Fieldwork in the Ecuadorian Amazon was undertaken in the Kapawi Ecolodge and Reserve, which is located at 250 km south-east of Quito in the remote upper Amazon rainforest just inside Ecuador's border with Peru. Kapawi´s lodge is located on the southern bank of the Pastaza River, a major tributary of the Amazon, at the mouth of the Capahuari River. It is located at a distance of about 100 km from the Andes. The territory where Kapawi has operations belongs to the Achuar Organization. This is one of the most secluded and pristine areas of Ecuador and a well-protected part of the western Amazon Basin, still untouched by logging, mining or petroleum extraction. The closest road is a ten-day walk from the Amazon lodge. Kapawi is accessible only by air.
The Achuar are one of the most isolated groups of indigenous peoples of the Amazon Basin, currently numbering around 6,000 in their extense territory of 7000 square kilometres located along the Pastaza River basin in Ecuador. Their ancestral lands – nearly 2 million acres in all – straddle the modern borders of Ecuador and Peru, a remote area that has allowed them to preserve their way of life with little outside influence or colonization.