We just returned from the most amazing trip to Napo Wildlife Center (Yasuni National Park) and the Galapagos. This trip was a dream come true for us - something we have talked about doing for a long time. Sullivan Peraino helped us to make this dream a reality. We had decided that it would make sense for us to stay closer to the airport, as we didn't have a lot of time between adventures! Sullivan suggested we stay at Rincon de Puembo and it was just lovely. The people were very accommodating when we returned from the jungle with a pile of dirty, not so pleasant smelling clothes, lol. They were able to make arrangements to have them laundered and returned to us the same evening as we were leaving for the Galapagos at 8:00 the next morning. Much appreciated!
Our time at Napo was absolutely incredible! Our guide, Celso, could not have been better. He was very knowledgeable and as excited to see things as we were. Our local guide, Ogor (I apologize for the spelling) was the most amazing spotter! His ability to spot wildlife at a great distance was uncanny! Celso went out of his way to ensure that all of our needs were met, and that we had the best time possible. He even arranged to have a birthday cake made for one of the people in our group! He also changed our room when a sewerage smell from the construction of the new restaurant and observation tower permeated our first room. He even helped us move our things to the new room, which also was right on the lake.
The wildlife was amazing - howler monkeys (my personal fave), spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, birds galore, caiman (he was 12-15 ft), and the clay licks were amazing! I could go on, but I need to say something about the Galapagos and the Cormorant catamaran we were on...
I don't know where to begin - the Galapagos and the Cormorant was as close to perfect as you can get! I would recommend the Cormorant to anyone looking for a16 passenger boat. It was absolutely beautiful, but what made it really stand out was the crew. They all went out of their way to cater to our every need. Daniel (bartender and jack of all trades) was amazing. I don't think he ever slept! If I just thought about a glass of ice water or cup of tea, he would suddenly appear with it! The crew helped everyone with their life jackets, helped us in and out of our wetsuits, in and out of the pangas, and wrapped warm towels around us when we returned from snorkeling trips! That is just an inkling of what they do.
Our guide, Morris, was great. He was extremely knowledgeable about all things Galapagos, the history, the evolution of the wildlife, the terrain both above and below water! You could hear the passion in his briefings and he got just as excited about seeing wildlife as we did! And boy, did we ever see wildlife!!! It's true when they say you have to step over the wildlife! Sea lions (babies and adults) are everywhere, and they don't care to move if you need to get by! Marine iguanas are the same color as the lava, so you need to be careful you don't step on them. We saw Blue Footed, Red and Nazca boobys all over! We saw a fantastic feeding frenzy of Blue Footed Boobys. We saw penguins many many times, and up to about 20 at a time! We snorkeled with sea lions, sea turtles, hammerhead sharks and tons of fish. Galapagos hawks, mockingbirds, doves, finches. Tortoises were beautiful and graceful. I need to stop now, though I could go on. Food on the Cormorant was exceptional and they took very good care of me and my diabete. I was most impressed. We had two vegetarians and I know that they were very happy as well.
All of our travel went smoothly (and there was a lot of it!). Sullivan was such a great help and resource. Our emails were always answered promptly and she was always full of information for us.
Suffice it to say we were extremely happy with the trip and will be talking about it for a long time to come!