Welcome to Amarun Pakcha

Home to the Kichwa of Wawa Sumaco, Ecuador

Nestled on the slopes of the Sumaco Volcano, our community invites you to a world where nature and culture are inseparably intertwined.

Andean Cock-of-the-Rock perches on a branch, its bright orange head almost neon in the dim forest light


Our Community Reserve and surrounding forests are home to a myriad of wildlife including monkeys, tapir, jaguar, and over 300 species of birds.

Young Kichwa woman, Kelmy Tanguila, poses before the twin waterfalls of Amarun Pakcha


Ancestral wisdom, reverence for the natural world, and a thriving tradition of community-led conservation breathe life into every aspect of our daily existence.

Water originating on the slopes of the Sumaco Volcano finds its way to our home in streams, rivers, and waterfalls


We invite those eager to embrace new experiences to foster a deeper connection with self, our community, and the biodiverse forests we call home.

Birdwatching and Nature Tourism

We specialize in birdwatching and nature tours.

Our Andean Cock-of-the-Rock lek attracts dozens of raucous male birds most days. During mating season, it is especially active as the males compete aggressively for the attention of the female birds looking for a mate. With our local guides, it is also possible to spot many other highlight species of Ecuador’s East Slope. For a complete bird list, see our FAQ. 

The Chestnut-eared Aracari is a member of the toucan family
The Amazonian Umbrellabird at its lek

Hummingbirds in our Gardens

Hummingbirds are regular visitors to both the feeders and a wide variety of flowering plants in our community. Photographers are especially pleased with the opportunity to capture these brilliant birds in their images.

The White-necked Jacobin is a stunning hummingbird with a bright blue head, dark shoulders, and white belly.
Violet-headed Hummingbird has a short, thin beak and a brilliant blue, purple head with green body
Violet-fronted Brilliant is a stately hummingbird with a long, strong beak, violet feathers along its crown, and bright turquoise blue chest with green body

A Forest Full of Life

Our lands are home to many other animals. Some are easier to spot, like frogs, other amphibians, and reptiles. More elusive species like the Andean Spectacled Bear, the Amazonian Tapir, the Mountain Tapir, and several types of wild cats are occasionally spotted depending on the season and how quiet the hikers are on the trail. For those interested in six-legged creatures, insects abound, including several species of colorful butterlies.

Rufescent Screech Owl perched in the forest.
A striking Owl-eyed Butterfly perched on a mossy tree
Manaus Spiny-backed Frog (Osteocephalus taurinus)
Amazon Coffee Snake (Ninia hudsoni)
Black-mantled Tamarin monkeys perched in easy distance for a photograph

Step Back in Time

We are very privileged to have recently acquired land with access to ancient petroglyphs that come from a time before our peoples lived in this part of the Amazon. While currently under investigation, we offer guided tours to visit this very special place where the original stewards of these biodiverse forests left their mark.

Petroglyphs of faces on a moss covered wall
A rock covered in petroglyphs
A rock in the river with one face covered in petroglyphs

Immerse in Kichwa Culture

While our nature tours always include a local guide who speaks of our traditions, we offer several opportunities to immerse deeper in Kichwa culture. Our tourism cooperative coordinates with local women to offer courses in beading. Our Shaman also opens his doors to visitors wanting to learn more about Kichwa healing ceremonies and take part in a private or group session.

A guest learns about our Kichwa tradition of beading
Marcos Tanguila Alvarado, Shaman to our community, and his wife

A Sacred Waterfall Lies At The Heart of Our Community

The name Amarun Pakcha, which means Boa Waterfall, comes from a time when an ancient boa constrictor ruled this region, hiding the waterfall and the surrounding forests from mankind. Our founding story, a legend for modern times, tells how this creature turned to stone, allowing us to settle on its lands. Today, we protect the flora and fauna of this place as a sign of respect for the petrified stone boa that continues to sleep behind our waterfall.

The Amarun Pakcha Waterfall as photographed by Alex Boas

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