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“A Wonderful Experience”
Review of Huaorani Ecolodge

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Huaorani Ecolodge
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A Wonderful Experience”
Reviewed June 11, 2011

My trip to the Huaorani Ecolodge was back in the summer of 2008, and it was the highlight of my time in Ecuador.

Prior to our trip, my partner and I arranged everything online. Our pick up from our hotel in Quito was right on time, and we spent the drive getting to know our guide and learning more about Ecuador.

Due to weather conditions we were unable to fly into the Huaorani community at the scheduled time. Luckily, Jascivan was traveling with us and he arranged for a days worth of activities in Shell and the surrounding area. We met with some Huaorani women who had set up a store to sell their handicrafts. We took a guided tour of a small area of rainforest that had been nursed back to health by local volunteers. Jascivan also arranged for us the spend the night in a lovely hotel.

The next day we were able to take our flight! After landing we met and talked with some members of the Huaorani community, using no less than two interpreters (neither my partner nor I speak a whole lot of Spanish, much less the Huaorani language!). Our hike through the forest to the lodge was fantastic. Tropic provided us with much needed Wellies, we saw an incredible variety of plant and insect species and our guides were informative.

The lodge itself was great. There are no generators, so absolutely zero noise pollution. Coming from Brooklyn, it was great to spend my nights listening to a symphony of frogs, instead of car alarms :) The cabins are private and comfortable, and the hammock on our porch was a great place to sit at night. During the day we had the chance to do more hikes, attempt to climb a tree the Huaorani way (and I mean attempt- I failed miserably, but through no fault of our guides), and see the river on a handmade canoe. Plus some great food thrown in!

If you're considering a rain forest excursion/community stay during your time in Ecuador, I highly recommend going through Tropic. My partner and I had a very memorable experience with the Huaorani and our guides (and accommodations) through Tropic were top-notch.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
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2 Thank emmyanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
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English first
Lancaster, England
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2011

Two of us and 12 year old son had a great stay at the lodge. We stayed 3 nights and wished it were longer. This is a very informal relaxed place to come. The Huaorani were very welcoming and appreciative that we had come to support their venture. We rather felt they were doing us a favour! Meeting one of the older generation was fascinating - she was the centre of attention and held court with us. To glimpse a way of life through her that has only recently changed was exciting. Flying into the deep jungle, landing on the grass airstrip and being canoed down the river is just wildly exciting. I would go again in an instant.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
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5 Thank CLEMandOBs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 27, 2011

It has been over 1 1/2 years since 9 of us went for our stay at the Huaorani Ecolodge and learned and experience the Huaorani culture, lifestyle, and heritage Our group had a wonderful time. A walks in the Rain Forest brought us a better understanding of the Huaorani way of life. Many of us tried throwing spears, climbing trees, and other ways of life in the Rain Forest and our Huaorani guides laughed at us at how inapt we were and probably would not survive there long. In our exchange of personal stories, one of our group was black and that was the first time they had seen a black person and wanted to touch him. Another of our group at twin daughters and this was new to them.

All aspects of the trip were great from the bus ride from Quito to Shell to the plane ride from Shell into the rain forest. The canoe and hiking and of course at the Ecolodge and the food.

Congratulations to Tropic and all that made this trip so memorable. Woody Widrow

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank woodywidrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, BC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 23, 2011

This is a truly special place ... the forest walks and natural environment are fascinating, but it is the visits with the local people that will linger in my memory forever. We visited a total of three local villages during our time at Huaorani Ecolodge and encountered, quite possibly, the most generous and welcoming people we have ever met. It didn’t matter that we often needed two translators to communicate or that many of the Huaorani perceive Canada simply as “a very cold place that takes more than 60 days to walk to.” We tell them about snow and they tell us about the forest and the pressures impacting their lifestyle. We laugh, sing, dance, and tell stories.

Other reviews have touched on many of the things I would like to say ... the sounds of the jungle, the comfort of the lodge, learning to shoot a blowgun, and meeting the Huaorani leader Moi. All of it was outstanding. We recently sent friends and they had the same experience. I can't say enough about the impact this trip had on us. Go now!!!

Room Tip: We liked our cabin farthest from the dining room.
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  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank CdnTraveller24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Otavalo, Ecuador
Level Contributor
130 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2011

I would like to add my voices in agreement with the excellent reviews below. I feel we could have written them almost word for word. I am the owner of an eco-lodge here in Ecuador and have also been to various lodges and projects in the rainforest and the Huaorani lodge competes with the best of them and exceeds most of them in the cultural aspect. The program is well- designed to explore important aspects of traditional Huaorani life with hands-on activities and social interaction. The Huaorani are very hospitable and seem to appreciate visitors. I suggest reading Savages before going for a sense of the courageous struggle of the Huao people against oil company exploitation.
The Huao lodge is well-designed and appropriately rustic and intimate, and so may not have some of the amenities of other lodges (ie a bar, a shop) but for us, that was perfect. The sounds of the forest were amazing from our cottage near the river.
I should also add that what sounds like a long day's travel to arrive there is actually a lovely trip through the avenue of the volcanoes, and then a small plane ride over the rainforest which is nothing short of spectacular. The trip back by canoe is also a lovely adventure.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank pachamamacita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Level Contributor
37 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed November 3, 2010

Our experience at the Huaorani was incredible. From the moment we set foot on our 5 seater cessna that would take us deep into the Amazon rainforest. This ecolodge is so remote, it's only accessible by plane. We were greeted by the local community who took us by canoe to our separate lodges and showed us the group hammock house and lodge where we would eat dinner the next 4 nights. During our time at the ecolodge we experienced guided hikes through the rainforest (including night hikes!), enjoying all it's sights and sounds. We learned how to weave large leaves into baskets, we got a chance to practice shooting blow guns and spear throwing, and we were able to swing on vines! Each day we would visit nearby communites and talk and dance with the people and buy/trade for the handmade items (my husband brought home a 12 foot hand carved spear!) Near the end of our stay, we spent a day kayaking down stream to our campsite they had set up and we enjoyed swimming in the river and hearing the Huaroni's stories around the campfire. The morning before we left we had a strenous hike that included alot of uphill climbing with mud and repelling down to get to a waterfall but it was all worth all the effort to be able to swim at the waterfall. The Huaorani people are so warm and friendly and the eco lodge though simple is an oasis in the jungle. We enjoyed falling asleep to the rainforest sounds each night. I would definitley recommend this to anyone looking to getaway for a real adventure.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jessica J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helena, Montana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2010

I have traveled in the Amazon regions of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador on multiple occasions, and this lodge stands out as a unique and wonderful cultural experience. The area is remote and beautiful, and you feel that you are truly deep in the heart of the forest. But what makes it really special is the Huaorani people. It is rare to get to see inside an indigenous culture still living as they have (almost) for eons. The Huaorani were so proud and happy to share with us, it was remarkable, and left quite an impression on me. I highly recommend reading Joe Kane's "Savages" before going. I had just finished it before my trip and I was thrilled to be met at the airstrip on arrival by none other than Moi, the lead character (hero) in the book. We met Moi's family, and he told us Huao origin stories, and gave us lots of information about their beliefs.

I loved trying the blowgun and was impressed with its accuracy. Even we novices could hit a melon from 50 yards away pretty easily. One of the best trips of my life.

  • Stayed November 2009
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Helpful?
1 Thank gregdetour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Huaorani Ecolodge

Property: Huaorani Ecolodge
Address: Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Yasuni National Park, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Yasuni National Park
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Yasuni National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay in an eco-lodge situated at the headwaters of the Amazon and run by the Huaorani, one of the most isolated ethnic groups on earth: first contacted by the outside world only 55 years ago, they speak a language that is unrelated to any other. You’ll learn to use a blowgun, hear their leader relate the tribe’s fight against oil exploration, and take a two-day meander down the Shiripuno River in kayaks, watching for tropical birds and monkeys.Highly Commended -The Virgin Holidays Responsible Travel Award 2009 and 2010Best Company in Innovation 2010 - LATATrips of a Lifetime award by Travel & Leisure 2010Best Sustainable Tourism Project 2008 and 2009 - LATABest Adventure Travel Companies on Earth by National Geographic 2009 ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Huaorani Ecolodge Hotel Yasuni National Park
Huaorani Ecolodge Ecuador/Yasuni National Park

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