are beyond accommodating, knowledgeable and fun. This was an experience unlike anything I've ever do... read more


    5 star ratingAmazing Amazonas Experience This is definitely the most beautiful lodge in the entire Amazonas! You do not need to worry about anything, e... read more

  • 5 star ratingThe parrots are Amazing I give LaSelva a (5) excellent rating, for our trip in September 2019. I considered a 4, but I think we ne... read more


    5 star ratingAn Enjoyable Rainforest Visit We spent 4 nights at La Selva, and enjoyed it very much. While the journey to get there is a bit long, it's we... read more


    5 star ratingAmazing Amazon Retreat Lovely, luxurious Accommodation. Staff are absolutely fantastic couldn’t ask for better service. The only diff... read more