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“A cultural experience that is completely unforgettable”
Review of Huaorani Ecolodge

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Huaorani Ecolodge
Surrey, BC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A cultural experience that is completely unforgettable”
Reviewed 24 May 2011

This is a truly special place ... the forest walks and natural environment are fascinating, but it is the visits with the local people that will linger in my memory forever. We visited a total of three local villages during our time at Huaorani Ecolodge and encountered, quite possibly, the most generous and welcoming people we have ever met. It didn’t matter that we often needed two translators to communicate or that many of the Huaorani perceive Canada simply as “a very cold place that takes more than 60 days to walk to.” We tell them about snow and they tell us about the forest and the pressures impacting their lifestyle. We laugh, sing, dance, and tell stories.

Other reviews have touched on many of the things I would like to say ... the sounds of the jungle, the comfort of the lodge, learning to shoot a blowgun, and meeting the Huaorani leader Moi. All of it was outstanding. We recently sent friends and they had the same experience. I can't say enough about the impact this trip had on us. Go now!!!

Room Tip: We liked our cabin farthest from the dining room.
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  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank CdnTraveller24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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66 reviews from our community

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Otavalo, Ecuador
Level Contributor
130 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2011

I would like to add my voices in agreement with the excellent reviews below. I feel we could have written them almost word for word. I am the owner of an eco-lodge here in Ecuador and have also been to various lodges and projects in the rainforest and the Huaorani lodge competes with the best of them and exceeds most of them in the cultural aspect. The program is well- designed to explore important aspects of traditional Huaorani life with hands-on activities and social interaction. The Huaorani are very hospitable and seem to appreciate visitors. I suggest reading Savages before going for a sense of the courageous struggle of the Huao people against oil company exploitation.
The Huao lodge is well-designed and appropriately rustic and intimate, and so may not have some of the amenities of other lodges (ie a bar, a shop) but for us, that was perfect. The sounds of the forest were amazing from our cottage near the river.
I should also add that what sounds like a long day's travel to arrive there is actually a lovely trip through the avenue of the volcanoes, and then a small plane ride over the rainforest which is nothing short of spectacular. The trip back by canoe is also a lovely adventure.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank pachamamacita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ohio
Level Contributor
37 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2010

Our experience at the Huaorani was incredible. From the moment we set foot on our 5 seater cessna that would take us deep into the Amazon rainforest. This ecolodge is so remote, it's only accessible by plane. We were greeted by the local community who took us by canoe to our separate lodges and showed us the group hammock house and lodge where we would eat dinner the next 4 nights. During our time at the ecolodge we experienced guided hikes through the rainforest (including night hikes!), enjoying all it's sights and sounds. We learned how to weave large leaves into baskets, we got a chance to practice shooting blow guns and spear throwing, and we were able to swing on vines! Each day we would visit nearby communites and talk and dance with the people and buy/trade for the handmade items (my husband brought home a 12 foot hand carved spear!) Near the end of our stay, we spent a day kayaking down stream to our campsite they had set up and we enjoyed swimming in the river and hearing the Huaroni's stories around the campfire. The morning before we left we had a strenous hike that included alot of uphill climbing with mud and repelling down to get to a waterfall but it was all worth all the effort to be able to swim at the waterfall. The Huaorani people are so warm and friendly and the eco lodge though simple is an oasis in the jungle. We enjoyed falling asleep to the rainforest sounds each night. I would definitley recommend this to anyone looking to getaway for a real adventure.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jessica J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helena, Montana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2010

I have traveled in the Amazon regions of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador on multiple occasions, and this lodge stands out as a unique and wonderful cultural experience. The area is remote and beautiful, and you feel that you are truly deep in the heart of the forest. But what makes it really special is the Huaorani people. It is rare to get to see inside an indigenous culture still living as they have (almost) for eons. The Huaorani were so proud and happy to share with us, it was remarkable, and left quite an impression on me. I highly recommend reading Joe Kane's "Savages" before going. I had just finished it before my trip and I was thrilled to be met at the airstrip on arrival by none other than Moi, the lead character (hero) in the book. We met Moi's family, and he told us Huao origin stories, and gave us lots of information about their beliefs.

I loved trying the blowgun and was impressed with its accuracy. Even we novices could hit a melon from 50 yards away pretty easily. One of the best trips of my life.

  • Stayed November 2009
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1 Thank gregdetour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
78 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 197 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2010

Wow, not even sure how to describe this in a few sentences. This was an amazing trip. Fascinating location, totally different perspective of nature, illuminating glimpse into how a whole another section of the planet lives, fun active vacation and chance to have some of the nicest people on earth share their world with you...

You travel well into the heart of al Oriente (hours from Quito, bush plane into jungle and to met by the lovely Huaorani people and taken via poled canoe to their "lodge" (which I put in quotes because it's maximum four platform/tent buildings, no chance of overcrowding here).

We were lucky to have Moi,the tribal leader, as our naturalist, who took us on all sorts of amazing hikes and activities:
- night hikes (amazing!),
- daytime hikes to sacred waterfalls, learning about medicinal plants and insects along the way,
- kayaking downstream (for an incredible, tranquil jungle experience),
- visits to a few of the clans that belong to the tribes (wonderful people...and a introspection-causing view on living, happiness and family),
- swimming in a cool jungle river (refreshing and enervating at the same time),
- trying your hand with jungle blow guns
...basically, I could ask nothing more from a active, eco-friendly, meet-the-world vacation!

The "rooms" we very clean, nice beds, showers (and mind-blowing sounds of the night jungles). The food was very tasty and very plentiful. And the staff were of Ritz Carlton level of service and friendliness (except that you actually get to talk with.laugh with, and learn from all of these "staff".

We were also blessed to have Jose Z as our guide from Quito who stayed with us the whole time. We've traveled the world and met many good guides, but he was truly the best we've ever had and has an incredible base of knowledge of the jungle ecosystems and flora and fauna, the Huaorani people and culture and the history/geopolitics of the region. A truly insightful experience from someone whose love for - and kinship with - the Huaorani people is evident in all he does...brought a true texture to this visit.

So, if you're looking for a faux-nature experience (like so many of the eco-lodges in Africa have become), this isn't your thing. Nor is it your destination if you're looking for relaxing on a chaise lounge and air-conditioned, marble bathrooms. BUT, if you're looking for a truly inspiring experience that few will ever have that puts you into the middle of the jungle with some of the warmest people on earth, I can HIGHLY recommend this trip! It will stay with you for quite some time...and that's a wonderful thing.

P.S. If you decide to go, read the book "Savages" (Kane) before you go. You'll learn a lot about the "first encounters" with the Huaorani people and all that has happened in the few decades since and their current leader, Moi (who, if you're as fortunate as we were, will be your local guide).

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank PhillyBoyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Huaorani Ecolodge

Property: Huaorani Ecolodge
Address: Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Yasuni National Park, Ecuador
Region: Ecuador > Yasuni National Park
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Yasuni National Park
Price range (per night): ₹ 9,690 - ₹ 12,920
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stay in an eco-lodge situated at the headwaters of the Amazon and run by the Huaorani, one of the most isolated ethnic groups on earth: first contacted by the outside world only 55 years ago, they speak a language that is unrelated to any other. You’ll learn to use a blowgun, hear their leader relate the tribe’s fight against oil exploration, and take a two-day meander down the Shiripuno River in kayaks, watching for tropical birds and monkeys.Highly Commended -The Virgin Holidays Responsible Travel Award 2009 and 2010Best Company in Innovation 2010 - LATATrips of a Lifetime award by Travel & Leisure 2010Best Sustainable Tourism Project 2008 and 2009 - LATABest Adventure Travel Companies on Earth by National Geographic 2009 ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Huaorani Ecolodge Hotel Yasuni National Park

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