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Bameno Community Tours

Venture deep into the Amazon and experience Ecuador in a most authentic and unique way. The Bameno Community Tour offers a way to experience the culture and lifestyle of the Huaorani tribe. Unlike any other, this tour allows you to appreciate and fully grasp the Amazon rainforest.

100% of buyers said they were satisfied.
5.00 out of 5 based on 13 customer ratings
(13 customer reviews)
USD $747.00USD $1,680.00

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Bameno Community Tours

Highlights

  • With your Huaorani guide, you will explore three Huaorani communities: Bameno, Boanamo and Wema.
  • Observe wildlife (including monkeys, tapirs, wild boar, thousands of species of birds, and much more) that can only be found in the most remote regions of the Amazon.
  • Immerse yourself in a culture of proud people, fighting as their fathers did to preserve an ancient way of life, fighting to live free, to live Huaorani.
  • Learn to make Huaorani spears and blowguns, and practice throwing spears and blowing darts into targets (made from fallen palm trees; hunting animals is strictly prohibited).

Description

If you love adventure, wildlife, nature, and rich indigenous culture, you will love this trip, which takes you to the Huaorani’s ancestral homeland, the Intangible Zone! The Huaroani came into contact with Western cultures only in the late 1950’s. The Huaorani are proud warriors and guardians of the Amazon rainforest. More than a tour, your experience with the Huaorani in the Intangible Zone will be the trip of a lifetime.

Your visit to the Intangible Zone, located in the Yasuní National Park and Biosphere Reserve, will also support an extraordinary community-based initiative to defend Huaorani culture, protect Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest, and provide public health and educational opportunities to members of the community.

Activities in the Community

Once you are in Bameno, you will experience life among one of the most untouched cultures left in the Amazon jungle – that of the Huaorani. Through traditional chants and snippets of conversation, you will learn about a language developed before the Spanish first stepped foot in the Americas. Village elders will tell stories about how life was before their first contact with Western culture, only about 60 years ago. You will accompany the locals as they hunt packs of wild bore with 10-foot spears and Howler Monkeys with bloguns. This is one of the few opportunities that exist to experience ancient Huaorani culture with people that actually live this way, instead of simply recreating traditional life for the sake of tourists.

Getting There

The community of Bameno is located 14 hours by canoe from the nearest road, in one of the most remote areas of the Ecuadorian Amazon. As you move slowly down the Shiripuno and Conanaco rivers, you will be immersed in a thriving rainforest ecosystem, which is home to Macaws, Tapirs, Jaguars, and thousands of other species of wildlife.

Important Notes

This tour is offered year round, and requires a minimum of 3 participants in order to secure a reservation. Trips are normally planned and booked well in advance, and it is preferred that you book at least 1 month prior to your arrival.  However, if you are a single traveler or a pair, have stumbled upon this experience, and would like to inquire if you can join a group already scheduled in the near or distant future, email us at info@keteka.com.

Cancellation

Once you make the payment for this tour, 25% of it is immediately non-refundable, per the policy of the community. (We are also happy to only charge you 25% as a deposit instead of for the full amount, just email us at info@keteka.com!). The remaining 75% of the payment is fully refundable up to one week (7 days) before the start of the tour, after which point it is not refundable.

How to Get to Coca (where the tour begins and ends)

Note that none of the following costs for getting to Coca are included in the tour price.

1) Take a commercial flight. The approximate cost is $100 – $200 each way and it is a quick 40 minutes to Coca (plus the time it takes to get the airport in Quito, which is way out of town).

2) Take a bus. Approximate cost of $20 – $30 each way, travel time from 5 – 10 hours depending on road conditions, route selected, and traffic. Be sure to avoid the Nueva Loja route, which takes a lot longer.

3) Hire a private car. Approximate cost of $100 – $200 each way. 5 – 7 hours travel time.

4) Charter a “bush plane.” Cost of $910 each way for a 5 passenger plane (weight limit of 900 pounds, including passengers and luggage); $1,485 each way for a 9 passenger plane.

What to Pack

Essential:

  • 4-5 synthetic T-shirts
  • 7-8 pair underwear
  • 7-8 pair synthetic socks
  • Rain jacket and pants
  • 1hat for sun
  • 1 pair rubber boots (can be purchased in Ecuador)
  • 1 pair sneakers
  • 1 pair synthetic pants
  • 2 pair synthetic shorts
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 1 pair sandals/water shoes
  • 1 large backpack for clothing and equipment (no suitcases)
  • 1 smaller daypack
  • 1 sleeping pad
  • 1 towel
  • Waterproof sacs/Ziploc bags
  • 2 large water bottles
  • 1 whistle
  • 1 compass
  • 1 headlamp or flashlight
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Toiletries (minimal amounts of biodegradable soap/shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)
  • Over the counter medicines (Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.)
  • Anti-diarrhea medicine (Cipro is best)
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • 1 waterproof watch with alarm
  • Contacts and glasses if necessary

Optional:

  • 1 pack cover
  • 1 tent
  • 1 tarp
  • 1 pocketknife
  • 1 bug net hat
  • 1 light jacket
  • 1-2 bungee cords
  • Iodine tablets, droplets, or water filter (potable water is provided)
  • Anti skin irritation products (Glide, etc.)
  • Anti blister products
  • Anti rash products
  • Electronic items (camera, iPod, etc.) – expect community members to spend significant amounts of time using your electronics
  • Extra batteries
  • Journal/notebook with pens
  • Spanish / English dictionary
  • Books for pleasure
  • Rubber bands
  • Extra food (like granola bars)

Map

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Bameno Community Tour

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Bameno Community Tour -1.100656, -75.806908

Ome Gompote Kiwigimoni Huaorani (Ome Yasuni)

Penti and Tepena Baihu coordinate the Bameno Community Tours. They are both licensed guides and respected leaders within the community. Penti is the General Coordinator of Ome Gompote Kiwigimoni Huaorani (Ome Yasuni). Both guides are fluent in Spanish and Huaorani.

  1. 5 out of 5
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    I went to Bameno twice with two different groups and it was a truly amazing and unique experience each time. It was incredible to learn about the Huaorani while at the same time learning about myself and my friends. The Huaorani truly are amazing and they offer a one-of-a-kind experience that I will never forget. One of the best trips I have ever been on, and I hope to return soon!

  2. 5 out of 5
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    This was the most unique trip I’ve ever been on. Incredibly remote place and inspiring people. Worth the expedition- it’s half the fun!

  3. 5 out of 5
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    What an amazing trip! A visit to Bameno is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the incredible biodiversity of the Amazon with the best guides anyone could ask for–the Huaorani. I was blown away by how welcoming the Huarni were, as well as their excitement to explain their way of life, including the challenges they face from the ongoing exploitation of the rainforest. I couldn’t recommend the trip more highly: whether you’re concerned with current environmental issues, interested in traditional cultures, trying to see amazing wildlife, or just up for an adventure, this trip is the answer.

  4. 5 out of 5
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    This was by far the most incredible trip I have ever taken. The natural beauty of the Amazon, combined with the friendliness and openness of the Huaorani, made this experience truly life changing. From the first day, when we went jogging into the jungle hunting small pig, to the last, when we spent our final hours playing soccer with the kids, we were immersed in an authentic and enriching environment that is hard to find anywhere else. It is like we had leapt into the pages of National Geographic and found some of the nicest people on earth. I would not trade this experience for any other.

    I’ve been to a number of incredibly interesting and beautiful places around the world, but the experience with the Huaorani is unquestionably the most unique and immersive one I’ve had. It continues to be the tour from which I have my best stories.

  5. 5 out of 5
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    In a word, my experience with the Huaorani was unforgettable. In several words, it was unique, intimate, educational, eye-opening, breathtaking, special and altogether amazing. In my seven days with the community I saw scenery, wildlife, and culture that most people only read about or see on television. The ride down the Tiguino and Conanaco rivers, into the secluded heart of the jungle, was filled with monkey, macaw, and toucan sightings, and my time in the community was full of elemental, pure fun: I learned how to climb trees like the Huaorani, had mud-fights in the river with kids, silently canoed through a lagoon to see anaconda, practiced throwing spears and shooting blowguns, and learned about a culture that until fifty years ago had never seen a westerner. And the best part was that the Huaorani were eager to share all of it with me. From the day I met them in Coca, they were friendly, outgoing, and eager to learn about my culture and share theirs with me. I wasn’t merely a visitor; I became a part of a large family that I will never forget. Thank you!
    -Michael Boyle, Visited Summer, 2008

  6. 5 out of 5
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    Truly an unforgettable experience; a trip into the heart of Huaorani territory is like traveling back in time a few thousand years: The jungle was so pristine and the wildlife so amazing. We saw hundreds of species of birds, bats, insects, and reptiles, not to mention the monkeys, which were everywhere. This is an experience unlike any other.

  7. 5 out of 5
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    While I was initially wary about the trip into the rainforest with the Huaorani, I came out of my week adventure with some of the best experiences of my entire life (no joke). The trip had everything I wanted in it–treks through the Amazon rainforest, hunting for wild boar, a boat ride through undisturbed primary forest, tropical bird watching. We saw animals doing things I’d thought I would only see on national geographic, from monkeys jumping 25 feet to an anaconda regurgitating its last meal. More importantly, the relationships I developed with the trip planners, the leaders, and even the tribe will last a lifetime. Everyone was extremely open and nice, and made the trip plans flexible enough so that I could do whatever I wanted to do. Whether it was literally hunting/picking our dinner for the day, swimming and bathing in the Amazon, or shooting a blow dart 30 feet, I enjoyed every moment of the trip and would go back in a heartbeat.

  8. 5 out of 5
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    The memories of living with, and experiencing even for a moment in time, the daily lives and love of the Huaorani culture will stay with me for a lifetime. From morning canoe rides up the Cononaco river and night excursions into the jungle in search of exotic fauna, to hiking amid the greenest and most abundant forest I have had the pleasure of seeing firsthand, followed by practice lessons in the various Huaorani traditional hunting techniques; everyday spent in the Amazon was non-stop adventure. But, for me, it was meeting the Huaorani people themselves that has been one of the most extraordinary delights of my life to date. While fierce and loyal and strong, they are at the same time playful and mischievous and teasing. Our days were spent in happy discovery of their traditional pastimes and festivities, and to exist even for a week among them was to see firsthand a culture full of smiles and friendship. In short, one of the best trips I have ever been on. I would go back in an instant if I could!

  9. 5 out of 5
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    The day that we left Bameno, sitting in a restaurant awaiting my first lunch outside of the forest after a trip of five days, I could only think about returning to the community. I felt a great desire to continue getting to know the Huaorani, to continue learning their history and their present reality. I wanted to continue sharing the experience of living in their home, their forest, of observing and sharing in their way of life and their traditions. Having been born very far away, so distant, it was incredible to feel so welcome there. Being uniformed about the Huaorani, their lives and traditions and about the place where they live, in very little time the community of Bameno showed me and taught me a lot more than I could have anticipated. I am so thankful for having met the Huaorani, for having met the children who invited me to play with them, for having met the young Huaorani with whom I shared laughs and conversations about things in common, and for having met the elders – for having the privilege of having listened to their unique stories that I never imagined I would ever hear. This was a trip that exceeded my expectations and was without a doubt more than I could have possibly imagined.

  10. 5 out of 5
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    My trip to Bameno was everything I could have hoped for and more. For nature lovers, the Ecuadorian rainforest offers the chance to see a breathtaking assortment of plants and animals you can’t find anywhere else. But the real joy of the trip was getting to spend time with the Hourani. The community was so welcoming and interested in sharing their experiences and way of life with us. Besides having a great time, I left with a greater appreciation of the value of the rainforest, the need to protect it, and the challenges facing those who depend upon it.

  11. 5 out of 5
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    There are few truly great adventures – places or experiences that let you step far beyond the bounds of normal – just as there are few truly life-changing experiences: Bameno tours is absolutely both. Going deep into the Amazon, running through the jungle and getting very close to some serious wild-life (boars, capybaras, anacondas, just to name a few) is an authentic thrill that is truly unmatched. Seeing, interacting with and living with a tribe that has very, very limited interaction with the outside world offers a unique perspective on the human experience. And just as important as these factors is one simple fact: it was FUN! The Huaorani people delight in sharing their culture with you and are very curious about our own, leading to a lot of exchanges which are as educational as they are entertaining. Learning how to hunt (throw a spear or shoot a blow gun) is a blast, as is just taking in the beautiful scenery. I could not recommend this trip more – I’ve gone twice!

  12. 5 out of 5
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    I did a trip to Bameno in March 2014 and it was awesome! To see the way the Huaorani live is just something to never forget. We learned about their difficulties in the struglle against the oil-companies and they told us stories that were very impressive and inspiring. Great to be with them and experience their friendlyness and hospitality. We had great food every day. Just the accomodation wasn’t very comfy, but ” hey”.. that’s not what I came for! Besides seeing the way they live, ofcourse we also saw a lot of wildlife.

    I’d recommend it to everyone who wants a real-life experience of living in the jungle as most Huaranies do at this time!

  13. 5 out of 5
    Rated 5 out of 5

    :

    I’ll never forget my amazing experience with the Huaorani. To hear firsthand from Huaorani people about preserving their culture, livelihood, and connection to the rainforest in the midst of terrible Westernization and oil companies’ destruction of their environment , was revelatory and challenged me to look at the world from a brand new perspective. To be able to connect with people, and eat with them, and play games, and follow them to explore all this rich, untouched forest filled with beautiful animals – to be able to do all this was something I will be eternally grateful for, and I really hope to return some day to continue building community with the Huaorani. I’m writing this about 3 years after my experience, and it still feels very vivid and still has an effect on me and how I relate to the world around me. I very much appreciate Matt and Wiles’ dedication to this tour.

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After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.

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