We spent almost two weeks exploring the Amazon Basin in Ecuador near Yasuní National Park and along the mighty Napo River, which is a major tributary to the Amazon. Start finding your Napo River Amazon adventure with this look inside the jungle luxury at La Selva Lodge.
Jungle luxury in the Napo River Amazon Basin
La Selva Lodge was one of the first luxury jungle lodges in this part of the Amazon Basin and it still does a great job (a recent infusion of capital and renovations helped). Rooms and suites are elegant and well-appointed (some have jetted tubs) and there’s even a spa.
But Amazon adventures are front and center too with lots of boating, hiking, bird-watching, swimming and fishing options on offer all lead by a local guide along with a top-notch certified naturalist guide. There’s also a 115 foot (35 meter) canopy observation tower near the lodge which is a great place to get eye-to-eye with tree-dwellers including birds, monkeys, and more.
The lodge is located on Lake Garzacocha which is picturesque, a magnet for wildlife, and a great location for swimming with piranha or fishing for piranha (strictly catch and release). This is the first place we ever tried to catch a piranha and Eric was pretty good at it.
Pros: The flexibility to create personalized experiences (from family programs to honeymoon packages) and a wide range of high-end services and amenities mean this lodge appeals to a broad spectrum of travelers. For us, this was the smartest amenity of all: the Amazon is a humid place and your camera, smartphone, laptop, etc. can get ruined if that ambient moisture gets inside. Our room at La Selva Lodge had a homemade wooden dry box with an incandescent lightbulb inside. We just put our vulnerable electronics inside the box, switched on the lightbulb overnight, and everything stayed nice and dry.
Cons: While we can see how some purists might worry that all of the tempting touches at a luxury jungle lodge might turn it into more of a resort than a place to get out and experience the Amazon. However, staff and management at La Selva remain focused on getting people into the jungle in a wide range of ways that are as tempting as that patio hammock or an outdoor massage.
Continue planning your Amazon adventure in Ecuador with our post about an outstanding community tourism project in the Amazon, our Napo River Amazon Travel in Ecuador Know-How post (which covers how to get there, environmental issues, Amazon myths, and other important aspects of Amazon travel), and our post about a riverboat adventure on the Napo River.
Here’s more about travel in Ecuador
Here’s more about Amazon Travel