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“Missed opportunity”
Review of Bataburo Lodge

Bataburo Lodge
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Bataburo Lodge
Ranked #79 of 116 Hotels in Quito
Reviewed November 15, 2011

THE GOOD:
Bataburo's location is great - far away from human centers and the sky (on the only clear night) was stunning. The area is quite nice with a "private" lake and some very interesting wildlife (we saw hoatzin, tapir, caiman, tarantulas, parrots, monkeys, frogs, insects, lots of nocturnal creatures). The guide was knowledgeable and tried to be helpful.

The original entertainment included piranha fishing (and then eating your catch), eating lime ants and curare, drinking water from liana, shooting blow pipe etc.

THE BAD:
It's very hot and humid, lots of mosquitoes, my wife thought she saw a rat (it was some nocturnal relative - see attached image) and on her way trampled a tarantula. You have to sleep inside a net and take malaria pills - but you probably know all that being on your way to jungle.
Naturally, the rooms are very basic with just a bed.
The "shower" is a rusty pipe with tepid yellow water.
The jungle in general was less impressive/beautiful than cloud forest.
We were almost late for our flight back as the bus that was supposed to pick us up was late. Luckily, Julio found us a car that took us towards the bus which probably saved us an hour (we were among the last ones to board the plane anyway).

THE UGLY:
We chose Bataburo as it was one of the only places with power supply (however limited) in the area. It wasn't cheap, but we need power as we have a ton of electronic devices (about 10) - our 3 cameras and their backup disks being the most important ones with PDA being a close second. After we flew from Quito to Coca, then spent 3 hours on a very rough road and then another 3 hours in a motorized canoe we were told that the generator was broken for the last couple of weeks and it was closer to the nature this way. Frankly, it was a huge disappointment - you get no cold drinks (and it's hot there!), no light after dark (except candles) so you can't read a book, no chance to charge your devices like cameras (our main hobby is photography and we came there to take pictures), the food selection was limited etc.
We were also arriving to Bataburo in time for our 1st anniversary and it was a huge disappointment for us to be stuck there for 5 days w/o power supply.

If not for the great guide - Julio - I'd rate the experience even lower.
I must say that when we voiced our disappointment, we were offered to taken back - but the decision to make this offer took too long, so we could only leave on the next day.
We decided to stay because:
- We weren't sure the flight back would be available on that day
- The prospect of staying even one night in Coca didn't appeal to us (the place is a dump)
- We already paid for our return flights five days later
- We would totally waste at least 2 days on a pointless travel back and forth

As a side note, our attempt to get part of the $1K we paid (a lot of money by local standards) was in vain as we mentioned the fact that the guide was exceptional in our survey.

BOTTOM LINE:
If you know where you're going and only expect to enjoy the jungle - go for it.
But if something goes wrong... well... you can only relax and try to enjoy it - which we did :-)

Room Tip: Private cabin be a lakeside has a better location and ensuite.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank JeanSpector
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 8, 2011

Have been to this Lodge twice and taken a week trip down river twice so that says it all. We ar a couple 60s/70s so its quite hard work but never impossible. The Last time 2010 there was only the two of us with Guide Hector Vargas and it was spectacular. We even ended up in the middle of a pig hunt with a herd of peccaries charging past.
Camping out is the only way to enjoy the peace and noise of this incredible location. We saw a fer de lance snake and an anaconda but the great joys are the myriads of insects and strange plants that coil and twine around everything. The rainforrest is not for those who want to see wild animals, you will hear them and see the tracks but they are too secretive to be seen, the only monkeys we saw were in the trees in Coca.
One caveat. We first visited about six years ago and Coca was nothing but a few huts, a dirt road and El Auca Hotel. Last year it was a sizeable town and the oil road to the Bridge was well populated. The village at Bameno down river was also a lot bigger although Kem Peri himself was still hunting. I suspect in another five years this will no longer be a wild paradise. Go now, we would certainly go again, and take the longer trip. Kempery were excellent in organising this.
Do not however go on the Yacht Angelique in Galapogas, also Kempery that was not as good.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sionachmise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 15, 2010

Amazing place from beginning to end. The staff was very friendly. The food was excellent. Fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, meat. The tour guide was just fantastic. He was informative, patient, and really went out of his way to make it an experience of a lifetime. The rooms were cleaned daily and were the perfect balance between modern and rustic jungle. An excellent value for your money!

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled solo
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Thank urbantask
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2010

My boyfriend and I booked a trip to Bataburo Lodge on the Tiguino River through Kemperey Tours in Quito. Kempery themselves were incredibly helpful (we were solely in contact with Miguel) answering all the questions we had regarding transfers, type of activities, dietary requirements, etc.

We opted for the 4 day, 3 night trip, but be aware, as with all jungle tours, this does mean 2 days actually in the jungle, with the 1st and 4th days spent travelling. This is especially true of Bataburo, as it is in complete isolation on the edge of primary rainforest in the Huaorani territory, We took a plane to Coca, although it is possible to take a 10 hour bus from Quito instead, then were picked up in a smart 4x4 truck for a 2 hour journey to the river. After a lovely packed lunch, we then boarded a large motorized canoe, and had a further journey of approximately 4 hours down the Tiguino river - that´s how isolated it is! The journey can be completed in 2 hours in the winter season, as the river is higher.

Bataburo appears in front of you like a mirage after travelling down the river, and it is a beautiful place to stay. It is right on the edge of the primary rainforest, so the sounds of the jungle are all around you. The accomodation is rustic, in a wooden constructed lodge, but very clean and comfortable. We had been staying in mid-range hostels on our trip until then, and this was luxury! Mosquito nets are included, although there weren´t any mosquitos during our stay,

Bathrooms are shared and with cold water, but this is welcome after the stifling heat of the jungle! Meals are amazing - Miguel the cook is very talented! 3 3-course meals a day, made using a mix of ingredients from the jungle and from Coca. Fruit and biscuits are produced as snacks for you while on excursions, and purified water is free and available from the bar area.

The first day comprised a 4-5 hour hike in the jungle, where we saw squirrel monkeys, wooley monkeys, poisonous frogs, countless numbers of birds, many specious of tree native to the Amazon and plants used for jungle medicine. Livio, our guide, was incredibly knowledagble about all of these things, and patiently listened to our questions. Back to the lodge for lunch, and then the afternoon was spent piranha fishing in the Tiguino River, with some success!

The second day included a 2-hour 6am hike, the breakfast, then a further hike into the forest where we were taught typical Huaorani survival techniques, such as how to trap animals, make a variety of items including bags and hats (!) and shown how to make the poison that the tribe use to kill their prey. There was lots of explanation about medicinal plants and Shaman rituals, and we saw many birds and insects plus a huge turtle. The afternoon was spent trying traditional Huaorani crafts and having a competition on the blow-pipe - although without the poison! An hour´s night hike before dinner provided many opportunities to see amazing insects and reptiles up close. Tarantulas, snakes, frogs, toads and many insects made this one of the most exciting hikes.

The staff are very hospitable and make the stay very pleasant. Although basic enough, the lodge is beautiful and a very comfortable place to stay. Falling asleep and waking up with the sounds of the jungle around you is a very unique experience. Livio our guide is second to none, and really made the stay special for us. His knowledge is amazing and he obviously has a very deep respect for the jungle, which he instills in the people staying at the lodge.

We hope to visit again, and next time for longer!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank gemmalhurley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bataburo Lodge

Address: Ramirez Davalos 117 y Amazonas Edificio Turis Mundial 1st floor, Quito 170150, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Pichincha Province > Quito
Hotel Style:
Ranked #79 of 116 Hotels in Quito
Price Range: $235 - $315 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)

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