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Yarina Eco Lodge
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Reviews (91)
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All reviewscentral buildingguide henryhot water and electricityeco lodgedeep appreciationtotal darknessnearby lagoondifferent aspectswatch birdsfamily stylelocal ingredientshour boat ridenapo river in the amazonthree meals a dayprimary forestjungle hikesblow pipe
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Reviewed 2 December 2011

Yes, the service was good.
But we have made a very sad expereance.
After the lunchtime we saw a group of Ecuadorians arriving in the lodge. They looked like normal people do, wearing Jeans and T-shirt. They directly were lead to the leaders house and we were wondering what they were doing.
In the afternoon the leaders told us to follow them for a short hike. And then we saw the "indigenas". The same people who arrived after lunchtime, but now they did not wore any clothes and the leader told us that this were indigenas who were just on their way through the forest. The leader lyed. And they did not respect the dignity of men and women.

Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
10  Thank did l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 November 2011

set in the jungle up a short tributary of the Napu river, consists of communal hut doubling as dining area, bar, kitchen, meeting point and general lazing-around hangout (and home for the resident green parrot who vets all who come and go), and around twenty stand-alone twin-bedded bamboo huts with en-suite. Also a larger building for staff and guides accommodation. you arrive by longtail motorboat from the riverside town of Coca - about 40 mins trip. the staff are welcoming though english is not their strong suit, and the guides are knowledgeable. meals are hot and tasty - meat, fish, vegetables, fruit. usually three excursions a day - early morning, late afternoon and evening to avoid the heat of the day. you do walking excursions throught the lodge's own patch of jungle - mainly seeing flora, birds and insects - though we did see a tapir and some monkeys. you visit a nearby lake and a local indigenous farm. it's all a good experience.
to get to Copa you either fly or bus from Quito - 40 mins jet flight or 8 hours bumpy bus trip - opt for the flight !!
the lodge has an office in a shopfront in the Mariscal district of Quito, on Rio Amazonas almost next door to the swish Rio Amazonas Hotel. You can book there in person or book ahead on the internet. (google yarina lodge) - nd they also pre-bookyour flights. .

Room Tip: you get a hut - they're all the same.
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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Thank melbourneonthego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 February 2011

We loved Yarina. 30 min flight from Quito, 1 hour boat ride deep into the jungle where the lodge was. 3 fresh meals a day. We do not eat meat, but we do eat fish...we let them know (thinking we would get only veggies each day), they gave us fish and fried veggies at times. The trips were hot and steamy..but where you hike, is such an experience, that you don't care about hot and steamy anymore. Nothing is set in stone. We really wanted to go piranha fishing before we left, so the guide changed our plan to do that. I would recommend bringing a game as there is at least 3 hours of down time each day...or a good book. Some guests were swimming with the piranhas when we arrived. The water is not pretty (but the experience is fun), just shower off afterwards! I would also recommend bringing 2 sets of clothes for each day as you will be sweating... as well as long socks for the boots. We brought a battery operated fan, which we made good use of. Oh, had a hard pillow to start out with, they changed it for me after letting them know. Saw monkeys, toucans, tarantulas, Agouti, and other wildlife & fauna.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank ChiefSadler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2010

Don't know what folks really expect when they go 40 minutes down the Napu in an open boat and yes it is remote and there is no electricity except for a few hours a day. There are no roads and it is only accesable by river, good food, friendly people and all in all great service. No it isn't the Hilton and it isn't 5 stars either. That is the Rain Forest. Don't expect to see hordes of animals either, if you want that you should go to Africa. We had taken four days off from our trip and we had a great time.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Seagull_IL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2010

We'd just come back from Ecuador and stayed at Yarina during a 4-day trip to the Amazon. I had arranged the trip myself prior to our travel from England. Everything went smoothly and our emails were replied quite quickly (within a day) - although you do have to be patient and might have to rephrase some questions before they understand and give you a full reply. We paid over the internet via Paypal - no problem. Yuturi (Parent company) even arranged our return flights from Quito to Coca for us, which was very helpful. When we confirmed and paid the final 80% deposit 2 weeks prior to departure, they even let us know that there was a slight change in the airline - changed from Tame to Icaro on the return from Coca - so we knew what to expect.

When we arrived in Quito, we received our vouchers that they had left for us at our hotel. We did not have contact with the company again until our arrival in Coca, but this was no problem as we made our way ok through the domestic airport (international/domestic airport is quite small and v.close together) and a representative immediately picked us up on arrival, and hired a taxi to take us to the pier where we took the boat to Yarina lodge. Before the boat trip, they ask you to try on some wellies that they lend to you throughout the trip and they put this along with the rest of the luggage they carry for you to the boat.

The motorised boat trip took about 40mins, after it stopped briefly to collect some guests that had finished one of their jungle visits. On arrival at the lodge, the staff helped us out of the boat and gave us a refreshing lemon drink. We then met our guide, Eduardo(?), who briefly gave us a welcome and then a run-down of the plans for the days ahead, check your schedule for returning flights/buses and gave us the keys to our cabin. We had arrived at 1130 and lunch was at 1230, so we had some time to drop off our bags in our cabin before making our way back to the dining/communal area.

After lunch, the programme usually starts at 3pm. On the first day, we were taken on a short 1.5-2 hours hike through one of the jungle trails around the lodge. This trail was a useful initiation into the jungle and Eduardo proceeded to introduce us to some of the plants/trees that we were going to accustom throughout the whole trip in the rainforest; talking about it's medicinal purposes and/or their strategy to survive in the jungle. We also encountered a number of frogs, spider and insects here.

After this, we had a bit more time to settle into our cabin until dinner at 1900. I should state here, that we found our rooms to be clean, the beds firm but comfortable (we had good night's sleep throughout) and the mosquito nets were in good condition. There is a small bedside cabinet, table and bookcase-type stand with rail to hang some clothes with hangers supplied. They also give you two bottles of water that you could re-fill up at anytime from a water container in the bar area. The bathroom (just shower and toilet) was basic, but sufficient. The only downside to our cabin was that both the sockets (two-pronged, one in bathroom and one above cabinet) did not work, but we overcame the problem by asking another couple if we could use theirs instead to charge our batteries. Also, the curtains are a bit thin, so if you have your lights on then people can easily look in as all cabins face the path to the rest of the lodges.

Electricity was on from 0600-1000 in the evening (maybe start 10mins later some days), and I think it gets turned on between 0600-0700 as I managed to switch on the lights in the morning, possibly because they needed the generators working to turn on the cookers for the breakfast.

Because we had booked 4 days at the lodge, we only had two further full days to spend in the rainforest. And boy was it an adventure! The first activity in the day starts at 0800 after breakfast. We did a trail through some swamps and had a fantastic time navigating (and getting a bit stuck!) through the mud to look for more wildlife, learn more about the plants and tasting lemon ants! I wished we stopped for longer to take pictures, but you need to keep up to avoid falling behind and, in anyway, it is quite difficult to take photos in the half-shaded light. So make sure you learn your camera settings before you head into the jungle!

In the afternoon, we were taken by canoe boats down the manduro tributary (quite near the lodge) to a reserve enclosure here they 'rehabilitate' animals that had been kept captive as pets or in hotels. Here we immediately encountered some South American Yellow-footed tortoises and capybaras feasting on the fruits that the staff had put out for them. We then wondered around the big lagoon and saw more wildlife, again mainly frogs, amphibians and insects here, before heading to the birdwatching tower to look at the many variety of species of birds that visit here and stay until about dusk. After dark, we went back to the water and canoed on the lagoon to look for caimans. Being on the water here at night was simply magical, because all you could hear was the sound of crickets and frogs croaking. The water was lit up by fireflies and we did get to see a caiman. Even though, I wasn't that interested when I read about this part of the tour, I couldn't help but also feel excited to be able to see this small crocodile. Due to this late adventure, we did not get back to the lodge until 1930 and sit down for dinner at 2000, but we did not mind.

The next day we went to meet a Quicha family and in the afternoon walked the slightly different, but the same trail again that we did on our first day of arrival because a new couple had joined our group. We did not mind because you do get to see different things from what you may first encounter or otherwise it was good to be able to recognise/reaffirm the things that we had saw. Later in the evening, in pitch-darkness, we went on a night-time walk through the jungle again to see more creatures that only like to appear at night - including meeting a snake! It was only a shame that it was raining during this time, which might have prevented seeing more animals. Fortunately, the rest of the whole trip was relatively dry and not so humid as we expected in the jungle climate. We also didn't get any or little mosquito bites, although we spent a bottle and a half to spray ourselves with (natural) mosquito-repellent in that 3.5days in the jungle.

Overall, we would recommend this lodge, particularly to young couples or single-travellers. The price is reasonable and cheaper than other lodges. It was suitably remote for us, although if you are a keen birder then I'd suggest you need to go deeper into the jungle along the Napo River. Our aim was to be able to experience the jungle, see any wildlife that we encountered and spend as long in the jungle as possible in the short-time that we could afford there - with the lodge being only about 30mins ride (on the way back) that made it possible. It is situated outside Yasuni National Park, but has about 575ha, including the 4ha rehabilitation area with lagoon to explore, so it's still a relatively good chunk of the jungle. I'd also mentioned that it might be good for young travellers that are on a tighter budget and whom we met in our group - we are a couple around 20-30 something, so it would nice to have the opportunity to meet other like-minded young people (not rowdy) during our stay. Apart from a large American group that left the morning after our arrival, there was only about 8-10 of us left in the lodge - most probably preferring to go deeper into the jungle - so it was even more special as the programme was more adapted to our needs, rather than sticking to the prescribed tour as in the brochure.

P.S. Bring a book with you to read as you will usually have a couple of hours between after your lunch and your next activity to spare. Also, you may also consider bringing some snacks or energy bars as well, because although the meal (soup, a piece of meat/fish and side dishes of veg, potato or rice, salad and a slice of fruit) may be considered sufficient for normal meal at home, it may not be enough after using up a lot of energy hiking in the jungle. The cook does cook extra, but it can still be not enough to round for a big group (or hungry youngsters!!).

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank globe2trotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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