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“Gracious hospitality” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Cantil Ecolodge

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El Cantil Ecolodge
Vereda Termales Piedra Piedra, Nuqui, Colombia   |  
Hotel amenities
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Gracious hospitality”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

Brilliant week in the sun with stunning scenery and friendly people. We feel so fortunate to have found this out of the way spot. The quiet, the nature, the sea are wonderful. Well worth the effort to make the booking (which wasn't particularly easy for us in the U.S.) but then it might have helped if I'd spoken better Spanish.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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35 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    30
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7
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Augsburg, Germany
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

After spending unforgettable days at El Cantil last August I simply had to return and, what a relief, it is still as beautiful and unforgettable as last year. Simply great to see that some things don´t change! Memo, Nana and the whole staff make you feel more than welcome and the magic of nature helps you disconnect from the hurly-burly of modern life in no time at all. I´ve never slept better, eaten better and probably felt better. Pure magic, and I´m not exaggerating. Don´t believe me?! Give it a try and prove me wrong (if you can).

A great time to visit El Cantil is August as you are extremely likely to see humpback whales. And if you´re lucky (and we were several times) you might even see those giant mammals jump and frolick in the warm waters of the pacific.

The moment you step out of your bungalow you are surrounded by nature: miles of empty beaches, dense jungle and the sea. What else could you possibly ask for? The food: couldn´t be better - if you like fish and seafood. I really hope that Nana publishes her cook book with their recipes soon!

The service is cordial, very personal and even more attentive. Especially Silvia, Pozo and Tello are absolutely terrific! What more can I say - if your understanding of luxury doesn´t necessarily involve butlers, suites, spa, a business center etc., this eco-lodge without electricity in its simple yet comfortable bungalows and where the only noise you hear are the sounds of nature, offers pure luxury - no stress, no worries and natural wonders galore.

  • Stayed August 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cali, Colombia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

I´ve been travelling to the pacific ocean and to Choco´s jungle for many, many years. There is no better experience to explore Colombias better secret place, than this extraordinary ecolodge. Sorrounded by jungle, fresh water fall and the most amazing ocean. Remember that the Pacific Ocean is the biggest and most magestic ocean in planet earth. But you feel so well treated when you see a huge WHALE just 30 feet away, or a school of tunas arrising from the ocean level like if a mountain was arrising. This is really a gift to your senses and to your soul!
The hotel atention and food, you won´t find it anywhere else, in that area. They make you feel at home.
Don´t miss the spring water pools!
I´m not a surfer, i´m a diver, but most than that I´m a nature lover!

Room Tip: All the cabins are the same, but they´re just want you need!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Augsburg, Germany
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2011

My stay at El Cantil Ecolodge was meant to be an extra on a vacation that itself would have to be considered a treat. I had read all the reviews before actually booking and so my expectations were high (to say the least).

I arrived at Nuquí airport and the boat to the lodge was already waiting. After a quick visit of the charming town in the middle of nowhere the (few) other guests and I got aboard and 45 scenic minutes later we arrived at El Cantil. It sits on a little clearing, right at the beach, dense jungle in the background. We received a very warm welcome by Adriana, who, together with her husband Memo, runs El Cantil and get to know the rest of the staff. They are all just wonderful!

The duplex bungalows share a porch with hammocks and benches and are spacious and breezy. The doors have no locks and the windows no glass - nothing should come between you and the surrounding wonders of nature. The interior is simple but comfortable and well-kept. The bathroom is high standard. Everything you need is there. However, if it is TV and wifi you´re after this is definitely the wrong place. Not only is the restaurant the only place with electricity (from 6-10 pm), but also playing music aloud (that is without headphones) is prohibited. Bliss!

The packages include all meals - and all of them are superb. The Lonely Planet classified El Cantil´s restaurant as one of the 10 best places to eat in Colombia. I can honestly say that I didn´t find a better place to eat during my five weeks in Colombia - every dish was absolutely delicious and there´s plenty, so you might need a little exercise to burn the extra calories.

If exercise is what you are after, El Cantil offers different activities, such as guided jungle walks from easy to taxing, surfing, kayaking or swimming. The dark grey beaches are wonderful and safe for swimming.

Whale watching is the biggest attraction in the months of july and august. Humpback whales come here to raise their babies before returning to the cold waters. If you book the "whale watching" package, 2 boat trips are included. I saw whales on both of them, but you have to be patient. It´s not like you´re on the boat and surrounded by whales, you have to spend quite some time finding them and then you cannot be sure what you´re going to see. I was lucky and even saw these giants jump several times. By the way - be prepared to get soaking wet on the trip (camera protection bags are provided by the lodge if you ask).

All in all I can honestly say I´ve never been to a "hotel" more beautiful and more welcoming like El Cantil. Adriana, Memo and their staff never make you feel like a "guest", you are much rather part of the family. I can´t wait to go back to Colombia and spend another couple of days in my paradise! And don´t worry about the safety - a lot of countries discourage their nationals to travel to the Chocó region. While this may be true for some areas, it is certainly not true and justified for Nuquí and El Cantil - there are plenty of soldiers stationed there, patroling the beaches and protecting locals and tourists alike.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medellín, Colombia
Top Contributor
154 reviews 154 reviews
76 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2011

Just unexpected, really! even being a Colombian, I wasn't really expecting much the first time I went there. I have gone a couple times more and would return there any time. I have also recommended it on several ocations, and all of my friends have come with the same feeling. To narrow it down, these are the PRO's and CON's:

Best features:
- It's food!
- Beautiful spotless bungaloos
- Super friendly staff
- Amazing jungle setting
- extremely well kept
- Water Sports instructors: Diving, Surfing (suppossed to be the best in Colombia)
- Waterfalls and jungle walks
- whale watching (seasonal)

CON's... to be fair, none of them have to do with the hotel.
- Location... if you want to visit Chocó (State), everything's far and off the beaten track
- transportation from the town is in a traditional boat.like any other area hotel (but very safe!)

I surely recommend you this place... just too good and by far, THE BEST OPTION.

Room Tip: Literally, any!
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  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Venice, Italy
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2011

We had an amazing time at El Cantil. Starting from the welcoming with delicious home made juices with the fruits around the place, following with the paradise position, clean and cozy bungalow and of couse...the food!
The staff was welcoming, funny and patience (even when we were so slow in our walks :) )
The food is the yummiest we had in the entire holiday in Colombia, in fact, after we went we show that some food guides of Colombia point at El Cantil as one of the best places to eat in the country...dont blame them!
The position is paradise! Beautiful beaches, amazing sunsets...all surronded by the beauty of nature.
Really, I reccomend it to everyone going to Colombia and of course, We will come back!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bogota, Colombia
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2010

The best place beach front, safe jungle in the back this intimate ecolodge is not for the poolside-coconut-with-little-umbrella seeker. this is both rest and health for your soul and the best food ever.
The ecological approach and the service is five stars, you just cant forget this people.
There is no downside, you can dive, surf, paddle, swim, jungle walk and between whales, dolphins, monkeys and cristal frogs contact the nature at its best.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about El Cantil Ecolodge

Address: Vereda Termales Piedra Piedra, Nuqui, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Choco Department > Nuqui
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 Specialty lodging in Nuqui
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Scuba Diving, whale watching, surfing, get away from at all, kayaking and other activities.Seven rooms with private bathrooms and in front of the ocean, inmersed in the Choco Jungle. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
El Cantil Ecolodge Hotel Nuqui
El Cantil Ecolodge Colombia/Nuqui

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