Napo Wildlife Center
At a Glance
50ft canopy tower takes you up into the tree-tops and two of Ecuador’s most accessible parrot licks are located here
Set up in partnership with the local Anangu community - a superb eco-community project that gives back to the region
Complements a Galapagos cruise very well for the ultimate wildlife adventure
Spacious thatched cabanas with lake views - the newly refurbished suites are excellent for families
Wonderful wildlife experience but great to immerse oneself in the local culture too
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
All year round destination. There is no defined dry season, and rain can be expected at any time of year being a tropical rainforest.
To start planning your holiday to Napo Wildlife Center
Beautifully situated on the mirrored lake of Anangu, Napo Wildlife Center is a comfortable eco-lodge in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon offering a haven for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
Napo Wildlife Center is superbly situated overlooking Lake Anangu and is the only lodge within the protected Yasuni National Park, thereby offering an exclusive rainforest experience. The lodge is run with the full participation of the native Añangu community and is 100% community owned, setting it apart from most other rainforest lodges and ensuring the protection of the local population and environment.
Accommodation at Napo Wildlife Center is in 20 comfortable wooden cabañas, including 8 spacious suites, 4 of which have a jacuzzi. Each cabaña has a private terrace with hammocks and overlooks either the lake or rainforest. The thatched roof building of the lodge includes a dining hall where a superb standard of food is served, with a small library and well stocked bar. The lodge even offers WiFi weather permitting. There is also a 50ft observation tower perfect for wildlife watching and taking in the views of the lake at dawn or dusk.
Within the rainforest the lodge has another 20ft observation tower built in a giant Caypoch tree. The towers give guests the chance to view the forest canopy from an entirely different perspective and is great for wildlife viewing, with the opportunity to see monkeys, toucans, parrots and other wildlife that cannot be seen from the forest floor.
Yasuni National Park was declared a UNESCO reserve in 1989 and is home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna, including 200 mammals, 565 species of birds and over 40,000 insects. Several trails lead through pristine terra firme forest, where 150-foot trees tower above and huge buttress roots crisscross the paths. Days are spent on paddle dugout canoes along tannin-rich black water creeks and lakes in search of wildlife from river otters to water-loving birds, and by night walk in the forest to observe nocturnal wildlife and canoe on the river in search of caiman and night bats with the aid of torches. Always accompanied by a local guide with incredible eyes for spotting wildlife and an English-speaking naturalist guide, the experience is an educational adventure. Unique to the lodge, there are also two clay licks within easy reach, where guests can watch hundreds of brightly coloured parrots and macaws congregate in huge flocks to feed on the clay, a truly incredible spectacle.
Guest accommodation at Napo Wildlife Center is made up of 20 comfortable thatched roof cabañas with private terraces. 8 of the cabañas are suites - 4 of these have a jacuzzi and 4 are connecting, making them ideal for families. The cabañas are decorated with native furnishings and all have private bathroom, shower, hot water and ceiling fan. The cabañas are spacious and all have one king size bed and one single bed, sleeping up to 3 guests in total.
A stay at Napo Wildlife Center is most suited to children aged over 8 years, although younger children are accepted. Whilst there are no formal child facilities there are lots of exciting and educational activities which are sure to appeal and the guides and local community are very friendly and welcoming towards children.
Napo Wildlife Center has a large dining hall with a bar and a library stocked with nature books. There is also WiFi available weather permitting. There are two observation towers, one 50ft tower attached to the property and another 120ft tower 20 minutes further into the forest. These are great for viewing wildlife from above the forest canopy, much of which is hidden at ground level.
A variety of activities and excursions are on offer at Napo Wildlife Center, including fishing, forest hikes, excursions in dugout canoes through the lake and its creeks, visits to the clay licks, handicraft workshops and visits to the local communities. The excursions are all lead by an indigenous Añangua guide, giving a unique insight into the local environment, and accompanied by a knowledgeable multilingual naturalist guide.
Jack Guth (Staff)
NAPO Wildlife Center is located in the middle of Ecuadors Amazon Jungle. The property towers over lake Anangu and from its seven storeys offers panoramic views of the surrounding jungle. Staying here is every wildlife enthusiast's dream come true. The wildlife viewing is an endless adventure. NAPO also gives 100% if its profits to the surrounding community and offers cultural experiences and day excursions to the neighboring village, where you can learn about how people live and have lived in the Amazon for centuries. Although incredibly isolated and hard to get to, this lodge is worth it, as visiting the Amazon is a once in a lifetime experience.
Scarlett Richard (Staff)
This is perhaps the area's best-run, and most environmentally and socially conscious, lodge. A joint venture with the local Añangu Quichua community, the Napo Wildlife Center is involved in conservation efforts. The lodge consists of 12 lakefront bungalows, which are quite large and come with one king-size bed in the main living area and a twin-size bed in a small nook. There's also a hammock on each bungalow's private balcony overlooking the lake. A favorite of bird-watchers, the Napo Wildlife Center has excellent guides, and the grounds here are home to two parrot licks. The 36m (118-ft.) observation tower is one of the tallest in the area, and there's another observation tower just off the bar area. No motorized vehicles are allowed near the lodge, which is inside the Yasuni National Park. From Coca it's a 2-hour motorboat ride on the Río Napo, then either a 2-hour paddle or 2km (1.2-mile) hike to the lodge.
Canoeing along the Napo River
Explore the rainforest deeper as you embark on a journey along the Napo River by traditional paddle canoe. Reach narrow creeks as you search for wildlife with your specialist guide. Look out for monkeys, giant otters and a variety of unusual bird species.
Kichwa shaman ceremony
Partake in a traditional Kichwa ceremony held by a local shaman of Añangu. This is a great opportunity to better understand the local culture and traditions of this ancestral tribe, which have been passed down through the generations..
Otavalo Traditional Market & Handicraft Tour
A tour around Otavalo market, famous for its handicrafts and for being one of the finest markets in Latin America. The region’s craft heritage is displayed in all it’s finery here, so expect woollen scarves, handbags and ponchos.
Parrot clay lick
Observe hundreds of parrots and a variety of species at one of the nearby clay licks. Watch as these colourful creatures hang back, planning their approach, before swooping down to indulge in the minerals and salts contained within the clay.
Tiputini hiking trail
Hike through the terra-firma forest and swamp forests of the Tiputini trail, keeping your eyes peeled for native wildlife such as capuchin monkeys, pigmy squirrels, tamarins and sloths. Follow tracks along the forest floor with the aid of your guide.
Location & directions
Napo Wildlife Center is located 80km downstream from Coca airport on the Napo River in the Yasuni National Park.
How to get there
14-hour 45-minutes international flight to Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport, followed by a 30-minute domestic flight to Coca airstrip and a 3-hour motorized boat ride.
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