My boyfriend and I booked a trip to Bataburo Lodge on the Tiguino River through Kemperey Tours in Quito. Kempery themselves were incredibly helpful (we were solely in contact with Miguel) answering all the questions we had regarding transfers, type of activities, dietary requirements, etc.
We opted for the 4 day, 3 night trip, but be aware, as with all jungle tours, this does mean 2 days actually in the jungle, with the 1st and 4th days spent travelling. This is especially true of Bataburo, as it is in complete isolation on the edge of primary rainforest in the Huaorani territory, We took a plane to Coca, although it is possible to take a 10 hour bus from Quito instead, then were picked up in a smart 4x4 truck for a 2 hour journey to the river. After a lovely packed lunch, we then boarded a large motorized canoe, and had a further journey of approximately 4 hours down the Tiguino river - that´s how isolated it is! The journey can be completed in 2 hours in the winter season, as the river is higher.
Bataburo appears in front of you like a mirage after travelling down the river, and it is a beautiful place to stay. It is right on the edge of the primary rainforest, so the sounds of the jungle are all around you. The accomodation is rustic, in a wooden constructed lodge, but very clean and comfortable. We had been staying in mid-range hostels on our trip until then, and this was luxury! Mosquito nets are included, although there weren´t any mosquitos during our stay,
Bathrooms are shared and with cold water, but this is welcome after the stifling heat of the jungle! Meals are amazing - Miguel the cook is very talented! 3 3-course meals a day, made using a mix of ingredients from the jungle and from Coca. Fruit and biscuits are produced as snacks for you while on excursions, and purified water is free and available from the bar area.
The first day comprised a 4-5 hour hike in the jungle, where we saw squirrel monkeys, wooley monkeys, poisonous frogs, countless numbers of birds, many specious of tree native to the Amazon and plants used for jungle medicine. Livio, our guide, was incredibly knowledagble about all of these things, and patiently listened to our questions. Back to the lodge for lunch, and then the afternoon was spent piranha fishing in the Tiguino River, with some success!
The second day included a 2-hour 6am hike, the breakfast, then a further hike into the forest where we were taught typical Huaorani survival techniques, such as how to trap animals, make a variety of items including bags and hats (!) and shown how to make the poison that the tribe use to kill their prey. There was lots of explanation about medicinal plants and Shaman rituals, and we saw many birds and insects plus a huge turtle. The afternoon was spent trying traditional Huaorani crafts and having a competition on the blow-pipe - although without the poison! An hour´s night hike before dinner provided many opportunities to see amazing insects and reptiles up close. Tarantulas, snakes, frogs, toads and many insects made this one of the most exciting hikes.
The staff are very hospitable and make the stay very pleasant. Although basic enough, the lodge is beautiful and a very comfortable place to stay. Falling asleep and waking up with the sounds of the jungle around you is a very unique experience. Livio our guide is second to none, and really made the stay special for us. His knowledge is amazing and he obviously has a very deep respect for the jungle, which he instills in the people staying at the lodge.
We hope to visit again, and next time for longer!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.