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“Didn't want to leave” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Yacuma Ecolodge

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Yacuma Ecolodge
3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Parroquia Chontayacu, Tena 1716190CEQ, Ecuador   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #11 of 25 Specialty Lodging in Tena
UK
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“Didn't want to leave”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

What a wonderful way to experience the Ecuadorian Amazon. We started with a long minibus drive on roads which got steadily rougher until, just as we thought they couldn't get worse, we turned off onto an even rougher road and wound our way to a small village. Here we loaded onto a canoe on the Napo River (a tributary of the Amazon) for the last part of the journey. It was late afternoon so we were treated to a wonderful sunset as we motored gently along the river, stopping to navigate the shallows as it was the end of the rainy season the river was low.

The lodge comprises a number of double and twin bedded bungalows on stilts. Very comfortable beds, mosquito nets and en suite bathrooms. Be warned though, despite the jungle heat the show water is cold although you can ask for hot to be provided. The lodge is eco friendly and runs on photovoltaic cells. A torch is handy at night as outside lights go out before midnight. Meals are taken in a communal dining room and are very good although all of a European style food apart from one more local dish. We'd have preferred to have all local: much more interesting!

The local is magical. Deep in the jungle and behind the bird and cricket noise, a deep silence. Treks through primary and secondary jungle are included as well as a visit to a local tribal family and instruction on how to greet them in the local language. We also had a go at blow pipes but would starve if we had to rely on them for our food. A night trek showed up tarantulas, geckos, crickets and an amazing range of other insects. Strangely enough we didn't hear a single mosquito and didn't get bitten but wouldn't recommend risking going without repellent and anti malaria's. Not worth the risk.

We also had a canoe trip included which included a demonstration on panning for gold which actually turned up some small specks but not enough to retire on.

Possibly our favourite activity though was making chocolate. Dried cocoa beans (some they prepared earlier!) were provided and roasted in a pan over an open fire. We then took turns to grind them, first on their own and then with added sugar. Milk was added and the mixture gently heated and stirred until a wonderful mass of dark chocolate was formed. We were given slices of banana to dip and it was heaven!

Couldn't recommend this highly enough. We would happily have stayed for another day or two.

Room Tip: All good in their different way. Those round the central area have a nice outlook and those that ar...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Mexico City, Mexico
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

Everything is a surprise, you don't expect anything from what you are going to experience, and yet, you love it all. You start with a trip on the Napa river for about 20 minutes, being overwhelmed by the beautiful landscape of manglers and birds. You arrive and they are expecting you, to welcome you with a drink and smiles, plenty of smiles. The place is jungle like without being artificial, the gardens are beautiful and the cottages very comfortable and very clean. The staff is extremely helpful and the guides very knowledgable. They really try to make your stay a unique experience.
If you want to go to the jungle, learn about it and experience it, go to Yacuma, it's the best!

Room Tip: All the rooms are pretty much the same, just ask for a hamaca on your outside yard.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NJ
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

We had a great stay at the Yacuma lodge. The long trip there is certainly worth it because you get the real authentic Amazon experience. We had a great guide, Mario. We spent 3 nights an 4 days at the lodge and did a variety of activities. The highlights for us were the following:
1. 4+ hour hike in the jungle to the cave with bats. We saw lots of interesting plants and Mario taught us a lot about medicinal uses of various plants. We even managed to see a huge snake!
2. Tubing down the river
3. Our kids loved playing with the local monkeys and Coati who live at the lodge
4. Trip to the local village

Accomodations were comfortable (because the electricity is solar powered, we did not get any warm water for showers. Not a big deal, it was all part of the experience.

Guides and other people who work there are really nice and the overall feel was very comfortable and inviting.

The food was simple, but tasty. This is probably one area where the lodge can make some improvements to offer some more variety.

Great stay. We will all have many lasting memeories and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a real Amazon experience.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

We had two nights at the lodge. The food was great. We had a boat ride to the AmaZOOnia animal refuge which was very enlighting in showing how the local indigenous people live and use the Amazon river tributories. The guided walk with Milton was also fantastic - it was done in gumboots and the path is authentic so don't expect it to be manicured. Rescued animals including a baby wooly monkey, coatis and parrot are very welcoming and add to the experience. Only issue is that there are two rooms per hut and no sound proofing between the two.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Covington, Kentucky
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

After a long trip to get there, the lodge was going to need to work hard to exceed our expectations and they did it. The cabanas were clean & comfortable. The food was beyond delicious. The excursions made us tired but was well worth the sore muscles.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2012

Yacuma Ecolodge was an excellent choice. The staff was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. They most certainly exceeded my expectations! I highly recommend.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lyngby, Denmark
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2012

During a 2 week visit to Equador we spent a few days at the Yacuma lodge. While the trip to the lodge from Quito (or any other place) can be far and a bit rough, the peace and quiet found in the lodge surely makes up for this many times over.

The lodge keeps a respectful balance with the rain forrest surrounding it. All power comes from solar energy and you're encouraged to use the eco-friendly soaps provided by the lodge, as it is most likely kinder to nature than the stuff you bought at the supermarket.

All meals are served in the eating cabin and while you would most likely eat anything after a day exporing the rainforrest (with qualified guides) the food was actually very good. Activities at the lodge usually include hikes in the rain forrest, visiting the native community around, sailing on the river or other nature oriented activities. A visit to the AmaZOOnas - an animal park by the river - should also be on the list.

The staff at Yacuma were all friendly and helpful. Most of the staff's English-language skills was perfectly acceptable and their knowledge of the area - wildlife and nature - seemed impressive.

There are only two potential downsides at the lodge you should be aware of:
(1) As all power comes from the sun, don't expect to be able to charge all your electronic gadgets at Yacuma. Make sure all is charged before going to the lodge (including all spare batteries you have), and bring a flash light (any size will do) to help you get around in the evenings and read if the power runs out.

(2) The cabins are build so they include two rooms side by side. They naturally have walls between the rooms, but the space above the room is a single shared space - including in the bathrooms. While you can't see what's going on in the other room, you can most likely hear every detail. It didn't bother us, but I'm sure it could be an issue for some.

Room Tip: All the cabins are pretty equal. There's a bonfire near the middle of the camp where people gath...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yacuma Ecolodge

Address: Parroquia Chontayacu, Tena 1716190CEQ, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Location: Ecuador > Napo Province > Tena
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 25 Specialty Lodging in Tena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Yacuma Ecolodge 3*
Number of rooms: 24
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yacuma Ecolodge is located in a 300 hectares of primary rainforest of the Ecuadorean Amazon Jungle. It offers accommodations in 15 well-appointed bungalows/suites with private facilities, separate reception and kitchen areas. From here we make tours and excursions into the jungle and rivers of the area to observe the forest and fauna of the region. Our tours are leaded by experienced Quechua Indigenous guides. Lighting is provided by efficient solar panels. Yacuma is Rainforest Alliance and Smart Voyager certified. ... more   less 
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