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“Really enjoyed the visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Sani Lodge

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Sani Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
137 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
“Really enjoyed the visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2014

I went to Sani to experience the rain forest and 'Amazonia' but mostly for the birding. I was very sorry to leave on the fifth day, and if returning, would stay another one or two. I appreciate that Sani doesn't limit start dates except for no Sunday starts. It makes more efficient travel planning (in my mind). The office was very helpful with questions and when I needed to ask for a delay in final payment due to a medical situation they were accommodating. I booked directly with them and the Western Union money wires went well.
I requested Domingo as my local bird guide. He had been recommended and though he had limited English, and I had rusty Spanish, he knows birds in English so we got along quite well. His guiding services are free. I didn't feel I missed anything for not paying for a bilingual guide, but I understand why they offer it....what I didn't realize is that you dine with your guide, so in my case we sat across from each other with limited conversation. Between his quiet nature and our lack of common language some would find it awkward. Day 3 we had two other guests at table and birding, but them being from France, meant I was intermediary in three languages. Phew.
Domingo was a great guide and his second paddler is his nephew Jason, who he is training as a bird guide. Jason has a good future ahead of him. They were a good team.
Given the birding focus, I did not participate in the regular day to day activities though we had some hours in the jungle, most birding is done from canoe or river boat.
Though theoretically the dry season, it is still wet in February. It took a while to get my poncho from them, but boots were handy and I had a pocket poncho at hand. Do bring one of these as we all got caught in a shower with luggage on the way to the lodge and no lodging provided items. They protected the luggage, but my handy dandy pocket poncho protected my backpack with all the cameras and electronics.
Food was very good and after one or two send backs, they were very good about accommodating my food sensitivities/allergies. I always had fresh fruit selections for dessert, and I think no one got cream soups while I was there to make it easier for the kitchen.
Other guides I interacted with were very personable and knowledgeable.
Room was clean and ample. As it is humid, try to leave excess luggage and clothing in Quito and put all items into zip lock bags until you need them to reduce humidity and mustiness (or in a 'dry bag' if you have one. It helps, but doesn't totally eliminate. At times clothing may not dry, but my 'quick dry' clothing did dry - in two days. Also take merino wool socks. Even if not totally dry (and they do dry) they are comfortable and antibacterial (you can tell the benefit of that). They recommend tall socks which I second....due to the chaffing rubber boots.
Water was usually hot, but the first day there were issues with the heaters. The electrician travelled in with us and fixed the problem. Others mentioned variable hot water but mine was consistent after day 1.
There is internet though I was rarely able to actually access my emails. They ask us to use the lounge for internet, but there are rooms closer to the tower with better reception, and the actual dining room might be better. One can easily fore go it for the time in the rain forest. Family should know that no news is good news.
Sani was a great stay during my month in Ecuador.

Room Tip: If important, ask for one close to the tower for internet reception.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank Quiltingmamma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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229 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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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 (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 March 2014

Sani lodge is an excellent base from which to explore the lagoons and yakoos of the rainforest. With the added benefit of excellent guides, fast and efficient service and comfortable lodges. The bar area overlooking the lagoon was a wonderful place to come back to and discuss the wildlife spotted that day - anything from caimen to turtles all in lose proximity to the lodge.

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LVS64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2014

We stayed at Sani for 4d/3n in February 2014, and had an unforgettable experience. We chose the lodge because of its remote location, reputation for seeing wildlife, and the fact that it is run by the local indigenous community and the proceeds benefit them directly.

From the representatives at the airport, to the transportation by motorized canoe from Coca to the lodge, to the accomodations, everything was perfect. We stayed in a private hut, that ws clean, comfortable, bug-free, and had good hot water and mosquito nets.

The food was consistently wonderful. The tours were flexible and were guided by a native and bilingual guide, both of whom (Freddy and Nelson) were experts in identifying, finding, and explaining unique and interesting wildlife. We had an amazing experience all around, and our only regret wsa not staying longer.

This type of trip is not for everyone, as it is (somewhat) more primitive than some might be comfortable wiht, but it comes at the benefit of being genuinely remote and seeing amazing wildlife. If pressed, my only criticism is the method of payment (either check--expensive to mail--or money order--uncomfortable to send), but this is searching for a negative.

Thanks for being the highlight of our Ecuador trip!

Room Tip: The tent camping seemed a bit primitive (and scary given the insects that come out at night!), so op...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Ben O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Holly, Michigan
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2014

We stayed at Sani Lodge for 5 days 4 nights in Feb 2014. The lodge is set out in the Amazon surrounded by the jungle. I choose this lodge above others because it is run by the local Sani people, not outsiders and they use the profits to educate and give back to their people and homes. This an alternative for the people to make money rather selling out to the oil companies. They are trying to conserve the rainforest and I was happy to know my money went to a good cause. The people here really do their best to see to the details and take care of their guests. My boyfriend and I had a great time hiking and eating and hiking and eating here. Our guides Geranio and John were wonderful. They were very energetic and did their best to find the wildlife we wanted to see. The first day we had them all to ourselves and the the other days we had a group of six. I didn't see any groups larger than this at the lodge which is a plus. The food was great, and there was a lot of it and good variety everyday. Our cabin was kept clean, although the last night we did have a visitor in the form of a large mouse/rat (you're in the jungle, animals happen)! The only downsides to Sani are that the boat ride to and from can feel a bit long (2-3 hrs) but this gets you out in the jungle away from everything else. The other thing was that we lost hot water for a day, but they were able to fix it by nighttime when we brought it to their attention. I would recommend Sani lodge to my friends and family anyday, we had a great stay overall and would happily go back.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sarah M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burien, Washington
Level Contributor
450 reviews
174 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 245 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2014

We were on a two week photo tour in Ecuador. Our first three locations were in the cloud forest. None of the other places compared with this location. The facilities are so cool. Wonderful open dining area and bar. Nice cabins with lots of room and good bathroom facilities considering where you are located. Matresses were quite good. Mosquito nets for night.

Staff was so good. Very hard working. Very anxious to please. Very knowledgeable about the wildlife and very good at siting birds for us. They were excellent at angling the canoes for us to get good pictures. Food was so good and the presentation was deserving of the best chefs.

One of the most wonderful things about the lodge is its isolation. Three hours down the river. A mile walk and a two mile paddle. Don't worry, the staff will transport your gear and paddle the canoes. Once you get to the lodge you will hear no engine noise from boats and we never heard an airplane. Just the frogs at night to sing you to sleep--and boy do they sing.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Angeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Davis, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 February 2014 via mobile

We visited Sani Lodge twice, camping both times. The beauty of this place, the service, the food, all excellent! We camped and were steeped in the natural wonders of this place all with excellent amenities, and excellent service. I am quite picky about food and when vacationing, I usually endure the food choices I have, not at Sani Lodge! Seriously, a wonderful experience. That's why we returned! Note: no option for the dates we visited, so I chose one so I could submit this review.

Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Colleen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 January 2014 via mobile

My Fiancee and I stayed here for a week in December. Everyday was an adventure there was so much to see and so much to do. Our guides were Javier and Sixto if your American and only speak English I highly recommend this two guides. They have so much energy and you can tell they really enjoy there work. After hours of hiking one of the best parts of the trip was coming back to the lodge and having a delicious meal waiting for you. The trip was a little expensive but a portion of the money goes to support the Sani natives so I didn't have the guilt of spending too much if it went to a good cause.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Colette A
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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