Heather

Top Wildlife Lodges in the Ecuadorian Amazon - Sep 4 - Sep 25, 2019

Traveler: Heather K. - Local specialist: Mathias Onisseit

It was an absolute pleasure working with Mathias:

1. He listened carefully to our special areas of interest (birding photography) and designed a fantastic itinerary for us.
2. The accommodation and guides that he set up for us exceeded our expectations.
3. His personal input and support when we needed urgent medical assistance was invaluable.
4. He was always available and responsive throughout the whole 4 week trip

In Mindo, Mathias set us up with Edison from http://www.swordbilledexpeditions.com/about-us/ . Ed’s bird knowledge was remarkable, his photographic skills superb, he was able to get us into unusual and remote locations, he introduced us to fascinating people and was just a wonderful person to spend time with. We stayed at the Septimo Paraiso and the Bellavista Cloudforest Lodge, both of which were stunning

My research showed very mixed feedback between Cuyabeno and Yasuni, and so based on Mathias’s recommendation we did both – and in hindsight he was completely correct. They are very different, unique and special in their own distinct ways. In Cuyabeno we stayed at the Nicki Lodge for 5 nights and I loved it. We met a couple of travelers who had had bad experiences at some of the other local lodges, but the service and friendliness from our staff was fantastic. The lodge is more casual and low key but I felt closer to the environment and with the narrower rivers the forest seemed to be more intimate. We had a young guide called Jefferson who was from Quito - he had fallen in love with the natural environment and was passionate about sharing it with us. Through his share dedication we managed to see a young family of endangered otters, the beautiful fresh water dolphins, birds, insects, caiman, spiders and flora (as well as lots of very muddy walks – well worth the effort). The lovely lodge chef cooked up tasty local meals shared at one long table which allowed us to meet backpackers through to seasoned international travelers.

Sacha Lodge, on the other hand, was truly spectacular and upmarket. Mathias organized a “master” ornithologist for us (a local Kichwe called Osca) who managed to help us identify 130 bird species in 3 days (including a great sighting of a juvenile Harpy Eagle), over and above the 5 monkey species, stick insects, frogs, parrots at the clay lick, and quiet moments in the canoe simply enjoying the environment.

There is no way we could have put together a trip like this without the local knowledge, experience and expertise of Mathias and his team. Mathias provided us with a level of service, professionalism and personal input that I have never experienced before. Kudos to him and his team.

Mathias Onisseit profile photo
Mathias Onisseit, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Heather,

thanks a lot for your review. I’m very happy that you enjoyed your time here in Ecuador and that you could achieve one of your main objectives, which was getting many bird species in front of the camera! It has been a pleasure for my team and I organizing this trip for you and having you here.
I’m also very glad that we were able to get your health issues solved quickly so that you didn’t miss out too much of this trip that you had been planning for a very long time.... read more

Dear Heather,

thanks a lot for your review. I’m very happy that you enjoyed your time here in Ecuador and that you could achieve one of your main objectives, which was getting many bird species in front of the camera! It has been a pleasure for my team and I organizing this trip for you and having you here.
I’m also very glad that we were able to get your health issues solved quickly so that you didn’t miss out too much of this trip that you had been planning for a very long time.

Hopefully, you can come visit us another time to see the rest of this beautiful country!

Best regards and see you soon,
Mathias