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Yachana Lodge
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Reviews (182)
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Reviewed 5 June 2017 via mobile

In my visit to Yachana, we had a wonderful tour of the jungle and got to experience many new things. Our guide was amazing and the food was wonderful.
My complaints have more to do with the owner. He did speak to his staff in a positive way. A lot of what he said to them sounded very demeaning. Considering how great the staff was, it seems as if they deserve better treatment. I also think that the foundation is lacking a lot in their community service. One day we went to teach an English class at a local school and that went very well, but when we asked the owner about his service initiatives most of his answers were somewhere along the lines of "We started this project... but now it doesn't work". My group was a group focused specifically on international service and the foundation did not seem like it's projects were well taken care of. I do not know that I have trust in the owners ability to allocate money.
There were also a few things that we were led to believe that we would have that were misleading. We were told that we would have hot water, we did not. Not having hot water is normally something that is okay when traveling abroad, but you should not advertise it if it is not available. There is a similar situation with the wifi, we were led to believe that there was wifi in the living quarters, there was not. There was very limited wifi in the dining area. Again, not a necessity for travel, but it should not be advertised if it is not available. Lastly, we were led to believe we could by additional beverages, the only thing available was bottled Pilsner, so if you plan on drinking something else, bring it with you.

Stayed: April 2017, travelled with friends
Thank James W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Douglas M, General Manager at Yachana Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2017

8 June 2017
Dear James,
Thank you for expressing your points of view. As the executive director of the Yachana Foundation that owns the Lodge, I don’t remember what specific project I was referring to when we spoke when I may have said it didn’t work. But I readily admit to failure; for me, it is a way to learn and grow. What you didn’t see are the wonderful projects we have initiated that do work like our micro finance project that the other group went to visit. It is hugely successful. You saw the three guides, Kevin, Alfonso and the third Mauricio who was based at the training center. All three of these young men are a product of our work in education; and they are just a small sample. We have given hundreds of young people from the Amazon new opportunities to develop. These and many more projects have all worked wonderfully. As far as my form of addressing our staff, we have a wonderful staff that I have worked with for many years and I take exception that I am at any time demeaning when addressing them. Plus, virtually all my conversations with the staff are in Spanish. We have hot water, but as you saw the lodge was full and the system was overloaded. I apologize that you didn’t have hot water. We have 1.5 megabytes of wifi. Virtually all our guests when you were there were young college students who were sending Facebook pictures, etc. that eats up a tremendous amount of band width which means the system sometimes doesn’t work as it should. I would like for you to also remember where you were; in the middle of the jungle. We are two hours from the nearest city where you can get reliable wifi. We get our signal via microwave from a tower on top of a mountain to the west of the lodge. It doesn’t always work as we would like, there is only one provider and it costs $470 per month for our 1.5 mg. But at least you were able to get some connection. I would like to ask that you try to remember all the positive things that you did at Yachana, like the teaching English program, plus much more. Thanks again for expressing your feelings and if you want to communicate directly with me on any of these points, I am more than glad to keep in touch. Thanks, Douglas McMeekin douglas@yachana.org.ec

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2017

My husband and I visited in early May 2017. We had an incredible experience. We feel that we learnt a lot about the Indigenous Kichwa Indians -- their lifestyle, agriculture and food. Visiting Jose and Rosa's home on the Napo river was a fantastic experience. Watching Rosa harvest yucca, prepare it and sharing some chicha she had prepared the previous week, seeing her home and kitchen. Going to the farm to learn about cacao, hearts of palm, harvesting our own produce which we prepared with Hector's supervision. Visiting the rain forest and crossing creeks. We could not have asked for more. Thank you Alfonso for being a great guide and teacher. We also really enjoyed having communal meals with the other guests. There was only a total of 6 guests while we were there so there was a lot of interactive chatting while enjoying the wonderful food. From Seth and Agnes.

  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank agnesk634
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2017

I have stayed in a lot of lodges in the Amazon. By far and away Yachana is the most comfortable. Light breezes from its location on a hill overlooking the Napo River moderate the climate and eliminate the need for air conditioning. Nice. The staff is knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. Don't miss the side trips to the farm and the shaman. Birding is excellent: toucans, potoo, chachalacas, oropendolas...

Room Tip: We stayed in the beautiful rooms with the Napo River views. (wake to oropendolas in the AM)
Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Stephen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2017

Two friends and I traveled to Yachana Lodge for Semana Santa/Easter Week. The first-class welcome prepped us for a meandering trek to our spacious cabins, which were spaced in little clusters with ample forest between areas. Our cabins had decks that overlooked the Napo River, and the next morning the local Oropendulas provided our wake-up call! The meals were wonderful, the various tours of interest - even to one who has lived in Ecuador's bosques for years! The culinary tour was a great joy, traipsing through authentic rural areas where old grapefruit trees provided bountiful and handy snacks while we walked from coffee to cacao to yucca and learned about many unique plants and trees. Seeing new birds was a great treat, and the Chacalacas provided a lovely and raucous last-morning farewell! The only problem? There were not enough hours in each day, and time zoomed by too fast!

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Lisa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2017

Our trip to the Amazon was the part of our Ecuador journey I was least looking forward to - as I am not so much into bugs and hot, humid climate.

But it ended up to be an highlight!

We were picked up at Coca airport and taken by taxi (2 hours drive, partly dirt road) to Yachana Lodge. The lodge is up on a hill overlooking Rio Napo which makes for an amazing view and surprisingly few (almost none) mosquitos. On arrival we were greeted by Alfonso who would be our guide for our entire stay and then taken to our room - a beautiful, clean and roomy cabin with a large deck complete with two hammocks and views. There is no glass in the windows, but they are very well screened with nets keeping out most of the wildlife.

On top of the cabin and the lodge itself exceeding expectations, we were also very taken by the provided meals. Hector, the chef, definitely knows what he is doing and he prepared amazing local food with fresh ingredients (breakfast, 3-course lunch, 3-course dinner every day) that kept us very happy.

We had booked the three night, four day itinerary and the activities were amazing! Although we did not see any of the big animals (like caimans or anacondas), we enjoyed a couple of jungle walks and learned about plants and smaller animals (monkeys, birds, toads, insects) we would see on the way. We also spend a day with a local family, attending a cleansing ceremony and learning how to hunt with blowgun and spear. Our highlight was tubing on Rio Napa complete with Tarzan-like jumps off a vine into the river. So much fun! We also learned how to cook a local meal (after we had collected the ingredients at a farm) and got insights into the work of Yachana foundation.

So - if you are looking for a Amazon experience, go to Yachana. People are very passionate about their work and their home and on top of it - the lodge is funding the education projects of Yachana foundation. I cannot recommend enough.

Big thanks to Alfonso, Christian and Hector for taking such good care of us! We had an amazing time!

  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
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    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank 409katharinas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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