Amazon Basin, Ecuador
Sacha Lodge, is a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the Ecuadorian Amazon along the Napo River. Most people think of Brazil and Peru when asked where the Amazon is located, but it also spreads over 6 Ecuadorian provinces.
Sacha Lodge’s story (“Sacha” is the Quechua Indian word meaning “forest”) begins in the 1970s when Swiss founder Arnold Ammeter, or “Benny” as he is known, came to Ecuador in search of adventure. He was captivated by the Napo River, and in 1985, Benny opened his first tourist lodge, La Casa del Suizo, on the Upper Napo. But soon, civilization approached, and to satisfy his appetite for wilderness, Benny went in search of a place to build a lodge deeper into the forest. Months later, he was taken to a stretch of forest some two hours from Coca. Benny immediately fell in love with the mysterious black water of Pilchicocha Lake and purchased approximately 1,200 acres of land surrounding it from 10 landowners in Coca. Sacha Lodge and it’s wooden tower (“La Torre”) was officially opened in 1992 with six guest rooms. Sacha Lodge continued to expand and today totals 5,000 acres.