We had the 5 day stay at La Selva. This is a little misleading as that included the trip in and back out. Fair enough our first excursion was on the first evening but we did nothing but travel on the 5th day. I also had some issues with communication between myself and Columbus before we departed Australia. I found it very difficult to get answers to emails about the travel details and when I went onto the online chat to complain within the hour I was sent everything I needed. My agent said he had sent the emails but they must not have got through. This happened three times and yet when the emails about me paying were being sent there was no problem, hmmm. I also read another reviewer who had similar problems with the same agent.
That said everything went smoothly. We had a first night stay in Quito at Casona de la Rhonda included which was a nice hotel. We were picked up and taken to the airport, escorted through check in and met after our short 23 minute flight to Coca. Again we were met and escorted to the Napo River. From there it was all aboard a motorised boat for a two hour ride up the river, included was a cold beer, loved that, water and a box lunch.
Once we docked it was a short 10 minute walk through the jungle to a waiting canoe at the lagoon . I will point out we were only taking carry on luggage from Coca. Our main bags were taken for us.
Then we got our first look at the lagoon. First we were paddled through the creek which was eery but beautiful. Like a scene from Indiana Jones. This opened out into the lagoon which was stunning. A 10 minute paddle and we were at the lodge.
We were greeted with cold towels and a refreshing passionfruit juice and had a quick meeting with the manager explaining the lodge, dinner arrangements etc. then it was off to the rooms where our bags were waiting.
The rooms were great. They are huts but with tiled floors, nice beds with insect nets, a nice bathroom and toilet. The deck has a hammock and a outdoor bath for cooling dips. We thought they were great for an eco lodge, not 5 star but they are very comfortable.
The lodge is great to. Wifi is available at the main lodge and is average quality but good enough to load photos, check emails etc. The drinks are wonderful but do cost, bar tab settled at the end. The cocktails with local fruits were sublime. The food was always decent and sometimes superb. Breakfasts were great as they were small selection buffets with a cook to order egg station. Lunches were sometimes 3 course set menus and sometime small buffet. One day we had an awesome barbecue, probably the best meal of the trip. Dinners were 3 course set meals. The food was not gourmet as some have made out, but it was good. My only complaint is that the servings were small. After a days hiking through the jungle you want something substantial. My 16 year daughter thought they were too small. They could maybe offer fillers like rice, pasta or bread on the tables.
Our guide Paul was first class. Incredibly intelligent man who not only knew about the amazon but also the rest of the world. This allowed him to relate what he was showing us back to what we were familiar with. This assisted our understanding greatly. He was attentive, patient but authoritative when needed. When you are in the jungle you want to feel your guide is in control. He also treated the native guides very well and they seemed to respect him. He is a real asset to the lodge.
With Paul and our native guides eagle eyes we saw 4 species of monkeys including the ultra shy marmosets, bats, dozens of birds including toucans and macaws, numerous frogs, millipedes, insects, lizards, butterflies, plants, caught piranha, saw a caiman and were even stalked by an arapaima, a 3 metre fresh water fish. We visited a local community and ate samples of their food, drank their chichha and learnt about their lives.
All in all it was a fabulous experience at La Selva. The staff are wonderful, the lake beautiful and the jungle enthralling. I give this eco lodge my highest recommendation. Just remember its not a resort, although you can get massages. Its an eco lodge, its has some discomforts like no air conditioning, you have to walk through humid jungles, sit on hard seats in canoes and sleep to the sounds of the amazon and awake early.
If you are looking for luxury look elsewhere, if you are looking for good comfort, great service, good food and an experience of a lifetime you don't mind working a little bit for, La Selva is for you. We loved it.
- 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