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Review of Sani Lodge

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Sani Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 June 2013

Great food, position, staff.......and best of all.......... all monies goes to the local Kichwa people.
Rooms were well above average considering its in the jungle on a stunning lake.
Many animals to be seen here.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank Gtirman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 May 2013

Lots of waiting in-between activities to start, especially when there are new members joining the existing group. Didn't see much of wildlife but saw lots of insects e.g. leaf cutter ants, stick insects and butterflies etc. The tree-top tower gives a good view of the forest canopy. Our guide was knowledgeable and the crew were friendly. Our room/cabin was clean and supposed to have hot water but it didn't work during our stay. Electricity was restricted to certain timings (though there's electricity 24 h at the office) and there's a lights-out timing at night, so come prepared with your own torch lights or headlamps. Food was good.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Violetferrari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2013

It is very hard for me to try and describe how incredibe the Sani Lodge is. It's authenticity and people of the Sani Tribe are truly something one can only experience. This is not a lounging vacation though. If you want 5 star hotel and relaxation of sitting around this is not for you. But if you want to truly see the jungle and experience all that it has to offer, see more wildlife than you can imagine, and learn more in one day than you can remember then go to Sani Lodge. We went as a family of 5. Two kids ages 10 and 7, my husband and I and my Mom who is 69 almost 70. We loved every minute of our time there. Our boys would have stayed for 2 weeks, but we only had 4 nights and 5 days, which is really 3 1/2 days as the last day you leave the lodge at 7am, and it takes about 3 1/2 hours to get there once you land in Coca. My Mom stayed in the lodge, and we stayed in the tents which are very close to the lodge at the moment, but they are moving them to an hour away from the lodge, to be able to have a true camping experience. We saw 7 species of monkeys, a baby Fer de Lance, Tucans, and so much more you have to go there to experience it all for yourself. We were up most days at 5 and as we had young children to bed about 8:30 as they were exausted. Our Guide Javier was amazing and is the primary guide for families as his English is so good because he was educated in the USA. The best part for our boys was the blow gun practise and they just wanted to do it over and over. We all got our face painted and be sure to get the jungle stamp. If you are lucky enough to go to this incredible spot be sure to put your clothes in plastic bags, and take only 2 sets. One for hiking and one for later. It will all be wet and stinky, but it doesn't matter if you take the time to breath and look at where you are. It is like no where else on earth.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank KirstenBCCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2013

If you want an authentic jungle experience this is it.
First, I was very impressed with the common areas both in elagance and views. ESPECIALLY considering the location.
Second, we got our own two guides for just three of us and we got to choose our schedule.
Sure the guides arent textbook bookworms but they have lived in the area their entire life and therefore have the local and cultural knowledge of the area. If you have a questions they will answer them!
Third, THE FOOD AND COFFEE WERE AWESOME.

I loved our guides, I thought the were genuine and fun. During our trip we went up into the canopy, caymen watching, night hikes, parrot licks, hikes, pirhanna fishing, and took a visit to the community that runs it all.... all on our own time with our guides

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Lauren H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2013

I was at Sani Lodge as a sole traveler for 3 nights and 4 days. My experience was incredible for the following reasons:

- it is run exclusively by the local Kichwa community
- it is deep inside the jungle which makes for spectacular caiman/parrot/monkey/snake/spider/etc. watching
- the accommodation is VERY comfortable, spotless AND has Wi-Fi if you choose to stay connected while you're there
- the food is DELICIOUS with great variety and a nice balance between local Ecuadorian fare and international dishes
- the staff is unbelievably friendly, thoughtful and helpful
- the cost is significantly less than other lodges in the area

Overall, I can't imagine a better way to visit the Amazon. Sani is 5/5 on all fronts. Book and enjoy!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank kshine4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2013

You have read other reviews describing in detail what Sani is all about. We chose Sani because it is run and managed by the local tribe, plus appeared to be the best value for money. United mislaid one of our bags. We arrived in Quito at 11 pm and left for Sani at 7 am next day. We thought that we would not see the bag again. Sani staff took us to an inexpensive store to buy replacement clothing in Coca. Next day the Sani lodge staff picked the bag up at Quito international, took it to domestic, put it on the plane to Coca, by taxi to the dock, 2.5 hours down the uncharted, unmarked, Napo river, carried through the jungle, paddled in a canoe for 20 minutes, to the lodge, and then delivered to our cabin. For this alone they deserve a 5 star rating. So far in the jungle, but there is cell phone access and they have satellite internet. This place is not for the faint of heart, the infirm or the lazy. Up at 5 am in the dark, maybe raining as well, breakfast, excellent, into the canoes before dawn. A 2 hour+ hike in Wellington boots, bring insoles. Wellingtons and good ponchos provided. Back to the lodge for lunch or packed lunch in the canoe, again excellent, siesta, afternoon hike/activity. We caught no pirhana! Dinner, excellent. Night hike, to see the 6in tarantula, or canoe to see caiman. Lights out at 10pm. One employee bitten by a Fer de Lance viper, given antivenom by our guide, Daniel, and transported to Coca hospital by boat. He has now survived being bitten twice by this kind of snake! Surprisingly only a few mosquitoes. Unlike our northern varieties they were not particularly fond of me and left no welt. There has been no malaria reported in this area for over 3 years and no yellow fever for many. We took antimalarials but were assured that they are unnecessary on the Napo. Mosquito nets provided for your bed. Surprisingly comfortable. The cabins are not completely bug proof. "Palmetto" bugs can be found inside at night! When it rains it rains. One thunderstorm, lasting from 10pm to 6.30 am, dumped 8 ins of rain! Without the excellent guides, Daniel and Edwin, we would have identified very little. The Sani tribe has produced only three English speaking guides in 13 years. Edwin, a local, has no English, if he did he would be absolutely wonderful. Daniel is a free lance guide from another tribe. However, he is there frequently enough to be an expert on the area. Take quick dry clothes plus a hair dryer. Pack all your clothes in plastic bags so they remain dry until opened. Everything gets damp after a while. Apart from a few days in the Galapagos we felt damp the whole time in Ecuador. There is hot water in the rooms. Electricity from 4.30 am til 7am, then 4.30 pm until 10pm. Few outlets in the room. Avoid the double cabin, it is open above wall height so all conversation etc can be heard between the two rooms. Bring cash. The usual tips, expected from "rich" gringos, are $10 / day divided between the guides, $10 / day for the staff. We did not count the day we left. Large beers are $3, wine $5 a glass and $30 a bottle. US dollars are the currency in Ecuador. Be aware that there is only one flight from Coca to Quito on the weekend. Bring good flash lights and head lamps. Required for night hikes and reading in the room. Good binoculars essential. A camera with at least 10x optical magnification that can take 3 quick pictures to capture moving wild life. Do not expect to swim in the lagoon, it is where the Caiman live. 4 days 3 nights was fine. We also spent a week in the Galapagos, some time in Quito and the cloud forest. Coming and going through Quito. Try to stay in the same hotel for all nights in Quito so that you can leave a case there containing items unwanted at the different locations. Enjoy.

Room Tip: Avoid the double dorm room.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank marrack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2013

I can't imagine a better place for an Amazon Jungle experience. Everything was exceptional, staff was great, a very enjoyable and memorable experience.

The only issue we had, we didn't have hot water in our original room so we had to change. The room we were in first was nicer, but didn't matter w/o no hot showers. Other than that, the perfect experience.

People before had issues with the boots - our were new and comfortable. We even did a 17 km hike in them, so no issues. It was nice to have footbeds in them for cushion, but good either way.

Our guide was Freddy - he was terrific. Incredibly service oriented, very knowledgeable, and part of the Sani community, so he could share all the history as well as the lore. I can't imagine a more knowledgeable guide.

From Coca - it was a short ride to the dock, then a 2+ hr boat ride down river, a 15 minute walk across a wooden platform and a 15 minute canoe ride to the lodge. They provided us a sack lunch and even included a special vegetarian meal for the one of us who was a veggie. However, they seemed to forget once we got here - if you have a special dietary need, you should remind then.

When we arrived we were greeted with drinks and shown to our room. No electricity during the day, only at night during certain hours. We went for a boat ride and saw some bats on a log sticking out of the water, turkeys and other birds. We met “our group” for dinner which was fine and then went on a boat ride to cayman watch. The biggest one we saw was as we were getting of the boat. We also saw a baby and a frog.

The next day we had breakfast at 5:30 Took a canoe to the trail to the boat to the clay lick. Only green parrots were there, but pretty interesting. Stopped and saw a nocturnal bird sleeping (child – saw an adult the next day). Continued down the coat and went to the Sani community, saw a coffee plantation, pineapple, bananas, yucca root, cocoa. Not a plantation in our sense = more like plants in a jungle.

Had a snack – fish cooked in banana leaves w/hearts of palm, grilled grubs (the women like them raw, especially the heads); grilled cocoa beans, plaintains, fermented yucca drink, grilled yucca. Bought some jewelry. Also heard stories about how the Sani people started, clearing the jungle and the ever feared, powerful, Anaconda.

We had a lunch and then went on a hike and saw a tapir, birds, etc. We were pretty lucky to see a tapir. Few people get to see them - they are called jungle cows.

Day 3, breakfast at 5:30, then for a 17km hike which they did specifically for us since we are hikers. We saw the Tapir again - much better view this time, howler monkeys (red), wooly monkeys, squirrel monkeys, and a gekko in our room. Lots of mud and trees over little streams we had to balance on. WE got muddy and pretty sweaty, but it was a very enjoyable hike and flat. One of the workers met us at the end and we had a nice hot lunch. Then onto the canopy tower. Pretty dead there. Then, on the way back when we passed under the monkey bridge one in our party was actually pooped on by a howler monkey (snicker snicker).

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sani Lodge

Address: Rio Napo Riverside, Yasuni National Park, Ecuador
Region: Ecuador > Yasuni National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Yasuni National Park
Price Range: £446 - £673 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Sani Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sani Lodge is the only jungle lodge in Ecuador that is 100% owned and operated by the indigenous Kichwa community of Sani Isla. On the banks of a stunning lagoon, and surrounded by pristine rainforest, packed with monkeys, manatees, sloths, manatees and over 550 types of birds, this superb jungle lodge is a perfect base to explore the Amazon jungle by day and enjoy some real comfort by night. Camping option available. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sani Hotel Yasuni National Park
Sani Hotel Quito
Sani Resort All Inclusive
Sani Lodge Ecuador/Yasuni National Park

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