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This award-winning ecolodge is nestled on the shores of Añangu Lake, within the Yasuni National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Here, you’ll discover a world of wonder and adventure, where nature and culture coexist in harmony.
Unique or special aspects
Napo Wildlife Centre is not just a hotel, but a community project. It is 100% owned and managed by the Kichwa Añangu people, who have lived in this area for centuries. They have created a sustainable model of ecotourism that benefits both the environment and their culture. By staying here, you’ll be supporting their conservation efforts and social development.
Napo Wildlife Centre is also the only lodge within the Yasuni National Park, which means you’ll have exclusive access to some of the most pristine and diverse habitats in the Amazon. You’ll be able to explore the rainforest with expert guides, who will show you the incredible wildlife and plants that thrive here. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the cultural centre, where you’ll learn about the traditions and customs of the Kichwa Añangu people.
Napo Wildlife Centre is located on a peninsula surrounded by Añangu Lake, a blackwater lake that reflects the sky and the forest. The lodge is accessible only by canoe, which adds to the sense of adventure and isolation. The journey takes about two hours from Coca, along the Napo River and its tributaries.
The lodge is situated in a clearing overlooking the lake, with a backdrop of lush green hills. The setting is peaceful and serene, with only the sounds of nature to accompany you. You’ll feel like you’re in a different world, away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.
Style of accommodation
Napo Wildlife Centre consists of 16 spacious and comfortable cabins, built with local materials and designed to blend in with the surroundings. Each cabin has a private balcony with a hammock and a lake view, where you can relax and enjoy the scenery. The cabins are equipped with solar panels, ceiling fans, mosquito nets, hot water showers, safes and biodegradable toiletries.
The main building houses the dining room, bar, lounge and library, where you can socialize with other guests or curl up with a book. There’s also a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the forest canopy. The lodge offers free Wi-Fi in common areas, but there’s no TV or phone service, so you can truly disconnect from the outside world.
What the rooms are like
The rooms at Napo Wildlife Centre are cozy and elegant, decorated with local crafts and fabrics. They have wooden floors, walls and ceilings, creating a warm and rustic atmosphere. The beds are comfortable and covered with soft linens. The bathrooms are modern and spacious, with tiled floors and walls.
The rooms have large windows that let in natural light and fresh air. You can also open the sliding doors to access your balcony, where you can admire the lake and the wildlife. The rooms are cleaned daily and have 24-hour electricity.
Napo Wildlife Centre is committed to sustainability and community impact in every aspect of its operation. The lodge follows these principles:
Environmental conservation: The lodge protects more than 21,000 hectares of rainforest within the Yasuni National Park. It also supports research and monitoring projects on wildlife and ecosystems. The lodge uses renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and biodiesel generators. It also minimizes waste production and water consumption. It recycles materials, composts organic waste and treats wastewater before releasing it into the lake.
Social development: The lodge is owned and managed by the Kichwa Añangu people, who receive all the profits from the tourism activity. The lodge employs more than 100 local people, who receive fair wages and benefits. The lodge also invests in education, health care and infrastructure projects for the community. The lodge respects and preserves the culture and identity of the Kichwa Añangu people, who share their knowledge and skills with the guests.
Economic empowerment: The lodge creates income opportunities for the local people, who provide goods and services for the tourism industry. The lodge buys food, crafts and other products from local farmers and artisans. The lodge also supports micro-enterprises and cooperatives that promote sustainable livelihoods for the community.
Napo Wildlife Centre offers a variety of activities to suit different interests and abilities. You can choose from different packages, ranging from 4 to 7 days, or customize your own itinerary. Some of the activities you can enjoy are:
Hiking through the rainforest, following well-marked trails that lead to different habitats and attractions. You can see a diversity of flora and fauna, such as orchids, bromeliads, monkeys, sloths, peccaries and more. You can also visit the Kichwa Añangu Interpretation Centre, where you can learn about their history, culture and conservation projects.
Canoeing along the lake and the creeks, using paddle or motorized canoes. You can observe aquatic life, such as caimans, otters, turtles and fish. You can also spot birds, such as herons, kingfishers, cormorants and hoatzins.
Climbing the observation tower, a 36-meter-high structure that offers a bird’s-eye view of the forest canopy. You can see different species of birds, such as toucans, macaws, tanagers and hummingbirds. You can also spot mammals, such as howler monkeys, spider monkeys and squirrels.
Visiting the clay licks, where hundreds of parrots and parakeets gather to eat the mineral-rich soil. You can watch this colorful spectacle from a hidden blind, located at a short distance from the lodge. You can also see other animals that visit the clay licks, such as tapirs, deer and jaguars.
Kayaking on the lake, using single or double kayaks. You can paddle at your own pace and explore the lake’s shores and islands. You can also enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the water.
Birdwatching in the rainforest, using binoculars and guides. You can see more than 600 species of birds in the area, including some rare and endemic ones. You can also join specialized birding tours that focus on specific groups or habitats.
Experiencing the culture of the Kichwa Añangu people, visiting their community and participating in their activities. You can learn about their traditions, beliefs and practices, such as weaving, pottery, fishing and farming. You can also share a meal with them and listen to their stories and music.
Napo Wildlife Centre is located in the Ecuadorian Amazon region, which covers about 40% of the country’s territory. This region is home to more than 10 indigenous nationalities, who have their own languages, cultures and cosmovisions. The region is also rich in natural resources, such as oil, minerals, timber and water.
The Ecuadorian Amazon region is part of the Amazon Basin, which spans nine countries in South America. The Amazon Basin is the largest tropical rainforest in the world, covering about 6 million square kilometers. It contains about 10% of all plant species and 15% of all animal species on Earth. It also plays a vital role in regulating the global climate and water cycle.
The Ecuadorian Amazon region faces many challenges and threats, such as deforestation, oil exploitation, mining activities, illegal logging, poaching, pollution, climate change, land conflicts, and loss of biodiversity and cultural diversity. The region needs urgent action and support to preserve its natural and cultural heritage for future generations.
Napo Wildlife Centre is accessible only by canoe from Coca (Francisco de Orellana), a small town in the province of Orellana. To get to Coca, you can take a 30-minute flight from Quito, the capital of Ecuador. There are several flights per day, operated by different airlines. You can also take a bus from Quito, which takes about 8 hours.
Once you arrive in Coca, you’ll be met by a representative of Napo Wildlife Centre, who will take you to the dock. There, you’ll board a motorized canoe that will take you along the Napo River and its tributaries. The journey takes about two hours, during which you can enjoy the scenery and the wildlife. You’ll also have a box lunch on board.
When you reach the entrance of the Yasuni National Park, you’ll switch to a paddle canoe, which is quieter and more eco-friendly. You’ll then continue for another hour until you reach the lodge. You’ll be welcomed by the staff and shown to your cabin.
- Ecosystem preservation
- Wildlife protection or rescue
- Community led or owned
- Community conservation
- Up to 2
- Up to 4
- Wildlife watching
- Safari or wildlife
- Up to one day
- Up to one week