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.
- 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