the short 3 days of my stay. This ecolodge is the most unique, lively, beautiful, magical, friendly, delicious, MOST PERFECT place you could ever ask for. If you want EXCELLENT food (I was weary at first because I have a 'california girl's' stomach...!), a beautiful and serene location, service worth raving about and all of the magic you could hope for in a rainforest trip then you had BETTER make your Amazon/Napo stay at the Yarina Ecolodge.
After landing at the (very tiny!) airport in Coca, we were picked up by the employees in taxis. It was a bit rainy and in the shuffle of 6 suitcases, a handful of carry-ons, and a few non-spanish speaking tourists later, the owner of the lodge discreetly stepped in and paid the taxis out of his pocket while we were getting situated.That was sign number one that we were being taken care of in the most worry free way. Check in was easy at the dock and off we went down the magnificent river in a motorized canoe. Arriving at the lodge was the most breath-taking thing! The lodge is located at the top of a hill surrounded by beautiful forest on every side with the river bank on its shore. We were welcomed by the amazing parrots that had been fed a line or two! Mostly just whistles but never the less, we loved those parrots! Our server Frankie treated us like family the whole time, if you get the pleasure of his company, consider yourself lucky! I could write an entire narrative of our whole time there but it would take hours to write it all. so here are a few summarized reasons as to why i loved the time i spent there, and will most likely be returning during my next trip to Ecuador:
-There was close attention paid to us by the staff (Frankie especially)
-The food was probably the best I have ever had in the world
-Our tour guide for the weekend, Dennis, was the most knowledgable person for the job, he could tell you ANYTHING you wanted to know about any plant, insect or animal in the rainfoest. and this is not solely from academics but from his own life experience living in the area. DENNIS is the guy to request!!!!!!!!!!!! He made us traditional bracelets on the spot from the fibers he collected from a plant we walked by, i mean you just cant beat that! he did the same with another and wove a whole basket in front of our eyes! he cooked us traditional food over the fire pit during one excursion and another time, we went out and caught pirahnas and they cooked them up for us to taste! he took us hand canoeing at night to spot caimans which are alligators (totally safe i promise!) and also on a 4 hour day hike through the most amazing part of the rainforest!
-We saw monkeys and lizards and outrageous looking insects, alligators, pirahnas, incredible amazonian birds, tapir footprints, and countless types of trees. he taught us about the medicinal and other uses of plants in the rainforerst....i can go on and on literally.
-We met a truly indigenous family that lived off the land, bought a few trinketts from them to show our support. They knew we were coming and their family is one of a few that the owner of the lodge is helping to educate. The owner of the Yarina lodge has built and is busy improving a school for the local indigenous's children to learn basic academics. This is another reason I pride the yarina lodge, their main desire is to better the people that live there. One of the most astounding things the indigenous said to us went like this (my dad spoke to them in spanish):
My dad: "We hope you don't mind our intrusion on your property to visit your family."
Family member: "It is no problem at all, we are all visitors on this planet, what is mine is yours."
It blew me away to hear the extreme difference in the way other people's life philosophy is all about. I can say I had a lot to reflect on after our visit to that family. To see how they live so happily with the simplicity of living off their sustainable environment is definitely good food for thought and reflection on ones-self...
-More misc: rainboots were supplied, even for my husband who has giant feet. there are mosquito nets for each bed. they have good wine, beer and other kept on room tabs! this place literally has it ALL.
You cannot, i repeat, you CANNOT beat the experience we had at the small paradise hidden in the Napo section of the Amazon Jungle called the Yarina EcoLodge. You may be able to pay more money for a place that has electricity 24/7 (here electricity was from 10am-1pm and 6pm to 10pm daily but battery powered lanterns were supplied), American food, and less bugs but I can guarantee you will not have the same genuine experience in the rainforest that you would if you stay here. If you want a real escape from the lives we lead to enjoy Mother Nature at its finest, then you have no other alternative but to spend your time at Yarina EcoLodge.
Viva Yarina! Viva Napo! Viva Ecuador y Viva El Mundo!!!!!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.