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“Beautiful rustic getaway in the Amazon” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Siona Lodge

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Siona Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Beautiful rustic getaway in the Amazon”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2012

If you have the right expectations of what visiting the Amazon is like (no electricity, hot & humid, lots of spiders and bugs, and no phones/internet) then the Siona Lodge is the place for you. Located on the edge of the beautiful Lago Grande it is the perfect location to get to see what an unique place the Amazon is. I recommend going during the rainy season (May to the beginning of October).
From Quito we flew to Lago Agrio and the driver from the lodge met us there. There was then a hot and windy two hour van ride to "el puente". Along the way the driver told us how just 20 years ago the virgin rain forest ran almost all the way to the airport and in just the last 3 years, since the road was paved the rate of development had sped up exponentially. At the bridge you get a quick lunch and the opportunity to pay obscene prices for anything you have forgotten, in our case sunscreen ($14). You then get on a motorized canoe and the adventure really begins. Our canoe driver had some of the most amazing boat driving skills I have ever seen. The river is winds back and forth and is filled with fallen trees and floating branches but somehow he weaved through it all.
When you get to the lodge you meet your guide, in our case Luis and he tells you about the lodge and the schedule. Luis is a wonderful guide who has led an amazing life. He is from the Napo region of Ecuador and served in the Ecuadorian Special Jungle forces. He most endearing quality is his infectious laugh that makes you smile every time you hear it. He speaks 5 languages and knows pretty much everything there is to know about the region.
It seems like all the lodges in the Cuyabeno have the same set schedule for your trip, catch and release piranha fishing, sunset on the lake, night hikes where you see some crazy critters, a trip to the local shaman and Puerto Bolivar (Siona community), a hike in the jungle, sunrise birdwatching, canoe trips around the lake, and caiman watching at night. As Luis says, this isn't a zoo, he can't guarantee what you will see, but you will see some amazing things! My husband and I saw countless birds, 3 species of monkeys, a sloth, giant fish, caimans, a baby giant river otter, butterflies, snakes, spiders, and frogs. We didn't get to see a pink dolphin because they had just migrated down river the week before due to the coming dry season.
The lodge itself is very nice.The cabins are rustic with 2 single beds in each with MUCH needed mosquito nets, not so much for the mosquitoes there aren't that many near the lodge but for all the other critters. All have private bathrooms.
The food is amazing, three course meals with fresh veggies and fruit. I am not sure how the kitchen staff was able to produce such amazing stuff with such a small kitchen.
At the end of 4 days you will leave, hot, sunburned, dirty and bug bitten, but completely amazed at the Amazon is and how fortunate you are to have been able to experience it.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jaime C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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208 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
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English first
State College
Level Contributor
41 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2012

We had a wonderful time in the lodge, highlight was the jamming session on the last night. Accommodations are intimate, a max of 24 people. Food is good and plentiful, personnel is exceptional. Guides speak English very well.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Tulip57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2012

We have just returned from a marvellous stay on Siona Lodge, in Cuyabeno.
Visiting the Amazon as a family is at the best something you consider twice, and with a five year old, something carefully planned. (Working at the hospital with worstcase scenarios for sure influenced on the planning, bringing Epinephrine shots and so on). All my fears was fruitless, the very special personell working at the lodge made the stay a memory we will cherish the rest of our lives.

The rooms was a bit gloomy and dark during daytime without any light. The lodge has an ecofriendly profile, and put on the electicity only after sunset. The rooms were clean, and beds, shelves and so on, were all made of natural materials. All the beds had mosquito nets, though I was suprised to see only a handfull of mosquitos during the stay. We were the only of the group, which used any medication against malaria. We actually stoppet using mosquitospray. 
Slept well in the beds, under a blanket of all the sounds of the jungle. Has to be experienced! We saw a coupple of spiders at the room wich was ok, and when we asked for help with things like remowing the cute frog on the toilet, Darwin and Xavier helped instantly and with a smile!

I kind of worried abort the food there. No need to. The portions was plentifull, and it all tasted great, thanks Miguel and Rachel! As we travelled, we talked with groups from the other lodges, several experienced upset stomac, none of such in our group. Though I know you could get it from swimming in the lake.

The tours from the lodge were really nice. The guide Luiz and the driver Marcello took us out to experience the Amazon from dawn till dark. Among the highlights was piranja fishing, wisiting the shaman of the Siona people, and making food with Gardenia, one of the Siona women. Cayman safari and jungle tour during the night was really good, and a bit scary. Espesially when Luiz demonstrated how to capture a tarentulla. The tarentulla was released safely afterwards. A little downside for us was the birdwatching. It was a bit too much of it with a five year old. But when we desided not to go along with the 3 hour jungle walk, they assisted us any way possible. Beef for piranja fishing, and we got to borrow their wooden canoe to go explore the lake on our own! We even came upclose with mating pink dolphins. 
 
It has to be mentioned that Luiz had close to supernatural talents to spot the wildlife. I wasn't even able to spot all the things he found, close up. And theese he saw while we traveled at speed. Once he even saw an Anaconda behind the tree in high speed!

One last important thing to mention is that Siona do smaller groups than most of the others. We were between 7-10  at the time we stayed there. That way we became a close group, and we got to know all the staff well. The staff were all Ecuadorian, mostly from the Siona people. We were met by big smiles, and had lovely evenings when they brought their instruments and sung for/with us! Our five year old was met equally warmly, the guys even came and got him so that he could see the cayman who wisited the lodge. 

This is a place I would recommend for everyone. Singels, groups, families, friends, coupples and so on. Did I mention that the Equatorline went through our bedroom!?

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank Kalmkruse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2012

After debating which tour option to book in Cuyabeno, my boyfriend and I did a 4 day, 3 night tour with Siona Lodge and we weren't disappointed.

It was all very well organised and great value for money ($280 all inc. except tips.) The accomadation itself is lovely, simple but clean and well staffed. Genuinely eco-friendly and very peaceful. The food is plentiful! Expect a full buffet breakfast and 2/3 course lunches and dinners plus snacks.

In our group of 9 people we were able to get a lot from our guide, Luis, and see so much including countless rare bird species, pink dolphins, caiman, many monkies, a boa and baby anaconda, tarantulas and other spiders including a scorpion-spider, plus much more!

Luis really made the experience special for us - he has incredible knowledge, speaks many languages and does everything possible to make your trip more interesting and informative. Besides his impeccable understanding of the local nature and ability to immerse you in it, he has a great relationship with the local village tribe and shaman you visit on the trip, making that aspect of it feel very natural and reassuring that you are benefiting the local comminuity as opposed to exploiting it.

From sunrise bird watching to sunset swimming, we loved every minute!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bridget M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2012

We spent four days at the Siona Lodge with my three children, ages 6,10, and 13. We all had an amazing time. Not only was it beautiful, but our guide Luis taught us so many incredible things about plants and wildlife. My kids were completely fascinated and still can't stop talking about it. You are never bored. I was worried about bringing the kids because nobody in prior reviews had mentioned whether it was a place for kids. But, my kids loved it. They caught piranhas, hiked through the jungle ( and they even were able to swing on a vine), swam in the water, saw a black caiman, as well as snakes, birds, pink dolphins, and insects galore. My son loved the night walk where he saw many venomous spiders. Overall, it was a trip that I think they will never forget.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Emmie2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2012

Our 4 day trip to the jungle was made extra special by the wonderfully attentative staff at this lodge. Louis is the most fantastic tour guide who knows the jungle like the back of his hand, and the kitchen and lodge staff are unobtrusive but incredibly helpful.

Electricity is available until 10pm and the beds are comfortable and adequately surrounded by mosquito nets. The bathrooms have running hot and cold water.

Food is amazing, torches can be provided but you are advised to take your own. You will also be provided with ponchos and Wellington boots and you will be grateful for these!

All in all an amazing experience!!

Room Tip: Ask for a room the other side of the pier to the lagoon as it appears to have fewer creepy crawlies...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pumpkin1_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2012

I stayed in Siona Lodge for 4 nights! The lodge was great, really clean,hot showers and great food! Our guide Luis was amazing! He grew up in the jungle so has a great knowledge of the area, he also speaks 5 languages. The wildlife was awesome we saw pink dolphins, anacondas, boas, caimens, sloths and lots of different bird species!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Alison B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Siona Lodge

Property: Siona Lodge
Address: Laguna Grande | Reserva Cuyabeno, Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Location: Ecuador > Sucumbios Province > Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Siona Lodge is an eco hotel located in Cuyabeno reserve. We have 11 double rooms with private bathroom, hot water, and balcony with lake view. 110v electrical outlets with solar energy, dining area, lounge and bar, freshly cooked meals using local ingredients. Our activities are jungle trekking, bird, caiman and pink dolphins watching, visits to siona community all guided with an English naturalist guide. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Siona Hotel Cuyabeno

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