Holiday review by Mrs. Barbara Hutchinson
Name: Mrs. Barbara Hutchinson
Date of trip: 02/01/2017
Number of people: 2
Really loved the snorkling off the Cachalote. We averaged about two snorkling trips a day to various locations including deep sea and going around the rocks off the beach. We swam with sea lions, turtles, sharks and the most amazing diversity of fish. Wonderful experience. The close-up encounter with a family of giant otters in the rain forest . Took video footage which will be a lasting memory of the trip.
We were thrilled with our holiday and were particularly impressed with all the 'pick-ups' between venues. We were kept informed at all times when and where we would be met and it all ran very smoothly. Our biggest disappointment was having to come home.
Yes, Rory helped me out with all my little anxieties prior to our trip.
We loved Enrique from the Catchalote. He was so kind and accommodating and nothing was too much trouble.
Natalia from the Bellavista was very knowledgeable as was Andreos from the Napa Wildlife. He was also very kind in making sure that I got in and out of the canoes safely.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
We were really impressed with the way the Kichwa anangu community manage their environment at the Napo Wildlife center, under such difficult conditions.
The places you stayed
This was a lovely waterfront hotel which was accessible only by water taxi. Our room had a balcony overlooking the port with lovely big sliding windows. Unfortunately, on our second night, the power went off at 1 o'clock in the morning. The overhead fan went off and it go very hot in the room. We couldn't open the window because of the mosquitoes. The power came back on at 5 a.m but we had to get up at 6 a.m to fly back to Quito. It was then that we discovered that there was no water (apparently the pumps had packed up) so we couldn't even have a shower or a wash to refresh ourselves before our trip journey. It was Friday 13th. and our plane was subsequently struck by lightening!
Beautiful hotel with wonderful big beds. We loved all the plants and the cosy ambience in the lounge where you could sit and chat with other travellers about their experiences. A really nice touch was the afternoon coffee and biscuits which were served in the lounge every day between 4 and 6pm. The big downside was the street noise outside particularly on the last Friday we were there. Unfortunately, we were allocated a room at the front of the building overlooking the street ( we should have asked for a quiet room) and it was particularly bad. We both heard what we thought were gun shots at 2am followed by sirens. The noise eventually stopped by about 3.30am but by then neither of us could get to sleep. Not what you want on the night before our flight back to the U.K. We had tried the earplugs provided in the room but they didn't work.
Lovely lodge with a massive room. Lots of birds and wildlife. Richard, our host was particularly interesting. I did find the trails very difficult but there was a lot of road walking that we could do. The food was not particularly good. The vegetables were always cold ( not warm but really cold). Loved the hummingbird feeders.Note from Tribes: There are a number of trails here as well as road walking. Trail H is considered to be easy and trail A is easy to moderate as far as a huge ancient tree. Visitors should therefore always find some option that suit them.The cold vegetables were not a mistake but a reaction to people's concerns about eating traditional lettuce-based salads. Bellavista regularly has vegetable salads on their menu usually with a sauce or dressing, but they omitted to inform that these were never intended to be served hot.
This place is truly amazing. The food was excellent with lots of variety and the accommodation was lovely. How they manage to keep this place so well supplied when every thing has to come in via paddle boat I really don't comprehend. They explained to us how they re-cycle everything and it is truly impressive. You really do feel the sense of isolation especially surrounded by all the sounds of the jungle, the birds and the howler monkeys. Loved it!