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“Excellent Guides”

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La Selva Amazon Ecolodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Coquitlam, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Excellent Guides”
Reviewed January 23, 2014

Spent 3 nights here and would have liked to spend more.

Our guides Diana and Sergio were incredibly enthusiastic and really added to our enjoyment of the trip. As Diana likes to say "it is not a zoo" and the animals do not show up on schedule but we still managed to see 3 types of monkeys, pigmy marmosets, countless birds and more. When you thought there was nothing around Sergio would find a frog or insect which Diana would tell us all about and glowingly describe are "beautiful" - even the tarantulas Sergio coaxed out of their holes with a small stick.

It is the rain forest - so be prepared to be hot and very sweaty in the humidity. One day the rains came and it mostly poured - the lake rose 4 feet overnight. But Diana took us for quick expeditions between the downpours. Sergio took us up a very narrow stream in the canoe that is only navigable (barely) right after a heavy rain. We literally had to duck and lean side to side to avoid the branches, and we only got the canoe stuck twice!. And there was Yoga in the main building during the heaviest rain.

Food and room were outstanding and very luxurious, but the main draw for me is the jungle. When you go spend some time looking at all the different layers of vegetation and the incredible variety of plants and trees in the very dense jungle.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Birdsview, Washington
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2014

We can no longer recommend La Selva to other nature-loving ecotourists.

On the positive side: the setting is spectacular, the observation tower is splendid, birding by canoe is idyllic, the food was great, and the native guides are excellent.

However, the renovations and changes that have taken place since we were there in 2009 are more geared to spa-seekers and business retreats than to people interested in a true jungle experience.

Why we say that: A bunch of people from some corporation was holding a retreat in the main lodge for the first 24 hrs we were there, with very loud speakers blasting movies, music videos, powerpoint presentations, and other talks across the compound and the lake throughout the day, during lunch and dinner, and on until 11 PM. Although the manager and nature guide had emphasized quiet enjoyment of the sounds of the jungle in their introductory remarks to us, the managers seemed to have no control over the loud group (or any real desire to quiet them), despite our complaining several times. I even got up from the dinner table to go upstairs to ask the noisy group to stop using a loud microphone, only to find that it was the manager himself using the microphone instead of speaking quietly to the group. He was very pissed off at my interruption and did not apologize then or later. The same group carried on in drunken revelry until after 1 AM, when they stumbled noisily into their cabins. Not a pleasant experience for all the other visitors trying to sleep or listen to the wonderful night sounds. We were delighted when the noisy group departed, but the next night we were awakened at 10 PM by the screeching of a loud motor. It was a staff member running a gasoline-powered floor polisher on the lodge floors. It was VERY loud. My husband even got out of bed and went to complain, only to be blocked entry to the lodge by a night security guard who had no sympathy.

Another bad sign of the changed focus of the lodge was the paucity of nature books on hand for visitors to browse!

Also, the renovations to the lodge and cabins are more fitting for a luxury spa in a city. Much of the cozy, rustic feel that we found so charming in 2009 has been lost.

Although our group of four still had a wonderful time there, La Selva is no longer a prime destination for eco-tourists in our opinion.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank Barb T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katie B B, Public Relations Manager at La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, responded to this review, January 24, 2014
On behalf of La Selva Amazon Eco-lodge & Spa, we are very sorry to hear that you were disappointed in your stay.

We have indeed made many improvements to our lodge, including our accommodations with only the very best intentions of further satisfying our guests. These changes included entire refurbishments of the accommodations while keeping the idea of inviting and integrating the surrounding jungle sounds and sensations into the accommodations, but without bringing the jungle itself into your room.

The changes we have made at La Selva have been no more geared to business gatherings or spa-seekers than they are to everyday people interested in wildlife deep in the jungle.
Actually, it is not our custom to house large corporate groups or organizations. It is very rare to have these types of groups because La Selva was not created with that vision and neither do we target those types of markets. Our purpose is to provide an Ecolodge in a relaxing atmosphere while delivering excellent opportunities to experience the Ecuadorian Amazon.

We would like to apologize if our nighttime Security Guard seemed to lack understanding; they are always polite and friendly but must be strict when it comes to the safety of staff and guests. Nevertheless, please understand that safety is our number one priority at La Selva.

At La Selva Jungle Lodge, we do not operate any gasoline powered equipment anywhere on the premises due to ecological standards. Additionally, our staff does not have permission to operate equipment or clean past strict daylight hours in order to prevent unwanted clamor that can take away from the wonderful night sounds or disturb guests during their free time. We express great regret to know that you were disturbed at such a late hour.

Also, the latest we allow our bar open is until 10PM. After 10PM, our bar manager will politely let guests know that the bar is closing and if further assistance is needed. We apologize for any inconveniences and we can be sure that this will not be a situation that will happen again anytime in the future.

Regarding the availability of books, guests are always more than welcome to borrow from our growing collection.

We hope that you accept our most sincere apologies regarding the situations you experienced at La Selva Lodge. We do everything to continuously improve our services and your feedback is highly appreciated.

Sincerely,
La Selva Amazon Ecolodge & Spa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hinsdale, Illinois
Level 4 Contributor
47 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2014 via mobile

After some unfortunate miscommunications during the booking process, I was a little concerned about choosing La Selva. This is a first class operation and we can recommend them without any hesitation. The lodge us beautiful! We had room number 2, right off the reception area. At first, I was dismayed by the location. However, there was no issue with noise from the reception area, and the view of the lagoon from our terrace was perfect. The food was over the top. We had no idea the quality and presentation would be so good. We originally wanted a private guide, but we are so glad that didn't work out. The group we were with were truly delightful and made for some fun times together. Paul and Teo were true professionals. We couldn't have been happier with their services. My only recommendation is that groups be limited to six people.

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank LauraGrace1126
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2014 via mobile

We did a three night stay. Really enjoyed the first day visiting the parrot clay lick and the village family. Andres was our guide and he was great. Unfortunately, I missed a step and fell. They don't have any type of medical assistance so I didn't know how badly I had hurt my foot. They were very helpful in getting me to the boats so I could at least enjoy those trips. The hikes sounded great and my husband really enjoyed them. He was taken on an individual night walk looking for owls. Good food and comfortable accommodations. Beautiful setting on the lake. A short 15 minute walk from the Napo river to the stream that leads to the lake and the lodge.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Linda B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maseno, Kenya
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2014 via mobile

This is a beautiful refuge on a private lagoon in the Ecuadorian amazon. The lodge itself is breathtakingly beautiful as it is nested on a serene lagoon a short hike from the Napo river. Getting to the lodge is an adventure in itself; visitors arrive in Coca via plane, take a short taxi, a two hour boat ride, a short hike, then travel via canoe across a lagoon to La Selva Lodge. The lodge is peaceful as it overlooks the lagoon, the staff members are fantastic, and we enjoyed all of our daily activities. Each day visitors can choose from a variety of activities depending on their interests; ours including night hikes, bird watching, canoe rides to look for monkeys, visiting the lodge's butterfly farm, seeing parrots at the clay licks, and fishing for piranhas. All of these activities were great especially because of our two fantastic guides, Patti the Naturalist and Enrique our local guide. They were both so knowledgeable, friendly, and professional that it truly made our visit! In addition, the lodge provides extra activities that visitors may elect to do in their downtime such as yoga and massages ( both were great). One of the highlights of the lodge is the phenomenal food. Each lunch and dinner is a three or four course meal that is some of the best food I have ever eaten. Some of the meals included traditional Ecuadorian meals, gourmet salads, fresh seafood, and beautifully crafted desserts.
The rooms are beautiful, clean, spacious and relaxing. Each room has amenities such as hammocks, hot tubs, and a private patio. Truly a paradise within the Amazon. Also, the lodge employs 70% of its staff from local communities and all of the staff were phenomenal. They were helpful, friendly, and made sure that we enjoyed our stay. It was truly a pleasure staying at La Selva and I hope to return in the future. I wholeheartedly recommend La Selva lodge to anyone thinking about visiting Ecuador's Amazon!

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank worldwanderer87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2014

From the beginning to the end, this was an amazing trip! We went with our 3 children (aged 6, 8, 10) in August. Eduardo Vela from Columbus Travel helped us with the booking and was SUPERB- he answered a million questions I sent him, always extremely patiently. He even helped us arrange rain boots in our kids' sizes and ponchos for all!
The lodge itself is gorgeous- a gem on a black-water lake that we swam in (with piranhas that we later fished!). The rooms are very luxurious and the food is gourmet (and we are foodies! how they can do that in the middle of the jungle is a mystery). Our guide, Edwin, was very knowledgeable and patient with the kids. Our local guide, Dario, was a favorite with them too. We had 2 guides just for our family! The trip to the clay lick and local village was fun. We saw a lot of animals, birds, insects and arachnids and lots and lots of flora! Boy, are the rain boots they provide an absolute MUST! we were (happily) covered in mud :)
oh yes, and we can't forget the delicious juices brought to your room after the walk… :)
THANK YOU LA SELVA!!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank afroditi18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tampa, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2014

This place is great. Very comfortable rooms and common area, great meals. But steps away from experiencing the real thing. The tour guides were great as well as all the staff. The proximity and feel of the rainforest can't be beat. Getting here is part of the experience and fun!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank shan p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Selva Amazon Ecolodge

Property: La Selva Amazon Ecolodge
Address: | Yasuní Biosphere Reserve, Yasuni National Park 170143, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Yasuni National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Yasuni National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — La Selva Amazon Ecolodge 4*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Selva Amazon Ecolodge offers wildlife tours, special birdwatching programs, honeymoon trips and family excursions, all in harmony with the rainforest around you. At La Selva, guests are given the opportunity to explore intricate trail systems led by both a local Native Guides and a bilingual Naturalist Guides divided into small groups in order to maximize overall experiences. La Selva’s guides are the key to fulfilling and captivating outings because they already know the area well by seeing, and hearing things guests cannot. They are passionate about the jungle and their years of experience make all the difference between an acceptable tour and an astounding tour in the Amazon. Native guides are from the local communities and behold an awesome amount of ancestral knowledge about the Amazon. The Naturalist Guides that lead guests through the Amazon are bilingual and have studied and trained for many years in order to become a Naturalist and National Park certified guide. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Selva Jungle Hotel Yasuni National Park
La Selva Amazon Ecolodge Ecuador/Yasuni National Park

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