By design, a jungle lodge is going to be remote. If you’re really going to be out where the wildlife is, you’re not going to be able to just hop in a taxi and be there ten minutes later. The ones in the Amazon Basin of Ecuador require less of an arduous trek than many though, with the journey being an interesting one too.
Below you can see a three-minute video on the trip to La Selva from the airport in Coca. That’s a quick flight from Quito, then your driver transports you to the dock. From there you get in a motorized longboat for a two-hour trip up the Napo River. That’s only a few seconds on this video, because while interesting, you’re going really fast and the view doesn’t vary much.
After you disembark from that boat though things start moving at a normal pace and you see details. You walk through the forest, on a raised walkway to keep you out of the mud, occasionally spotting tapir prints and some birds. Then you get into a canoe for a trip that’s 15-20 minutes through the jungle and across a lagoon to the dock at the lodge. Once you’re there, the manager welcomes you, someone hands you a cool towel, and the bartender brings around welcome cocktails. Nicely done.
The canoe ride can take longer if there’s a reason to dally for a while. In our case there was a very good reason: a whole tree full of spider monkeys moving along the branches looking for something to eat. You can see them in the video featured here.
At the end there’s a look at the view you get from the main building at the lodge, then a tour of the room I was staying in. La Selva was purchased by Columbus Travel Group and reopened about a year and a half ago after being completely revamped. Most of it is new construction, in the traditional style with lots of bamboo and thatch, but also some steel support structures to ensure everything is going to be standing solid for a good long time.
We’ll review the lodge in detail and a feature story will be coming later this summer diving into the experience, with more on the wildlife and the excursions. Meanwhile, you can see more at the official website: La Selva Jungle Lodge.