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“Wonderful Experience”

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La Selva Amazon Ecolodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Western Australia
Level Contributor
152 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Wonderful Experience”
Reviewed 18 April 2014

We had the 5 day stay at La Selva. This is a little misleading as that included the trip in and back out. Fair enough our first excursion was on the first evening but we did nothing but travel on the 5th day. I also had some issues with communication between myself and Columbus before we departed Australia. I found it very difficult to get answers to emails about the travel details and when I went onto the online chat to complain within the hour I was sent everything I needed. My agent said he had sent the emails but they must not have got through. This happened three times and yet when the emails about me paying were being sent there was no problem, hmmm. I also read another reviewer who had similar problems with the same agent.

That said everything went smoothly. We had a first night stay in Quito at Casona de la Rhonda included which was a nice hotel. We were picked up and taken to the airport, escorted through check in and met after our short 23 minute flight to Coca. Again we were met and escorted to the Napo River. From there it was all aboard a motorised boat for a two hour ride up the river, included was a cold beer, loved that, water and a box lunch.

Once we docked it was a short 10 minute walk through the jungle to a waiting canoe at the lagoon . I will point out we were only taking carry on luggage from Coca. Our main bags were taken for us.

Then we got our first look at the lagoon. First we were paddled through the creek which was eery but beautiful. Like a scene from Indiana Jones. This opened out into the lagoon which was stunning. A 10 minute paddle and we were at the lodge.

We were greeted with cold towels and a refreshing passionfruit juice and had a quick meeting with the manager explaining the lodge, dinner arrangements etc. then it was off to the rooms where our bags were waiting.

The rooms were great. They are huts but with tiled floors, nice beds with insect nets, a nice bathroom and toilet. The deck has a hammock and a outdoor bath for cooling dips. We thought they were great for an eco lodge, not 5 star but they are very comfortable.

The lodge is great to. Wifi is available at the main lodge and is average quality but good enough to load photos, check emails etc. The drinks are wonderful but do cost, bar tab settled at the end. The cocktails with local fruits were sublime. The food was always decent and sometimes superb. Breakfasts were great as they were small selection buffets with a cook to order egg station. Lunches were sometimes 3 course set menus and sometime small buffet. One day we had an awesome barbecue, probably the best meal of the trip. Dinners were 3 course set meals. The food was not gourmet as some have made out, but it was good. My only complaint is that the servings were small. After a days hiking through the jungle you want something substantial. My 16 year daughter thought they were too small. They could maybe offer fillers like rice, pasta or bread on the tables.

Our guide Paul was first class. Incredibly intelligent man who not only knew about the amazon but also the rest of the world. This allowed him to relate what he was showing us back to what we were familiar with. This assisted our understanding greatly. He was attentive, patient but authoritative when needed. When you are in the jungle you want to feel your guide is in control. He also treated the native guides very well and they seemed to respect him. He is a real asset to the lodge.

With Paul and our native guides eagle eyes we saw 4 species of monkeys including the ultra shy marmosets, bats, dozens of birds including toucans and macaws, numerous frogs, millipedes, insects, lizards, butterflies, plants, caught piranha, saw a caiman and were even stalked by an arapaima, a 3 metre fresh water fish. We visited a local community and ate samples of their food, drank their chichha and learnt about their lives.

All in all it was a fabulous experience at La Selva. The staff are wonderful, the lake beautiful and the jungle enthralling. I give this eco lodge my highest recommendation. Just remember its not a resort, although you can get massages. Its an eco lodge, its has some discomforts like no air conditioning, you have to walk through humid jungles, sit on hard seats in canoes and sleep to the sounds of the amazon and awake early.

If you are looking for luxury look elsewhere, if you are looking for good comfort, great service, good food and an experience of a lifetime you don't mind working a little bit for, La Selva is for you. We loved it.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Redaussie8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LaSelvaEcolodge, Guest Relations Manager at La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, responded to this review, 25 April 2014
Dear Redaussie8

It is nice to have your review.

Due to our location, the journey to and from the lodge takes time.
Going down the river and entering the lodge is part of the adventure and you are already in the Amazon Rain forest.

We are sorry to hear about your problems with the email correspondence, we are sure Columbus is doing its best to not have this kind of setback with future clients.

Having superb fruit cocktails and meals, first class guides, great wildlife observation opportunities and top accommodation are our main goals.

Thanks for sharing with us your comments.

Sincerely,
La Selva Lodge
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  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
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    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
297 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 April 2014

If you want to be in the jungle itself and experience the real life in the forest with confort, great food and amazing service you have to go right straight to this lodge, some people think that going to the jungle is living in bad conditions while visiting but this place proves the opposite!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Jorge S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LaSelvaEcolodge, Guest Relations Manager at La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, responded to this review, 25 April 2014
Dear JorgeSandoval007

We are glad to have your comments!

Indeed the lodge is located deep in the Amazon rain forest, nevertheless, the accommodation fulfills all expectations which does make a difference during your adventure in the Jungle.

We highly appreciate your feedback and hopefully your friends and relatives will visit us soon.

Best regards,
La Selva Jungle Lodge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 April 2014

We booked our trip through Columbus Travel beginning with one night at the SwissHotel in Quito followed by 3 nights at La Selva, culminating with a week on the OceanSpray in the Galapagos. I cannot begin to express what a wonderful trip this was. Our stay at La Selva was a great way to kick off the adventure. I had no idea how interesting birds are - there were so many birders at the lodge and so many interesting and rare birds to be seen that you simply can't help but become one yourself!
Our naturalist Oscar and native guide Rodrigo were both excellent. Rodrigo has eyes like a hawk - spotting a pigmy marmoset (the size of your fist and the same colors as the bark and knots in the tree) up a tree about 50 feet in the air. My younger son caught a piranha on his first toss, though the rest of us were not so lucky. The chef cooked it up for us - actually quite tasty though LOTS of bones!
The accommodations are very nice. We lucked out with the weather - though it rained quite a bit (it is a rainforest, as they will remind you often) - it stopped at just the right moments for us to enjoy our activities. Lots of walks and canoe rides. Very interesting trip to the local village - encourage your guide to go to the Sima Isla (??) village rather than just the house as there is a lot more to see and it more interesting based on conversations with other guests who just went to the house.
Lots of early mornings which my 14 year old could have lived without, but leisurely midday rests and early nights. No AC, which was fine, though I imagine at times it can be pretty hot so just know that before your visit.
Very clean accommodations and great food. People are all very friendly. Our guide spoke perfect English, though I have heard that for some there was a bit of a language barrier, so if you have no Spanish you might request a naturalist with good English skills. The native guides don't speak much English, but as long as your naturalist does it is totally fine.
You learn so much and really can't go wrong. I highly recommend this addition to your Ecuadorian adventure.

Room Tip: BIG TIP - It is L-O-U-D in the jungle at night. There's a frog that sounds exactly like an alarm...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank loweissman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LaSelvaEcolodge, Guest Relations Manager at La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, responded to this review, 25 April 2014
Dear Loweissman

Thanks for your review!

It is great to know that you did the best of Ecuador in just one trip, Amazon and Galapagos.
For sure wildlife was the highlight of your journey.
We are delighted to know that you enjoyed every aspect of our lodge, as well as our guides and activities.

Thanks for you choosing us.

Sincerely,
La Selva Jungle Lodge
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Level Contributor
48 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 April 2014 via mobile

This is a comfortable lodge to stay in and we were in a superior suite on the upper floor. Though it is hot, with the open walls and a light breeze blowing through, you could sleep fairly easily and I think we only saw one bug in the room the whole time. On the day we arrived, it rained for most of our journey but we were given ponchos to wear during our journey and on arrival welcomed with towels and hot chocolate, which was most welcomed. Food was great and we had a lovely local guide called Teo. The only reason I haven't given the top rating was because we were assigned a naturalist guide who hadn't worked for La Selva before and for us it showed as he was unfamiliar with the set up and where to go. Also, he was also taking photos when we were taking photos which is a bit disconcerting when you are a guest. We spoke Spanish with him, however, he had to switch to English when some English speaking guests joined us and unfortunately, he didn't always understand the question so at times we would help out. In summary, the lodge is great and you can indeed catch a piranha which we managed to do in about half an hour! But your experience can be diminished if you don't get the right guides.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Penfold13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Katie B B, Owner at La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, responded to this review, 11 April 2014
Dear Penfold13

We are pleased to know you enjoyed your stay at our lodge.

La Selva Lodge works with a specific set of guides, all of them certified naturalists.
The week that you stayed with us, a last minute group confirmation required us to hire an extra guide who did not have experience at La Selva Lodge.
We take pride in our excellent guides and we will do our best to avoid this kind of situation in the future.

Thank you for your constructive comments.

Sincerely,
La Selva Lodge
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Saint Helena Island, South Carolina
Level Contributor
53 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2014

We booked into La Selva as a "bookend" to our trip to the Galapagos. While it is somewhat of a "trek" to reach (1 hour by plane, plus another hour + via boat) it was well worth it. The lodge directly opens onto Lake Garzacocha, and is quite airy and inviting. the staff was excellent and the meals very well prepared and flavorful. The individual rooms were large and very clean.

As with any "animal" experience (Botswana, etc.) it's early up and out to do the best viewing. Not many mammals/animals, but birds galore. And, our guide/naturalist was top notch. In addition to our party, there were several families. Based on the kids' reactions and experiences, it was a very worthwhile experience for them too. four nights and five days (including almost a day's travel each way back and forth to Quito) was about the right length.

IN summary -- a top notch lode with a very good wildlife program.

Room Tip: All appeared to be of equal quality.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank RoyboyIII
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Katie B B, Owner at La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, responded to this review, 11 April 2014
Dear RoyboyIII,

We are delighted to know that you enjoyed La Selva Jungle Lodge.

In the rainforest, patience is really important in order to see certain animals.
It is not comparable with a safari or a Galapagos cruise, where abundant wildlife is easy to spot but we are thrilled you were able to experience the incredible diversity of bird species that live in this area.

We are also very pleased that you and your family enjoyed the services and meals provided, as we always strive to deliver an excellent experience. The journey itself, to the lodge, is part of the adventure and its isolation permits unique animal sightings and a more relaxing experience deep in the rainforest.

We greatly appreciate your comments.

Sincerely,
La Selva Jungle Lodge
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Victoria
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2014

If you are a " Birder " you have to stay at La Selva Lodge in Ecuador, and ask for Daniel and Tio Jose for your guides. We had the most amazing time, saw wonderful birds and wild life, and enjoyed the comfortable accommodation and grand food, with fresh juice always. We had a small glitch at the beginning of our stay because the lodge did not have the information that we were primarily interested in birding. However, that was sorted out gracefully and quickly, and the rest of the stay was great. I highly recommend this lodge and am pleased to report that there are virtually no bugs, certainly not in the Cabanas.

Room Tip: Make sure you have all the details of your visit tied up before you leave for your holiday especiall...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Robininsky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Katie B B, Guest Relations Manager at La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, responded to this review, 3 April 2014
Dear Robininsky

We are pleased to know that you enjoyed your stay at the lodge.

It is very important that, during the booking process, you inform your preferred travel agency of your specific interests. Unfortunately we did not receive any notification about your bird interest in advanced, and we are sorry for any inconvenience that it might have caused you.

We will remind our travel agencies to inform us of such important details and we are thankful for your valuable feedback

Sincerely,
La Selva Amazon Ecolodge & Spa
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Excelsior, Minnesota
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2014

I arrived with friends by boat as described by others. The main lodge is welcoming and completely open to the lake. The acidity of the waters of Heron Lake (Laguna Garzacocha) repels mosquitos so I never detected one in the lodge or my lovely room, practically an extension of the rainforest with screens but no windows. If you want mosquitos, they await in the forest. Equipped with rubber boots, be prepared to explore the forest by night as 70% of forest activity occurs during the hours of darkness. Bring a strong flashlight! Henry, our guide, had an uncanny ability to find frogs and exotic insects in the dark poised under leaves or on branches. By day he was equally adept at spotting birds, monkeys, sloths, etc. in the canopy. Naturalist Diane knowledgably described their origin and role in the life of the jungle. As most creatures feed at dawn and dusk we climbed at first light to a viewing platform 150 feet up in an enormous ceiba tree offering a vast panorama above the third canopy. One evening we drifted across the lake in a canoe into the narrow, twisting canal system to see tiny marmosets in the trees then, as darkness enveloped us, were surrounded by bats devouring insects attracted to the canoe by a spot light. The food was excellent. Typical Ecuadorian fare. There was plenty to see and do as well as time to rest an enjoy the sounds and abundant rains which raised the lake a foot overnight. The safety of guests was always a priority but be prepared for the unexpected (boa anyone?) and moderate exertion. Our departure was serenaded in early morning by a loud chorus of howler monkeys. What a way to see the rainforest!

Room Tip: The entire resort was remodeled in 2012. My room (#5 - cacique) was adjacent to the lodge, elevated...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Jean G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Selva Amazon Ecolodge

Property: La Selva Amazon Ecolodge
Address: | Yasuní Biosphere Reserve, Yasuni National Park 170143, Ecuador
Region: Ecuador > Yasuni National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Yasuni National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — La Selva Amazon Ecolodge 4*
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
La Selva Amazon Ecolodge is the perfect Reserve for all kinds of travelers. We offer naturalists - wildlife tours, special birdwatching programs, honeymoon trips and family excursions, all in harmony with the rainforest around you.At La Selva, guests are given the opportunity to explore intricate trail systems led by both a local Native Guide and a bilingual Naturalist Guide divided into small groups in order to maximize overall experiences. La Selva’s guides are the key to fulfilling and captivating outings because they already know the area well hearing, seeing and even smelling things guests cannot, they are passionate about the jungle and their years of experience make all the difference between an acceptable tour and an astounding tour in the Amazon.Native guides are from the local communities and behold an awesome amount of ancestral knowledge about the AmazonThe Naturalist Guides that lead guests through the Amazon are bilingual and have studied and trained for many years in order to become a Naturalist and National Park certified guide. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Selva Jungle Hotel Yasuni National Park
La Selva Amazon Ecolodge Ecuador/Yasuni National Park

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