This last August was a my third visit to El Monte over the past decade or more. (An earlier review I thought I sent never made it to publication.) This time, my partner and I invited a friend who came down to visit us in Ecuador. The three of us had an absolutely marvelous time. The newer cottages, which we stayed in, were wonderful, simple, eco-friendly, and in wonderful taste, as is the entire lodge. We all consider El Monte luxurious, but it was because of the setting and the special birding and nature walks available, excellent guides, charming hosts and staff, and the spectacular riverfront setting, which makes one feel part of the cloud forest while just relaxing in bed. We saw quite a few birds, including four types of toucans on our walks. This sort of luxury-- the luxury of spending time in nature-- is what we seek out and appreciate. As I can see from a handful of reviews, this may not be for those who seek conventionally deluxe accommodations and a slick operation. Before going to El Monte, it is advisable to read in advance what they have to offer, so you will be prepared to get the most out of your stay, as people do who are visiting the Galapagos and other nature lodges, for example. Contact them with any questions you may have before you arrive, and to discuss what accommodations may be available to best suit your needs. Communications are not always smooth because of the off-the-beaten-track location, so be persistent.
We enjoyed our stay immensely, and my friend who had not been to the cloud forest before, but has traveled far and wide, was blown away by the whole thing. The founders and owners are life-long conservationists and have made a excellent contribution to ecotourism with El Monte.
All of the cottages have river views. The older ones are smaller but the views of the river are even...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC