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“A very worthwhile trip!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Guacamayo Ecolodge

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Guacamayo Ecolodge
Certificate of Excellence
Calgary, Canada
1 review
“A very worthwhile trip!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2014

I have now made three trips to the Amazon in Ecuador (two to the Cuyabeno region and one near Misahualli) and this was probably the best of the three. We stayed for 5 days and activities included animal sightings, some short (1-2 hr) walks, swimming, a visit to a native village, bird watching and piranha fishing. As a summary, we had a great guide, saw tons of wildlife, ate amazing food, and enjoyed all the activities we participated in. Particularly given the reasonable cost, this was a fantastic trip!

Our primary guide's name was Nesir; he spoke English well and was very knowledgeable and passionate about the rainforest flora and fauna. He had a fantastic eye for finding wildlife and, when compared to findings described by residents of other, nearby, lodges, it seemed that our group had seen much more wildlife relative to those others. For a couple of the outings, we had a second guide whose English wasn't quite as good...although he seemed to be knowledgeable it was harder to understand him so felt we didn't get as much out of those particular outings.

As has been described in other reviews, the food at the lodge was excellent. They also accomodated my vegetarian family members with very tasty vegetarian options.

I have rated the rooms and cleanliness as average but only because this is rustic lodging not a 5 star hotel. Having said that, in my opinion, the rooms were as clean as they could be given the environment.

My favourite part of this trip was the visit to the native village. We practised using a blowdart (the kids loved that), watched and helped a local woman make yucca bread (right from pulling the yucca out of the ground!) and visited the shaman. Nesir did a fabulous job of explaining what was going on throughout the day and translating our questions to both the bread-maker and the shaman. Unfortunately, it sounded like the experience at the village really depended on the guide....we heard from some younger travellers who went the previous day, with a different guide, that they didn't enjoy the visit very much. One other interesting thing was that during the visit with the shaman, he performs healing on one attendee...and I was selected for it. I have had chronic back pain from an accident 14 years ago and after the session I noticed a significant improvement in the area of my back that he worked on. Given that I'm an engineer by trade, I'm perfectly willing to entertain that the "improvement" was (and still is) all in my mind, but I also question whether there is something to what they do...my back hasn't felt this good for as long as I can remember despite ongoing treatments through physio, chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage!

Overall, this lodge is highly recommended for others!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Sharon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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185 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
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English first
Dublin, Ireland
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2014

I spent four days at this lodge and can't recommend it enough. The cabins are your typical wooden structures with a private bathroom which I shared with two others. Our guides were brilliant (English and Spanish speaking) and were obviously really passionate about their jobs. I was pleasantly surprised by the food as I thought it would be pretty basic (being in the jungle!) but we got hearty breakfasts as well as two other really tasty three-course meals every day. Our group was small (only 5 the first day and then three more joined us); the days were perfectly planned with about two hours every afternoon for 'down time'; there's a comfy lounge area with hammocks and a sofa as well as a bird-watching tower on site - everything you could need! It's just a beautiful, calm, fascinating place to spend a few days. Also, there were very few mosquitos around this particular lodge - something to do with the lower ph of the water in the area. A major bonus!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank TravelAsh01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 18, 2014

We were a group of 5, and stayed for a 3-day, 2-night tour at Guacamayo. We all had a wonderful time, thanks in most part to our amazing guide, Naiser, who was extremely professional, knowledgeable, and could spot wildlife from what seemed like a hundred meters away. Part of our tour was a visit to an indigenous village, including a visit to the shaman. I was very skeptical - I had been on visits like this before and they always feel exploitative, like youre visiting a human zoo - but this visit did not feel at all exploitative, but rather like a collaborative experience of interacting with local people, learning about their way of life (we helped one of the ladies harvest yuca and make yuca bread with it) and engaging in dialogue with them. It was really unique and gave us a great insight into something we would have never seen before.

The lodge itself was good, especially considering its in the middle of the rainforest. The food was delicious.

I would point out however that a ¨3 day tour¨is actually 2 days, because on the third day you leave after breakfast. I think all of the tours are organized this way but just something to note.

Room Tip: I would point out that a ¨3 day tour¨is actually 2 days, because on the third day you leave after br...
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Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank julez9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2014

I booked the 5-day tour to the Cuyabeno reserve through Ximena at rainforestur agency in Baños, and they seem to have a contact with Guacamayo lodge here. Mind you, the lodge is very basic and do not expect any kind of luxuries here (C'mon! It's in the middle of the jungle! What do you expect?) You only have beds (with mosquito nets) and basic shower, but there is also an area with hammocks where you can spend your afternoon reading or sleeping while breathing the Amazonian air in the middle of the jungle.

But what really made up a great experience at the jungle for me was the guide, Wilmer, who took a great care of us during my stay there. The price includes all the tours and the meals (which were great given the location is very deep in the jungle), and the activities here ranges from the day and night walks in the jungle, a visit to the indigenous community, bird watching, and paddling around the lake. Thanks to Wilmer, who is very knowledgable and experienced (he worked in this area for 15 years!), we saw lots of animals there like the Amazonian dolphins, opossums, sloths, anacondas, a caiman alligator, frogs, spiders, and lots of birds and monkeys. He clearly has great eyes and it seems that he didn't really miss a thing. Another impression for Wilmer is that during a day walk in the jungle, he asked us if anyone has a GPS (I did) and asked me to see where we were, because he wanted to show that we were at the equator. I was like "The trees in the jungle look all the same. How does he know we are at the equator?" This really proves he is a very experienced and skilled jungle guide!

The meals here at the lodge were great as well (although I didn't really like beans, but the ones without beans were awesome!). You can also charge your devices here, as there are solar panels at the lodge. It was built with the conservation in mind - all the wastewater goes through proper treatment processes, and garbages are sorted. The guide, Wilmer, also told us lots of sad stories of how the petroleum industry is destroying the jungle and the communities around here.

All in all, it is a very interesting and fantastic experience at the same time. If you want to stay at this lodge, contact the rainforestur agency in either Baños or Quito. There are also some other agencies that sell Cuyabeno tours and contract with this lodge as well, for example, Imagine Ecuador, also with an office in Baños.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank KhunWasut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2014

We found Guacamayo Lodge through Juan at Imagine Ecuador. We stayed for 5 days and had an incredible time. Our guide, Gyro, was excellent - very professional and super knowledgeable. The lodge is really clean, simple and makes you feel like you're completely immersed in nature. The rooms are private with a mosquito net. The food is amazing! The chefs do an incredible job! There's also a chill out area with hammocks. We spent a lot of time on the boats looking for animals and we also went for walks in the jungle. We swam in a big, open river, which was just awesome. We saw anacondas, snakes, pink dolphins, aligators, lots of moneys, birds, tarantulas and other weird looking insects. We had an amazing week in the Amazon and are so happy we chose Guacamayo.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Gaby W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2014

There are a number of lodges in Cuyabeno Reserve, some located along the river and others around the lagoon, all offer a similiar package of 4 days, 3 nights with guide, accomodation and food so it was difficult to decide which lodge to choose. In the end we went for Guacamayo lodge for its reasonable price, riverside location and positive reviews.

I think we made a good choice - at the time of our visit in February the lagoon had completely dried up meaning that guests in the lodges around it had to walk quite a distance to get to the river for the canoe trips. Gucacamayo is located on the river so access was not a problem (although there were some points where the river water was very low and the canoe just about made it through). And the great thing about a visit in dry season is there are no mosquitos!!

The key to a good Amazon visit is the guide as you will spend most of the day either walking in the forest or drifting down the river in a motorized canoe with a guide. We were very lucky to have Wilmer who was enthusiastic, knowledgeable, attentative and good fun. I was ambivalent about the visit to an indigenous community - uncomfortable at the idea of peering at their way of life as if they were a human musuem - but in the end the visit was tactfully done. We met 1 community representative in a building on the edge of the community by the river who showed us how they make bread from mandioca root which was interesting.

The lodge itself is basic - built with local materials with bio-digister toilets and very little electricity - rooms that sleep 4 in bunkbeds with en suite bathroom with cold water shower , a communal dining area and another communal area with hammocks but both these communal spaces were a little bit dark - a brighter outdoor space with a view of the forest or the river would be a lot nicer. It does however have a bird watching tower which was a great place to watch wildlife but also to chill out with a spectacular view over the forest. The staff were attentive and friendly and the food was good but not amazing. For coffee lovers, be warned that, here as in most of Ecuador, instant coffee is what is on offer so bring your own portable cafetiere if you can´t survive an early morning without a strong coffee. Also, beer and coke are available for purchase but if youwant snacks for inbetween meals best bring them with you.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Azurduyvive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lancaster
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2014 via mobile

What a beautiful spot! The lodges we're perfect, food was great, lovely little hammock chill area and most of all our guide Jairo was fantastic. Very knowledgable and passionate about every single part of the tri. There was a lot of variety within the 4 days and I couldn't recommend this place any more. The only thing I would say is that have realistic expectations on animal sightings, obviously nothing is ever guaranteed although don't let the tour operators guarantee you will see anacondas, pink dolphins etc etc.

Stayed January 2014
Helpful?
Thank michelleparry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Guacamayo Ecolodge

Property: Guacamayo Ecolodge
Address: Near Siona Community | Along Rio Cuyabeno, Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Sucumbios Province > Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Guacamayo Eco Lodge Cuyabeno Reserve, Guacamayo Eco Lodge Cuyabeno Reservethe Best Lodging in Cuyabeno National Park. We have the best Cuyabeno Reserve Tours of 4 Days or 5 Days Jungle Expeditions but also the best Cuyabeno Bird Watching Tour, that consist of 6 Days in the middle of the Rainforest seeking the most beautiful birds of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Enjoy the Natures purest place of Ecuador with its incredible Fauna and Flora. Our Cuyabeno Tours and Jungle Expeditions are ideal for Families, Couples, Friends or a Company Outing ! Visit the Guacamayo Eco Lodge Cuyabeno Reserve and discover the magic of the Amazon Rainforest and its treasures ! ... more   less 
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