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We just returned earlier this week from Hakuna Matata-not the Disney movie nor the phrase meaning “No Problem,” but the name of the fabulous jungle lodge in the Amazon.

Just about 3 hours from Quito, the lodge is nicely removed from the main highway just after the town of Archidona, a few kilometers off the main road. You drive through some small native communities, cross a swinging bridge just wide enough for your vehicle over a big river,

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and end up at the lodge entrance. You hear nothing from the highway, so the only sounds to fill the nights are the bugs and the heavy rainfall if you’re lucky. We had both, and it was a great way to get a restful sleep.

Upon arriving that afternoon, we headed down to the “beach” on the shores of the Inchillaqui River that is on the extensive property.

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Rudy and Marcelina, the Belgian owners, are delightful people and have trained their local staff extremely well. The food is first class, mainly continental European style simple and classic dishes, executed well. We were served sliced pork loin in red wine marinade, scalloped potatoes, and a vegetable the first evening, simply prepared. They have smartly carved out small logs, placed gravel inside, added a wire grate on top, and use tealights inside to keep additional portions warm for you tableside. The portions are more than generous. Since it was our son Sebastian’s birthday and we had let them know ahead of time, they even baked a simple cake for him, and presented him with a t-shirt, wrapped in an orignal and elegant style inside a banana leaf, tied off and adorned with a  local flower. The staff is attentitve without being overbearing, and very polite.

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On the second day I unfortunately had an accident you can read about here, but the staff, my wife Maria, and my kids took good care of me. We were served first an appetizer of pork and chicken liver paté, with a cornichon, white onion, and orange marmelade, then for the main dish chicken in white wine sauce, pommes frites, and fresh carrots and peas on our second evening.

But before the fall, we visited the Ranarium, or frog area. It’s a small, screened in greenhouse with a variety of different types of poison frogs, which the guide will clearly tell you about and answer all your questions, including methods of use for the poison, mating habits, habitat, etc. The guides were very knowledgeable and friendly.

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Frogs in Hakuna Matata

While I recuperated from the fall, Maria and the kids took a one hour hike through the jungle with the guide. More on that adventure in the next post!

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Welcome to Destination Ecuador!

Welcome to Destination Ecuador! My family and I have been living in Ecuador for the last four and a half years. We’ve dealt with the worst kinds of red-tape, searched out or ended up making hard-to-find ingredients ourselves, imported equipment for making chocolate confections, learned the import-export business...Continue >>


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