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Liana Lodge – top tips for taking the kids to the rainforest

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Ecuador Liana Lodge girls and cocoa

 

When travelling to Ecuador with her family, Kat knew that visiting the rainforest was top of her list of places to go. They chose Liana Lodge and Kat is sharing her top tips for taking children to the rainforest.

 

Choose a soft adventure

Don’t travel too far, especially for younger children a softer jungle adventure will be enough and you won’t have to spend too long getting there. Liana Lodge lies only 4,5 hours from Quito and we reached it easily by car, breaking the journey at the hot springs of Papallacta.

At the lodge there is no yellow fever, no malaria – perfect for young travellers.

Nevertheless there is a protected forest surrounding the lodge, counting with primary as well as secondary rainforest – enough to give everybody a taste of the jungle.

Liana Lodge Restaurant Ecuador

Liana Lodge restaurant

 

 

Range of activities – from easy to adventurous

My children are only 3 and 5, so it was perfect for us that there were options suitable for little legs and kids still struggling with the heat and humidity. A visit to the animal rescue centre AmaZOOnico kept us busy for a morning, seeing lots of different animals that had been brought here (after being rescued) and especially my older daughter learned a lot about the importance of keeping animals in the wild.

The afternoon visit to nearby Anakonda Island gave a great insight into life in the jungle – houses on stilts, making chicha (the local yucca drink), trying their hand at the blow gun – but also seeing how many plants grow – cacao (big hit sucking the juicy flesh around the cacao bean), bananas, papayas, coffee – and just giant leaves everywhere, which kept them entertained.  A nearby lagoon has resident caimans.

Liana Lodge monkey sign Ecuador

Monkey business!

 

We chose a short walk through the jungle, which was enough adventure for the little ones – they loved scrambling along the paths. There was even natural face paint from the Chonta tree – my girls were delighted with their rainforest tattoos!

The river is safe to swim, so we cooled down with a swim every day and as an afternoon activity built a raft and travelled downriver on it. Nice and easy, and a good to combat the heat.

For older kids there are more challenging walks of different lengths, including a full day hike. Canoe rides, panning for gold and traditional fishing, too.

Liana lodge river swimming Ecuador

In the river!

 

Dress accordingly  and protect against mosquitos

Moquitos and sandflies are not a huge problem at Liana Lodge, but they do exist so ensure you take insect repellent suitable for little people. Wrist bands are surprisingly effective, but will not work on their own so you do need to supplement with repellent. DEET is ok for children (age 2 and up) but using DEET is a personal choice and if you prefer natural repellent there is a range of options, too – the main difference being that it needs to be reapplied more frequently.

I bought light, long linen trousers for the girls to wear which were thin enough to not feel warm. A long-sleeved light blouse works well, although we found that t-shirts were ok, as long as you apply sunscreen (first) and insect repellent (second).

A range of small welllies are available at the lodge, but we brought our own – and found they were handy in most other places we visited.

Liana lodge common area Ecuador

Common areas

 

Free time

You will find yourself with some free time between activities – my children certainly aren’t one for relaxing in the hammocks (although they were a big attraction), so I packed a lot of sticker books and colouring in books and pens. You will find a range of jungle-themed sticker books, that are fun as well as educational and my girls loved doing these with us while we waiting for the lunch time heat to pass.

Ecuador Liana Lodge Lina chilling in hammock

Relaxing

 

The jungle – a highlight

My advice is DO travel to the jungle – it was a highlight for my children and once they got over the shock of the heat they acclimatised well. Liana Lodge is a safe environment and I felt comfortable letting them roam around the lodge, telling them to stick to the paths.

The fact that monkeys pass the lodge several times a day was just magical for them, as was falling asleep to the sounds of the jungle. I felt they learned a lot about life in the jungle, and had a brilliant adventure!

 

Liana Lodge tubing Ecuador

Tubing

 

Plan your holiday

If you want to start planning your family South America Adventure then do get in touch with us.

 

 

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