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“The experience is not just what you see but what you hear and smell.”

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La Selva Amazon Ecolodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Vancouver, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The experience is not just what you see but what you hear and smell.”
Reviewed 24 April 2014

From the moment we stepped off the plane in Coca we were hit with a rich earthy smell unlike anything I've experienced before. Here my daughter and I learned we were the only two guests arriving that day so making our way to the dock to begin the journey downstream took no time at all. Now the audio of life here can be as interesting as the visual and the Latin pop music competing with the telenovela playing on a big screen TV at mid day at the hotel were we boarded the motor boat added to the strangeness of this place not the least of which was the carcass of a commercial jetliner and a London double deck bus serving as boogie barges tied alongside the vacant party patio and swimming pool. At night on weekends filled with locals and workers from the jungle oil rig camps this place must be fascinating.

For the next two hours or so the roar of the outboard motor dominated our senses and except for a brief break to eat lunch and a bit of a rain storm, the zig zagging down the river with the odd village and field camp staging area dotting the banks was little distraction from the sound.

Arriving at the river dock we were met by Ricoh a friendly little dog and then set off for a fifteen minute walk to the edge of the lagoon to board a canoe for a paddle across to the lodge. Rodrigo our guide paddled the two of us and one other staff member through the flooded jungle as March being the start of the rainy season had seen the lagoon level rise significantly over the past few weeks. Barely into our adventure and before reaching the lodge we came across a Tarantula, an immature Green Anaconda and a Wood-creeper that apparently had alluded a group of bird watchers the week before.

For the next day and a half, after a briefing on what to avoid when we were in the jungle, we had a tour with Rodrigo all to ourselves exploring. The night we arrived there had been an incredible rainstorm, the sound in our cottage was so loud I grabbed my camera to record video just for the audio. Our trek the next morning, while the sun was shining, was met with very wet vegetation and the sound of tall trees, whose roots were weakened by the dampness in the earth, crashing to the ground with branches breaking and smaller trees being knocked over. This trail through the swamp to a neighbouring farmer's home was my daughter's favourite, walking on fallen tree trunks to keep out of the muck. Don't thick twice about not wearing the Wellingtons supplied! There we met a husband and wife and their two year old granddaughter, shared some food and learned a little about life on the Rio Napo.

That evening at dinner we were joined by two other guests who arrived that evening and came to the table at about the same time that the chef delivered a pan fried Piranha that Rodrigo caught while we tried our luck fishing during a late afternoon canoe ride were we had also encountered a troupe of maybe 50 Squirrel Monkeys noisily feeding in the high canopy on the lagoons south east bank shortly before sunset.

Each guide eats his meals with their particular tour party and it's during this time the coming activities are discussed along with more general conversation.

The following day we had an early 6am wake up call, which is exactly that with Luis calling out good morning at our doorway, for a river ride upstream to the clay lick frequented by parrots at the Yasuni National Park followed by a healthy hike looking for toucans and macaws in the highlands south of the river.

Time spent is not all active as I treated my daughter to a massage in the spa during siesta which left her far too relaxed to take part in the afternoon walk to the 40m high lookout in a tree which allows a totally different perspective of the jungle from high in the canopy. Once again we encountered a large number of Squirrel Monkeys this time while standing beneath them as they bashed through the trees picking fruit. A word of caution if you find yourselves in the same situation and you think it is raining, it's not, so don't be standing looking up in awe with your mouth open.

Our trip back to Coca was a bit more crowded as seven bird watchers on a longer stay also left with us and the boat driver gave them ample opportunity to tick more species off their lists by slowing the boat near sand bars and along the river's banks.

In all a tiring four days which was packed with dozens of lasting memories.

Room Tip: All the rooms have screens rather than glass windows and doors. In the evening particularly you can...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank J Graham C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kjetil H, Owner at La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, responded to this review, 14 May 2014
Dear jgprop,

Your title says it all! There is so much to take in when you experience a trip to the Amazon and sitting in the middle of all the wonder is La Selva. We are thrilled to know that your journey here was filled with so much adventure and that you were able to thoroughly enjoy your stay with your daughter. There is nothing like witnessing the natural beauty and energy of the jungle with an incredible diversity of wildlife. When you choose to see and do as much as there is at La Selva, it may be tiring, but you will always have the memories and irreplaceable moments of time that you were able to share with your daughter!

Thank you so much for your comments and we will continue striving to create even more outstanding location where long-lasting memories can be made for future guests to come!

Sincerely,
La Selva
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (133)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
Reviewed 24 April 2014

My wife and I booked via agent in Australia, natural focus, everything went perfectly in
.
The lodge .Room was gorgeous with jacuzzi. Food excellent, and guides outstanding. Of course it rained but we were provided with gumboots, and waterproof ponchos on the canoes. Massage was also excellent.

Our guide, Dianne, and local guide, we're amazing, constantly on the look out for new creatures to examine, always informative, and helpful walking thru the jungle.

The lodge lake can be used for swimming, however, we did fish for piranha, and did see a cayman, small croc sharing the experience ...

This is not suitable for young children, or uncontrolled minors, it's a place to enjoy every second of natural sounds, color, flora and fauna.

Room Tip: Ask for the room with the jacuzzi .. It works well, and amazing to relax in surrounded by jungle sou...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Geoffl01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kjetil H, Owner at La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, responded to this review, 14 May 2014
Dear Geoff01,
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your stay with us. Our main priorities are providing outstanding services for our guests and we are pleased that you received nothing but the best.
Family suites are a great choice to enjoy the Jacuzzi’s, as well as the private porch where you can enjoy the beautiful jungle sounds all to yourself! They are also great for families who decide to visit with children. There are many activities that children can enjoy at La Selva, young and old, which make La Selva a fantastic option for families to experience something extraordinary together for long lasting memories.

Kindest Regards,
La Selva
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Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2014

My partner and I have just finished our trip to La Selva and were totally blown away by how incredible the location is. The lodge itself is in the most secluded and tranquil setting right in the middle of the Amazon jungle on the most breathtaking lake. What sets this place apart is the service and most notably the guides.

We were lucky enough to have Paul as our guide who was unbelievably knowledgeable, friendly and genuinely caring, we learnt so much from him and he took great interest in all of the members of our small group.

The lodge itself was luxurious and very comfortable, with fantastic facilities to keep you entertained whenever there was down time from the twice daiily activities. We stayed 3 nights and 4 days and to be honest although it would be easy to stay weeks, we managed to do lots in this time and still relax. Highly recommended lodge!!

Room Tip: Try and ask for Paul as your guide!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Stepho333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kjetil H, Owner at La Selva Amazon Ecolodge, responded to this review, 14 May 2014
Dear Stepho333,
Thank you so much for your great review about La Selva Amazon Ecolodge & Spa. We always do our best to surpass our guest’s expectations and we are delighted that you enjoyed your adventure filled stay with our guides. There are indeed many activities to enjoy at La Selva and we are thrilled that your experiences were beyond satisfaction!

As always, we appreciate your comments and feedback and look forward to continuously improving the quality of our lodge!

Kindest Regards,
La Selva
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 April 2014

My first time writing a review for anything on tripadvisor! That's how great La Selva was. The staff, the guides, the facilities and the FOOD - everything was awesome. This is from a vegan with very specific diet which was taken care of fabulously (including vegan desserts). The location on the lagoon made it very easy for kids to hang out. The guides (ours were Patti and Rodrigo) were awesome! If you plan to take a kid, do ask for Patti. She is great with kids - very patient, very friendly and answers all their questions! Doesn't hesitate to go back on a trail if she spotted anything or if a child wants a better look. We saw lots of wildlife - birds, primates and insects! Our highlight was the howler monkeys, the marmosets and the parrot clay licks. The open rooms in the jungle didnt bother us one bit. We didnt have any trouble with insects in the room. I did request for an additional fan in the room and that helped out a lot! The guides carry ponchos with them which came in very handy. The boots at the lodge were a must-need item and worked out well for us. I did get my daughter her own boots in quito as i was not sure if they would have her size. Just came back this weekend and had to write a review immediately! The hikes and activites lasted 2 to 3 hours so your kid must be prepared for that. Walking in the jungle means there will be insects and wildlife about - but nothing that can't be handled with long sleeved clothing, some spray and maybe a net for the kids if needed. Their FOOD is everything that everyone else raves about. I am now recommending to La Selva to everyone i know!

Room Tip: Ask for an extra fan.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank PaddyJa
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 Padmapriya J

At La Selva Lodge we take care of every single detail, considering our passengers demands and desires.
Our facilities and personnel are great for families and it makes us happy to know that your guides and accommodation were as expected.

We are constantly doing our best to improve our services and your feedback is extremely valuable.

Kind regards,
La Selva Lodge
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Western Australia
Level 6 Contributor
152 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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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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Quito, Ecuador
Level 6 Contributor
297 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 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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Level 1 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
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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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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 Spa 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 offers 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 Guides and a bilingual Naturalist Guides 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 by seeing, and hearing 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 Amazon. The 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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