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Reviewed September 27, 2012

We just returned from staying 3 days/nights at La Selva Lodge and must say that we absolutely loved it! True that is a little difficult to reach, but that adds to the sense of adventure. Even the 3 hours boat ride to get there is enjoyable. After all, it’s not every day that one gets to spend 3 hours feeling the breeze on your face while seeing the Amazon rainforest, the little villages on the banks of the river and the local people fishing on their tiny canoes.

As for the lodge itself, it is beautiful. We stayed on a Family Suite and it was definitely worth it. Besides being spacious and comfortable, it had the added bonus of having its floor entirely tiled. Apparently the smaller cabins don’t have that feature, which came in very handy as during the middle part of the day it gets VERY hot. Being able to lay down on that cool tile under the ceiling fan helped a lot. The cabin was spotless and the bathroom very well appointed.

The common areas are open and with stunning views of the lake. One very pleasant surprise was the quality of the meals. To our amazement, their French chef kept sending delicious gourmet dishes out of the kitchen (quite a lot of dishes too!). The natural juices were also great.

Last, but not least, our guide and his assistant (Rodrigo and Enrique) were fantastic. They are both native of the area and through them we got to experience the jungle in a fascinating way. Not only they would spot all kinds of birds and animals, Rodrigo would literally show us how people there make use of every tree and plant in the forest, not just for the obvious reasons of meals and medicine, but he also showed us leaves that are used as sandpaper, he made ropes out of certain leaves which he then used to climb up a palm tree. The list of things he did goes on and on. It was all so interesting and fun.

The activities are perfectly planned early in the morning and late in the afternoon and early evening. Although I read some reviews complaining about the down-time in the middle of the day, I think it was perfect, because that time of the day is just too hot to be active, so it’s great to take a nap after a great hearty lunch, read a little, or just enjoy the view of the lake.

Room Tip: Family suites have tiled floors
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank SunnyInn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We stayed three nights at this beautiful, recently renovated lodge on the shore of Garzacocha Lagoon, close to the Yasuni National Park, one of the places with highest biodiversity worldwide. We had a fantastic experience and we can only recommend this place. We were only 10 guests at the lodge. We were a family of 5 and therefore we got two guides (the professional guide plus the local guide) only for us! Both Marco and Raúl were excellent guides and we enjoyed every minute of the walks through the rainforest, the canoe navigation in the lagoon, the visit to the local family and to the parrot clay lick, the piranha fishing in the lagoon... The individual cabins are spacious, simple but very beautiful and comfortable. The food was really outstanding, amazing what the young French Chef does with local products. Service was also great. The place is as great as it looks like on their website. Only one warning: La Selva is an eco-lodge and the transportation along the Napo river is done in traditional motor boats, not as fast and comfortable as others more powerful and modern boats that you see around. You have to be prepared for the tedious 3 hours navigation back from the hotel to Coca. Anyway, a great place to get acquainted with the Amazonian rainforest and feel very well treated.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank JorgeRRR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2012

Ok, so you want something completely different! A couple of plane rides from Ecuador's capital, Quito, then a 3 hour motorised canoe trip down the Napa River - tributary of the Amazon - then a 30 min boardwalk trek, then a 30 min paddle canoe down a dense jungle river and into a large black piranha infested lake where a palm roofed hotel emerges at the other side. Welcome to La Selva, a totally authentic Amazon experience where you sign a disclaimer BEFORE you get there as this is the jungle where wild animals reside! Believe me, I hate spiders and snakes and I survived! It was one of the most incredible trips where you just need to trust your guide implicitlly and go with the gentle flow. Food was Michelin star quality and the Kitchwa indigenous people were a real joy to meet.

Room Tip: Ask for a refurbished lodge close to the main building.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank gmppr_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

This is the second time I have used Columbus Travel in Quito for my adventures within Ecuador. The first time was when I booked a tour to the Galapagos on the Galaxy Yacht in 2009. I loved that trip - the boat was top notch and the program and guide were outstanding. The food was also quite good.

In 2012, I returned to Ecuador on another business trip and looked up my agent Diego at Columbus. He was still there and he remembered me. This time, he helped me book a trip to the Amazon at the newly-renovated La Selva Lodge. I found five star accommodations in the middle of the rain forest. The food was truly outstanding - 5 course dinners every night and so many different types of juices to choose from! The room I was given was absolutely beautiful and immaculate. The bi-lingual guide was terrific and our indigenous guide was a delight. I would like to thank the entire staff of La Selva Lodge for a truly unforgettable trip.

I traveled with my partner to the Galapagos. He really loved the snorkeling This time, I travelled alone. I met great travel companions from around the world. Several were traveling with their kids, many of whom had been to the Galapagos. My impression is that if you and your family really want to see a LOT of wildlife up close, then the Galapagos is the better choice as the animals are right out in the open practically posing for pictures. The Amazon rain forest is a bit more subtle. If you like long walks in the forest and enjoy small creatures, lush vegetation, and the true sensation of getting away from it all, then La Selva is for you.

But why choose? Do both. For once-in-a-lifetime travel, Ecuador is the place to come and Columbus Travel is a marvelous agency to work with.

I am looking forward to my next visit to Ecuador - can't wait to see what new adventures await me.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank glenbrod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2012

La Selva lodge did not come up to expectations! If I had known that they were doing major renervations I would have changed my Lodge. Bang bang all day long and workmen every where. Staff not friendly, I think under new management. Food not great. When I eventually got a birding guide things improved. They did not read my forms to see that I was there for birding mainly. The area was not good for birding very difficult to see birds. The guide who was excellent had to use the call recorder to bring birds out into the open. Most times he was sucessful. A lot of time is wasted getting to the lodge. took 3 hours by motorised boat.Then a walk and then another canoe.When you get there it is now lunch time so nothing further is done until 4pm. A bit of a rip off.Same when you leave the lodge it is 6am. and a long journey in front of you !The river was in flood so it took 4+ hours to return.

Room Tip: Stay at another lodge
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank gillwood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaSelvaEcolodge, Public Relations Manager at La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, responded to this reviewResponded September 26, 2012

Dear Ms. Wood,

We are sorry to hear that the lodge did not live up to your expectations. We realize it is a bit of a journey to get to the lodge, but we can assure you that this is the only way to get the deep Amazon experience that most of our clients are looking for. As you know, we do have special birdwatching programs, but unfortunately our forms only indicate that you love nature and birds so we were unaware that you had wanted a specific birdwatching tour. We hope this issue was resolved in a timely manner, and we are glad that you did enjoy your guide after all. All the agencies we work with are aware of the renovations and as a result your reservations specialist should have advised you about the renovation of the lodge. The construction work was supposed to be done during the time the clients went on the guided tours and we are very sorry as this does not seem to be the case for you. We have now completed the renovation of the lodge and we can guarantee that there will be no more construction work while we have clients at the lodge.
Best Regards,
La Selva Amazon Ecolodge & Spa Staff

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