Tucked away in the heart of the Yasuní National Park in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest is the luxury Napo Wildlife Center Eco-Lodge. Its 20 iconic red-thatched cabins and multi-tiered, temple-like main hall – with spectacular 360° panoramic views of the encompassing emerald greenery – fringe the banks of the legendary Añangu Lake, whose mysterious black waters shimmer with the glinting sun and echo with the calls and cries of the wildlife that lurks in the surrounding swathes of pristine rainforest. If this sounds postcard perfect, that’s because it is.
The lodge is only accessible by boat and is reached by a comfortable two-and-a-half hour boat ride along the Napo River from the town of El Coca’s port of La Misión, followed by paddling quietly up the Añangu Creek to the lodge in dugout canoes operated by expert guides. This will be your first opportunity to admire the fine work Mother Nature has done in this part of the world – keep your eyes peeled for the prehistoric Hoatzin bird! Eventually, the creek will branch off to the Añangu Lake and the lodge will come into view. This will be your home for the next few days.
The first things you will notice about the Napo Wildlife Center Eco-Lodge is that it is a lot more luxurious than you imagined. You probably thought that a jungle lodge would be basic, rustic and less comfortable than what you’re used to at home. Fortunately, the lodge has managed to combine luxury with adventure so you don’t need to sacrifice an iota of comfort during your stay. And, all of this is provided in the most sustainable way possible, allowing the lodge to live in harmony with the rainforest. Electricity is generated using solar panels and water is taken from the lake and purified before being served to guests to drink.
The main hall of the lodge is where debriefs with guides and encounters with fellow visitors take place. Here you will find a comfortable hammocks and couches to unwind in, as well as a reading lounge area with library, a bar, restaurant, shopping boutique and an incredible 19 meters tall observation tower. Surrounding the main building are 12 ample and comfortable standard cabins and 8 suites offering arguably the most comfortable accommodations in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Each have been designed to make sure you want for nothing during your stay. King-sized beds face large windows that allow plenty of natural sunlight to stream through and brighten up the room. The rooms all have a porch with seats and view to the lake, private bathrooms with hot water showers, and there are ceiling fans to keep you cool at night. You won’t be spending much time in your room, but the time you do spend there will be comfortable and memorable.
For those seeking a little extra space and spoiling, the suites feature an additional living room, minibar and waterfall-style shower. Honeymooners and couples will love the four suites with jacuzzis and panoramic glass lounge floors, and families will appreciate the four connecting suites, one of which has a jacuzzi suitable for four people, and another which has an additional bedroom with twin bed.
Indigenous Community Interaction
The Napo Wildlife Center is unique in that it is 100% owned and managed by the indigenous Kichwa Añangu people and is an amazing example of community-based ecotourism that both benefits the local community and preserves the diverse flora and fauna of the area. This means that guests are lucky enough to have members of the Kichwa Anangu community on site, with many living in the Interpretative Centre situated in the welcoming area of the lodge. Various cultural activities are organized by the women of the community, giving travelers the opportunity to learn about their customs and ancestral traditions, and even join in with their traditional dances and rituals.
If you want to spend your down time checking out the wildlife that lives around the lodge, the onsite observation tower offers spectacular views of the surrounding area and amazing bird-spotting opportunities. Alternatively, there is a short trail that runs behind the lodge and is perfect for searching for nocturnal creatures. When you’re not in the lodge, you will be out exploring the incredible biodiversity of the Yasuní National park on one of the lodge’s carefully curated tours.
This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is home to an almost unfathomable 9,000 animal species so have your binoculars at the ready! No two days are the same during your stay and there is a huge range of activities for you to enjoy. A typical morning may include a trip to the parrot clay lick or to visit an indigenous village. In the afternoon you could find yourself floating down narrow creeks in a canoe in search of fish, turtles, caimans, piranhas and even the giant otters which are endemic to the region.
While there is no guarantee which animals you will see, you can rest assured you will never have a dull moment at the Napo Wildlife Center Amazon lodge. Those intrepid jungle explorers who want to get away from civilization and forget about the outside world during their vacation need look no further. This ecolodge ticks all the boxes for the ultimate Amazon Rainforest vacation destination.
Suites & Cabins
Each standard cabin has the luxury of being either double or triple occupancy. These spacious cabins are complete with electricity, safe-deposit box, water, 100% cotton towels, and amenities (slippers, bathrobe, toiletries, bath salts). These cabins are equipped with an outdoor porch with seating, giving you access to a gorgeous view of the lake on your doorstep.
The spacious suites are complete with an entire living room, mini-bar, waterfall style shower, electricity, safe-deposit box, water, 100% cotton towels, and amenities (slippers, bathrobe, toiletries, bath salts). Each suite has an outdoor porch with seating for a beautiful view of the lake.
Four of the suites are interconnecting, allowing access via the rear balcony - a wonderful option for families and large groups. Four new suites are styled exclusively with a romantic jacuzzi in the ensuite bathroom and a panoramic glass floor in the living room - perfect for couples and honeymooners.