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 Quechua Indian village of Ahuano, La Casa del Suizo overlooks vast expanses of surrounding tropical rainforest environment.
Situated 15 minutes upstream by boat there is a private reserve of the Casa del Suizo with primary forest, which we would like to show you. At the thatch roof shelter, located a hundred meters away from the shore, paths of different lengths and difficulty levels start out (walking time from 1-1/2 till 4 hours). Your local guide will introduce you to the secrets of the tropical rain forest. The routes lead you through picturesque creeks, some hills up and down, to a scenic viewpoint, always walking under the dark jungle canopy. Your guide explains you how the Quichuas use the large variety of plants. Their broad knowledge about the medicinal plants is impressive. After the walk we offer you a refreshing ride downstream on a raft made of balsa wood. In about 30 minutes you arrive back at the Casa del Suizo.
A 20 minutes boatride takes you to Cosano, a private property with primary forest on the Rio Arajuno. Walks of different lengths (1 till 3 hours) lead you through the dark world of the rain forest. From two different points of view you can overlook the village Ahuano, the Rio Napo and some smaller rivers that merge with it. Your local guide explains to you the amazing world of the plants that you encounter on your walk. Afterwards you are invited to float downstream the Arajuno on a big inner tube. Don’t worry, the ride is peaceful and relaxing. Also located on the Rio Arajuno is the famous animal shelter AmaZoonico. Its mission is to take care of injured or confiscated wild animals and if possible to set them free later. This is a great opportunity for our guests to observe animals living in the region, that are difficult to see in the wilderness. A 15 minutes boat ride takes you back to the Casa del Suizo.
A short boatride downstream takes you to a Quichua family living somewhat outside of the village. You will witness the production of Chicha and be invited to taste the most common drink of the region. One will explain you the blowgun, an important weapon for the people of the jungle in former times. Take the chance to have a try yourself with this difficult and special method of hunting. After a 30 minutes walk back to the village on an even road we will visit a ceramics workshop. A Quichua woman will show you the handmade production of the typical fine ceramics of the Oriente, for which they use exclusively natural materials, from there, there is another stop at the wooden craft workshop, where the artesans will be demonstrate how a peace of wood can be turned in to a beautiful bird.
You will cross the river to the island vis-a-vis. The path is even and the walk will last between one and two hours. Your guide explains to you the local agriculture: manioc (local name Yuca), bananas, cocoa, coffee, various herbs and tubers, mostly planted and sometimes growing wild.
Amazoonico. 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, and several species of monkey, snakes, and a variety of birds, many of which wander around freely! Entrance into this center is approximately $2.5.
At about 15 minutes walk from La Casa del Suizo, you’ll find our butterfly farm. Designed as a live exhibition conservatory, the Butterfly House is now successfully breeding nearly 20 local butterfly species! Guests will be shown how these beautiful insects are bred and raised, and later be free to wander through the “flying room” , where hundreds of colorful butterflies including spectacular blue morphs flutter from flower to flower.Entrance fee $4.00 subject to change without notice.
Necessary Equipment (not included):
Gulliver Expeditions is a local operator that organizes Ecuador Tours to travelers that like to experience Unlimited Adventures like climbing to the closest point on earth to the sun in the Chimborazo Volcano or travel along the deepest landscapes in the Amazon Rainforest to the stunning sceneries of the Galapagos Islands.