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Where to stay in the Amazon?!

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Ontario
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Where to stay in the Amazon?!

My husband and I will be venturing into Ecuador at the end of Dec and will be continuing our stay well into Jan.

We are really looking forward to doing a tour of the Amazon. I am little conflicted about where to go. I have been reading about Tena, from what I understand you can get to those lodges by bus, and the trip isn't as long, but you are not deep in the jungle. I assume there won't be as many animal sightings....?

I have heard great things about Cuyabeno, but it is more of a pain to get there, taking a flight etc, and it's more expensive.

Could someone offer me some opinions on what they would recommend for a great Amazon experience, that won't break the bank ( moderately priced is good), but will offer us a unique experience.

Thanks!

Edited: 27 November 2011, 04:45
Tucson, Arizona
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for Quito, Ecuador
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1. Re: Where to stay in the Amazon?!

Tena is secondary forest and is more about adventure activities than wildlife. If you really want "the Amazon," you're going to have to spend the bucks and the time to go deeper in. I believe there are some lower-budget lodges in the Cuyabeno area; I stayed at Cuyabeno Lodge but didn't care for it, and that's one of the higher-end lodges, I think.

The Napo region is also good, and also takes time to get to. I think the lower Napo region offers more wildlife than upper.

New York
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2. Re: Where to stay in the Amazon?!

Try Sacha Lodge on the Rio Napo. It takes some effort to get there - there's a short flight to Coca, then a 2 hour motorized canoe trip on the river, followed by a jungle hike and then a 2nd short canoe trip across a lagoon, but it's worth it. The lodge is very attractive and comfortable (there's electricity, ceiling fans and hot showers) and offers really tasty food. But if you want to explore the Amazon what you really care about are the wildlife and the guides and you won't be disappointed by either of them at Sacha. I saw 5 types of monkees, a sloth, an anteater, two types of owls, countless birds and two caiman. My guides were informative, enthusiastic and made sure I felt safe and happy. They have great canopy observation platforms in a Kapoc tree tower and an enormous swinging bridge which really enhanced the wildlife viewing. I spent 5 days and loved every minute of it.

Cheongju, South...
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3. Re: Where to stay in the Amazon?!

I disagree about the opinions on Tena... I stayed in Tena and traveled 30 minutes to a community called Santo Domingo and it was mostly primary forest. We saw all sorts of animals, including sloths and mango birds, ate fruit and cacao fresh off the tree, saw deadly insects, and then swam in a natural spring. There is actually a lot of primary forest near Tena and many communities that would love to have you. Santo Domingo is located right beside a huge river that you can also go tubing down -- I spoke with them and they expressed huge interest in gaining tourism to see their forests, because most people just come right through and never stop because they are more interested in adventure tourism rather than seeing the forests.

Edited: 28 December 2012, 20:44
4. Re: Where to stay in the Amazon?!

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