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“The very best ecolodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon”

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Napo Wildlife Centre
Certificate of Excellence
Hawaii
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The very best ecolodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon”
Reviewed 2 February 2014

My wife and I stayed at Napo in December 2012. Everything about it was all that a person would hope for on a true adventure into the Amazon. They are very well organized. To start with they met us at the Quito airport and made sure everyone boarded the right plane. A 30 minute flight over the Andes mountains took us to Coca, the last outpost of civilization on the Napo River. From there, we boarded long open motorized canoes for the several hours trip down the main river. The Napo River is huge and the motorized canoes were very fast taking us deep into the Amazon. After several hours the long canoes pulled to the side of the river to a small native (Yasuni) outpost. From there, we boarded hand paddled canoes which took us up a wildly atmospheric tributary. A winding jungle stream with huge trees overhanging alive with monkeys and birds. Several hours paddling brought us to a lake. By now we were in very remote Amazon surrounded by pristine rainforest hundreds of mile in all directions. The lodge is directly on the shore of the lake. Each party gets their own cabin/hut. Everything is very well constructed, beautifully designed and very clean resembling an Amazon village.. One of the best things about this lodge is that it is owned by the native Yasuni people who have lived in this area for centuries. They have a profound respect for the area and maintaining the natural integrity of the ecosystem is their first priority. Our guide was Lena Felix. She speaks perfect Spanish and perfect English and very well educated in the ecology of Yasuni National Park.
The cabins/bugalows are spotlessly clean and provide a feeling of real luxury. This is surprising because this ecolodge is about the same price as many of the others that we heard were not as well maintained. Each evening, after the explorations, everyone gathers in the open dining room overlooking the river. The dining room has a huge soaring thatched roof
with open walls all around. The food and service are first rate. I'm a vegetarian and my wife is not. We both had delicious diners every night. We enjoyed talking with the other guests who were from many different countries around the world. One nice thing is that the lodge limits the number of guests that are there at any given time so the atmosphere is very relaxed and the mood of the rainforest is never interrupted. This lodge has all the elements of a classic adventure.

Room Tip: The bungalows are connected by paved paths that wind through beautiful trees and flowers. Ours was...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NapoWildlifeCenter, Public Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, 12 February 2014
Many thanks John for your review,

We are pleased to hear that your trip was gratifying, We'll give your congratulations to our restaurant staff and guides, for their excellent guidance and for making the best experience to you, they always feel a lot of happiness to be thanked for their services.
Please feel free to follow us on our social networks in order to stay in touch with the wildlife and
thanks for share your experience with others.

Kind Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Quincy, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2014

My husband and I recently returned from a 5 day 4 night trip to Napo Wildlife Ecolodge (followed by an 8 day 7 night trip to the Galapagos – review to be written). There is absolutely no way I can do this trip the justice it deserves in this review. From the moment we landed in Coca this trip was an adventure! We met a friendly little squirrel monkey while waiting to board the motorized canoe to begin our trip to Napo. He enjoyed sitting on our shoulders! Great photo op! The motorized canoe trip was great even though it started raining (they have plastic sides that they rolled down, keeping us dry). We were given a bag lunch on the way – much appreciated! After 1 ½ - 2 hours, we switched to paddle canoes (we didn’t have to paddle) for another couple of hours to reach the lodge. What a wonderful experience!! We saw so many things on our way – monkeys, birds, and the always entertaining Giant River Otters! Just a preview of the rest of our stay!

The lodge itself was beautiful! The cabins are very comfortable and beautifully designed. The meals were buffet and very good. There was always a good variety to choose from. The soups were delicious!!

Our naturalist guide Celso was exceptional and always ensured that everyone in our group was having the best possible experience. He even arranged for a birthday cake for a member of our group who was celebrating her birthday. He was always going out of his way to make our trip memorable, and he succeeded more than we could have hoped for. We had a couple of issues with our first cabin and Celso was able to secure a different one for us the first evening. He helped us move our stuff as well. We were very grateful for his help!

The local guide, Ogor (spelling is wrong – I’m sorry) was amazing. His ability to spot things at a distance was uncanny and definitely added to the excitement of our excursions! He didn’t speak English, but we all communicated very well. Both he and Celso were as excited as we were when we spotted wildlife! Their enthusiasm and passion for the area was very evident as we explored Yasuni National Park. Their knowledge was exceptional and very helpful to all of us.

Now to the wildlife – we saw howler monkeys and heard them on several occasions (my favorite), squirrel, capuchin, owl and spider monkeys. We saw a 12-15 ft. caiman and many birds (snail kites, stinky turkeys, herons, oropendulas among many others). We made a visit to the clay licks where we saw scarlett macaws, parrotlets, parrots, and parakeets. We saw a boa constrictor in a tree at the clay licks as well. The giant rivers otters were such fun to watch and listen to! We were fortunate to see them many times throughout our stay.

The staff was wonderful as well – always friendly and ready to help. We were always greeted with a cold drink and a smile when returning from an excursion. It was such a wonderful experience, I can’t recommend it enough. I would love to visit again. I miss the sounds – especially the howler monkeys!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank schoude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NapoWildlifeCenter, Public Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, 12 February 2014
Many thanks for your comment,

We are pleased to hear that your trip was gratifying, We'll give your congratulations to our restaurant staff and guides, for their excellent guidance and for making the best experience to you, they always feel a lot of happiness to be thanked for their services.
Please feel free to follow us on our social networks in order to stay in touch with the wildlife and thanks for share your experience with others.

Kind Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palos Verdes Estates, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2014

If you want to get away from it all, see fantastic (and often rare) wildlife, and not sacrifice comfort in the least, the Napo Wildlife Center in the Ecuadorian Amazon is the place. The accommodations: Perfect; the personnel: Charming, knowledgeable and efficient; the native guides: Nothing short of amazing; the locale: Out of a dream; the cell phone connectivity: Non-existent. The seven night/eight day stay was perfect for two nature lovers (both with degrees in Biology; one an amateur nature photog), but shorter stays would still be momentous. And it was a bargain! I could go on for paragraphs, much like the hours I have spent relating our adventures and sightings to friends and colleagues, but there is only one way to do it justice: Just go.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NapoWildlifeCenter, Public Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, 12 February 2014
Many thanks David for your review,

We are pleased to hear that your trip was gratifying, We are working for generate the best experience at our guest. Please feel free to follow us on our social networks in order to stay in touch with the wildlife and thanks for share your experience with others.

Kind Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palos Verdes Estates, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 January 2014

We stayed at the NWC for 7 nights/8days. The lodge is absolutely beautiful and the food always fresh and tasty. The native and bilingual guides were excellent and very friendly and tuned into the needs of their guests. They offered us new and exciting wildlife experiences every day and awed us with their abilities to spot animals difficult to find. Every day was magical. We highly recommend this place for anyone interested in getting up at the crack of dawn every day and heading out to explore the wonders of Yasuni National Park with the expert guides NWC provides. The only thing we would have done differently was the nights in Quito spent before and after the trip to the lodge. We stayed in a hotel in downtown Quito, which is quite far away from the new airport (can be up to 1.5-2hours depending on traffic) they built outside of the city. While we were in Ecuador we found out that there is a great brand-new place called Casa de Hacienda "La Jimenita" just 15 minutes from the airport and recommended by the NWC. We checked it out and definitely would have stayed there if it would have been open at the time we booked our trip.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the Suites, they are roomy and very nice.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Evi M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NapoWildlifeCenter, Public Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, 28 January 2014
Many thanks for your comment,

We are pleased to hear that your trip was gratifying, We'll give your congratulations to our restaurant staff and guides, for their excellent guidance and for making the best experience to you, they always feel a lot of happiness to be thanked for their services.
Please feel free to follow us on our social networks in order to stay in touch with the wildlife and thanks for share your experience with others.

Kind Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fair Oaks, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2014

Every aspect of our 5 day/4 night trip to Napo Wildlife Center was wonderful, from the very well organized transfer to the jungle to the arrival at the ecolodge's excellent facilities located on the edge of a beautiful oxbow lake to the amazing wildlife viewing opportunities. The staff and guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. NWC gave us exceptional opportunities for wildlife viewing: we saw (and heard!) giant river otters close to our canoes before we even arrived at the lodge. During our stay, we saw squirrel, howler, capuchin and night monkeys, many birds (including the comical hoatzin, parrots, toucans, scarlet macaws, oropendulas, boat-billed and zig zag herons, king vulture, snail kites, etc.), a two-toed sloth, caiman, many turtles, leaf-cutter ants and much more. Our naturalist guide Jairo Sanchez was superb. He was fun, extremely knowledgeable and went to great lengths to make sure we were able to spot and photograph the wildlife. We recommend him highly. The canopy tower at NWC (all 207 steps!) gives visitors an unobstructed 360 degree view of undisturbed forest. We got great views of many birds, monkeys and a sloth from the tower. The visit to the clay lick was also great for parrots and parakeets. In addition to wildlife, NWC teaches visitors about local Kichwa traditions. Our native guide Leodan pointed out medicinal and other uses of leaves, bark, seeds and other items from the forest and shared many Kichwa traditions with us. The accommodations at Napo were excellent... beautiful cabins with very comfortable beds, hot water for showers, great views from the porch outside the room, etc. The food at NWC was also great with good variety. A very positive experience!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Marie607
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NapoWildlifeCenter, Public Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, 28 January 2014
Thanks Marie for your review,

We are pleased to hear that your trip was enjoyable, We'll give your congratulations to our restaurant staff and guides.
Please feel free to follow us on our social networks in order to stay in touch with the wildlife and thanks for share your experience with others.

Kind Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
120 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2014

We visited NWC during a 31/2 week birding trip to Ecuador with Tropical Birding Tours. We had been staying at Sacha Lodge before travelling an hour up river to visit NWC. After the motorised boat trip, we moved into a small canoe, for our 2 hours journey downriver to the Lodge, which is surrounded by a lake. On arrival we were greeted at the boardwalk with fresh juice. Then to the cabins, which were large, brightly painted circular thatched buildings. Inside we had a double bed and single bed with mosquito nets and fans. The bathrooms were clean with hot water. The rooms were quite basic but had lots of charm. We were right out deep in the amazon, so what do you expect?

The first thing we did was to change and go swimming the lake, which was idylic.

We then went to the dining room which was open to the elements, but somehow did not have mosquitoes. It was a rustic and attractive place to have meals. There was also a we stocked library area in the corner, with chairs so suitable to have an evening wildlife log. During lunch, we heard a shout that there were giant otters with young swimming in the lake. A couple of teenagers who were out swimming and had started shouting at the otters. Apparently not the thing to do, so they had to be rescued by a guide in a canoe. A bit of excitement for our first afternoon!

Meals were good and varied and the lodge catered well with our vegetarian diet and our fussy 11 year old.

Our birding was varied, walking for a few hours, taking canoe trips and going up a metal canopy tour. We saw a great variety of birds here and many different to the ones we saw at Sacha Lodge. We also went by boat to a nearly Amazon River Island, which gave us lots of different birds.

This lodge was built and run as part of a community co-operative, which makes it all the better.

On our last day, we visited the parrot lick and then visited the Community Cultural Centre, which was really interesting and great for buying modestly priced gifts.

NWC was less commercialised than Sacha Lodge and just had a better feel to it. The fact that the staff were all from the local community made it feel more like a family. This visit was an experience that we will never forget.

Room Tip: Ones nearest the lake have the best views.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Helena C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NapoWildlifeCenter, Public Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, 28 January 2014
Many thanks Helena for your review,

We are pleased to hear that your trip was enjoyable, We'll give your congratulations to our restaurant staff and guides.
Please feel free to follow us on our social networks .

Kind Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2014

We had such an amazing experience at Napo; I don't know where to start.

The staff were absolutely exceptional. Every single person, particularly our guide Selso. The cabins were beautiful (better than the pictures). My partner and I have been travelling around South America for a month and Napo had the best showers of the trip. The food and juices were incredible and plentiful.

Napo offers a really unique experience. You definitely see more wildlife there than other places. First, you get both a naturalist guide and a local guide from the indigenous community. This makes such a difference. Second, Napo owns the best clay licks and canopy towers. The other places either can't access them or have to pay. Thirdly, because Napo is deep in the national park you spend a lot of time travelling in the creeks and lakes around it in a canoe. This is where you see most of the wildlife (like giant otters!) and seems to be unique to Napo.

Before we left we were deciding between Sacha Lodge or Napo. I'm so glad we picked Napo. Sacha is not owned by the local community and as such misses out on so many cultural aspects that made our stay amazing. Sacha doesn't have the lake and creek network that Napo has where we saw our favourite things, Sacha isn't in the national park.

All the naturalist guides at Napo were truly superb but we loved our guide, Selso. He has a great sense of humour, has been working in the amazon for over five years and spots everything.

As a side note, we booked with the community owned travel agency Amazanga Expeditions to do some day tours from Quito when we got back. They were great and gave us an amazing guide - request Edison particularly for Otalavo and Cotopaxi,

Room Tip: Overlooking the lake is best!
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Amy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NapoWildlifeCenter, Public Relations Manager at Napo Wildlife Centre, responded to this review, 28 January 2014
Many thanks Amy for your review,

We are pleased to hear that your trip was enjoyable, We'll give your congratulations to our restaurant staff and guides, especially Celso for their excellent guidance and for making your trip more gratifying, they always feel a lot of happiness to be thanked for their services., please feel free to follow us on our social networks in order to stay in touch with the wildlife and thanks for share your experience with others.

Kind Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Napo Wildlife Centre

Property: Napo Wildlife Centre
Address: Yanez Pinzon N26 -131 | la Nina. Edificio Las Carabelas, oficina 101, Yasuni National Park, Ecuador
Phone Number:
Region: Ecuador > Yasuni National Park
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Yasuni National Park
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Napo Wildlife Center offers visitors a number of vantage points from which to admire and experience the spectacular, awe-inspiring diversity of the Amazon Basin. Climb the 120-ft. High galvanized-metal stairs to the jungle tower for otherwise impossible eye-to-eye views of canopy dwellers such as monkeys, eagles and macaws...Spy on clay licks teeming with parrots and occasionally visited by jungle cats or a magnificent elephant-muzzled tapir...Experience Man's ageless interaction with the jungle through the native community's perspectiveEnjoy evening walks to witness the astounding nightlife of the dense, entangled understory...Explore the many trails through "terra firme", "varzea" and swamp forest in search of the best that Amazonia has to offerBe it from the ground up, or from the canopy down, from hidden viewing blinds to silent paddling up black-water creeks, we deliver the biggest most intricate picture possible of this wonderful world. Napo Wildlife Center not only provides the educated perspective of bilingual guides but also the hands-on knowledge of the true guardians of Anangu, who live and witness the marvels of their jungle home every day. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Napo Wildlife Centre Hotel Yasuni National Park
Napo Wildlife Centre Ecuador/Yasuni National Park

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