We chose Yachana because we wanted to learn more about the Amazon rainforest, its people, and its significance to our world and ecosystem. Yachana is unique among rainforest based lodges in that its mission is around education, sustainability, and eco-tourism. Yachana is a foundation and supports a vocational high school / boarding school for Amazonian youth. We found that other lodges focused on the animals and flora and bird-watching, all wonderful activities, but we wanted to learn about the people and the environment.
Let me start by saying that I hate the heat, the humidity, and bugs. The Amazon rainforest was the last of several destinations we visited in Peru and Ecuador, and I thought I would not enjoy it. Instead, Yachana became the highlight of our trip for me and my four kids (ages 17, 15, 13, and 8). We had the most incredible guide, Juan, who comes from the southern part of the Amazon rainforest, and whose experience and life story has been featured in the New York Times. It was such an honor to have him as our guide -- we all learned so much about the rainforest, about his culture, about the issues facing the Amazon rainforest and its people today. We also met Doug, an American, who founded the lodge and foundation. We were happy to be able to be a small part of this vision for the Amazon rainforest and the Yachana foundation.
The lodge itself is beautiful landscaped with lush gardens and is right on the Napo River, where we went tubing one day. It is also walking distance to a small town, where we went one day to watch a very competitive 3x3 volleyball match and then joined the whole town in the evening for a high school graduation dancing celebration. We hiked a lot through the primary forest and saw many interesting things -- plants, trees, animals, insects, frogs, bats, and a GIANT tarantula. The highlight for us was visiting a healer and participating in a cleansing ceremony and trying our hand at blow darts and spear throwing. That day, we came across tulcans and a giant wasp nest. All in a day's adventure!
Meals are served in the open air, thatch roofed dining hall overlooking the Napo River. The drunken parrot bar offered many memorable discussions. The workers at the lodge are also the high school students, or graduates of, and my kids made life long friends. You realize, teens around the world have so much in common......
The rooms are basic but very clean. Potable water is readily accessible. There is a small gift shop. Yachana was very reasonable -- once there I found we did not need to spend much as all meals and excursions were included. The only place to really spend money is in the gift shop and the bar, and you can settle via credit card. I even put the staff tips on my credit card.
Yachana does not have mosquitoes, but they do have sand flies. Rubber boats are supplied for jungle treks, so don't forget to bring long light weight socks to wear with them.
Overall, a memorable experience with lasting impressions. We learned so much.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- After 17 years of operating on the other side of the Napo River, we have built a new, stunningly beautiful Yachana Lodge within our 2,500-acre reserve. In our new location you will discover a hidden secret of the Amazon: a world class, award winning "Geotourism Lodge". There are 14 luxurious cabins built on a bluff overlooking the Napo River with spectacular views of the river and the Andes in the distance, surrounded by lush natural forests and beautiful gardens. All cabins have private bathrooms with hot water shower and large porches with hammocks. A major activity for our guests is our Lost Foods of the Amazon culinary program; visiting and harvesting on a local farm, then preparing your lunch and eating it in our beautiful, open dining area designed in the style of a typical Amazonian hut, with spectacular views of the Napo River. We also offer walks in the rainforest, incredible birding and other cultural activities. Yachana's accommodations and activities are targeted at the traveller who cares about sustaining and enhancing the geographical character of the Amazon - its rainforest environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well being of its residents. The Yachana Foundation for 23 years has created opportunities in ecotourism, education, conservation, income generation and health care throughout the Ecuadorian Amazon. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Cheap Tickets, Booking.com, Agoda and Priceline so you can book your Yachana Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Yachana Hotel Napo Province
- Yachana Lodge Ecuador/Napo