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Hamadryade Lodge: Eco-Chic Adventure in Ecuador’s Amazon Jungle

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This is guest post about Hamadryade Lodge is by Magali Ipina, a Canadian expat living in Quito, Ecuador. She started her own advertising agency in Quito 3 years ago, Reversal Studio. Check out their site www.reversalstudio.com and follow them on Facebook.

Hamadryade Lodge: Eco-Chic Adventure in Ecuador’s Amazon Jungle

Canoe trip on Napo and Arajuno rivers in EcuadorEvery year, hundreds and hundreds of locals head to the beaches of Ecuador to make the most of the longest holiday of the year.

The trip is worth it, but only if you are mentally prepared to get hit by a very heavy traffic on your way there AND back. I remember — Oh Too Clearly – last year slowly driving for 8 hours in a traffic that never seemed to end, which is why we decided this time to try something different and head to the Amazonian jungle.

I am so glad we tried a lesser travelled destination; after an easy 3h30 drive and zero traffic, we arrived to a place so close to Quito and yet felt so far from it!

Arriving to Misahuallí, it was pouring hard (it is called the rainforest for a reason). We decided to head directly to what would be our home for the next 3 days, the Hamadryade Lodge.

Hamadryade Lodge EcuadorLocated in the High Amazon region, this luxurious ecolodge is surrounded by pristine nature. From the balcony of our private bungalow, we can unwind, relax and admire the lush forest we have as a breathtaking view.

Read more about traveling in Ecuador.

Each bungalow here is decorated in homage to an ethnic group of the area (quichua, shuar, huoarani or cofan) and our ceiling displays a beautiful lizard with earthy tones.

Hamadryade Lodge art Ecuador

The modern architecture and contemporary design of the lodge contrasts beautifully with the exuberant nature surrounding it.

visiting Hamadryade Lodge Amazon jungle

We were hoping the rain would calm down but since it didn’t, we decided to go for a walk in the trails onsite. It was a great way to start our Amazonian experience! The rubber boots they lent us for the entirety of our stay were very appreciated due to the muddy jungle hikes! Entirely soaked but happy after our 45-minute walk, our daughter convinced us to get in the pool (one of the main reason we chose this lodge in the first place!).

The pool is supplied with rain water and is treated with ozone, which requires only 10% of the normal chlorine level.

Hamadryade Lodge pool Ecuador

The surroundings of the pool are spectacular: the jungle, the luxurious gardens, the birds singing and the giant yellow butterflies flying around all add on to our delight. I was pleasantly surprised by the absence of mosquitoes. The French owner, Sébastien, explained to me the reason: there are no swamps or stagnant water in the area, only flowing rivers.

The lodge is only 15 minutes away from “downtown” Misahuallí and a lot of activities can be done in the area. During our stay, we visited the Amazoonico Animal Reserve.

Canoe trip on Napo and Arajuno rivers in Ecuador

From the small port of Misahualli, we took a canoe trip down the Napo and the Arajuno river for 45 minutes before arriving at the rescue center, located in the Selva Viva Jungle Reserve.

During our visit, a volunteer told us the story of the permanent residents, mostly victims of poaching that won’t be able to be released in the wild. We got to see many parrots, monkeys, caimans, tapirs, and our daughter’s favorite: an anaconda!

Amazon caiman in Ecuador

On our way back, we stopped in a local community where a woman demonstrated how they make Chicha, a traditional fermented drink made from manioc root. Traditionally, the brewing of this beverage involved indigenous woman chewing and spitting it multiple times. We like to believe the sample they gave us to try was a more tourist-adapted version of it. 🙂

preparing chicha in EcuadorThe men then started playing music and the woman danced, inviting us to join them. Then guess what charming creatures we decided to pet? Hairy tarantulas, of course!

Amazon tarantula experience

We couldn’t convince our daughter to hold them, but she did caress their hairy back.

Amazon tarantulas in Ecuador

Latas Waterfalls hike in Amazon EcuadorAnother activity we did on our last day was a hike to the Latas Waterfalls. A 45-minute walk in the jungle led us to a beautiful waterfall and a natural swimming pool, a great spot to freshen up and take a cold shower in nature!

Along the way, we enjoyed the rain-forest and its wonders, disconnected from the civilized world.

After this beautiful half day in the jungle, we were ready to head back home. Hamadryade Lodge is a wonderful option for families looking for a jungle experience; I have a feeling it won’t be the last time they see us around.

On our next visit, we will make sure to try the river rafting, hiking to the lagunas and taking a shamanic bath!

Amazon rainforest pool in Ecuador

Magali Ipina at Hamadryade Lodge

Hamadryade Lodge

Your Turn

Have a question for Magali? Join us in the comments below!

Have you been to Hamadryade Lodge? What’s your best tip for other future visitors?

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is editor of GringosAbroad - one of the largest English language sites about Ecuador. Work with GringosAbroad. He is a travel blogger, photographer and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands).

9 comments… add one
  • Christina Johnson Jan 15, 2017, 2:01 pm

    Hi,
    I may be looking to move to a cheaper place. I currently live in San MIguel de Allende Mexico and have lived and worked here many years. I speak very good Spanish, and I travelled to Ecuador way back in 1971 and again in 1973. I need cool or even cold weather. Is Cuenca high altitude? It looks like the mountains are very close; may one get to the mountains to hike very easily? Finally, by any chance do you know the cost of keeping a horse in Cuenca? Thanks very much, Christina

  • Max Sand Jan 14, 2017, 4:52 pm

    Hi Magali,
    Thank you for the lovely article. I have visited this area with friends and it is really beautiful and just as you described. I may spend a few days there in Feb at the Lodge to unwind.

  • Christian Jan 14, 2017, 3:14 pm

    I am visiting Ecuador alone for the first time the end of May and flying to Quito and was going to spend a night then travel to Cuenca and then from there to Salina. I would love to go from Quito to this place first for 2 nights but is it possible to hire a driver to get me there much less one to pick me up after? Looks really beautiful and peaceful!

    • Max Sand Jan 14, 2017, 4:55 pm

      You could probably check with a cabbie in Quito to arrange a trip and pickup. If you are going to stay at the lodge, they may also be able to do something for you. Send them an email.

      • Christian Jan 15, 2017, 5:49 pm

        Thanks Max I will check with the resort since I will not have much time in Quito to really look around for a good option.

    • Stefanie Jan 16, 2017, 10:38 am

      We are Americans living in Quito, Ecuador and offer transportation services and airport transfers in and around Quito. If you are still looking for transportation help – send us an email and we can provide rates!

  • Rosetta Williams Jan 14, 2017, 9:53 am

    Nice article. I would love to have seen a picture of the giant butterflies.

    • Max Sand Jan 14, 2017, 4:57 pm

      They are elusive and usually by the time I get my camera ready they are gone. There are also giant blue ones, maybe 6-8″ wingspans. Fabulous to see. Best thing is to go and discover this yourself. 🙂

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