WHY THIS TRIP
The Sani Lodge is located in an important protected wildlife corridor between two of Ecuador’s most important and diverse National Parks: Yasuní and Cuyabeno. This makes the birding and wildlife viewing opportunities almost unparalleled among rainforest lodges in Ecuador. Additionally, the lodge is operated and 100 percent-owned by the local Sani community, so you know the economic benefits of your trip will stay within the community and help them to maintain their land rights. The accommodations are not luxurious, but are comfortable, and the location of the lodge is spectacular.
The Sani Lodge community-owned ecolodge is committed to providing all visitors with an engaging and fascinating experience in the Ecuadorian rainforest. By opening up travelers’ eyes to the biodiversity of the forest and the unique culture of the indigenous Sani people, the trip is truly affecting and representative of the Amazon region’s uniqueness.
While the lodge isn’t luxurious, its cozy and natural accommodations blend in with the natural surroundings and provide a relaxing base for exploring the forest. The Sani Lodge is located within 100,000 hectares of protected rainforest that serves as a wildlife corridor between the Yasuní and Cuyabeno National Parks. From the well-traveled Napo River, you travel far into the forest by walkways and canoe until you reach the remote, peaceful Challuacocha lake. The Sani Lodge is perched right on the water, with several communal spaces and docks overlooking the lake. This dark, reflective lagoon is home to hundreds of species and from the lodge alone, you’ll have opportunities to see caimans, herons, butterflies, and frogs among other animals.
But you haven’t come here just to hang out at the Lodge and each day, you’ll travel with your guide to a new area of the rainforest. The excursions are distinct and designed to keep all travelers interested so you’re always finding or doing something new. Just like all the staff at the Lodge, your naturalist guide is a member of the Sani community so he or she can offer a unique blend of cultural knowledge and scientific training. Your guide will lead you rainforest walks to find monkeys swinging in the trees (there are 13 species in the area); on canoe rides through meandering rivers to hopefully spot pink river dolphins; and high into the canopy to look for toucans and parrots in the treetops at dawn. You will also visit members of the Sani community to learn about their traditions and how they thrive in this unusual environment.
Since the lodge’s focus is on quality experience, not on luxurious amenities, they cater to a widely selection of travelers who value a top quality guide and location most. While most travelers will stay in the thatch-roofed cabanas, there are also options for camping and for family-style rooms. The lodge is especially appealing to birders who come here to spot some of the 550 different species of birds present in the area. Private tours are available and recommended for true birders who can easily spend a week here exploring the reserve and nearby parrot clay licks.
LOCAL PROVIDER: SANI LODGE
The Sani Lodge is owned and operated by the Sani Isla Kichwa community, who control the largest area of privately help rainforest in all of Ecuador. The community created and operates the lodge to protect the land, plants, and animals of the area, and to meet the educational and health needs of the community. The profits from the lodge are used to support education, to provide social aid, and allow for a sustainable economy for the future generations of the Sani Isla community.