Hamadryade Lodge


Hamadryade Lodge sits at the junction of Puerto Misahualli and the Napo River, in the Amazon region of Ecuador. Sebastien and Amber Cazaudehore established the lodge to protect the ecosystem through tourism and collaborating with indigenous populations.


Building on the site of a disused gold mine, Hamadryade presented an opportunity to restore the natural habitats that had been destroyed. Planting endemic species jump-started a productive cycle to rehabilitate soils, which are now rich enough to support an organic garden, medicinal plants and native trees. This has helped the endangered ocelot, peccary and other species return to the site. Hamadryade’s philosophy is in keeping with the nearby Kichwa communities; that people should live in harmony with nature. Providing water access, preserving shamanic traditions and establishing education programmes all support progress for the local population.


Six hotel rooms and five bungalows, each fitted with interiors and fabrics from local ethnic groups, open-up to views of the surrounding rainforest. The absence of swamps makes the primary rainforest at Hamadryade more accessible than in the lower regions. Rafting and jungle hikes educate guests about the local flora, fauna and native communities. A 45-minute canoe ride takes guests to the Amazoonico Animal Rescue Centre, home to monkeys, ocelots, boas and tapirs.  The lodge is just a few kilometres from the Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park – a Unesco World Heritage Site.



The 4Cs

Hamadryade Lodge joined The Long Run in 2016 and committed to a holistic balance of the 4Cs – Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce – as a means to contribute meaningfully to the biodiversity and the people of their local region.



The land owned by the lodge is under protection from  hunting and logging, and some areas have been rehabilitated, resulting in the re-growth of previously over-utilised trees species. Building at the site of an old gold mine represented, for the owners, a chance to fix what had been destroyed in the past.


They started by planting endemic plants to jump-start a productive cycle by naturally enriching the soil with nitrogen. Two cycles of planting and burning were undertaken until the soil was ready to receive a larger range of plants, flowers and small trees. The rehabilitated soils of the former goldmine now support an organic garden, and medicinal and native trees that are becoming increasingly valuable. Employees handle reforestation projects.  A number of endangered and native species of flora and fauna including, the ocelot and peccary, are on site.


The lodge collects rainwater for all its use. Grey water from the kitchen and showers is filtered before reaching the soils; and biodegradable products minimise pollution. Similarly, water from toilets is bio-treated, using a natural process to progressively reduce the levels of pollution. The swimming pool is chlorine-free, and uses Ozone treatment against germs and algae.



Three communities border the property: MushukAllpa, Valle Hermoso and Ponceloma, all 3 are Kichwa. The lodge’s philosophy is based on the ideal of humans living harmoniously with nature. For this reason it is helping the indigenous communities through social and environmental projects such as access to water. Working with MushukAllpa/Union Venecia, the lodge financed refitting of pipes and tanks so that families could get access to running water.  The water system was old and out of repair and families would net get running water for days at a time.


The lodge takes an ethno/ eco world view for all its interactions with the indigenous communities that preserves  cultures as well as the ecosystem they depend on. The communities exploit the forests for Cocoa, fruits, construction and craft materials, but  they especially use a large range of plants for a rich pharmacopoeia. This pharmacopoeia is a key element in these communities’ cultural life, allowing them to heal bodies’ as well as spiritual wounds.


The lodge is working  on a healing and shamanic project with various indigenous shamans and spiritual leaders from various communities to preserve shamanic traditions. Its Devas Centre offers ayahuasca, shamanic and naturopathic healing. Guest are offered various packages with Ayahuasca ceremonies, energetic and naturopathic coaching, organized around adequate shamanic diets. Elders use this centre to pass valuable knowledge, especially of plants, to the younger generation.


Other interactions with local communities include visits e.g to the Shiripuno, a kichwa community close to Misahualli. A women’s association receives guests in this part of the community to share with them their culture and their knowledge of the Kichwa life. Guests can take part in chocolate making, panning gold, and traditional dances and enjoy traditional lunch of fish or chicken cooked in a large leaf with jungle spices.


Through conferences, educational programs, and open forums, the lodge is helping to fight de-culturisation and diminishing of cultural identity brought on by modernity.



The lodge employs local staff. Indigenous guides lead tours and are a living library of knowledge on medicinal plants, tree species and wildlife. The head chef and his team provide various cooking workshops  to guests that are a fusion of world, French and typical Ecuadorian cuisine.


The vision is for the DEVAS centre to become a viable long-term sustainable  commercial enterprise, that encompasses the lodge, and benefits community.





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