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“This place is wonderful.”
Review of Yachana Lodge

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Yachana Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 27, 2010

I can only say great things about Yachana Lodge.

The setting: in the rainforest with breathtaking views of the Napo River

The accommodation: My room was a very comfortable cabin with its own terrace complete with hammock overlooking the wonderful lush vegetation and exotic plants of Yachana’s grounds.

The food: deeelicioius. I had great food whilst taking in the wonderful views of the surrounding rainforest and river.

The staff: genuinely helpful and efficient. Really great people.

The activities: Our small group was assigned its own individual guide called Avel. Avel arranged plenty of varied activities for us during our stay. Trekking in the jungle, visiting a local market, spear throwing , visiting the college and students are some examples. All through our excursions Avel kept us smiling and interested with his wonderful humour and extensive knowledge. A brilliant guide.

Summary: I really felt at home here. The staff are welcoming and friendly – and it’s all very genuine. Thanks to the excursions we gained a great insight about the surrounding natural habitat and local community. And visiting the college whose students (from the local community) benefit from the profits made by Yachana was a great experience.

Moreover the team behind Yachana organized everything for our trip to Ecuador, including the second half of the trip to the Galapagos. Internal flights, transfers, hotels etc. All we had to do was get our return ticket to Ecuador and turn up.
I thoroughly recommend Yachana Lodge.

A very unique place offering a very enjoyable and memorable experience.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank PrincessMaria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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146 - 152 of 170 reviews

Reviewed April 20, 2010

I met a great variety of employees (Douglas (founder), Hugh, Lars, Paola, Emanuel, my fantastic guides Delfin & Juan, and several attentive folks whose names I missed) and all of them provided excellent, attentive service. Their cause - educating locals and travelers about the importance of the amazon jungle ecosystem - was always present but never pushy. Rather than getting in the way, their cause adds to your personal experience so you know your experience is contributing in a positive way.

Other lodges may be 'deeper' in the jungle, but Yachana has access to large pieces of primary (untouched) jungle that provide tourists like me the amazing, life-changing experience we hope to enjoy when we travel, plus it gives back to the local people of all tribes as a whole -- not just helping a single, local community - through education and opportunity.

Additionally, Yachana only hires locals as guides. I enjoyed a freelance guide (Delfin) and a guide who serves on the Yachana board (Juan) -- both of whom come from communities where they still use blowguns to hunt, run barefoot through the jungle, and many of the people have never seen a car in their lives. Authentic. Real. I definitely recommend spending time with Yachana Lodge! Great cause. Great experience. Great service.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled solo
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1  Thank zFunTraveling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2009

I travelled to Yachana Lodge on the Napo river from Quito. I would thoroughly recommend it as I had a varied and fascinating trip. The lodge is located on the Napo river, the largest tributary of the Amazon and is beautifully located. Sunsets are a photogrpahers dream and as soon as you arrive you are made to feel very welcome and part of a very special family.

The lodge is different because it is run by local people and is part of a foundation that has created conservation projects and learning for indigenous people. There is a high- school nearby that is run by the foundation where children from local Amazon tribes are tooled with the skills they will need back in their communities. The nature and wildlife trails are all guided with local guides.

Juan was our guide and until his late teens had lived in his community as a hunter. His tracking skills were amazing; he could see birds, primates and insects that only a trained hunter could see. He would call the birds and they would answer and appear. He speaks fluent English and Spanish so it was easy to understand everything about the fauna and flora.

The food is all grown organically on the lodge`s farm and the meals were excellent. We got to make our own lunch on one day with foods from the rainforest - a real experience.
The accommodation was clean and basic with en suite bathrooms. There were very few mosquitos but sand flies were a problem if you didn´t cover up. Service was impeccable - the staff couldn´t do enough for you and seemed genuinely delighted to have you to stay at the lodge.

A truly memorable experience and one that needs to be shared.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled solo
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1  Thank Flosterina2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2009

We stayed three nights at Yachana. Their location is beautiful (you take a three hour boat ride from Coca). The rooms are nice, but not over the top, the food was really good, We had a guide assigned to only family and he was great (Jose). The profits from the lodge run a high school for indigenous youth so they have a good thing going. Just a great Amazon experience.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
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Thank ixonia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2008

A wonderful experience. On the canoe ride to the lodge a large snake popped its head up out of the water right next to me! Luckily, I love reptiles so I was delighted. Of course noo ne else saw it so they must have thought I was crazy. The rooms were very nice and I felt very safe with armed guards at my doorstep every night. The food was excellent, the fresh fruit, it was all very good for being in the middle of nowhere especially. Juan was our guide and was very informative. We saw birds, monkeys, and poisonous frogs. He took us intertubing down the river, so much fun. The whole experience was enchanting and unique.

Stayed: November 2005
1  Thank flrootsgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2008

Unlike many for-profit ecotourism sites, Yachana Lodge operates primarily as a funding source for a nearby high school where indigenous students receive technical training in animal husbandry, computers, microenterprise, and ecotourism. For me, this makes Yachana a special place. Not only did we (my wife and I) have a terrific rain forest experience, I also knew that we were helping to make a difference. As a plus, Yachana Lodge has been internationally recognized for their efforts to be ecologically friendly. The food was very good, the rooms were comfortable, the staff was very attentive, and educational and/or entertaining rainforest activities filled every day. Don't expect to see headhunters, jaguars, or giant alligators. The rain forest along the Napo River is about biodiversity--primarily plants and small animals(reptiles, spiders, birds, etc.)--and the people who live along or near its banks. It is an authentic, ecologically sound, and socially responsible experience.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank TrinityKentucky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2008

My family and I have just got back from a trip to Yachana Lodge and only have good things to say about the place. Do not go to Yachana expectign to see large animals or to be VERY deep into the Jungle, but for us it was perfect. The Lodge itself is very comfortable, not 5 star but then it doesnt profess to be. Everything is comfortable, loads of hot water, comfortable beds, very clean and very helpful staff. Abel, our guide was incredible and his knowledge of the local area was phenomenal.

The work that Yachana is doing in the community is fascinating and very comendable. All the profits go back into the community and we got a great insight into how a proper Eco Lodge should be run. Douglas, the founder, is still very active in the project and a true visionary.

I would recomend this Lodge to anyone wanting a memorable and inspiring trip into the Jungle. However, do not expect to see large animals.

Many thanks to all at Yachana, especially Abel and Douglas.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
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Thank Londonkane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yachana Lodge

Address: Community of Porto Rico, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Napo Province
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 62 Specialty Lodging in Napo Province
Price Range: $169 - $244 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Yachana Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 14
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 
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Also Known As:
Yachana Hotel Napo Province
Yachana Lodge Ecuador/Napo

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