Casa del Suizo
La Casa del
Suizo is a tranquil Amazonian refuge located on the shore of Ecuador's
majestic Napo River and a stone's throw away from the eastern slopes
of the Andes Mountains. Perched comfortably above the riverbank
and the small Quichua Indian village of Ahuano, La Casa del Suizo
overlooks vast expanses of the surrounding tropical rainforest environment.
In addition to our comfortable accommodations, La Casa del Suizo's
property includes 1500 acres of pristine vegetation for our guests
to explore. Whether walking on our jungle trails or visiting the
neighboring village, our activities offer a unique and incredible
opportunity to experience the culture, nature and wildlife of the
The trip to La Casa del Suizo will depart from Quito, Ecuador's
capital, by one of two routes: It is currently possible to reach
La Casa del Suizo over land, along a scenic stretch of road which
takes us from the majestic snow-covered peaks of the Andes Mountains
down into the rainforest. During this 5½ -hour trip there are several
opportunities to stop for photographs, overlooking lush green valleys
and sparkling waterfalls. An optional stop along the way is at Papallacta,
a small mountain village famous for its natural hot springs, to
enjoy a swim and lunch before continuing our journey! In the near
future, on both Mondays and Fridays it will be conveniently possible
to take a 40-minute flight from Quito over the highlands and down
into the Amazon Region. The destination is the city of Tena, located
only one hour from our port on the Napo River. (Please consult your
travel agent for upcoming flight availability!) Be it by land or
by air, our destination is Punta Ahuano, a tiny port town on the
North bank of the Napo River where canoes await for an enjoyable
20-minute ride downstream to la Casa del Suizo.
75 modern rooms provide full electricity, hot water and ceiling
fans to make your stay with us more comfortable. Each room has its
own terrace as well, with an exquisite view that may be peacefully
absorbed from a comfortable hammock. With a magnificent panorama
of the Napo River, our guests may also enjoy our swimming pool,
outdoor dining area and pool bar, which offers an array of delicious
tropical drinks. The hotel's dining rooms offer a wide variety of
both Ecuadorian and international dishes, and our buffets cater
bilingual naturalist as well as native guides, with expert knowledge
of the medicinal agents and other benefits of the rainforest's plants,
are included for excursions at La Casa del Suizo. A typical day
begins after an early breakfast, and there are a variety of trails
and activities to choose from: Walks may range from full day hikes
through primary rainforest to short, easy walks along river islands,
depending on each group's interests and physical abilities. Most
outings begin with a short canoe ride along the Napo River or one
of its many tributaries, during which it is possible to observe
a variety of shore birds on the way to our trails. Once in the forest,
where giant trees and tangled vines tower above, the guides will
point out important aspects of the vegetation while on the lookout
for tropical birds and other jungle creatures… With some luck, monkey
species such as tamarins or squirrel monkeys may even put in an
On one trail,
our native guides have built model hunting traps to represent those
traditionally used by the local people in the past. But this is
only one aspect of the Quichua culture you may learn about here:
There will be opportunity to visit with a local Quichua Indian family
as well, whose garden contains many medicinal plants still commonly
used today. They will explain how such plants are used, and demonstrate
other aspects of their traditional culture such as the spiritual
cleaning rituals still practiced today throughout the surrounding
community. Learn how to make chicha, a typical beverage (which of
course all may taste), and finally, all may participate in a blowgun
target-shooting contest - but don't expect to beat the natives!
After the morning walk, many of our guests choose to have lunch
under the rainforest canopy. We will send lunch from the hotel,
for all to enjoy near the edge of the Napo… But the fun is not over
yet! Afterwards you may live the incredible experience of building
and navigating a wooden raft: On a small river island your guide
will show you how to tie balsa logs together, so those who wish
can float down the Napo back to La Casa del Suizo! We even have
inner tubes for those who wish to take a refreshing, wet ride down
this magnificent Amazon tributary.
For those in the mood for more serene activities, it is possible
to visit an artisan in the village of Ahuano, who will demonstrate
how the traditional Quichua ceramics are created, painted, and hardened.
300 species of birds have been registered during La Casa del Suizo's
activities, and bird guides are available upon request... Just be
sure let us know in advance!.
Just across the river from La Casa del Suizo is Amazoonico, a rescue
center for wounded and displaced tropical rainforest animals. Here
it is possible to see coatis, tapirs, several species of monkey,
snakes, and a variety of birds, many of which wander around freely!
Entrance into this center is approximately $2 USD.
With advance notice it is possible to arrange a full day of
river rafting, either on the upper Napo River (class III) or the
Misahuallí River (class IV - IV+). Rafting trips are led by experienced
bilingual guides with top-of-the-line equipment, and include a riverside
lunch. These excursions begin in Tena, at about 45 minutes from
La Casa del Suizo, which is reachable either by public bus or private
transportation. Please consult your travel agent for costs!.
TIPS TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP
always advisable to consult your physician about health measures
and vaccinations before traveling to a foreign country. Although
tropical diseases are rare around La Casa del Suizo, during your
stay in Ecuador you may pass through areas of slightly higher risk.
Please take any medication you may need with you, as the selection
of medicines in our first-aid kit is limited.
In case of a
medical emergency, there is a medical center in the town of Ahuano
(adjacent to La Casa del Suizo) where guests may be treated. In
addition, there is a large hospital in the nearby city of Tena.
La Casa del Suizo now has direct radio contact with Quito, as
well as permanent telephone, fax and e-mail.
The tour schedule at La Casa del Suizo varies, depending on
the preferred means of transportation:
For visits with round-trip access over land, we are happy to announce
that our programs may now begin and end on any day of the week!
Once the Tena airport has opened, flights between Quito and Tena
will be on Mondays and Fridays. Therefore, for those who wish to
fly round trip, our 5 day/4 night program will be from Monday to
Friday and our 4 day/3 night program will be from Friday to Monday.
For trips with one-way access by air and one-way over land, the
departures/arrivals by land will be flexible for other days of the
week. (Please consult your travel agent for upcoming flight availability!)
Longer itineraries and bird specialist guides are also available…
Please consult your travel agent for details.
Once the Tena airport has opened, flights between Quito and Tena
will be chartered using two different airlines; departure time will
vary. The airplanes will be 19-seat, twin-engine Beechcraft (1900).
For flights to Tena, the airlines will require that checked luggage
be limited to a weight of 20 pounds per person. However, heavier
items such as cameras and books may be taken in carry on bags if
necessary. For round-trip transportation over land, there is no
limitation on luggage.
In the tropical rainforest it is best to be prepared for all kinds
of weather. A common question we receive is about the "dry and rainy
seasons" of the Amazon, but it is best not to trust such generalizations
to plan a trip. At times it can be hot and sunny, but a cool rainstorm
may appear at a moment's notice during any time of the year. We
have ceiling fans in each room for hot afternoons, but at night
(especially after the rain) some guests are surprised at the need
for a sweatshirt!
Lightweight pants and long sleeved cotton shirts are ideal for walks
in the forest. However, if you are more comfortable wearing short
sleeves, remember that exposed skin may need a light dousing with
During the rain, full waterproof clothing can be uncomfortable as
it often gets you wet with sweat instead of water, but rain ponchos
are recommendable for tropical cloudbursts (disposable ponchos are
available for sale at the lodge for those who do not wish to bring
their own). We supply rubber boots up to men's size 14 for walks
in the forest interior.
Comfortable shoes (or sandals), shorts and t-shirts are fine for
around the hotel during meals and free time. And don't forget your
La Casa del Suizo now provides laundry service (washing and drying)
for our guests. Please consult costs with our hotel administrator.
Drinks are not included in your package, and may be paid on the
last night of your stay in cash (U.S. dollars), travelers checks
or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Diner's Club or American Express).
Please note that the minimum charge for credit cards is $20 US.
All of the water at La Casa del Suizo comes from a local well, and
is perfectly safe for bathing, washing, and brushing your teeth.
Bottled water for drinking is available at the bar.
Our chef will be more than happy to prepare vegetarian meals for
you upon request. Please make sure to advise your travel agent of
any dietary restrictions or allergies you may have, and also let
our staff know as soon as you arrive.
High-speed film and a flash for cameras are recommendable for shady
walks under the forest canopy. However, slower film is fine for
photos on rivers and around the hotel.
(torch) and batteries
(sun cream / sunglasses / hat or cap)
long pants and long sleeved shirts for walks
short sleeves for around the hotel
shoes and extra socks
to protect cameras, binoculars, film, etc... from rain
These prices include your accommodations , all meals, and native
guides , and both ground and canoe transportation.