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ExplorNapo Lodge
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  • Breakfast included
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Reviewed 12 October 2011

We loved it here. Our guide Armando was amazing. He took us on jungle hikes in the Amazon and found us all kinds of monkeys We went piranha fishing, on a visit to a native village, and on an amazing tree canopy tour where you can see a 360 degree view of the jungle. He played the guitar for us, was wonderful with our 2-year-old son, and took us to a local Shaman who was really cool, and gave us a traditional native blessing ceremony and gave us a bunch of local Amazonian remedies for various ailments(for cuts, mosquito bites, headaches, sore throats, etc...), and they all worked. It is truly beautiful up there in the cloud forest. There are a bunch of cool wild animals that just chose to hang out around the lodge, including pygmy marmosets, capybaras, macaws, and other occasional visitors from the jungle. When we were there, we were the only people staying there. It was so cool to have the place all to ourselves, and all of the people working there were friendly and helpful.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2009

ExplorNapo is a very basic camp, but has a lot of atmosphere. Better check their infrastructure, before you book!

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank farfaraway99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2009

We stayed at Explornapo Lodge for two nights as part of an 8 day “Bird watching Holiday”. The first night we stayed at the Eldorado Plaza Hotel in Iquitos (See our review under that name). Our Guide Picked us up at the airport, took us to our hotel, and offered to show us around Iquitos. The next morning we were picked up and taken to the Explorama dock / headquarters. Porters will take your bags to the boat. There are bathrooms where they park the bus, use them before you get on the boat…the boats do not have them. The boats are covered and have plastic sides that come down if it rains. There are regular seats and the ride is not too bad. It takes about a 2 hours to get to Explorama (we stayed there two nights first…see our review under Explorama) or about 4 hours to go all the way to Napo. There is some scenery, but much of the time you are in the middle of the very large Amazon. Once you get onto the Rio Napo things are closer and more interesting. We went during the rainy season and the river was up about 18 feet and rising. This added some extra debris to dodge on our journey.

The boat will usually drop off / pick up passengers at Cieba Tops and Explorama on the way. Once at the ExplorNapo dock you will go into the bar area and have a welcome glass of juice and your guide will let you know about the lodge and what you will be doing there. Your guide stays with you for your entire trip. The bar is open 24/7 and has cold drinks available and you just pay before you leave. Tip: there are some habituated howlers that hang around the lodge and a pygmy monkey that eats the bananas they put out just past the steps to the dining area…horned screamers stay in the lake by the Shaman.

The dining area is very nice and the whole place is lit up with lanterns in the evening. The meals are buffet style and they tend to cycle between fish, beef, and chicken. You can charge your batteries in the corner of the dining area during meals in both 110v and 220v. My girlfriend and I both do not eat fish and they made sure we had beef or chicken for our meals. We were quite happy with the quality of the food and there is hot tea, coffee, and coco available 24 hours…although the coffee is instant.

This lodge has a more primitive feel then Explorama. They only have pit toilets and we found them to be extremely clean. They showers were also shared, clean and do not have hot water. You really do get used to it because the days were very hot and the water cooled you down for dinner or before bed. There is a bit of a hike up some steps to get to the rooms, but the entire length is covered and raised out of the way of the river flood plain. The beds were comfortable enough and each is fitted with a mosquito net. The lighting is provided by kerosene lamps along the walkways, public spaces, and your room. You will still need flashlights and a headlamp can come in handy for any night time reading. Water is provided by the rooms, in the bar, and in the dining room. MAKE SURE you save your bottle so you can refill it.

There were many excursions available by boat, canoe, and walking. We focused on bird watching and did much of it by boat. The night trips were fun and we saw some frogs, birds and insects. They also have a Shaman and can take you for a short boat ride or walk to the Canopy Walkway. The place can get busy at lunch as day trippers from Iquitos stop for lunch before heading to the canopy walkway. The walkway allowed us to see quite a few difficult birds to see from the ground. It is over 120 feet high at the highest platform…very safe.

The area was a little wet and it rained almost every day but we knew it was the rainy season and it did not stop us from our activities. Our guide was Julio (we specifically asked for a good birding guide). He was excellent at finding and identifying birds. He has been guiding there for 25 years and also grew up in the jungle so he knew all the good birding spots. We typically birded before breakfast in the boat then hiked mid morning. About 2:30 we would head out again by boat and bird until dark.

The area around this lodge is much less populated than Explorama, but does have a few families living across the river. They use the small boats a lot so hiking is not necessary, not sure what it would be like during the dry season. Most of our birding was on oxbow lakes on Islands in the middle of the Amazon (We saw a Hoatzin colony here). During the rainy season the water can come up right under the lodge. You will likely have the opportunity to visit a family or a local tribe if you choose. We pretty much stuck to bird watching and were able to see over 200 species in our trip (including 2 nights at Explorama, 2 nights at Exploranapo 1 night at ACTS, and 1 night at Cieba Tops.) They gladly will take any extra tee shirts or other items of clothing for the river people and they also collect any unused prescription drugs you may with you and donate them to the new clinic.

They upgraded our hotel when they heard we were staying another night in Iquitos and picked us up early in the morning to catch our flight to Lima (they had also confirmed our flight and printed our boarding passes.) We liked our trip with them.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Bobo185
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2008

we just got back from 16 day trip (5 days Amazon & 11 Machu Picchu & more) with OATS, OUTSTANDING ADVENTURE !! and the Amazon stay at Explornapo and Explorama couldn't be better; great food; wonderful rainforest, river, piranha fishing, pink dolphin, Yaqua tribe, Linnea's med. clinic, night hikes and night boat rides, tarantula hike, Ceiba Tops lodging, and great food (again) and super Piscu Sours. The lodging is just great and our guides were local and so passionate with showing us everything and encouraging us to partake of the culture (yes, i did eat the boiled rat at the Yaqua village - tastes like dark turkey and was safe and wonderful).
Irene & David Sudaria,
Fresno, Ca

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank IreneDavid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Ohio
111
Reviewed 31 May 2006

I have stayed at Explorama Lodge and Explornapo several times. It is wonderful! Do not worry about anything - the food is great and the healthiest you will ever eat. I have visited at different times of year and find May to be the most spectacular. The (steady) rains are over but the river is at its highest. One can venture into the jungle in boats. When I visit in October it looks like a different place altogether. Ask for guide Willy Flores and tell them Robin recommended him. See the Southern Cross in the amazing night sky, do the Canopy tour for sure, see pink (yes, bright pink) dolphins that live only in the Amazon, visit the local Shaman, have blowdart practice with the Yagua Indians, fish for piranha and eat them for your dinner... You will return home a renewed person. Take a little extra $$$ a buy the guides some beer in the evenings at $2 per bottle. Don't foget to enjoy the local pisco sours. Visit Nancy Dunn at the library she built in the middle of the jungle and Doctora Linnea Smith at the Yanamono Medical Clinic. See my pictures of the lodges at: ----

  • Stayed: May 2003
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11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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