This eco-lodge is 100% owned and operated by the indigenous Kichwa community of Sani Isla, who welcome you to their ancestral land and share their culture and knowledge with you. Sani Lodge is not just a place to stay, but a way to support the conservation of one of the most biodiverse places on the planet and the empowerment of the local people.
Sani Lodge is located on the banks of a stunning lagoon, surrounded by pristine primary forest that is home to over 550 species of birds, 12 species of monkeys, sloths, tapirs, giant otters, black caimans, and many more. The lodge is accessible by a 2.5-hour boat ride from Coca, along the Napo River. As you approach the lodge, you will be greeted by the sound of parrots and macaws flying overhead and the sight of pink dolphins in the water.
The lodge consists of 10 spacious and comfortable cabins, each with a private bathroom, hot water, electricity, mosquito nets, and a balcony with a hammock and a view of the lagoon. The cabins are built with local materials and blend in with the natural surroundings. The lodge also has a dining room, a bar, a lounge area, a library, and a gift shop. There is no pool, gym, or spa at Sani Lodge, but you will not miss them as you will be busy exploring the wonders of the rainforest.
The activities at Sani Lodge are tailored to your interests and preferences. You can choose from a variety of programs that range from 3 to 7 days, depending on how much time you have and how deep you want to go into the jungle. You will be accompanied by two guides: one naturalist guide who speaks English and one native guide who knows the forest like the back of his hand. Together, they will show you the best spots for wildlife viewing, birdwatching, hiking, canoeing, fishing, and cultural interaction.
Some of the highlights of your stay at Sani Lodge include:
- Visiting a parrot clay lick, where hundreds of colorful birds gather to eat the mineral-rich soil that helps them digest their food.
- Climbing a 36-meter (118-foot) canopy tower that offers a panoramic view of the forest and its inhabitants.
- Learning about the medicinal plants and the traditional way of life of the Kichwa people.
- Meeting the women of Sani Warmi, a cooperative that produces handicrafts and organic chocolate.
- Enjoying delicious meals prepared with fresh ingredients from the lodge’s own garden and fish from the lagoon.
- Relaxing in your hammock or by the fire pit at night, listening to the sounds of nature.
Sustainability and Community Impact
Sani Lodge is more than just an eco-lodge; it is a social enterprise that aims to protect the environment and empower the community. The lodge was founded in 1997 by members of the Sani Isla community, who decided to use tourism as a way to generate income and preserve their culture and land. The lodge is entirely owned and managed by the community, which means that all profits are reinvested into social projects such as education, health care, infrastructure, and conservation.
Sani Lodge has also implemented several environmental practices to minimize its impact on the ecosystem. For example:
- The lodge uses solar panels and batteries to provide electricity.
- The lodge uses biodegradable products for cleaning and personal hygiene.
- The lodge recycles organic waste into compost and uses it for its organic garden.
- The lodge treats wastewater with natural filters before releasing it into the lagoon.
- The lodge supports reforestation projects and wildlife monitoring programs.
By staying at Sani Lodge, you are not only enjoying an amazing adventure, but also contributing to a noble cause that benefits both nature and people.
The Wider Region
Sani Lodge is located in Yasuni National Park, one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. Yasuni covers an area of 9,820 square kilometers (3,792 square miles) and contains an incredible variety of habitats, such as flooded forests, swamps, rivers, lakes, savannas, and hills. Yasuni is home to more than 2,000 species of plants, 600 species of birds, 200 species of mammals, 150 species of amphibians, 120 species of reptiles, and countless insects.
Yasuni is also culturally rich, as it hosts several indigenous groups, such as the Kichwa, the Waorani, the Tagaeri, and the Taromenane. Some of these groups live in voluntary isolation, and have little or no contact with the outside world.
Yasuni is a natural treasure that faces many threats, such as oil exploration, logging, mining, agriculture, and poaching. Sani Lodge is one of the initiatives that tries to protect this unique place and its inhabitants.
To get to Sani Lodge, you need to fly to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, and then take a domestic flight to Coca, a small town in the Amazon. The flight from Quito to Coca takes about 30 minutes and costs around $100 USD one way. You can book your flight online or through Sani Lodge.
Once you arrive in Coca, you will be met by a representative of Sani Lodge, who will take you to the port, where you will board a motorized canoe. The boat ride from Coca to Sani Lodge takes about 2.5 hours and is an adventure in itself. You will see the changing scenery of the Napo River and its tributaries, as well as various wildlife along the way.
The boat ride is included in the price of your stay at Sani Lodge, as well as all meals, activities, guides, and transfers within the lodge.
Room Rate, Capacity, and Accessibility
The room rate at Sani Lodge varies depending on the season and the program you choose. The average price per person per night is $250 USD, which includes accommodation, meals, activities, guides, and transfers. You can check the availability and rates on the lodge’s website1 or contact them directly for more information.
The lodge has a capacity of 20 guests, distributed in 10 cabins. Each cabin can accommodate up to 4 people, with one double bed and two single beds. The cabins are spacious and comfortable, but not luxurious. They have private bathrooms with hot water, electricity, mosquito nets, and balconies with hammocks and views of the lagoon.
The lodge welcomes children of all ages, and offers special programs and activities for families. Children under 5 years old stay for free, children between 5 and 12 years old pay half price, and children over 12 years old pay full price.
The lodge is not accessible for people with disabilities, as it is located in a remote area with no roads or infrastructure. The access to the lodge involves a boat ride and a short walk on uneven terrain. The cabins are also not equipped with ramps or rails. However, the staff at the lodge are very friendly and helpful, and will do their best to accommodate your needs.