We did a 5 day, 4 night trip to NWC (March 28 – April 1) after our time on the Galapagos. After reading some recent negative reviews about NWC that seemed to be related to guides and staff, I am happy report that our experience was top notch. The guides, staff and accommodations were just great. At the Quito airport we are met by NWC staff who looked after our check in and boarding passes. It’s a 30 minute flight on a 737 (Aerogal) to Coca where we were met by NWC staff and transferred to the dock area where we met our guide Delfin. It’s then a 90 minute ride down the Napo River to the welcome area where we transferred to the paddled canoes for the trip up Anangu Creek. Unfortunately it poured rain the whole 2 hour trip up the creek, but our guides still pointed out 4 species of monkeys a tree boa and other wildlife.
We (wife and 13 year old son) had cabin #16 right down by the lake (on stilts above the water) which had a beautiful view of the lake. The room was very nice and even had a back deck with a Jacuzzi! The shower was nicer than ours at home with lots of on-demand hot water. The beds were very comfortable with a ceiling fan. Sleeping was never a problem. I love the night chorus of frogs and insects.
The food was good but not exceptional as previously described. Remember though that EVERYTHING gets paddled in up the same creek that you do. The bartender Marcello was really friendly and helpful. All of the other staff were pleasant and attentive. We didn’t see any tension among any of the staff.
Our guides, Deflin (bilingual) and Patricio (local) were exceptional. I can’t say enough good things about them. Delfin was also Kitchwa himself and was “raised in a small jungle village” (his words). They both spent a lot of time explaining the local plants, and cultures from their own personal experiences. One time they heard peccaries off the trail and offered to take us “off route” to find them. My son saw several, including a baby very close up. These guys saw stuff that we would never have noticed. On some of the walks and paddles, we saw lots of stuff and on others less. That’s life with nature. The morning and afternoon excursions were never rushed but be prepared for 5 am and 5:30 am wake up calls! In the end, we saw 8 species of monkeys and more types of birds than you can imagine. We also saw some very cool bugs and a kinkajou on our night walk. We’ve been to similar places in Costa Rica (Drake Bay) and Belize (Pooks Hill) and would put this in a similar category (great).
NWC does have its’ idiosyncrasies as others have noted. Chiefly, you always tour and eat with the same guides and group of visitors. For us that was fine since it was just the 3 of us and our guides, but for other groups with mixed interests and physical abilities, it was more of a challenge for them. I’d encourage you to make your interests and abilities clearly known to the NWC when you book your trip so that you can hopefully get paired with a similar group. If you are 2 people and wait until you get there, it might be too late. Bring cash for tips for the guides and the other staff. They deserve it!
- 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 Centre Ecuador/Yasuni National Park