The Amazoonico is a project initiated by a swiss woman and her ecuadorian husband who built the zoo as an animal rescue center to safe animals who got treated badly from their owner, were smuggled or somehow found their ways to the amazoonico. The government works directly together with the amazoonico. Have a look if the AmaZOOnico with children is a worth a trip.
For tourists it’s like a small zoo in the middle of the djungle, reachable via canoe from Puerto Barantilla or Puerto Ahuano. Prices for the canoe are roughly 25$ two way from Puerto Ahuano, the entry is 4$ per adult and 2$ per child. Included in the entry fee is a guided tour with one of the 12 volunteers from Europe. The tour is an interesting walk through the zoo with stories how the animal came here and actions to return them to the wild. It’s fascinating for children as well as for adults to look behind the scenes and get to know some animals one has never seen before.
Our tour guide Anna greeted us at the Cafe’ and took us for a walk through lush nature. She knew many stories to tell and explained a lot. We were stunned by her courage and engagement for the rescue of animals.
The Toucan is a very rare animal in Ecuador. He’s hunted because of his beautiful feathers. It was interesting for our children to understand that beauty on one side means hunted animals on the other side.
The Tapir is worldwide classified as endangered animal. Their closest relatives are horses and rhinoceroses. Anna told us they are very friendly, one reason for being hold at an household in Ecuador.
We had a very interesting and educating time at the Amazoonico with children. From our experience it’ll take around 2 hours for the guided tour.
If you’d love to stay in a Djungle Lodge I recommend to take a canoe to Liana Lodge. It’ll take you only 5 minutes.
Liana Lodge is an Ecohotel embedded in lush green nature. For ecuadorian standard it’s a high class lodge in local style. In open lodges with comfortable beds and on-suite bathrooms one can enjoy the „noises“ of the rainforest at night. Birds, monkeys, insects and many other animals live in the wild while the lodge is like a small paradise for humans. The restaurant with a cook from Ottowalo is famous in the region. Different ways of preparing bananas, meat, often with rice and the ecuadorian flavors make it a unique experience.
We recommend a 2-3 day stay there with a tour to Anaconda island to see Cocoa and Yucca plantages or join one of the hiking tours.