WHY THIS TRIP
The Napo Wildlife Center is a comfortable, luxury, eco-lodge in Yasuni National Park in Ecuador’s Amazon Basin where you get the best of amazing the Amazon wildlife, including hundreds of parrots at the two parrot clay licks, Giant Otters in the lake and streams, 11 species of monkeys in the trees, and hundreds of species of birds in the forest.
As the only lodge in the enormous reserve, you will have the place virtually to yourself. When your day is done you can take a hot shower, sit on your private porch overlooking the lake, have a cold beer from the bar, and enjoy a healthy international dinner in the dining room. This is the jungle in style!
In addition to being one of the best lodges in Ecuador’s Amazon, the Napo Wildlife Center is also one of the finest examples of community-based eco-tourism in the country. The Napo Wildlife Center actively protects 82 square miles of pristine rainforest in its private reserve, based on a true conservation partnership with the local community.
LOCAL OPERATOR: NAPO WILDLIFE CENTER
The Napo Wildlife Center (NWC) is the greatest luxury ecolodge in the Ecuadorian Amazonia. The NWC Amazon Lodge is an ecotourism project that protects and preserves over 82 square miles of pristine Amazon Rainforest within the Yasuni National Park, declared by UNESCO a Biosphere Reserve. The Yasuní National Park, considered the largest region of tropical forest in Ecuador, is one of the most diverse areas in the World, so its conservation is vital not only for Ecuador but for the planet.
The Napo Wildlife Center is located on the banks of the Anangucocha Lake, within the unique and ancestral territory of the Kitchwa Anangu local community, in the heart of the Yasuni National Park. The lodge provides visitors with great comfort and offers them an intimate wildlife experience in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest. The Anagu community exemplifies community-based ecotourism with its innovative tourism project, which not only protects more than 82 square miles of pristine rainforest but also makes it possible for the community to be auto sustainable, as all profits are for the members of the community and to build other projects for tourism, conservation, health and education.
lee vp –
This was an amazing trip. Our native guide and naturalist and paddlers were wonderful. The food was great. The hikes and tower climbs to view from above the canopy were rewarding and beautiful. The guides could spot the most amazing variety of animals. The lagoon setting was luxurious and peaceful. And I thoroughly enjoyed the visit to the indigenous community. I wish I could have stayed longer. I will never forget the serene paddles in the dugout canoe on the ‘black water’. And bonus: no mosquitoes!
Being in the remote jungle of the Yasuni was perhaps the best trip I’ve ever taken. I had not realized that the lodge is the only one in the National Park. This made for a special experience. The first day, we identified more than thirty bird species. The guides kept a list of especially unusual sightings – and there were many: clown tree frog, king vulture pair, etc. Edwin was the best naturalist guide I’ve ever encountered, and he’s self-taught in English and fauna/flora and sound identification, plus he’s totally personable and a great story teller. Our Awingha guide, Freddie, was truly amazing – his nickname is “eagle eyes” – and he truly could spot things no one else could, including an anaconda, a three-toed sloth, the clown tree frog, and endless other birds and animals. I was in heaven. The lodge itself is absolutely gorgeous and well-run. All the people who worked there were friendly and helpful. My own cabin was spectacular (even had a good reading light!) The food was excellent. Edwin and Freddie are longtime colleagues and friends. Edwin had never been to Freddie’s house in the Kinchwa village though, and it was a spectacular honor for our group to be invited there for lunch. After touring the village and school (I taught a class of teenagers “Row, row, row your boat”- hope they didn’t mind), we walked a half mile or so to Freddie’s house. Freddie’s wife and mother-in-law cooked us a special lunch which included palm hearts, palm beetle grubs, grilled cocoa beans, etc. I felt so special for having been invited. More adventures, so much more to be seen. The giant otters amused us, the caimáns showed themselves. I have been in a couple of other jungles but the Yasuni captured me utterly. I didn’t want to leave.
Deb G –
Napo is a beautiful lodge in a wonderfully remote natural location. We shared a guide with another couple who was not as interested in birds as we were, but they were pleasant and tolerant of our interests so it was okay. We didn’t spend extra on a specific bird guide and initially questioned the wisdom of that, but our guide was very knowledgeable and showed us plenty of birds without skimping on other wildlife. The clay lick was a high point and the interpretation center was very interesting. Some of the walks were very hot and tiring, but that can’t be helped.
Marc L –
Wonderful lodge, amazing location on the lake. The tower at the lodge is great. Exploring the rainforest by paddle canoe made for much of the high quality of the experience.
Pretty good food (especially for where it was served…) – although everywhere in Ecuador there is too much fried food. Different culture. Settling the bar bill at end (bill and tip) is not a good arrangement – takes too long on the last night and complicates tipping – although maybe people had objected to including the BT in the general tips if they didn’t drink. Tipping in general became what everyone thought about the last day. Is there a better way to get the staff money without the last thoughts of a trip being about money?