Pañacocha Experience - FEEL THE AMAZON - Anakonda Amazon Cruises

Our Lake Panacocha excursion is a multitude of experiences all packed into one.

After breakfast, we canoe for an hour and half up Panayacu River, stopping when we spot rare birds or a troop of monkeys.

We’ll arrive at the lake and head over to the rustic lodge for a snack—fresh juice and cookies. In the lodge there are couches and hammocks ready and waiting for you to relax for a while.

Once everybody is nice and energized we head out on a hike through the surrounding forest.

The guides will point out three special things on this particular hike. First, the canela tree, which produces leaves that are ground into cinnamon. You can actually take a leaf off and chew it, savoring the cinnamon flavor. Francisco de Orellana, the Spanish conqueror who “discovered” the Amazon, searched for this “land of cinnamon” and profited from the production and sale of the spice. Second, you’ll see lemon ants. One of the guides might even help you taste them (only if you want). They have a sour, acidic punch! Third, your guide will point out the dragon blood tree. With a small knife you can cut the bark of the tree. A red liquid that looks like blood drains out. If you put the liquid on your hand and rub it with your finger, it transforms into a white cream. The local people use this cream as an antibiotic.

By the end of your hike, you’ll be back at the lodge ready for lunch—ceviche and Amazon BBQ kebabs.

Ready to kayak? Or maybe swim with the piranhas? You can do both. Panacocha Lake is very clean and refreshing. It may look very dark but the color is just from plant tannins, which give it a tea-like appearance. There’s no need to worry about these piranhas. Not every species is deadly and vicious like Hollywood likes to portray.  This is one of the best places to kayak with its peaceful calm waters. There may be opportunities to kayak on the Napo River as well, but conditions have to be good. If you’re looking forward to kayaking in the Amazon, the Lake Panacocha experience is the best time to do it! The shores are filled with vegetation and small wildlife, plus you can navigate around the “floating islands” that are sprinkled on the edges of the lake. These floating islands are patches of rich vegetation that are totally disconnected from the shore.

If you’re on our Manatee vessel and opt for our one-night camping option, Lake Panocha Lodge is where you’ll stay. You’ll sleep in one of the many private, thatch roof cabins to the left of the main lodge. We’ll still cook you a great meal for dinner if you choose this option. You won’t be alone. Some of the crew will come along to help you with anything you need.