In 1979 the Cuyabeno Nature Reserve was founded between the rivers Aguarico and San Miguel, which are in the province of Sucumbios. This spectacular expedition into Cuyabeno introduces 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 expedition will definitely be a memorable experience for everyone who is fortunate enough to participate.
This expedition has been designed to give biologists as well as interested travellers the opportunity to explore the rainforest 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 and night walks and can be adjusted to your requirements and interests.
Day 01: Quito – Riobamba – Eten
You travel from Quito on the Pan-American highway through the famous Avenue of the Volcanoes south via Latacunga, Salcedo and Ambato to Riobamba. Here you leave the highway and drive on small country roads to the small town of Licto and from here through the wide Andean valleys to the small Indian village of Eten, where you will meet your local team. According to the time you stay the night at the village or start with a short two hours hike to your first camp. This region will provide some first impressions of the daily life of the Indians of this region. Lunch on route and overnight in or near Eten – either in a tent or hut. -/L/D
Day 02:Escaleras River
After loading the luggage onto packing-horses your way will lead you through the last cultivated fields and meadows out of civilization into your adventure. You hike for approximately 7 hours through the Paramo (typical Andean Highland) along the Quebrada Azashuaycu towards the Escaleras River. On your way you pass hills, cross high moors and little rivers before you reach your camp at the slopes of a steep hill. On a clear afternoon you have great views on the Chimborazo, Ecuador’s highest peak 6310m, from here. B/L/D
Day 03: Plazapamba
From here you continue through the Páramo hiking up the steep hill at which slopes you camped the night before. Your way will lead you along ridges and through huge valleys into the Sangay national park until you reach the plain of Plazapamba, which is named after the river of the same name. After about 7 hours we set up your next camp on the Plazabamba plain. If the weather is good you can enjoy first sights on the Sangay and with a little bit of luck spot even the first eruptions. B/L/D
Day 04:Sangay – La Playa
You continue hiking towards the Orient (East) and with a little luck you should be able to see beautiful scenery and the spectacular Sangay in a state of eruption. The terrain will get more difficult, you will have to cross several rivers, climb and descend various hills and the dense vegetation will assume the nature of the Páramo. In the afternoon you arrive at the base camp at la Playa that is located at the southwest side of the volcano at an altitude of 3.600 meters. B/L/D
Day 05: Sangay
At about 3:00 o’clock you start climbing to the summit, which you will hopefully reach within 6-7 hours. First you hike up to the base of the volcano under light of your flash lights. Here at La Ventana (The Window) you will have great views on the volcano above you and the far Amazon rainforest to the east below you. The success of the climb depends above all from the intensity of the eruptions which can force you to turn back earlier. While climbing you are able to feel the power of the volcano, which expresses itself in trembling and small eruptions. This will be a unique experience! In the late afternoon you return back to the camp at La Playa. B/L/D
Day 06: Sangay - Plazapamba
On our way back you hike through a landscape that over the centuries has been determined by the majestic volcano. After 7-8 hours we will set up your camp in Plazabamba again. On your way look out for the shy tapir which often can be spotted in this remote area. B/L/D
Day 07:Plazapamba – Rio Ilapo
You continue your way back and have once more the possibility to enjoy the almost untouched landscape. Perhaps you will be lucky and see one of the timid inhabitants of this bleak wilderness – e.g. an Andean wolf, a spectacled bear or even a puma. After a 7-8 hours march we set up your last camp. B/L/D
Day 08:Eten – Riobamba – Quito
A last hike of about 2 hours brings you back to Eten, where your car awaits you to bring you back into the civilisation. You drive to Riobamba and then north back to Quito where you will arrive in the late evening. B/L/-
B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / D: Dinner
USD 1.470, - per person with minimum 4 people
USD 1.935, - per person with minimum 2 people
USD 3.480,- with one person
Included in the Price:
Private transportation, English speaking guide, meals as listed above, collective camp equipment (dining tent, 1 or 2-pers.-tents, toilet tent), foam pad, kitchen gear etc., cook, pack animals, entrance National Park.
Not Included in the Price:
International flight, accommodation and food supply in Quito, international airport tax Quito (USD 41,-), sleeping bag, personal equipment, tips, travel insurance.
What to bring with you:
Sleeping bag, sun glasses, sun block, rain wear, torch, hat, trekking shoes, warm clothing, canteen, camera and film (100 ASA)
NB: Please note that the program can vary due to weather conditions, the volcanic activity of the Sangay and/or changes of the national park rules