SAVE THE FROGS! supporter Ruth Van Sciver visited La Selva Amazon Ecolodge in Ecuador in 2010. It was her enthusiastic recollection of her experience that inspired us to organize our 2018 SAVE THE FROGS! Ecuador Ecotour to La Selva. Here are some memories Ruth was willing to share:
"We stayed at La Selva Jungle Lodge for seven nights in January 2010 and had a wonderful, educational, and entertaining visit. Our nine person group consisted of two families with four boys, ages 6, 8, 9 and 14 plus my 77 year old mother. We all had a GREAT time and can’t wait to go back!
All photos on this page courtesy Ruth Van Sciver
The staff at La Selva is excellent! We realized throughout the week that they kept close track of all of us. Everything was carefully orchestrated behind the scenes, and it seemed that all the staff knew which guest was doing what on each day. In particular our naturalist guide, Paul, was outstanding. We have been on many other trips with other guides all over the world and he was one of the best we have ever had. Not only was he superbly qualified in knowing scientific names of nearly everything, but he was genuinely enthusiastic about all the different critters we found. He was also great with our children. My mother, who used to teach high school biology, was also very impressed with his wealth of knowledge. I spoke with several other guests at the lodge and they too were equally impressed with their naturalist guides as well. I think the management at La Selva does a great job of choosing, recruiting and incentivizing their staff.
A native guide came with us on all the walks too. He was great with the kids as well. He took them swinging on vines, hunting for tarantulas, and fishing for piranhas. One morning we saw five different species of monkeys on our way to the tower. The other half of our group, also saw five species that morning but with one different monkey! One of the monkeys knocked down a treefrog which landed on my son, much to his delight. On our first walk in the jungle, we saw three different species of snakes. The guides caught many animals so we could examine and photograph them. They were very careful with the animals ensuring that they did not have deet on their hands, especially when handling amphibians.
The staff is extremely accommodating. We didn’t realize initially, but all one had to do was ask and they would do their best to assist us. For instance we needed a place to dry out our sweaty clothes, so they put up a clothes line for us. When we wanted pancakes with eggs (instead of just pancakes) or just a plate of tropical fruit, all we had to do was ask. We felt well cared for.
I think it was a fantastic trip to do especially with children. They learned to be cautious around the bullet ants, keeping their boots on in the jungle walks. They loved seeing and touching all sorts of bugs and critters, and they learned about conserving this wonderful rain forest resource. My mother loved the trip as well. She participated in every walk and boat ride and took notes the whole time."