If you didn’t think it was possible to combine luxury with the Amazon, I would say I used to agree with you, until I found La Selva Jungle Lodge and Spa.
La Selva is an experience like no other, the leading premiere lodge in the Amazon. From the hospitality of the staff, the incredible and endless knowledge of the guides, the comfort of the rooms, gourmet food, and the unbeatable views from the lodge, La Selva exceeds all expectations on every level.
To get to La Selva, its a beautiful adventure in itself. From Quito, you must fly into Coca, only a 30 minute flight, and the gateway to the Amazon. From the second you arrive at the airport in Quito, La Selva takes care of everything you could imagine. You can even book your airline tickets through La Selva! We flew with Tame Airlines. You can look at tickets here! A guide will meet you at the airport, give you your flight vouchers and help you check in your bags. Before you even get to Ecuador, La Selva provides all types of useful advice for your stay in the Amazon. Especially tips on how to pack and what to bring! Bug spray was our best friend!
When arriving into Coca, we were immediately greeted by a friendly La Selva representative. I found it super helpful that we did not have to worry about our bags once. From the second we left the airport, the staff took care of them all the way to the resort. From Coca, we had about a 2 hour boat ride. La Selva provided rain ponchos on the boat, a packed lunch, and complimentary beverages. The ride itself was very relaxing and went by quick. After our boat ride, we boarded another canoe where the guides paddled us to the lodge for another 30 minutes. The scenery was stunning!
From the second we turned the corner on the river with sights in the distance of La Selva, I knew it was going to be one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever done. The lodge is beautifully situated right on the Napo River, a jungle oasis with a view you won’t get tired of. We were greeted with refreshingly cold towels and a fruity welcome drink, just the start of the endless hospitality.
When we arrived to the lobby, we met for a quick presentation all about the Amazon. We discussed expectations, guidelines, the history of it all, it was very informative! I feel like I got a P.H.D in Amazon after this trip! You learn so much throughout your stay with La Selva.
The accommodations are unique and beautiful. In your own little suite, it truly feels luxurious! Each room is newly updated and offered all the comfort you could want. King sized beds, a sitting area, a balcony, hot shower, double vanity sink, a dry box, it was perfect! There is no A.C, as they are doing so much to help the environment, but there is a high speed fan above the bed. When it rained at night it really cooled down the room. I slept perfectly comfortable every night! They screen the rooms so well and there is also a canopy over the bed to protect against bugs. Honestly, besides an ant or two, we didn’t see one bug in our room throughout our entire stay!
They also put clean water pitchers in your room to fill up your bottle, they fill them twice a day. We had nightly turndown service, accompanied by little chocolates on our pillows! They do everything they can to really make it as comfortable as possible.
I’m still blown away that you can be so remotely located in the jungle, and still come back from a tour to a balcony like this. Just being able to sit and read a book or take a nap while listening to howler monkeys outside was magical!
Regardless of the luxorious rooms and the beauty of the location, La Selva has some incredible activities included with your stay!
Each morning we were gently woken up at 5:30am with a knock on the door from the staff, although the sounds of the rainforest are the best alarm clock. A fantastic buffet breakfast is served at 6, and we set out on the morning tour at 6:45am. From jungle walks, canoe rides through the lagoon, bird watching in a super tall tower that stands above the canopy, the thrilling piranha fishing, visiting a local tribe, there is so much to see and each tour had its own charm. The lodge makes the tours very comfortable as they provide their guests with water bottles, comfy and durable rain boots, and ponchos. Something I loved about the Amazon, is that you have no clue what you are going to see everyday because it isn’t a zoo! We had days where we saw SO many monkeys, and days where we saw just one. We saw so many birds throughout our stay, some I didn’t even know existed!
Visiting the local tribe was one of our favorite things we did. The people of the tribe were so kind to show us around and walk us through their daily activities. One of the teachers allowed us to come in and see their classroom. It was full of students with smiles on their faces, and they even sang us some songs! A women named Maria showed us many techniques and plants they use to make things with, showed us where they grow their crops, and even made us some homemade beer. These women are totally brilliant. They use EVERYTHING to make baskets and houses. They are some of the hardest workers I have met. It was honestly inspiring watching her show us what they do. My husbands personal favorite part of this day was when they taught us how to shoot a blow dart! I gotta say, it was way too much fun.
Many people asked the notorious question, “did you feel safe?” My answer is 100% YES, at all times. The guides truly know what they are doing, they are incredibly talented. They use everything to spot an animal by listening to sounds, smelling the air, they are pros! Many of the guides grew up in the area and have been doing this for years. I felt completely safe as long as they were around!
We were amazed how we would be walking through the DENSE jungle, and our guide would say “look, a monkey over there.” It would take us a minute just to spot it, while he could see it instantly from miles away. If spotting animals was an Olympic sport, these guides would take the gold! Each and every guest at La Selva raved about their guides. Ours specifically, was named Robby. He not only was our guide, but he left as our friend. He was so kind, so willing to explain things to us, and really made the experience one of a kind!
Our favorite moment with Robby was when we were on our way back from a canoe ride through the lagoon, and as we turn the corner I see Robby’s face of excitement light up as he tells us there is an Anaconda nestled in a tree to the left of us. It was honestly incredible! There was nothing but trust with the staff at La Selva.
Between the morning tour and the late afternoon tour, time spent at the lodge can be filled with many different activities. They have kayaks you can take out on your own (our favorite!) and the dock on the lagoon has lounge chairs you can just relax and read a book on. There is also a yoga instructor on staff, you can book a yoga class with her at any time. Above the lobby, you’ll find the restaurant/bar area. This had a perfect view of the lagoon and the bar is fully stocked! I recommend ordering the Pisco Sour 🙂 Everyday, they have a happy hour 2 for 1 from 6:30-7:30!
The spa at La Selva is a complete oasis as well. They have a full spa menu from all different types of massages, baths, and masks. You can see their spa menu here! Included with your stay, you can reserve a time to use the private jacuzzi. We did this one afternoon and were so impressed how the staff prepared the tub. They had bath salts, oils, candles, robes, and bubbles all prepared for our time in the jacuzzi. It was the perfect way to unwind after a day of hiking in the jungle!
For being in the middle of the jungle, the food was way better than one could expect! It was top notch! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included in the rate of your package. They really go above and beyond to even find out any food allergies or dietary restrictions someone may have when you’re booking your stay with the property. Our meals included turkey medallions, mouth watering bbq ribs, fish that was cooked to perfection, side salads, and much more! For lunch AND dinner, they always served dessert after too. No complaints about that here!
The truth is, SO many people want to go to the Amazon but don’t know how to make it happen or what that would look like. La Selva gives you the whole experience when you stay and book with them. The Amazon is truly for anyone: the bird lovers, adventurous spirits, laid back, culture lovers, animal lovers, you name it and those desires can be met at Le Selva Lodge. I left with so much respect for La Selva, a lodge that actively protects the environment and partners with local tribes to keep the Amazon as lively and beautiful as it is.
So if you want to search for monkeys, cayman, or toucans, this is your place! If you want something different, adventurous, informative, and just flat out FUN on your next vacation, go to La Selva! You can read more about La Selva and book your stay on their website HERE!
For any questions about our stay, don’t be shy, message me! xoxo