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“Disappointed” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge

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Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
21 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2013

We chose Napo lodge because we wanted to stay somewhere luxurious in the jungle - the reality of this place just does not match the price tag. The room was worn and tired - big holes in the mosquito nets, holes in the window nets (no glass, just nets), curtains which are flimsy, see through and not even large enough to cover the window. This was actually a real problem for us given the location of the hut we were given whereby it wasright on the route to the dining area/bar so we had no privacy as lots of people were passing by. The room doesn't have a wardrobe, only a few hooks.

The setting on the lake is undeniably beautiful - try to get one of the rooms closer to the lake to get some peace and quiet away from the main path to the communal area.

The communal areas are fine and the food was nice; nothing to rave about but there was some limited choice each meal, and we never went hungry. We knew before we went that you had meals at a table with your group and your two guides (naturalist and local guide). After a few meals this became very hard work and conversation became quite awkward. It would have been nice to have a choice of where to sit and some smaller tables on offer. Perhaps just evening meals, but not breakfast and lunch, could be taken like this to find out about the next days activities?

In terms of the activities - firstly I should say that our guides were excellent (Miguel and our local guide David). Both were extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and we felt in safe hands with them. However, despite being asked when we arrived what our interests were and there being
a roughly 50/50 split in our group of people who had a bias towards bird v's mammals, our interests were largely ignored. This is definitely the place to come if you are an avid bird spotter and were aware of that before we came. However, it did make me really angry when on one rare occasion when we actually managed to spot a monkey - we only paused for a few seconds before racing off to try and find another bird that had been spotted downstream. Even when we went caimen spotting (which for us was going to be one of the highlights), the flashlight was used to look for birds more than it was caimens, so we hardly saw any caimen.

The other things to be aware of is that you have no choice over activities and a lot of them are based in a canoe rather than walking which surprised me. The first few canoe trips were amazing (half the fun is getting to the lodge!), but we had to keep going up and down the same creek because of water levels being low on another - it did get a bit repetitive. I asked if we could do some more walks but apparently there are only a few trails; a short one which we did walk to get to the tree canopy but the others apparently we didn't have time for or weren't accessible enough. One of the activities was visiting their cultural centre; we did not enjoy this - despite the good intentions it felt very forced and awkward, and given the choice it is not something we would have wanted to participate in. In general our whole group felt by the end of our stay that we were fed up of hearing about the sustainable side of the lodge and how it is run by locals and supports the local community - don't get me wrong, I genuinely agree this is fantastic, it just felt quite rammed down our throats.

The tree canopy tower was also rather disappointing - it's just a very small platform, not with walkways as I had incorrectly imagined (and seen elsewhere in other jungles). Consequently it felt very cramped up there - there was no where to move with two groups using it at the same time.

The other thing to mention is that there is a LOT of downtime with nothing to do but sit on your balcony - which is all very nice, but not what we had paid a lot to come into the jungle for. When we asked if there wassomething else we could do the response was no because it's very hot in the day so there are few animals to see. Personally I would have enjoyed just being able to walk, even if there was less to see and it was hot. Activities are very early in the morning to mid-moning, and then late afternoon again. The day time activity used to be swimming in the lake - which is no longer allowed following the caimen attack at the lodge in 2012 - but nothing has replaced this activity.

One final tip - get in there early for rubber boots! By the time we got ours there seemed to be limited options available so a few of our small group struggled to find ones that would fit/were comfortable for various reasons.

All in all it was amazing to be in the jungle and it's a beautiful spot - the best bit was getting to the lodge in the mortised boat and then being paddled the rest of the way down the creek. However a lot of things at the lodge are just 'fine' and we had some real frustrations, so I couldn't recommend this lodge at this price. Napo lodge didn't meet any of my expectations based on the price tag, and I have to say that I have seen a luxury jungle lodge done so much better elsewhere in the world.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank JSAHW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Marketing Coordinator at Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear JSAHW,

Thanks for your very detailed feedback. Trip Advisor is the way that we use to improve our service day after day.

The Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge is an ecotourism destination that wants to preserve the natural resources of our land.

For that reason, all cabins are designed so carefuly, to mantain the ecosystem, and bring to our guests a great experience in our lodge. Inside of each room, you will find a pair of curtains: one fine curtain, and one additional thickness curtain. You can't forget our staff, that respond inmediatly to all of guests requests, including every issue in the cabins.

The idea of eat in company of our guides is keep our guests in touch, for anything they need, and mainly to give a good service. Its an excellent suggestion that our visitors can be ask for a private table, actually, everyone of our guests can request more privacy any time.

Our guides will make changes and additions in order to maximize wildlife viewing and wilderness enjoyment. If one of our guests ask for a stop for a view or take picts, our guides will be glade to stop the canoe.

All the Kichwa Añangu Community send a warmed thanks to you for take your time to write this review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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528 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (173)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Annandale, Virginia
Level Contributor
193 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2013

Napo Lodge sits on a hill overlooking a blackwater lagoon -- in which you CANNOT swim safely so skip that part of the website. In the morning and again in the afternoon, the howler monkeys set up a chorus that is surreal and magical. The naturalist and local guides are amazing at spotting outstanding wildlife in the dense forest. Walks (which turn to slogs if it is pouring rain), and canoe trips get you wonderful opportunities to see many different kinds of creatures and plant life. The connection to a local village means that you get to hear about how people have lived in this environment for generations. Ceiling fans and mosquito netting in the cabins keep you comfortable at night even in a hot/humid climate. Food is excellent and service impeccable.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SESNoVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Guest Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you for your review, we are glad you enjoyed your stay with us, please share your experience with others.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2013

A magical oasis in the rain forest. The lodge is situated in a stunning location next to a lake, accessed by canoe from the Napo river.
The cabins are spacious and well appointed, although in the middle of the most biodiverse part of the planet it is not possible to keep all of the wildlife out: we found a beautiful tree frog in the toilet bowl one morning!
The excursions to the parrot clay lick and the forest canopy were experiences of a lifetime, particularly the canopy where we saw countless exotic birds, red howler monkeys and a sloth. The native guides and staff are excellent hosts and the food provided is excellent.
Ask the bartender for the delicious passion fruit cocktail, its one of the best cocktails ever.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ilikeclimbing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Guest Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to comment on your trip, please share your experiences with friends
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wales
Level Contributor
29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2013

We stayed at Napo in December with 2 of our grown up children. We were met by the representative in Quito airport right on time with our plane tickets and information about the who would greet us in Coca. Great flight there, including a view of Cotopaxi alongside which Charlie had summited only a day previously! Smooth transfer in Coca and time for a bathroom stop and to put suncream on before the river trip. The adventure began with the canoe rides, motorised firsty and under paddle secondly to get to the lodges. They have ponchos at the ready if it rains and a packed lunch to keep you going on the trip. The journey there was wonderful and paddling in to the lagoon to see the lodges is idyllic. We had 4 nights in Napo and were glad to have opted for the extra time. Our guide had the flexibility to change our trips around a bit to fit in with the best weather for seeing the macaws and parrots at the clay lick. We were also lucky to have 2 guides just for the 4 of us each day. Hugo was expert at tracking down monkeys and we saw 8 different types on our trips. After hearing about a charity encouraging travellers to bring a few small items to lodgings it works with, to support local communites, we brought some school and medical supplies with us and were able to take them to the Yasuni village and give them to the teacher there. If you have any spare space please support this project! (pm me if you need details of their website). Our naturalist guide was knowledgeable and good fun, wildlife spotting was wonderful, the accommodation was great, food delicious and bar quite reasonable. Enjoy your visit!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank alisonjane61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Guest Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Hi Alison, we are glad you had a great time with us and that you were able to join the community activities over the festive period, perhaps we will see you again in the future
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2013

It has been awhile since our trip, but I am finally organizing our pictures and realized I forgot to let everyone else know about our awesome trip!!! My husband and I were supposed to go for our honeymoon, but due to some passport troubles we were not able to make it. They were very helpful re-scheduling our trip, even with many changes and dates up in the air. The place was beautiful! We saw monkeys almost every day. I don't love birds, but there were so many different kinds that it even made them exciting. Lots of caymans, too. And a rainy morning brought out some frogs. Enjoyed all of our hikes and then relaxing in the afternoon with a beer on the canopy porch. We loved our 2 guides, and I think it is awesome how they have kept the local people so involved with the conservation mission. Great place, awesome trip! Really hope we can go back sometime! We combined our trip with a few days in Otavalo and a Cotapaxi bike trip...also both highly recommended!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jessica S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Guest Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you for your review, we would be pleased to welcome you back one day.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
217 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013

From the time they meet you at the airport in Quito...to the time they see you off in Coca...the people at Napo are friendly, competent, & cute.

As described by other travelers the canoe trips take time, but the hours just seem to fly by.

Daniel, our bilingual guide was a pleasure. I would like to talk with him even away from his job at the center. He was full of knowledge about the Amazon river basin & Ecuador in general.

Our spotter, Javier, was fantastic at finding rare birds, mammals, animals, & all the things we go there to see.

I enjoyed speaking to Javier about the native community which owns the center. Javier, like most of the spotters belong to the community. Like most of the community, Javier, did not speak English. I speak Spanish so I could communicate with Javier without translation.

Though there were maybe 30 people staying at the center. They took us out in groups of no more than 7 people. I can say not a single person I spoke with said they were disappointed.

There are annoyances like humidity, mosquitoes, untimely rain, & spotty hot water. However, the food is excellent, the staff is super, the accommodations comfortable & the surrounding natural environment is unique.

I strongly recommend a stay!

Room Tip: Book directly through the Napa Center, instead of a travel agent. You will be pleasantly surprised...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank jsaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Guest Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review us, please share your experience with others
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
Level Contributor
70 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2013

We had an excellent time there on our 4 day/3 night package. Went with our 4 teenage children. Rooms were sumptuous. Property was beautiful and worth the extra time to get to. Food was excellent, tours fantastic. Would highly recommend this destination in the Amazon. No detail was overlooked. We saw many many birds, 3 toed sloth, black caiman (alligators), giant otters, macaw, parrots, monkeys, toucans, unbelievable!

Room Tip: We had three rooms booked and they were all fantastic. Doesn't matter what cabin you get.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Christmastravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Guest Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you for your review, we always do our best to accomodate younger visitors, please share your experience with others
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge

Property: Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge
Address: Yanez Pinzon N26 -131 y la Nina. Edificio Las Carabelas, oficina 101, Yasuni National Park, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Location: Ecuador > Yasuni National Park
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Yasuni National Park
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Napo Wildlife Center offers visitors a number of vantage points from which to admire and experience the spectacular, awe-inspiring diversity of the Amazon Basin. Climb the 120-ft. High galvanized-metal stairs to the jungle tower for otherwise impossible eye-to-eye views of canopy dwellers such as monkeys, eagles and macaws...Spy on clay licks teeming with parrots and occasionally visited by jungle cats or a magnificent elephant-muzzled tapir...Experience Man's ageless interaction with the jungle through the native community's perspectiveEnjoy evening walks to witness the astounding nightlife of the dense, entangled understory...Explore the many trails through "terra firme", "varzea" and swamp forest in search of the best that Amazonia has to offerBe it from the ground up, or from the canopy down, from hidden viewing blinds to silent paddling up black-water creeks, we deliver the biggest most intricate picture possible of this wonderful world. Napo Wildlife Center not only provides the educated perspective of bilingual guides but also the hands-on knowledge of the true guardians of Anangu, who live and witness the marvels of their jungle home every day. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Napo Wildlife Centre Hotel Yasuni National Park
Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge Ecuador/Yasuni National Park

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