In 1979 the Cuyabeno Nature Reserve was founded between the rivers Aguarico and San Miguel, which are in the province of Sucumbios. The spectacular trips into Cuyabeno introduce the visitor to the complex system of tropical lagoons, swamps and flooded areas inhabited by the Siona Indian Community. Cuyabeno's abundant aquatic and land habitats are home to fresh water dolphins and turtles, anacondas, crocodiles, monkeys, ocelots, sloth and birds such as hoatzins, arras and kingfishers. A huge range of vegetation flourishes in this tropical rainforest: plants such as palms, bromeliads, ceibos, helicons, macrolobium, wild roses, and orchids are frequently seen. This once-in-a-lifetime trip will definitely be a memorable experience for everyone who is fortunate enough to participate.
The Cuyabeno Lodge is designed to host rainforest travellers in harmony with the surrounding environment and is attuned to the needs of the modern visitor. It works together with a Siona community whose members provide the canoe transportation as well as their knowledge of the jungle. The lodge is the only one in the Laguna Grande and was the first in the Cuyabeno Reserve.
The open cabins are solidly constructed with thatched roofs and have clean tiled private bathrooms with hot water showers; the beds all have mosquito nets. Lighting in the Lodge is provided by gas lamps and solar energy in the common areas and candles in the rooms so that the environment is not altered from its natural conditions. You can charge batteries for your cameras and there is even a small library with books about the flora and fauna of the Amazon Jungle.
Adjacent to the cabañas is a restaurant, which serves up delicious Ecuadorian, Siona and International cuisine and drinks are available in the bar.
One of the best ways to explore the rainforest is by canoe and Cuyabeno with its maze of waterways provides you with ample opportunities to experience this wet and wild green world in a way that is intimate and highly rewarding.
You are guided through the forest by an indigenous guide from the Siona Indian community in his canoe, as well as a bilingual naturalist. Activities include canoeing in motorized and dugout crafts, hiking, bird watching, night walks and swinging in your hammock.
What to bring with you
Lightweight long and short-sleeved shirts, lightweight pants and shorts (no jeans), comfortable shoes, swimwear, hat with brim, sunglasses, torch, insect repellent, sun block, 1-2 plastic bags, binoculars, passport, camera (with flash).
One large backpack or one duffel bag.
One small daypack.
From Lago Agrio you drive to the entrance of the Cuyabeno Reserve, El Puente ( 2 ½ hrs approx.) Your luggage will be load onto a dug-out motorized canoe with which you follow the winding Cuyabeno River. Keep your eyes and ears open all the time and spot all sorts of birds and butterflies, or just listen to the howler monkey. Your destination is the Laguna Grande, the largest lagoon in the Cuyabeno Reserve and also the site of the Cuyabeno Lodge. During this journey you will already be able to appreciate the richest nature reserve of Ecuador concerning wildlife and primary forest. You will arrive approximately at 13:00pm (Saturday 16.00pm). You will spend the night in open bungalows with twin beds and Mosquito nets. L/D
Due to the half-open cabins, you will wake up with the most diverse bird songs. If you then rise at dawn, you’ll have the best opportunity to watch birds before breakfast and spot the pink-bellied freshwater dolphins while the mysterious lagoon is bathed in the golden morning light. After breakfast in the Lodge have a walk through the “terra firma forest” with your naturalist guide to explore plants and wildlife. Your guide will teach you about the forests and its medicinal plants and you might be able to spot insects and frogs, or even an armadillo, a tapir or the traces of a snake. After lunch and a siesta in the comfortable hammocks of the lodge you will take a trip by dug-out canoe to the flooded Igapo. Enjoy an enchanted landscape with all shades of green, with macrolobium trees covered with abundant epiphytes – like bromeliads, whose glowing colors break the deep green of the impenetrable vegetation. Here, you can also often spot the active monkeys, jumping about in the canopy, and birds like the prehistoric Hoatzin, parrots and maybe even the harpy-eagle. B/L/D
Today you’ve got the option to go on an early bird watching before breakfast. After breakfast enjoy a rainforest walk to explore the many tropical plants and to track wildlife. Maybe you will spot an ocelot or a capybara, the caves of an armadillo or the street of a colony of ants. In the afternoon you go on an excursion to explore some smaller lakes in the Cuyabeno National Park. You have the opportunity to fish a piranha and listen to the song of birds like the scarlet macaw and the cacique while watching out for an anaconda sleeping on the branches of a tree. After dinner there will be a nocturnal excursion to spot the red gleaming eyes of the caimans. B/L/D
(only valid for the 5 day itinerary): After breakfast you will follow the Cuyabeno River downstream on a motorized canoe to reach a village of the indigenous people in Cuyabeno, the Siona. A picnic lunch will be served by our cook. Here, you will learn something about the traditions and living habits of the indigenous community. After a short walk to the giant kapok-tree and a refreshing swim in the Laguna Grande while watching the sunset, you will return to the lodge for a late siesta and dinner. In the evening you have the possibility to join a nocturnal jungle walk with your flashlight to spot insects like spiders and crickets, as well as frogs and tree snakes. B/L/D
(Day 04 of the 4 Day Itinerary): After an early breakfast you will start your journey back, upstream on the Cuyabeno River. Enjoy lunch at “El Puente” before our vehicle will take you to Lago Agrio. From where you travel back from rainforest up the slopes of the Andes to Quito (according to your choice by plane or bus); on clear days you can see several summits of the Andean volcanoes. B/L
NB: Please note that the suggested itinerary can change due to weather and security reasons as well as by the national park administration as a result of changed national park rules. Nevertheless the security and the interest of the passengers will always have first priority.
Furthermore days can be added and itineraries/activities can be adjusted according the group interest. Families are encouraged and welcome. Special arrangements can be made for long-term visitors, student groups and researchers, please contact us.
B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / D: Dinner
|3 days||4 days||5 days|
|Standard room in the cabin||300.00||380.00||475.00|
|Superior room in the Tower||350.00||440.00||550.00|
Single Supplement: USD 100,-
Flight Quito – Lago Agrio – Quito US$ 190 per person
Included in the price:
Private transportation Lago Agrio - Cuyabeno - Lago Agrio
Accommodation in double rooms
Meals as mentioned in the program (B= breakfast; L= Lunch/Box Lunch; D= Dinner)
Water, coffee, tea
Daily excursion program
Naturalist bilinguals guide (English or German).
Rubber boots (only until size 44) and rain ponchos for the tour.
Not included in the price:
Entrance fee Cuyabeno National Park US$ 2
Tips and personal expenses
Everything that has not been included in the program
International flight airport tax Quito (USD 41.- per person)
Flight Quito – Lago Agrio – Quito