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“Trip of a lifetime - Amazonas” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sani Lodge

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Sani Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Trip of a lifetime - Amazonas”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2013

The Sani Lodge is a treasure for the Yasuni people and the whole world. The cottages are very comfortable and in the heart of the amazon. I had the pleasure to be there in August when it was dryer and there were no mosquitoes. I traveled to Sani in August 2012 and everyone should experience the rain forest and the treasures that lie within.

The trip begins with a 30 minute flight from Quito to Coca. You are greeted by a guide that takes you to the small harbor where you pick up your motorized canoe. Depending on the water level the trip can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. The river trip is breath taking and there are components of National Geographic anticipation, excitement and nervousness. You are in great hands all of the guides were awesome.

Once you get near Sani, you will take a 15-20 minute walk through the amazon rain forest on a fantastic wooden path built above the forest floor. Monkeys are swinging off the trees and everything is alive:D. You then take a canoe for 45 minutes manually powered into the Yasuni Lodge.

Juan was our guide and he was super encyclopedia of knowledge, experience and spoke multiple languages.

The staff is lovely, everyone is welcoming and the food is delicious and the fruit juices are awesome. Everything I tasted was excellent and waking up to the sounds of the forest coming back to life is something that cannot be described with words or pictures.
This is the folks you should book for an awesome amazon adventure.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Toni B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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227 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
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English first
London
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2013

My family (me, my husband and two children (21,15) stayed here from 26th to 29th July and loved everything about it. It starts with the adventurous trip there, 85 miles (km??) slaloming down the Napo (as the Amazon is known in Ecuador) to miss the sandbanks, then a short trek along a boardwalk across soft ground, then into another canoe to glide along backwaters and then across the lagoon to get to the lodge....and it never stopped then until we left!! Gliding across the silent lagoon after nightfall to spot caimans, up at 5 for a morning canoe and hike to spot the wildlife and birds at their most active (we saw so much - but i don't want to spoil everything!), up to the top of the rainforest canopy, another hike (take water it gets hot!), hike after nightfall to spot night insects, spiders (breathtaking - do not miss this opportunity). Then next day up again at 5 to head for the "quaint" parrot clay lick, then a visit to a farm, visit to their community centre to meet the locals and understand more about their way of life, Ecuadorian lunch prepared by the Sani community, football match (locals), then piranha fishing, learning to use a blowpipe......the list goes on. If anything, I could have done with half an hour to gaze in silence across the lagoon.
The food is excellent....there were three vegetarians in our group of 9 (including myself) and they catered brilliantly for us. And even when we were out and about food and drink kept appearing out of nowhere. And there is also an opportunity to try Ecuadorian "citric" ants if you want and some bulbous larvae (dead or alive) if you wish to!!
Javier our guide was second-to-none...his English was exceptional and his knowledge boundless. And so much enthusiasm. This place has been set up with oil money with ALL proceeds going to help the local Sani community resist the ingress of the oil companies onto their land...and there is a strong eco-message here about the damage to the forest and wildlife. This place deserves your support.
It's not luxurious...the cabins are basic comfortable, hot water is intermittent, plumbing iffy and electricity intermittent...but only for the Western standards we have become used to. This is the middle of the jungle for heaven's sake...you are so remote here - that is its charm. You feel like a real adventurer here and the kindness of the staff and the wildlife you will see is hard to beat. As you can see I loved every minute and intend to go back again for longer!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Scottishlady1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Level Contributor
113 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2013

I did 5 days and 4 nights camping at Sani, travelling solo. As previous commenters have mentioned, it is not luxury, but it is clean and well managed. My tent was new and came with a mattress and proper linens. It was well cleaned every day. The showers didn't always have water and were cold, but the bathrooms were also clean.

The guide was excellent and knowledgeable and went out of his way to give us a great experience. His English was faultless and he took account of the abilities of the group (in terms of their endurance) in planning the days.

The food was fantastic and plentiful and the staff ever helpful.

Above all, I really did feel that staying somewhere run by and for the Sani community was the right way to see the rainforest and gain some real (small) insight into life here. Sani may be slightly rough around the edges, but the real desire of the staff to make it a trip of a life time more than make up for that.

Room Tip: Camping is great value if you are travelling on a budget.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MuddyMiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Torrance, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2013

Sani Lodge was a fantastic experience in the Ecuador Rainforest. The guides amazed me with their knowledge of the jungle and the culture of the people. They kept us on the go with day and night hikes, paddling on the lagoon and traveling down the river. The cooks and staff provided excellent meals and service. The 4 day stay was not long enough. I would love to return in the future.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank heather c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
49 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2013

daily itinerary was full, but you were able to have input. Expect to be at breakfast by 530, then off to your adventures! Enjoyed how jungle hikes were 2-3hours, deep into the jungle. Guides (Jose & Caesar) were great and enjoyed having our meals with Jose. Caesar was good at pointing out insects & birds. Saw so many species of birds, enjoyed the bird watching from the tree top. Night jungle hike was scary for me, but my husband loved it. Sunset views from the bar were magnificent. Enjoyed the leaf cutter ants working outside our cabana. Accommodations were basic, as expected for the jungle - but our bathroom could have been a little cleaner. Advertisement about unlimited observation tower visit was misleading (as it takes 45minutes of canoe/hiking to get there). community visit was very educational, but then we had to watch 2 full soccer games - was exhausting for us. Overall, very memorable lodge, as staff was very knowledgeable & proud of the surroundings.
We appreciated the poncho & wellies for daily use.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tran234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2013 via mobile

Sani Lodge is a well managed place. The staff are delicated, the location and nature fantastic.
They serve very delicious food too.
I love the amazon waters, the rivers, the creeks and the lakes.
I truely enjoyed my six days there.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PeckKwan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Crownsville (near Annapolis)
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2013

We spent four days at the Sani Lodge and had a fantastic experience. This place is NOT posh--this is no spa retreat in the jungle. BUT, if you want to meet wonderful people, see rainforest up close, learn about the life of the indigeneous rainforest dwellers, while eating and sleeping well and feeling quite safe--this is the place. We awoke each day at 5:30 and were at breakfast by 6:00! But it was worth it. Our guide, Fredy, spoke perfect English but had grown up in the jungle hunting wild pigs with grandfather and uncles. He showed us where to find good tasting ants to eat (for real!) and what vines contain clear water you can drink. We saw Toucans, squirrel monkeys, wooly monkeys, caimon, walking stick insects, scorpions, etc. Fredy was good company and answered questions about how his community was organized, cultural expectations, family life etc. On the third day, Fredy took us to his community and we met his Mom and Dad and saw their coffee farming. Then they cooked lunch for us--fresh fish packed into a paste made from hearts of palm and wrapped in a banana leaf. I have literally never tasted anything more delicious! We also ate some roasted beetle larvae, which I don't long to eat again, but it was interesting. Staff was friendly, food at the lodge was very good. They have a small library, spotty wi-fi, and a full bar. The rooms are like camping--bare wood with a thatched roof, clean and strurdy but no decorative touches. Electricity operates for five hours daily. The showers offer a crazy trickle of sometimes scorching, then suddenly cold water. So, don't come if you really want the Red Door. But do come if you are curious and open hearted and want to get up close and personal with one of the richest ecosystems on the planet.

Room Tip: There is a lodge house that contains four units. The walls don't go all the way to ceiling so...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BluHiWays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sani Lodge

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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