My husband and I recently returned from a 5 day 4 night trip to Napo Wildlife Ecolodge (followed by an 8 day 7 night trip to the Galapagos – review to be written). There is absolutely no way I can do this trip the justice it deserves in this review. From the moment we landed in Coca this trip was an adventure! We met a friendly little squirrel monkey while waiting to board the motorized canoe to begin our trip to Napo. He enjoyed sitting on our shoulders! Great photo op! The motorized canoe trip was great even though it started raining (they have plastic sides that they rolled down, keeping us dry). We were given a bag lunch on the way – much appreciated! After 1 ½ - 2 hours, we switched to paddle canoes (we didn’t have to paddle) for another couple of hours to reach the lodge. What a wonderful experience!! We saw so many things on our way – monkeys, birds, and the always entertaining Giant River Otters! Just a preview of the rest of our stay!
The lodge itself was beautiful! The cabins are very comfortable and beautifully designed. The meals were buffet and very good. There was always a good variety to choose from. The soups were delicious!!
Our naturalist guide Celso was exceptional and always ensured that everyone in our group was having the best possible experience. He even arranged for a birthday cake for a member of our group who was celebrating her birthday. He was always going out of his way to make our trip memorable, and he succeeded more than we could have hoped for. We had a couple of issues with our first cabin and Celso was able to secure a different one for us the first evening. He helped us move our stuff as well. We were very grateful for his help!
The local guide, Ogor (spelling is wrong – I’m sorry) was amazing. His ability to spot things at a distance was uncanny and definitely added to the excitement of our excursions! He didn’t speak English, but we all communicated very well. Both he and Celso were as excited as we were when we spotted wildlife! Their enthusiasm and passion for the area was very evident as we explored Yasuni National Park. Their knowledge was exceptional and very helpful to all of us.
Now to the wildlife – we saw howler monkeys and heard them on several occasions (my favorite), squirrel, capuchin, owl and spider monkeys. We saw a 12-15 ft. caiman and many birds (snail kites, stinky turkeys, herons, oropendulas among many others). We made a visit to the clay licks where we saw scarlett macaws, parrotlets, parrots, and parakeets. We saw a boa constrictor in a tree at the clay licks as well. The giant rivers otters were such fun to watch and listen to! We were fortunate to see them many times throughout our stay.
The staff was wonderful as well – always friendly and ready to help. We were always greeted with a cold drink and a smile when returning from an excursion. It was such a wonderful experience, I can’t recommend it enough. I would love to visit again. I miss the sounds – especially the howler monkeys!
- 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