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“Fantastic Amazon Experience”

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Napo Wildlife Centre
Certificate of Excellence
Saratoga Springs, New York
Level Contributor
120 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Fantastic Amazon Experience”
Reviewed February 12, 2009

We traveled to NWC Jan 2009 and were impressed from moment one by how the staff who met us at the airport made the check-in process painless, then picked us up on the other end in Coca where we met our guide and took us to the motor boat (2+hr ride on the Napo River so make sure you take care of things at the restaurant restroom before you leave) . Then a canoe ride down a small tributary to Lake Anangu when the reserve is located. They even brought lunch and rain ponchos (we needed both). There were plently of places where things could have gone wrong but they worked like a well oiled machine.Their systems were incredible.

The huts were luxurious, the beds so comfortable and large and the food fantastic. But the people really made the place. The Tribe members and the hired guides and staff who worked at the Lodge were so nice, helpful and pleasanr. I actually started to feel spoiled because they took care of every need graciously and before I even knew I had it. Our native guide, Jorge, was amazing in the forest. We felt like he could see through the leaves on the trees to what was hidden beneath. And Miguel, our English speaking guide was amazingly knowledgeable about the birds, zoology, botany and biology in general. We really liked them both so much.

There were not as many biting insects in the Amazon as we have in the Adirondacks! Hardly any except at dinner time or if you stop walking in the jungle and are standing for awhile.

It was not as hot here as on the Pacific coast from where we had just arrived. We were comfortable at night.

My only mild complaint is that the day started at 5 AM (this is a big birding population so we had to get to where the birds were early) and we had dinner at 7:30PM with activities going all day long and there was always a reason to keep us late in the evening. So- very long days. Glass-half-full opinion would be that one certainly gets one's money's worth.

I agree with all of the positive reviews already written and would just like to add that the vision by the Anangu Tribe members who chose the hard road in preserving their culture and their habitat instead of caving to the pressures that the oil industry is constantly exerting are admirable and the systems by which they take care of the number of people they do are flawless. Because of their vision, they have saved a precious jewel for all of us to enjoy and that is so crucial in replenishing the earth. That gift to mankind is priceless .

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank mtnchkbek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Guest Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you for your review. We hope you still remember your Napo experience. Feel free to 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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552 reviews from our community

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  • Service
  • Value
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English first
San Francisco
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2009

A friend and I stayed at the Napo Wildlife Center for 4 nights/5 days right before Christmas. It was one of the best travel experiences I've had, right up there with the Okavongo Delta in Botswana and trekking to Machu Pichu. The setting is so beautiful, the sounds of the rain forest all around are magical, and the wildlife just amazing. Many kinds of monkeys, cayman, frogs and snakes, weird insects, many many birds. I'm not a birder, but we saw so many different species: toucans, parrots, macaws, and many many others I don't remember the names of. Even a zig-zag heron, which is apparently a really big deal if you are a birder---in which case, so sorry it was wasted on the likes of me!

The two guides, Ruben and Hugo, were great spotters, very knowledgeable about the plant and animal life and able to be excited with us at sitings of fauna they probably get to see a lot!

The accommodations and food were wonderful. The trip in was definitely worth it: 1/2 hour plane from Quito, 2 1/2 hour on a comfortable motor launch, and then a canoe ride of about 30-40 minutes (that must be a typo on the review that said the canoe ride was 2-3 hours).

Bring good binoculars and camera and a sense of adventure.

  • Liked — the location
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank WandaCoin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Guest Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you for your review. We hope you still remember your Napo trip. Feel free to share your experience with others
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2008

We chose Napo Wildlife Center to see wildlife that that we did. Be prepared for a 2-1/2 hour power canoe trip down the Rio Napo and a 2-3 hour canoe trip up the Anangu Creek; but the seats are well padded, a good lunch and snacks are provided, and there are many birds, snakes, bats, and monkeys to be seen along the creek to the lodge. I can't compare with other lodges, but we were very impressed that a naturalist leading our small group. The setting is idyllic and the units are clean and comfortable, with good mosquito screening and netting, but we didn't find the bugs a problem. We have some problems with the hot water. We enjoyed the early wake-up calls as it was cooler and we saw more wildlife at those times. Meals were good and the staff guides are excellent and knowledgeable. Bring lots of cash for all the tipping. (They sugguest about $300 per person.) They ran out of some drink items during our stay. Our only main concern was a few small items were taken from our room and one nice item was moved to a location where we might not find the item in hope that we would leave it.

  • Liked — Good food, great guides, and lots wildlife viewing.
  • Disliked — The pushy bar staff, problems with the hot water, items missing from our room, lots of tipping needed at the end.
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank yates55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, March 6, 2013
Thank you for your review, we hope you still remember your time at NWC
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hampstead, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2008

It took over a year to get into the Napo Wildlife Center during the busy Thanksgiving period, but it was worth the wait. We knew the wildlife was great (nine types of monkeys, Black hawk-eagle, etc.) but we were surprised at the level of service. A carefully coordinated scheme of communication meant that every canoe ride or jungle trail trek ended with a refreshing fruit drink at the dock. Our native guide, Silverio, is the dean of native guides at the lodge, and I was constantly amazed at how he could spot birds which I had missed entirely. Edwin Perez was our English-speaking guide, and his knowledge and, especially, his enthusiasm for the birds was infectious.

Other than at the parrot clay licks, the wildlife does not yield itself easily, and that's where the guides made all the difference. They knew where the night monkeys slept during the day, where the Crested Owls slept side-by-side in a towering tree, and what names belonged to the myriad songs in the forest. Edwin Perez was adept at drawing the singers out of the greenery, so that we saw much more than if we had simply walked through the forest by ourselves.

The bartender, Marcelo Guerra, could mix up any conceivable drink at the bar, and the concept of a Margarita or a good wine "en plena selva" was a new experience. They've got it down pat.

This is not a place for those not interested in the natural world, those seeking just to say they've been to the Amazon. The trip in is somewhat long, the wildlife takes some searching, it does rain here, but at the end of the day, it's as good as it gets.

Alfred Maley
Hampstead, New Hampshire, USA

  • Liked — High standards, widlife
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed November 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank OwlFinder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Guest Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you for your review. We hope you still remember your Napo adventure. Feel free to share your experience with others
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peoria, AZ
Level Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2008

Napo is owned and run by the local tribe. Their story/history is amazing. It is through great leadership and hard work that they have been able to pull off a feat that few other groups could have. The accommodations are good for the Amazon although not as luxurious as on a safari in South Africa. The food is pretty good and they do accommodate vegetarians. The guides we had were excellent. We were paired with just one other couple, so we had plenty of attention. The transportation by canoe is not for everyone but is very unique. The quiet atmosphere pierced by only wildlife is amazing. Getting to and from Napo is not the most convenient, but once you are there, you will have an unforgettable experience. Top sightings were the birds at the parrot lick and the various types of monkeys. If you want to see wildlife, opt for Napo. If you want to learn about the local culture, opt for Kapawi. These are the two top lodges in the Amazon. Napo was also virtually mosquito-free!

Stayed September 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank JoycePeoria_AZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, March 6, 2013
Thank you for your review, we hope you still remember your time at NWC
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2008

We can only echo the positive reviews for this place. It is truly fantastic and was the highlight of our time in Ecuador. Our guide was Andrew and he was knowledgeable beyond belief, we wouldn’t have seen much if it had not been for him and our native guide.
What we really liked about this place was that the groups were small and personal. Andrew ate with us and tailored our trips to fit with the whole group. We were introduced to the local Shaman and learnt about the struggle the local people had to set up such a beautiful lodge.
The food at the lodge was good and all the staff were friendly and helpful. Words cannot do justice to the wonderful sight of eating breakfast and watching the mist rise above the lagoon at day break or relaxing in the hammock on the veranda listening to the jungle wildlife all around. This place is truly magical and a tribute to the community warding off the industrialisation creeping in by the oil companies. May it have a long and lasting future.

  • Liked — serenity
  • Disliked — no hairdryer
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Toffeepops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Guest Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you for your review. We hope you still remember your Napo adventure. Feel free to share your experience with others
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2008

We really did not know what to expect having never been to a jungle lodge before, but the NWC exceeded even our wildest expectations. The location was simply stunning, there are really no other words to describe it. The food was wonderful, made all the more special when you consider that it takes four hours by river to get anything to the lodge. The staff was so friendly and thought of every need before you even realized you wanted it. One of our friends got sick and the staff took care of her; they made her seperate meals, brought tea to her room and were constantly asking about her.

The property is owned and operated by the local Anagu tribe so all the profits are going directly back to the community, and not to an outside agency. Our guides were wonderful, the animal and plant life that we saw was incredible.

  • Liked — Amazing wildlife, spectacular location, stupendous staff.
  • Disliked — Leaving
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank dmhc10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NapoWildlifeCenter, Guest Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, March 4, 2013
Thank you for your review. We hope you still remember your Napo adventure. Feel free to 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 Centre

Property: Napo Wildlife Centre
Address: Yanez Pinzon N26 -131 | 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 Centre Ecuador/Yasuni National Park

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