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
Every 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.
Located 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.
The modern architecture and contemporary design of the lodge contrasts beautifully with the exuberant nature surrounding it.
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.
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.
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!
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. 🙂
The 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!
We couldn’t convince our daughter to hold them, but she did caress their hairy back.
Another 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!
Don’t forget to bring a waterproof bag for your Amazon hikes. Here are our picks for the best waterproof dry bags.
- Site: http://www.hamadryade-lodge.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HamadryadeLodge/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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?