When I visited Sani Lodge I stayed at their camping. It is a very nice and much cheaper option to the more expensive cabins. For 6 days/5 nights I paid $680 (July 2012) and another $170 for the flight ticket Quito–Coca–Quito.
The tents are standing on wooden platforms under thatched roofs. We were only four people staying at the camping while I was there, a German family and I. We had a tent each and we all chose to sleep in a tent on the big platform where there is most light and a view towards the lagoon. In the tent there was a mattress, a pillow, sheets, a towel, a soap and shampoo. On a table on the platform there was a container with drinking water, some toilet paper and a candle.
There is a wooden path to the shared bathroom, where there are three showers and two toilets. As we were only four people staying at the camping there were never any queues. I must say that I was a bit disappointed not to see a tarantella on the boardwalk in the light of the torch (we had been told to look where we put our feet when walking in the dark).
The camping is a 3min canoe ride away from the lodge. We didn’t have our own canoe at the camping, but were picked up by Nelson when it was time to go to the lodge. At the camping there is no electricity, so a torch is a must. When we woke up in the morning it was still dark as breakfast was served at the lodge at 6am, and when we returned after dinner it was also dark. To take a shower was best in the late afternoon/early evening, but once it was dark when I showered and I relised that I could get some light if I put my torch on the wall above the shower.
Staying at the camping you will be very close to the surrounding jungle and it is very nice to hear the sounds during the night; frogs, cicadas and caimans hunting. I enjoyed the camping very much and if I would go to Sani Lodge again I would definitely chose to stay in a tent.
Everything was very well organized with the camping but the last night we had one problem. When we returned to the camping after dinner we relised there was no water in the bathroom, well we all went to bed and hoped it would be back in the morning. There was no water in the morning either and I used the drinking water in my water bottle for washing. It turned out that someone had forgotten to pump the water.
I had another problem and that was my broken wrist. With only one hand to use everything took much longer for me so I went up half an hour earlier than the others. For example it was not easy to put in the lenses in the morning using a small mirror and my head torch, with lots of insects flying around in the light of the torch. I also had to ask the other people staying at the camping for help as I couldn’t do simple things like putting up my hair in a pony tail. Luckily they were very nice and helpful.
One or two days after I left both the lodge and camping were going to be full. I’m glad it wasn’t when I visited.
I stayed one more night at Sani Lodge than the others that had been there at the same time as I. The new guide I had for the last day thought it would be very inconvenient for me to stay alone at the camping so he asked the manager if I could stay in one of the cabins instead, and of course without paying more. In one way I had looked forward to be all alone at the camping with only the jungle around, but on the other hand I had a broken wrist and things were quite complicated so it was very nice and good that I got a cabin. That night I and a family of three were the only tourists at the lodge.
In the cabin there were two beds with mosquito nets above them, a bedside table (but no bedside lamp), shelves and hangers. There were two big windows with mosquito nets, so during the night you can hear some of the sounds of the jungle, but not as much as in the camping. Both the room and the bathroom were clean. I can’t really remember but I think there isn’t electricity throughout the night in the cabins.
I visited Sani Lodge in July 2012 but as I stayed at the camping I don’t know how much it was to stay in a cabin, but I have looked up the price for 2013 and for a 5 days/4 nights stay it cost $915 per person if you are two in the cabin and if you are alone the price is $1270.
The bar/common room at Sani Lodge is an open-air room, under a thatched roof, where it is very nice to sit and relax after the hikes and activities of the day. In the bar you can buy drinks and snacks. In the bookcases you will find books and a few games. There are some tables with comfortable sofas and armchairs where you can sit and chat with the other visitors, and there are a few hammocks. The view over the lagoon is very nice and there are binoculars here that you can use to watch the birds that are out there.
The bar is open between 7 – 23.
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