Updated February 14th, 2019.
Located at the edge of the Amazonian city of Tena, Ecuador, Hostal Tena Ñaui showcases some stunning views of the surrounding rainforest without compromising on convenience. Offering only private rooms on a backpacker budget, this hostel is the treat you didn’t even know you needed!
Friendly and knowledgeable staff
The thing that sets Hostal Tena Ñaui (pronounced Nah-wee) apart from the competition is the local expertise held by the staff. Multilingual owner Jens is an expat who made Tena his home twenty years ago and his experience within the city is invaluable to his guests. Jens’ language abilities mean that local secrets and tips can be passed on to a whole cross-section of travellers, even if they are not fluent in Spanish. Aside from the personal recommendations from the staff, a whole wealth of information on Tena is provided within the hostel, including city maps and tour information.
When looking at Hostel Tena Ñaui’s location, it would be understandable to assume that all of the city attractions are far away. In reality, this is not the case at all. The hostel is only a fifteen-minute walk from the city centre and a taxi can be easily arranged on the cheap. Laundry service is available for a reasonable price on site and it is even possible to arrange pizza delivery direct to the hostel! There is a mini-mart situated just a couple of minutes away as well as a small restaurant, known for its homemade ice-cream. A whole variety of flavours are offered and I can honestly say the white chocolate popsicle is the best that I have ever tasted!
Offers only private rooms
You’re a backpacker so that means you stay in dorm beds, right? Not necessarily true. At Hostel Tena Ñaui, the only rooms on offer are private but the cheapest are priced the same as most dorms in the city ($7 US per person). This means it is super easy to stay within a backpacker budget. There is the option of rooms with either a shared or private bathroom. All of the rooms provided at Hostel Tena Ñaui are clean, spacious and functional so you don’t have to worry about keeping your belongings confined to a small locker – you can spread out as much as you like!
Cloud forest views
Owing to the location of Hostel Tena Ñaui, you get to escape the noise and traffic of the city and instead take in a much more special view. Located up a hill at the edge of the city, the hostel truly flaunts the stunning surroundings. It is not uncommon to be visited by hummingbirds in the garden and on a clear day it is even possible to see the Volcano Sumaco in the distance! The outside communal area is a great place from which to do some bird spotting over the city.
Plenty of entertainment
A nagging concern for many millennial travellers is the quality of the WiFi available. Luckily, the internet at Hostal Tena Ñaui is great, which makes it an ideal accommodation choice for digital nomads or those looking to Skype family members back home. The strong connection means that it is even possible to get reacquainted with your Netflix account in the evenings! There are plenty of books in a whole range of languages available to read and hammocks downstairs for relaxing. Perhaps my favourite feature of Hostal Tena Ñaui is the giant chess board which is painted on the patio outside, complete with huge playing pieces.
The great thing about Tena is that generally, it is a very safe city. Of course, there are incidents of petty crime but these mostly occur in the more tourist-orientated areas along The Boardwalk. As Hostel Tena Ñaui is located out of town in a very quiet area, you feel completely safe there. The hostel doors are kept locked at night and there is a buzzer system in place to ensure that only guests or authorised personnel are allowed to enter. Another huge plus for me, as someone who is constantly batting away mosquitos, is that all of the windows have insect screens you can pull across. This means that you can let the air in whilst you sleep without worrying. It might be a small detail but one that could save you days of discomfort in the long run!
Getting to Hostel Tena Ñaui
Most taxi drivers in the area know where the hostel is located so assuming you can pronounce that Spanish “Ñ” correctly, you should have no problems getting there. It should cost no more than $1.50 US from the centre in a taxi.
- Address: via Las Antenas, pasando la Perimetral, Tena 150150.
- Cost: Private rooms with shared bathrooms start from $7 US per person.