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“Once in a lifetime breathtaking experience!!!!!”

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Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge
Certificate of Excellence
Bellevue, Nebraska
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Once in a lifetime breathtaking experience!!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Napo April 2013 for our 9th wedding anniversary then traveled to Quito and Galapagos. The stay at Napo was a wonderful experience. We felt safe the entire time although there is no lock on the door or windows. We are nature lovers and we got guides who showed us animals and birds we would never have seen on our own. We saw 59 different species including caiman, otters, electric eel, 5 types of monkeys, herons, parrots and many other birds, frogs and snakes. I was in awe of the beauty of nature all around us and so thankful to get to see it all. The rooms were very cool with a view of the lake, the food was great. I am a vegetarian and they made me special food every time. The staff were very nice and helped us out with any need we might have. I would love to return. If you are lucky enough to go to this area it is worth the effort. Someday this beautiful part of nature could be extinct it is best to see it now in its full glory!

Room Tip: Rooms with a view of the lake were breathtaking!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Melanie D
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, May 9, 2013
Hi, thank you for your review, we are glad to hear you had a great time at Napo
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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538 reviews from our community

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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
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Medford, New Jersey
Level Contributor
88 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 29, 2013

My husband and I travelled to this eco lodge after spending a week in the Galapagos Islands. We stayed for four nights which started with a flight to Coca, then a three hour river boat ride down the Napo River and finally an additional two hour canoe ride to the lodge. Our guides met us at the airport in Quito so our “tour” really started from there. It was a bit hard to take pictures on the motorized boat but our guides stopped many times along with way for picture taking once we got into the canoes.

The lodge is very remote and run by the local people who live there which gave it a unique atmosphere. Once there, we checked in and explored the property. It is not overly large but there are some good photo opportunities along the paths. You will see birds, insects including a very large population of leaf cutter ants and if you are lucky possibly a caiman alligator. You may also hear/see the Giant Otters that live within the water system all from the property itself.

For every meal, we ate with our guide. The food was home style so a bit on the basic side but very good. The tours were similar day over day comprising of either walking through the rain forest or sitting in a canoe. You are with a local guide who leads the group and another guide who speaks for the local guide due to a language barrier. Our guide; Robby was the highlight of our experience at this eco lodge. He is a freelance guide and therefore not always available at this resort but if you are luck enough to have him, he has 20+ years experience as a guide in Ecuador and also teaches new guides at the Quito University so we were very fortunate.

Unfortunately we didn't see as much wildlife as we hoped to but then after being in the Galapagos its pretty impossible to top that! We saw 6 different types of monkeys, lots of birds, the Caimans, the Giant Otters and some incects. We were expecting to see more snakes and mammals overall given the remoteness of the location. We were told the giant otters were apparently a bit rare to see.

We stayed in Suite number 13 and our friends stayed in the adjoining suite number 14. If I were to go again i would opt for an individual cabana as we could hear each other through the adjoining wall. Our suite had an extra bedroom which we used as our closet and our friend’s suite did not have an extra bedroom but had a soaker tub outside on the back deck. The water is the color of weak tea so personally I’m glad we had the extra room over the tub. The one downside of our suite was the chemical smell from the bathroom. Everything ran on septic but we found the smell pretty uninviting. Otherwise it was a good room. We were at the far right of the resort so we tended to see animals all around our room including spider monkeys, many birds, turtles and one morning a Caiman.

This was an interesting experience but in my view you definitely don’t need longer then 4 days.

Room Tip: The suites are larger with better amenities but you may hear your neighbour as each suite is one hal...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank OffTheBeatenPath_1
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, May 9, 2013
Thanks for your review, we always value comments from our guests, please feel free to tell others about us
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Duncannon, PA
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2013

Two of us stayed for 4 nights the end of March 2013 and found the concept of Napo very refreshing, a community-owned lodge that is sustainably run, has great food and comfy rooms. The staff are all from Ecuador, many local, and did a good job of finding monkeys, giant otters, caimans, frogs, etc.

Most guests, many from U.S.and Canada, the rest from UK and Europe, were visiting Napo along with the Galapagos Islands. For these guests the experience seemed to be 5-star. Our expectation as birders made me drop the rating to four stars, only because of being to other places we've visited like Manu in Peru, where the birds were generally more accessible.

However, the charm of the lodge and the passion of the guides in showing this unspoiled section of the Amazon was first-rate. Each tributary of the lake on which the lodge sits has its own unique flora and wildlife. Most days we went on two canoe trips - relax, they do the work while you take photos or just enjoy the sights and sounds of the Amazon. Some hiking is offered too, although more wildlife was seen on the boat trips.

This really is a fantastic place for monkey viewing, with around twelve species in the area. You will also see sloths. The lodge has its own tower above the dining room, and visitors also trek to a 130-foot tower where you can see many birds and monkeys using staff spotting scopes. From there we enjoyed five tanager species in one tree, every color of the rainbow. Our day trip to three parrot clay licks was quite fruitful, as colorful parrots and parakeets were numerous in all but one stop where a hawk frightened them off.

We found the food to be quite good, plentiful, and the soups were outstanding. Fresh fruit drinks, which were also offered following every outing, were varied and amazing. The only drawback, and it's mentioned by many posters, is the inability to dine with other travelers outside your assigned group. You may meet some incredibly interesting folks at the bar, then find yourself sitting next to someone at dinner who's annoying. That's life.

The rooms were clean, large, had expensive showers, NO insects (at least in ours), and the daily optional laundry service was fast and cheap. From our own balcony we could see a tree full of hanging yellow cacique bird nests, caimans, bats, turtles and frogs. The aforementioned wildlife lives below the boardwalk at the edge of the lake.

For those interested in pondering likelihood of rainy days, it rained only half a day during our entire stay. The hottest time was walking through the jungle but the time spent in the dugout canoes was comfortable, and almost cool when on the larger motorized canoe that brings you from Coca. Bring layers of clothing and a stay-on hat and you should be fine. We took Repel insect spray and kept it handy, sometimes needed it, other times not. Also took sunscreen but also did not need that much as often we were in the shade.

We enjoy supporting this type of establishment that does not destroy the environment and where the profits go to locals. It's a genuine look at life in this beautiful, wild region in a way that benefits both the visitor and the community.

Room Tip: Rooms right on the lake are the nicest.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank LLLofPA
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, May 9, 2013
Thank you for your review, your helpful comments will no doubt be very useful for guests considering NWC. We are glad you had a great time, please tell others about us
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Headcorn, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
40 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2013

We spent 4 days, 5 nights at the lodge in early April. Having viewed the mixed reviews in March we were a bit uncertain as to what expect but this was a major highlight of a trip which also included the Andes and the Galapagos. No we did not see many parrots at the clay licks, yes it poured with rain for the whole of 1 hike through the jungle (it wouldn't be a rain forest without the rain!!)BUT we did see an electric eel, a huge boa constrictor ( which was partially responsible for the lack of parrots as it sat in a tree 10 yards away) 5 types of monkey, other snakes, an array of birds 1 huge caiman and several smaller ones, both types of sloth and more types of frog and toad than I imagined existed. Our guides Paul and Hugo were first class finding the most amazing examples of camouflaged frogs. The lodge provided wellington boots and full length ponchos so no need to worry about wet weather clothing. The food was remarkably good catering for a non meat and a non cheese eater with ease. All in all a great experience - wildlife not on tap but if it was there our guides spotted it.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Duncan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Napo Wildlife Center Ecolodge, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Thank you for your review. Sounds like you had a great time at NWC, please feel free to share your experiences with others.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2013

We spent 4 nights at NWC in March 2013 and our experience failed to meet expectations.
It's in a beautiful setting, our room (suite) was very comfortable and the food and lodge service were up to standard.
But the main reason for visiting was for the wildlife. We found viewing opportunities disappointing and rather limited and our guides, although very nice, were not brilliant. The trip to the licks and cultural centre were quite frankly a waste of time. We were on a private tour, but were still herded in with a large group for this particular trip and couldn't do our own thing.
NWC is really geared to larger groups and is very regimented. We had already had a great introduction to the Amazon basin when we went to Manu in Peru (where the parrot/macaw lick is vastly superior and provides overall a much better Amazon experience by far). NWC is definitely not for the individual/more experienced wildlife traveller.
Maureen & Terry Kedgley

Room Tip: A waterside suite is recommended
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank TerenceK205
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, April 15, 2013
We are very sorry to hear your Napo trip was not as you had hoped.
Regarding viewing opportunities we never guarantee sightings as you can imagine being the jungle such things are beyond our control, that being said this area is rich in biodiversity and with the Kichwa Añangu Community having banned all hunting sightings are more likely here than in other parts of Ecuador and our guests spend much of the day in the jungle to optimise potential and enjoyment. The full day in which you referred to whilst visiting the clay licks is really packed regarding activities, leaving at 6am and returning to the lodge at around 4pm, so for this reason we do have to more or less keep to schedule unless it has been pre arranged to do something different, we do not allow too many people to visit at once to avoid them from feeling overcrowded, however at times when both NWC and Yasuní eco-lodge are full obviously you will find more people there. Regarding the women´s cultural center we only have one group at a time, we are sorry to hear this wasn´t interesting to you as we usually have a great response from guests who enjoy learning about the culture and was of life of the Kichwa people. I would suggest to other guests coming to NMW that they check the itinerary beforehand and if there is anything that doesn’t interest them like clay licks or cultural activities to let us know in advance and we can arrange something more else.
We thank you for your comments which are always valued by NWC
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Point, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

My family of 4 (kids are 8 and 9) travelled to Napo last month (March). With the price tag, I nervously anticipated this to be a the trip of a lifetime for my family. I would say afterwards that it met and exceeded my high expectations. I can see that some negative reviews have been posted in recent weeks. Most of the comments I cannot relate with or did not experience the same thing. I stayed 4D/3N. All of us caught traveller's diarrhea w/in the 1st 24hrs but we took our meds and were not greatly impeded by this. My 9 year old was a bit feverish w/ headache and malaise but that also passed.

Our assigned guide Delfin was amazing. He has superpowers for spotting game as did the Añangu guide Patricio. Delfin speaks great English and he himself is Quichua, the regional ethnic group. With a firm footing in the modern world, he still has a deep connection to the traditional ways of the Quichua which still exists in the most remote places in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

We are easy to please. We didn't have our heart set on any particular species. I can get excited about anything from a parrot to a leaf cutter ant. This is a rainforest. Many places to hide. If you get the glimpse of what you want to see, then you are very lucky. Photography is as challenging here as anywhere and I enjoyed that challenge. I don't understand how some commenters expect it to be automatic just because they paid a certain price. I don't know what to tell you other than go to a zoo if you want guarantees.

I will say we had exclusive access to our guides. We were not in a group. I would have had a much lesser experience in a large group. Some excursions were very early in the morning and rigid about being on time and for good reason. There was also flexibility later on. If you want to go on a longer walk over terra firma forrest, you can. If you want to do a short night walk, the guides were fine w/ that. Very cool stuff to see at night by the way.

As far as luxury deep in the rainforest... c'mon! Think of the logistics! Everything comes in by man-powered canoe down the creeks to include the gas tanks, hot water heaters, and everything else. Don't expect a long hot shower. Enjoy your refreshing lukewarm shower and relish the remoteness... or go back to the luxury African safari. It's also very humid here compared to savanna Africa. That makes it much harder to maintain. If a downpour turns you off, I might recommend Tanzania during the dry season.

Tips... yeah, kind of high on top of the price but I paid recommended because Delfin and Patricio showed us so many great things I can't even put a price on it (tree boa, red tail boa, anaconda, macaws, sloths, monkeys, katydids, tarantula etc etc.) If you get a lame guide, don't pay a dollar. Enough said. There are behind-the-scenes actions that make this a better experience. Getting out of the canoe and enjoying fresh tropical juices is a nice treat. We also very much enjoyed the guides company at all meals. We enjoyed learning from them. We had plenty of questions. If you can't maintain a conversation, you're short on curiosity.

The Napo experience was a lot of money. Never felt for a second it wasn't worth it. Running this lodge is not cheap and no one is getting rich from it. Everything was taken care of at all times. Our cabana was right on the lake, I would recommend that. We are still experiencing this trip as our kids are doing projects in school based on their unique experience. I hope you have the same type of experience we did and I hope you recognize and appreciate the threat Yasuni is under from encroaching oil industry.

Room Tip: Request a cabana on the lake. Maybe more money but beautiful view.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank TMH2421
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, April 12, 2013
What a great review and I have to say we agree with your every word, we are really pleased you enjoyed your Napo stay and that your children also have nice memories and can put their newly gained knowledge about the jungle into use.
Hey if you want to come back why not enter our Facebook photo competition to win a free holiday!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
51 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2013

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!

Room Tip: Lakefront rooms are great, especially 15/16.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank sdigel
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, April 10, 2013
Thank you for your review, we are pleased to hear you had a great time at Napo, as you noted all our staff are attentive and welcoming and always try to help wherever possible. Please feel free to tell your friends about your experience and we hope you always remember your time at Napo fondly
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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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