Napo Wildlife Centre is an intimate ecolodge on Ananguccoha Lake in Yasuni National Park, an important UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Started as a partnership with the Tropical Nature conservation system, the lodge is now 100% owned by the community.
Each of the 16 individual large luxury cabanas can accommodate 2 or 3 people. Each has 1 king size bed and 1 single bed, and a private bathroom with full running hot water. There is 24 hour electricity, sockets for recharging batteries and ceiling fans to keep the interior cool. All rooms have private verandas, where you can sink into a sofa and enjoy the lovely views.
The 7-floor observation tower is at the heart of the lodge. With thatched roofs this has been designed to mirror the architecture of the other lodge buildings and houses the dining room and terrace, where you can savour traditional Ecuadorian dishes, the lounge, souvenir shop and library. On the sixth floor there's a platform where you can take in the views. Back at ground level there are cool shaded terraces and inviting hammocks.
Visitors are divided into small groups, each led by a native guide, who is also an official Yasuni Park Ranger, expert on the forest's secrets about medicinal plants, and an excellent bilingual naturalist guide with extensive knowledge of tropical forest biology. You can explore on foot and by canoe to see the varied wildlife, including monkeys, caiman, parrots and many other species of birds. There's a 120-foot canopy tower about 20 minutes from the lodge with wonderful views over the forest.
At the lodge's Interpretative Centre you can learn about the daily lives of the local Kichwa people abnd buy attractive handmade crafts and jewellery. There are opportunities to visit the Kichwa Anangu community and join families as they go about their daily activities, helping with harvesting bananas or maybe preparing chicha, a traditional drink based on cooked and fermented manioc.
Photographs courtesy of Napo Wildlife Centre
Open: Napo Wildlife Centre is open all year.
Location: Napo Wildlife Centre is on the banks of a lake in a 21,400 hectare conservancy in Yasuni National Park, part of the Amazon rainforest. From Coca there is a 2.5 hour motorboat ride along the Napo River to the entrance of Yasuni National Park. From here you swap to a paddled canoe for the 1-2 hour ride along a creek and across the Anangu Lake to the lodge.
Rooms: There are 16 luxury bungalows. The spacious accommodation includes one king sized bed and 1 twin sized bed, to accommodate up to 3 people. Each bungalow has an en-suite shower room with hot and cold running water. Other facilities include 24 hour electricity, sockets for recharging batteries, safes, ceiling fans and gauze screens to keep out insects.
Activities: Explore the flora and fauna in a number of ways with a local guide and a specialist naturalist guide. There is a walking trail frokm the lodge, ideal for evening strolls to see nocturnal creatures. Take canoe trips along rivers, round lakes and to islands, view parrots, parakeets and macaws at the clay lick, hike along forest trails, climb up the to the top of the 12-storey 120-foot high canopy tower set beside a huge kapok tree some 20 minutes from the lodge for wonderful views. You can visit the Interpretive Centre to learn about Kichwa culture including hunting practises, medicines prepared from rainforest plants, cooking and dancing, and can buy handicrafts made by local tribes people. Accompany a guide on a visit to the Kichwa Anangu village to spend time with local people. Rain ponchos and welington boots are available for guest use.
Facilities: The 120-foot tall observation tower has 7 floors housing the restaurant, lounge and gift shop on the 1st floor, a library with a selection of reference books on the 2nd and an observation platform on the 6th floor with panoramic views of the forest and lake. The lodge has 24-hour electricity. There is a laundry service for which you pay locally.
Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables.
Children: Children over the age of 5 years are welcome. A private guide is recommended for children and family groups.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is internet access, to be paid for locally.
A wildlife adventure in two dramatically different environments. A true treat for nature lovers.
This is an award-winning lodge in Yasuni National Park which is owned by the Anangu community. All income from the lodge is split between health, education & conservation projects. It is also Smart Voyager certified through the Rainforest Alliance. The building is eco-friendly, they use solar power, and the community actively protect their reserve.
"We couldn't praise this highly enough, and could have happily stayed there much longer. The journey to it is an adventure in itself and arriving at the lake and seeing the lodge for the first time was pretty breathtaking. It is owned and run by the local Kichwa community and is great ecotourism in practice. All the cabins looked fantastic and ours - number 13 - was superb, with a main balcony overlooking the lake and a small balcony at the back, "