Ted Tibbetts' Perspective: a guest that is not on vacation!

We were honored to have Ted and Julie as guests at our lodge. Their smiles and enthusiasm will be hard to forget!
Ted insisted every morning to help clear the dishes, clean the restaurant and be of service to the staff, what a helpful guest! But we were determined not to let him do any of these tasks…because we assumed he would be on vacation. As the days went by we became aware of his unique lifestyle, and his process of reinvention as a human being and story teller.

They filled us with good energy and surprised us every day. They brought a box of school supplies for the community, built a small hut together with Sergio and Aldair, and also prepared a beautiful and delicious dinner for us!
This is Ted’s experience:

Seldom do expectations survive contact with reality, much less surpass them. But our experiences at the Pacha Ecolodge and Kayak Ecuador did just that in every way.

Our two weeks at Pacha were a busy but blissful blur in the Ecuadorian rainforest.

GROUNDS | Ted Tibbetts‘ Perspective

There are those things that people SAY they stand for, and the things that people ACTUALLY stand for, and actions always speak louder than words. The way owners Santi and Dani have integrated their grounds into the fabric of the rainforest shows that they are committed to minimizing their footprint and protecting the environment.


First, all their water comes from a rainwater processing system. A gutter collection system pipes all the rainwater to a charcoal filtering system. Water is then pumped from storage tanks to the supply lines of the bathhouse, kitchen, and cabins.

Graywater then filters through a hillside step system, reducing erosion and hydrating fruit trees.


Pacha Ecolodge is taking other steps at reducing erosion with their property reforestation project, hiring locals to replant trees and preserve the riverside vegetation.

On the rest of the grounds, form follows function. Raised pathways of crushed stone, manicured gardens, and masonry ditches control water flow but add to the beauty of the grounds.

FACILITIES | Ted Tibbetts‘ Perspective

Each building is clean, well-maintained, and tastefully decorated. The views from the restaurant are spectacular, and on not-paddling days I found myself hanging out there and taunting my friends back home with pictures from my office.


The bathhouse featured tile showers, clean toilets, and an attached lounge (which was also another comfortable workspace when I felt I needed to give the incredibly kind and attentive kitchen staff some space.)


There was also a well-outfitted gym…that I had every intention of using…but then was too sore from all the paddling and decided that my body needed rest more than workouts on non-paddling days!


We stayed in one of the glamping units, conveniently located close to the bathhouse and restaurant. With a queen-sized comfortable bed, screens for ventilation, and a front porch with views of the mountains…it was hard to beat.

STAFF | Ted Tibbetts‘ Perspective

While the grounds and facilities were superb, what really separates Pacha Ecolodge is its staff. Friendly, attentive, and skilled, they went out of their way to make our stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. The little touches showed that they cared about us as people and not just paying guests. (I’d list them all, but I’m not sure I could.)

They are a hard-working, attentive, and talented bunch.


Dani, Kelly, and Aldair made sure that we had everything we needed each morning while Carlos and Jordan did likewise for dinner.

Carlos is an outstanding chef. We are not frequent go-out-to-eat people since we enjoy cooking ourselves, but after a couple of nights of world-class dishes at more than reasonable rates, we decided to spend two weeks allowing Carlos and his staff to spoil us. Fourteen consecutive days of meticulously prepared, well-proportioned dishes set new gastronomical standards which I doubt will ever be surpassed.


I paddled along with rafting trips 11 out of the first 14 days. As a kayaker and raft guide, I have paddled all around the United States and in Chile, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. Santi and his guides Pancho, Arnold, and Alejo were skilled, safe, adventurous, and CLEARLY passionate about sharing their love for the river. I was impressed with how easily they interacted with guests from multiple countries and made sure that each person had a memorable experience.

We would like to thank our new Ecuadorian friends for making sure that our two weeks at Pacha Ecolodge were…perfect.