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“tranquil Paradise”
Review of Sani Lodge

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Sani Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
marstons mIls,MA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“tranquil Paradise”
Reviewed July 19, 2012

I had the pleasure of visiting Sani Lodge in April (2012), chaperoning with a group of 8th graders. we had the perfect experience! the hikes through the rainforest were amazing; there's nothing seeing wildlife in the jungle! the accommodations were excellent; the huts were cozy, the bar overlooked the beautiful lagoon (and served some spectacular cocktails:), the restaurant was a great place to reconvene with each other and talk about the days' adventures over delicious meals. but the true beauty and joy of trip were our hosts. I can't say enough about the staff at Sani. they are brilliant, kind, knowledgeable, wonderfully fun, friendly, sweet, I could go on and on. this was my fifth trip to the Amazon rainforest, and although the jungle is magical, it is the wonderful people who live and work there that keep me coming back. I absolutely recommend
Visiting Sani Lodge for a perfect, life changing experience!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Jennifer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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241 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
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English first
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed July 14, 2012

I went here on a school trip and stayed here for about 5 days. The food must've been the best part! I learned so much when we went on hikes--especially when we went up to the canopy tower! I could see EVERYTHING! They made us very comfortable every day and they were very welcoming! Superior service. ¡Gracias!

  • Stayed April 2012
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Helpful?
Thank missmolly1218
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

We stayed at the Sani Lodge in July 2011. There were four of us, my husband and two children ages 10 and 13. We had a fantastic time. We enjoyed the hikes through the rainforest during the days and nights. Some of the insects we saw were amazing. The platform in the tree canopy was also great. I have a fear of heights but was not bothered once I got to the top. The birds and monkeys you could see from up there were incredible. My 13 year old son loved the piranha fishing. One day we went looking for the pink river dolphins but didn't have any luck. We did see some beautiful parts of the river though and got to hold a baby boa constrictor during one of our stops. I have to say the highlight of our stay at the Sani Lodge was going into their community on our last day. They were so welcoming to my family. My husband and kids and the other people in our group played soccer with the local kids and had a blast. The other thing I loved was the sound of all the insects and animals at night. It's magical. The accomodations are comfortable but pretty basic. Our bed was comfortable and had mosquito nets although I don't think we saw too many mosquitos. The food was good and I loved having fresh juices and eggs cooked to order every morning. My 10 year old is a very picky eater and he had a hard time with the food at the lodge but I will say the staff went out of their way to try to accomodate him, especially Bruno. The guides we had were great too. Sani Lodge is a very special place for so many reasons and I would love to go back.

Room Tip: Try the bananas they have by the dock. They are the best tasting bananas I've ever had.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kkotulski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
US
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

We stayed in the Sani Lodge in June, 2012. Our group took up all the lodging, and we had two excellent guides who took us for walks day and night, spent time with us up in the bird watching tower, and helped us find wildlife on the water. The rooms were great, the food even greater, and the public spaces comfortable and welcoming. I recommend this lodge to anyone who wants to experience the rainforest, to welcome the dawn and savor the dusk, and to do it with an excellent staff. The lodge is staffed by Sani people, and they are gracious and competent.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Margaret C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tustin CA
Level Contributor
136 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2012

We and a couple from the UK spent five nights and six days with an indigenous Sani Isla guide and a lead guide from another indigenous tribe. They were wonderful and the head guide's knowledge and ability to share information consistently and cheerfully for so many days was wonderful. Every minute he would reach into the jungle and pick up some odd and beautiful critter or plant for us to see, then tell us all about its life and place in both nature and local peoples' lives. We identified, with their help, 104 species of birds, six kinds of  primates (we heard a seventh), a sloth and many other critters.

The lodge itself was perfect ... It is a three hour motor boat ride down the Rio Napo from Coca (a 6 hr drive or short flight from Quito), a half mile walk along an incredible raised boardwalk through the jungle, then a 20 minute non-motorized canoe ride to the lodge. Remote, peaceful primary jungle. Great staff, beautiful and abundant food, clean and comfortable accommodations. All day tours (and night too) were by paddled canoe, at least as a way to get to the trail system. For lodging, we chose the camping option. Imagine a giant tent with soft mattresses and fresh sheets and towels changed daily! We do a lot of backpacking on high mountain trails and have never had a camping experience so comfortable. Too, we campers had an extra canoe ride in the morning and before bed, to get back and forth to the lodge facilities, just a side benefit for campers! More Caymens and night critters to see from the canoe. But most people will want to stay in the nice cabins, as the other couple did. These are scattered around a garden and linked by wooden pathways to the restaurant, bar and observation decks. We visited a tall observation tower twice (over 200 stairs high, above most of the forest canopy), took a fun night walk, and had a long visit at the local indigenous Sani Isla village community center. We had not been excited about that last option, but it was beautifully done, not at all commercial, and gave us a fine glimpse at the school life, women's life, cooking and food, and gardening. Yes, we got to buy some inexpensive handicrafts made by villagers, but there was no pressure to buy. We all wanted to support this Community.

It rained every day (early June), sometimes heavily, but the Lodge issued rubber boots and heavy ponchos to us on the first day,so we continued rain or shine.
A sample of what we saw:
Six primate species including a Pygmy Marmoset and Owl Monkeys.
A giant 2 Toed Sloth.
Spectacular insects (imagine a six inch long Lobster Katydid)! Some insects we do not even know how to classify.
More hundreds of beautiful fungi than I can count, including some genera and probably families which I have never seen before.
Ants, wasps, bees and termites rule this world, along with spiders, tiny and giant.
We saw 104 species of birds well enough to identify, with some help from the most fantastic guide with whom we have ever had the pleasure to experience nature. Butterflies and moths, including two species of the giant Blue Morpho,
There are tens of thousands of species of plants in this area and we must have seen half of them.
No snakes or leaches for us, but lots of mosquitoes and some other tiny biting insect.

Sani also sells a booklet with colored pictures of many of the birds guests are likely to see. Very clear and helpful, as well as a fine souvenir for $14. We recommend Sani Lodge for travelers who want an in-depth jungle experience in comfortable (not tourist luxury).

Room Tip: The Camping option saves money and offers a close-to-nature experience. The Cabins are peaceful and...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ExplorerMundi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 29, 2012

My partner and I traveled to Sani Lodge with our good friend who is originally from Ecuador and we stayed 5 days/4 nights. We went to celebrate my 40th birthday and our experience at Sani Lodge did not disappoint. There are so many good things I could say about Sani; I don't have enough space here to share how I feel about this place and the staff. From the very first inquiry about Sani the office staff proved to me that they cared about us and our experience. Yanelys, who worked with us to book our time at Sani, was professional, organized, and promptly responded to my every question. She is amazing! We felt well-prepared for our visit because of her.

And this good treatment continued at the Quito airport and also once we arrived in Coca. The staff were all courteous and communicative about the itinerary and what would be happening next. We felt well-cared for from the very beginning. Our guides, Javier and Mauro--with whom we were paired upon arrival at the lodge--were absolutely amazing. They know their homeland very well, as you might expect. The knowledge they possess and share is a wonder in itself, not to mention the surrounding rainforest. We saw a lot of wildlife on this trip, due to their sharp skills, and we learned a great deal about rainforest ecology and natural history too. If you are curious about the wildlife you might see, it varies, of course. We saw at least five species of monkeys, two sloths, deer, caiman, bats, a boa constrictor, other snakes, pirhana, lizards, frogs/toads, tons of amazing insects, tarantulas, and a staggering variety of birds, including parrots, birds of prey, macaws, toucans, aracaris... You may see different animals. Regardless, it is all nothing short of magical! The night hikes we took were the most amazing experience...truly unforgettable!

If you have the option to go to Yasuni National Park to the parrot clay lick, I highly recommend this add-on. I also highly, highly recommend the trip down to Pañacocha; we saw a lot of the wildlife there, but we didn't see the pink river dolphins. However, it is a wild and remote place that is teeming with life. Both places require extended time traveling in a boat, especially Pañacocha, so be prepared for that.

If you are wondering how comfortable you may/may not be on this adventure, I offer some things to remember. Staying at a rainforest lodge is not like staying in a hotel, as you might have already gathered. Your usual comforts are not going to be at your fingertips. There IS a certain degree of "roughing it" here at Sani. Now, with that said, the Sani staff have done a very nice job of making the lodge welcoming, comfortable, and pleasant. Our room was clean, spacious, and most everything was in working order. The water in the bathroom did not always flow consistently; sometimes water didn't come out when the faucet was turned on. The staff told me they are currently addressing water flow and availability to rooms. Our showers were cold, but it was refreshing after a day in sweaty rainforest. We did share our room with a number of critters, none dangerous. Just remember that you are in the rainforest and that some creatures find a way to get in and you have to give them their space and be open to new experiences. The mosquito nets really help provide a way to keep the critters out of your bed, although we found the mosquitoes less troublesome than ants. Remember also that the rainforest is humid and wearing breathable, quick-dry clothing really makes a difference. Also remember to pack some cushy socks for the rubber boots they loan you; good socks DO make a difference, as you will be spending a lot of time in these boots! Don't forget to pack a strong headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries--they sure come in handy in the pitch-dark forest.

The other parts of the lodge (bar, dining room, dock, office) are all welcoming and comfortable. The kitchen staff/chef at Sani are very talented. Each meal there was nothing short of delicious. I especially enjoyed the breakfasts with a nice variety of fresh fruit and juices. The shrimp ceviche was incredible! The bar is cozy and the sunset views from the bar will be burned into your memory for a long time. And, again, the bar staff and dining room staff are warm and friendly and efficient. Can't say enough nice things about the Sani staff.

Finally, I will say this: by choosing Sani, you will be supporting the Sani Isla community and their efforts to 1) protect their corner of the rainforest from threats like oil exploration and 2) strengthen their community through education and health care. We could have chosen other places for our rainforest adventure, but we chose Sani mainly for these reasons and we were so glad we did. We were richly rewarded with our choice and now each of us long to return to Sani to learn more about this amazing place and its people. Sani Lodge--and the legendary Amazon rainforest--stole our hearts.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Shane206
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Millbury, Ma
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 27, 2012

We were at Sani in Feb of this year and from the very beginning of our Rainforest adventure the Sani Lodge far exceeded our expectations. The staff is warm, welcoming, the accomidations were FANTASTIC and the menu they were able to create was quite a surprise. Our guides and naturalists have the ability to spot and show us things we would've missed. They work very hard to make sure you are having a good time. I went with were a middle school group and as an adult chaperone I never felt that the kids or myself were in danger that is a true testament to our guides and the staff at Sani Lodge. They will be the only ones I would ever consider for your Rainforest expierence and I am so looking forward to my return to Sani next year.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nancy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sani Lodge

Property: Sani Lodge
Address: Rio Napo Riverside, Yasuni National Park, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Yasuni National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Yasuni National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sani Lodge is the only jungle lodge in Ecuador that is 100% owned and operated by the indigenous Kichwa community of Sani Isla. On the banks of a stunning lagoon, and surrounded by pristine rainforest, packed with monkeys, manatees, sloths, manatees and over 550 types of birds, this superb jungle lodge is a perfect base to explore the Amazon jungle by day and enjoy some real comfort by night. Camping option available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sani Hotel Yasuni National Park
Sani Hotel Quito
Sani Resort All Inclusive
Sani Lodge Ecuador/Yasuni National Park

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