Our Review Of The Napo Wildlife Center in Yasuni National Park


Yasuní National Park is one of the most biodiverse places in the world and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve covering more than 9,823 square kilometers of Amazon rainforest. Yasuní is located between the Napo and Curaray rivers within the Napo forest eco-region. Yasuní National Park features 150 amphibian species, 121 reptile species, 382 fish species, 596 bird species, 117 bat species, 100,000 insect species, and 4,000 vascular plants.

Ever since I found out that there are lodges in the Yasuní National Park that was managed by a local community, I’ve wanted to visit. It is a high end lodge with one of the best services and staff I have ever experienced in my life. The luxurious Napo Wildlife Center is located on the shores of a lake in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

The first day we were picked up by staff from the Napo Wildlife Center at the Francisco de Orellana airport in the city of El Coca. Then they took us to the meeting point where they explained the day’s itinerary, which includes a tour, and introduced us to our guide. There they also gave us the snack of the day and a reusable water bottle to use to avoid single use plastics.

The journey from El Coca take approximately 2 hours by motorboat to a point where we board a canoe to the welcome center where we can go to the bathroom, drink water and stretch our legs. From the welcome center to the lodge it is a further 2 hours by rowing canoe. During the journey to the lodge we are looking for wildlife. We observed various species of birds and several black caimans. During the tour we passed through several canals, where the vegetation transports you to a magical place. Entering the Añangu lagoon, you are greeted by an imposing complex with 20 cabins, 6 suites and an observation tower. That night we rested after a delicious dinner and went to sleep early for the next day’s adventures.

The second day we had to alter our itinerary because it rained all day. I say unfortunately because we had to modify our plans for the day, but the truth is that it was super magical and re-energizing to enjoy the Amazon and its powerful rain. In the morning after breakfast we went up the observation tower, where you can see a wonderful panoramic view of the place. You can access the tower by stairs or by elevator. Since it was raining, we couldn’t see much wildlife from the tower but I fell in love with the view.

At lunchtime, the guides, especially Jorge, noticed that near the lobby there were dozens of golden mantle monkeys. This monkey is native to the area and is also the logo of the lodge. From what the guides told us, it is not very common to see this monkey, so we were very lucky.


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Jeffrey Damon
the authorJeffrey Damon