Updated October 28th, 2018.
If you’re looking for a taste of paradise only a stone’s throw away from Ecuador’s Amazonian city of Tena, then you are sure to fall in love with the dramatic scenery and rustic huts that make up Jungle Roots Camping!
A stunning location
This idyllic retreat is nestled in the Andes Mountain range and offers a stunning backdrop of both wild jungle and cloud forest. Jungle Roots owner, Diego, is an Amazonian who has selected the location of his camping spot purely for the natural resources in the area, not to mention the stunning flora and fauna.
The set of stairs up to Jungle Roots takes you right off the road and immediately immerses you into a more simple life, away from mod-cons and 21st-century distractions (including WIFI and phone signal)! Jungle Roots prides itself on its breathtaking viewpoints, offering one of the best toilet panoramic scenes that you will ever see!
Glamping or Camping?
Jungle Roots provides two standards of accommodation, both of which are enhanced by the spectacular scenery. The first and most budget-friendly option enables travellers to reserve a wooden viewing platform on which to pitch their tent, which they can either bring or have supplied by Jungle Roots.
These platforms are covered by a roof made from salvaged wood which means that guests will be protected from the elements. For campers, Jungle Roots provides over and above what the average adventurer needs and includes the supply of a mattress and pillow in the price. All camping platforms will come complete with a sink and running water although this was still under construction during our visit.
For an upgrade on the traditional tent, Jungle Roots has a number of glamping huts available…
At the time of writing, there are three of these at the location but construction is currently underway so that the retreat can hold up to 15 guests.
Each lodge comes with bed and mattress, chair for relaxing, window with jungle view and a candle for light. There is currently one family hut which can house up to four people. There are currently plans to make at least one tree house hut on site with a balcony.
An eco ethos at its core
The beautiful thing about Jungle Roots is that it doesn’t take it’s surrounding beauty for granted. Diego is furiously passionate about creating something which doesn’t harvest the environment for his own gain and is heavily critical of what he views as ‘fake tourism’.
All of the wood used in the grounds has been sourced responsibly from local rivers or recycled from nearby cities. No trees have been felled in the making of this ethical paradise. Rainwater is collected and recycled for use within the water system and there is also a composting toilet with an incredible view.
Since its inception, the camping ground has been built from scratch by host Diego who will only draft in people from surrounding villages to assist. He says he wants to not only preserve the environment at Jungle Roots but also help teach local teenagers carpentry skills to better their career prospects.
A personalised experience
Other than an ethical focus, the main thing that Jungle Roots aims to deliver is a personalised and friendly experience for its guests. A varied Ecuadorian breakfast of a very high standard is included in the accommodation price and a family, communal style dinner is available for an additional charge of $7 USD per person in the evening.
As Diego is the primary constructor at Jungle Roots, he is on site most of the time which enables guests to get to know him and use his local knowledge.
Jungle Roots also offers tours (for an additional charge) as part of its authentic Ecuadorian experience. As the camping retreat is located close to the Jatunyacu River, they specialise in rafting, kayaking and jungle tours.
As a proud Amazonian with many connections, Diego always ensures that tours organised through Jungle Roots are delivered by local guides. He is particularly vocal regarding his disdain for companies which employ freelancers from outside the Napo area, believing instead in creating work for the local people in nearby villages.
How to get to Jungle Roots
Jungle Roots Camping is located a fifteen-minute drive outside Tena on the way to Talag and Laguna Azul. The easiest ways to get there are by either taxi or bus from Tena. Buses leave from Terminal Centinela every 45 minutes and cost $0.40. The last bus leaves the city at 18.30.
Taxis can be flagged down from anywhere in the city, expect the journey to cost around $5. Look out for the home-made sign and bus stop on the left-hand side of the road to mark your arrival.
Jungle Roots is situated 9.3km from Tena and this distance is marked by road signs along the journey. Ask the bus to stop as soon as you see the 9km marker by saying, “gracias” and then walk the rest of the way.
Prices of tent pitching and huts
Tent pitch starts from $13 for one person per night and private glamping huts come in at $18 for one person and $30 for two per night. You can check availability and book through Booking.com.