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Reviewed 13 May 2018 via mobile

Recently stayed at Sani Lodge for 3 nights (May 2018). The staff were very hospitable, and the food was quite good.
Our guide, Guillermo, was excellent. The surroundings were spectacular.

The only issue was the lack of electricity. There are scheduled times for power usage, but the generator was not functioning, and we had power for about 2 hours a day on average. I was in contact with a guide for the next leg of my trip, and lack of wifi/powering facilities made it difficult.

The generator may be fixed, and in that case, I would upgrade to 5 stars. I recommend a stay here if electricity is not an issue.

Stayed: May 2018, travelled with friends
Thank Fringered1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sani-Lodge, Director Comercial at Sani Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2018

Dear
Fringered

Thank you for your comment, we feel honored and the same time we are sure that we are improving in the future, our project for the solar energy system is underway and we have solar energy in the lodge
When you visiting us, you helped the community in the area of education, health and social development of the local people
We have 4 types of programs now in the Lodge: Bird watching, Adventure, Cultural and Family. Our community Sani island welcome to you and your family and friends, if you want to visit us in the near future.

Regards
Hector Licuy

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2018 via mobile

Sani was the fourth lodge we visited in a trip from the high Andes down into the Amazon, and it is special indeed.

Owned and operated by the Sani nation, it’s located on the Napo River, a three-hour fast boat ride east of the city of Coca. The Sani are one of the few Quichwa tribes in eastern Ecuador who have resisted attempts by the oil companies to set up wells and develop their lands. They’ve chosen instead to protect their 80,000 or so acres along the Napo, one of the major tributaries of the Amazon.

Sani is less expensive than some of the Amazon lodges — without some of the frills such as swimming pools and poolside bars — focusing instead on the wildlife of the rainforest and the native culture. Yet it is not without amenities.

There are 16 palm-thatched cabins scattered about, connected by a boardwalk to the dining space and also to the very spacious bar area overlooking the river.

The magic begins the moment you leave Coca, when you step onto one of the canoas (canoes) — a name applied to their 45-50-foot narrow fiberglass boats that zip you down the river to the lodge landing. There you transfer to a boardwalk through the forest and walk to a second landing, then board smaller canoas, to be paddled through the black-water channels to the lodge.

Food is good, as is the service. The Sani run the lodge in a very professional, yet very personable and endearing way.

We were there for four night to go birding, and had a tremendous time whether up in the largest canopy tower in the Amazon, walking one of the many trails with one of their expert guides, or paddling around the many channels or on the river.

But there are many other things to do — visiting the Sani village, fishing, riding around in the canoas, or simply enjoying being in the rainforest. This would be a great place for a family trip. Definitely worth a visit.

And unlike the other lodges we visited on the east slope of the Andes, they take credit cards.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with friends
1  Thank J--Harpswell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sani L, Sales Manager at Sani Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 2 May 2018

Dear guest,

We really appreciate your comments that describe correctly a stay with us. We had focused through the years in protecting the jungle but at the same time, in renewing our Lodge so our facilities are more than comfortable for a nice stay, in the meantime you are enjoying of the large amount of wildlife that our territory holds. We also have territory at both sides of the Napo river, that´s why we are really happy to hear you were able of enjoying of all the activities we offer in our Lodge.

We have 3 kind of programs now at the Lodge: Birding, Adventure and Cultural. I hope that you were able to spot all the birds species that has their territory as their home. Our Community Sani Isla welcomes you and your family and friends if they would like o visit us in a near future.

By visiting us you are a direct supporter of the 42 000 hectares of land that we protect.

Kindest regards,

Yanelys Pozo

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Reviewed 15 April 2018 via mobile

We had a wonderful time exploring Sani Lodge and its environs with Victor and Cirilo, who are expert guides and all-around great guys! We had a delightful time and extend our appreciation to everybody from the Sani Isla community. ¡Gracias!

The accommodations were quaint and charming. We had hot water for every shower. Be sure to set the volume on your alarm all the way up, as you might sleep through the alarm due to the overwhelming sound of birds, frogs, and various chirping insects. You’ll likely have one or two early morning wake-up calls in order to get out into the rainforest and try to spot the wildlife when it’s most active.

We did a night walk the first night on the lodge property behind the staff quarters, on which we spotted a great number of the classic creepy-crawlies typically associated with the rainforest (think tarantulas, leaf and stick bugs, tree frogs and toads, and a literal swarm of bats that graced my face!).

The following days, we visited the “treehouse” observation deck high above the tree canopy. Bring professional binoculars to catch all the parrots flying around! Then, some raw meat-on-hook piranha fishing (caught a small fish but it wasn’t a piranha), lots of canoeing (our guides did all the paddling), and some strenuous hiking through the ecologically biodiverse Yasuní National Park! Finally, we visited the Sani Isla community where we were treated to a *very* traditional luncheon and had the chance to check out some native handicrafts.

The food, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, served at the lodge is rustic but high quality fare that matches up perfectly with American and European palates. We were even served tender goulash one night! The staff does an admirable job turning out great plates literally in the middle of the jungle.

Be sure to order a gin and tonic at the Buhos Bar, a little corner of “civilisation” with a stunning view of the Amazonian sunset. The quinine-rich G&T will help keep the malaria at bay, and will refresh your body and spirit as you get ready for another day in the heart of the Amazon. So crank up the volume on Roxy Music’s recording of “Amazona” and get packing for Sani Lodge! “Why don’t you step through the mirror and see?!”

Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
1  Thank SirNim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sani-Lodge, Director Comercial at Sani Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 28 May 2018

Dear
SirNim

Thank you for visiting us, we are very honored to contribute with the Kichwa Sani Isla community, which is one of the communities settled on the banks of the Napo River, we protect an impressive biodiversity in the Ecuadorian Amazon forest of 42 hectares of tropical humid forest, which are the internal territory of the Commune. This area is located within the largest protected area of continental Ecuador, Yasuní National Park.

We have 4 types of programs now in the Lodge: Birding, Adventure, Cultural and Family. Our community Sani Isla welcomes you and your family and friends if you wish to visit us in the near future.

We hope that during your stay in our Lodge you have experienced a unique and unforgettable trip, surrounded by a great diversity of flora and fauna. Thank you for your positive comments and we are pleased to continue improving our services.


Regards
Hector Licuy

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Reviewed 9 April 2018

My wife and I stayed at the campsite for 4 days/3 nights and loved it! You're treated the exact same as the people staying in the lodge, we had our own guide and a chef on site, but you are 40 minutes upstream by canoe. The tents are on a platform with a roof and you have a mattress, sheets, and pillow. It was very comfortable! The campsite also has running water in the bathroom with toliets, sinks, and showers. Only cold water, but no problem when you're hot after a hike! Our guides, Edwin and Cesar, were fantastic and took us piranha fishing and for several hikes in the day and night. It did rain some, not too much luckily, but they give you fantastic rain boots and pancho so it wasn't a problem at all. Can't say enough great things about this place, we loved it!

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank CultureThruFood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sani-Lodge, Marketing at Sani Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2018

Dear Friend


Thank you for visiting us, we are very honored to contribute with the Kichwa Sani Isla Community, which is one of the communities on the banks of the Napo River, which protects an impressive biodiversity in Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest. We protect 42 hectares of Forest, that are the inner territory of the Commune. This area is inside the largest protected area of ​​continental Ecuador, which is the Yasuni National Park.

We hope that during your stay in Camping area you had experienced a unique and unforgettable journey, surrounded by a huge diversity of flora and fauna. Thank you for your positive comments and we are pleased to continue with the improvements in the camping area.


Best regards,

Hector Licuy
Marketing Manager

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Reviewed 23 March 2018

My wife and I returned to stay at Sani Lodge after 8 years. We had another wonderfully memorable experience. It was so heartening to see in person the success of this project owned by the indigenous people and community of Sani Isla AND the preservation of this over 100,000 acres of rainforest.

There has been significant reinvestment in upgrading the facilities and service level of the lodge during this time. The first things I noticed were the new dock and welcoming structure, new large solar collectors providing reliable hot showers, updated cabins and the new boardwalks to the cabins radiating out like spokes from a central covered sitting area, thereby increasing privacy. Our cabin #4 had been recently updated including a new bathroom and ceiling fan. The airy nicely designed bar/game room building and dining room building were still there with their great views over the lake as well as their nightly sunset views. I have been to three other lodges along the Napo and I think that for sheer beauty of the lodge site, Sani is the best.

Javier was our fantastic guide, and during our 4 night stay, he made sure to include our favorite activities. We loved to go out in a canoe on the lake about an hour before sunset when the parrots and macaws are flying back to their roosting spots, watch the sunset, then listen as the frogs and night birds start up their loud chorus for the night. I could do this every night for the rest of my life! Our favorite day activity was to take canoes down to the end of the lake where it turns into a narrow stream fringed with water lilies and moriche palms. It was absolutely beautiful. Javier, a member of the Sani community, is such a good birder and naturalist. We slowly floated for 3 hours down the winding stream to Sani’s new group camping site, seeing squirrel and black tamarind monkeys and many species of birds, including an uncommon sunbittern and sungrebe. But the best was the family of 7 giant otters, who looked like they were standing upright with 2 feet of their bodies out of the water looking at us. Another day, on the way to the group camping area, we stopped for the 15 minute walk to their new steel bird tower 100 ft up in a giant ceiba tree overlooking the canopy. Make sure you bring your scope for this treat!

The last day, after a trip to a parrot clay lick on the Napo River where we saw 4 species of parrots and parakeets, we stopped in the community center. This is where we saw the real progress of success of the lodge in support of the Sani community. Since we were last there, there had been observable improvements in the community including new classrooms and bathrooms for students. The women in the community have formed a strong cooperative. We stopped into their new center where they explained about traditional food and cooking methods and treated us to a meal of local food and drink. Surrounding the center, we were encouraged by seeing the projects they have started to primarily process coffee and cacao beans. Their projects employ the traditional products of their forest, farms and culture to earn money to better support their families. None of these projects or business know-how was evident 8 years ago. They even had a small fish farming pond to increase protein in their diets. And we heard stories about a few scholarships for good students to attend high school in Coca or Quito.

All in all, it was a fun, comfortable and heartening trip back to Sani Lodge.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank PK1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sani L, sales Manager at Sani Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 26 March 2018

Dear Patricia,

We really hope you had enjoyed your visit to Sani Lodge. We are continually trying to improve our services and to prepare the staff for showing the beautiful jungle we protect (more than 37 000 hectares including one part inside the Yasuni protected Park). Thanks a lot for your kind words about us and about Javier, one of our best guides in Sani Lodge. We love that you had get back to Sani after so many years and had found how different are things are now. All the services that we are providing now, a new and remodeled and comfortable Lodge, and a new and remodeled Camping site. The forest is more pristine and protected than ever, so our guests will have the opportunity to really spot a lot of different species in our territory and get the once in a lifetime experience of a real jungle full of life.

We really appreciate your comments, which are very positive to continue developing our activities and continue protecting this beautiful and large pristine forest. We want to thank you for all your help to our Community.

With kindest regards,

Yanelys Pozo
Sales Team

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