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When Getting There is Half the Fun!

I just got back from a trip to England and Spain, so the flights home to New Mexico were long and many. Given that the long haul is fresh in the memory, it seems like the least likely time for me to focus on ecolodges that are not simple to get to. But, big, commercial jets and large airports are usually not a pleasant part of the journey, so why not feature places where getting there is truly part of the adventure?

I’ve put together a few of the ecolodges on where arriving isn’t a simple thing, but for the adventurous soul, that is exactly what makes them appealing. As you make your way to these places, you start to gradually immerse yourself in the setting and begin to get an idea of what you’re going to experience during your time there. And that’s exactly what makes these places exceptional.

So, in the spirit of ‘getting-there-is-half-the-fun’, here are a few of the standouts. You can search for them by name on

Napo Wildlife Center, Ecuador
Start with a 2.5 hour boat ride. End with a 1.5 hour ride in a paddle canoe to reach this bit of paradise in the rainforest.

Danpaati River Lodge, Suriname
From the nearest major airport, go by car or bus for 3 hours then switch to a dugout canoe for a 3 hour glide on the river to the Danpaati shore.

Sani Lodge, Ecuador
Starting in Coca, Ecuador, you’ll take a 2.5 hour boat ride up the Rio Napo to arrive at Sani Lodge. For an even more immersive experience, you can board a paddle canoe for an hour to reach a camping site next to a picturesque black water lagoon.

Kapawi Ecolodge, Ecuador
This one is quite special…’s a 10 day walk to the nearest road so the only reasonable way to reach Kapawi is by small plane. You’ll get a great overview of area in the process.

La Selva Jungle Lodge, Ecuador
To get to La Selva, you’ll take a 2 hour ride on a river canoe, then a short jaunt across a lagoon in a paddle canoe.

Rara Avis Lodge, Costa Rica
You have a few alternatives when trying to reach Rara Avis and none of them involve driving your own car or flying. You can take the tractor-pulled cart through the forest for 3 hours, go by horseback partway and finish with a 3km walk on a jungle trail, or walk the whole trail while letting the tractor haul your luggage!

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