The Siona Lodge is idyllically situated in one of the last unspoiled native jungles in the Amazon, the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. Ecuador designated the 603.380 square kilometres (2329.7 sq mi) a protected wildlife zone since July 26th, 1979. This positive step forward towards the preservation of part of the Amazon River Basin has allowed the development of this lodge around the idea of low impact eco-tourism, showing you the untouched natural beauty surrounding the lodge.
The Siona Lodge has one of the single most distinctive locations in the reserve, allowing for picturesque sunsets viewed across the large freshwater lake. Much of the wildlife you will see is dependent on the unique ecosystem the lake supports allowing for some rare viewing opportunities.
Siona Lodge Travel Tips
What to pack:
Life in the jungle is very informal. Comfortable and lightweight clothes are a must. Bring long pants, cotton shorts, long-sleeved T-shirts, hiking shoes, sandals, hat / cap, sunglasses, rain gear, insect repellent, sunscreen, flashlight with extra batteries, binoculars, reading material.
Tipping: Tipping to the staff is at the discretion of our guests. Tips for the guide are usually given in person.
Climate: In the Amazon region the climate is hot and humid with frequent rain showers. The drier months are from October to March. The temperature ranges from 19°C to 36°C throughout the year. Siona Lodge is at 250 m above sea level.
Health: Immunizations are presently not required to visit this area of the Amazon jungle - it is advisable however to consult your doctor or physician before your trip. We recommend precautions against malaria and yellow fever. Strong insect repellent should be acquired before your arrival in the jungle.
The Siona Lodge accommodates up to 20 people in four individual guest huts; each hut has 2 double bedrooms each with its own private bathroom and shower. Our spacious balconies complete with a hammock and lounge chairs, invite you to relax and enjoy your surroundings between the excursions.
The heart of the Lodge is a spacious dining area. The staff takes pride in its ability to prepare and serve gourmet cuisine in such an isolated location. Great care is taken to ensure fresh, local ingredients are the basis for all recipes so you will enjoy your dining experience as much as you do the unspoiled ambiance of the surrounding jungle. The dining area lounge is equipped with a fully stocked bar so you can enjoy your favorite after-dinner cocktails.
The lodge practices a policy of minimum environmental impact. The solar energy system consumes no electricity from the power grid and is efficient enough to provide the lighting throughout the lodge. Guests are encouraged to use natural oil lamps in place of battery powered flashlights and all refuse, both organic and inorganic, is bagged and taken out of the reserve regularly. Biodigestors further allow minimizing the impact of pollution by utilizing natural enzymes and bacteria to treat all wastewater coming from the lodge. All these efforts are made to make your stay as comfortable as possible while, at the same time, preserving Cuyabeno for all who wish to enjoy its beauty.
Only a few minutes walk from the lodge you will enter the primary forest that is the highlight of Cuyabeno and the Siona Lodge. The amazing plant and animal diversity can also be accessed by a canoe trip around the lake where you can see exotic trees and plants like orchids, bromeliads, gardenias and several species of bids ranging from hoatzins, macaws, and toucans to cormorants, tangaras, and Anhingas, kingfishers. The area is also abundant in reptile life such as yellow-spotted Amazon turtles, caymans, anacondas, and many other different snake species. With a little bit of patience, you may also be able to glimpse the uniquely evolved pink river dolphins, considered to be amongst the most intelligent of animals and possessing a well-known affinity for freshwater Amazon Jungle rivers.
About Cuyabeno Reserve
One of the principle objectives of the Cuyabeno Reserve is ongoing conservation of the Amazonian ecosystem- the most complex ecosystem in the world. This reserve lies on an altitude ranging between 200m – 280m and has a humid tropical climate. Cuyabeno is a complex of rivers, lagoons, and floating forest and is characterized by its high biodiversity and interrelationships between the species inhabiting the area. The Reserve’s geomorphology is a consequence of the rivers carrying sediment and materials down from the Andes, principally by the Aguarico River. The huge volume of water cascading down from the mountains maintains the naturally high water levels ensuring that the river is usually navigable all year round. In the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve there are more than 10 monkey species, 500 bird species, and an incredible record of 307 species of tree per hectare. There are two seasons, dry and rainy. The entrance is by fluvial (river) transport and is provided by the local communities in coordination with the lodge and accompanied by a highly trained, accredited guide.
A visit to the Siona Indian Community is an integral part of any complete tour of the Cuyabeno Reserve. This ethnic group lives along the Cuyabeno River in a community named Puerto Bolivar. There you will be able to experience native culture as it has existed, unchanged, for millennia. The local Shaman will instruct you in some of their religious practices and explain their medicinal knowledge, passed down from ancestors whose intimate relationship and deep understanding of the natural resources and rhythms of the jungle are the basis for many of our modern pharmaceuticals.
NB: The program will be organized individually in the lodge according to your wishes (please find an example program below).
Meeting in Lago Agrio at 08h30-09h00, and transfer to Cuyabeno River. Box lunch along the route. At this point the visitors have to register in the Reserve’s office and pay the entrance fee. Here your Naturalist Guide will give information about the reserve, important recommendations and other tips to begin the two hours navigation through Cuyabeno River to the Big Lagoon, where the Lodge is located. Along the river you will find several species in its natural habitat as monkeys, toucans, parrots, insect and the exuberant Amazonian vegetation. Arrival and check in. Night walk through the primary forest to observe amphibians and reptiles for about one hour. Return to the lodge for a welcome cocktail and dinner. L/D
After breakfast, departure to the Siona Indian Community of Puerto Bolivar, the largest ethnic group in the Reserve. During this tour you will learn about their customs, traditions and way of life. You will be part of the elaboration of the Casabe, a local dish made of yucca (manioc, carbohydrates principal feed of the community). The trip takes 2 hours navigation downstream. Along the route you will look out for the fauna living along the Rio Cuyabeno such as: birds, monkeys, snakes, pink dolphins, tortoises and many others. A visit to the Shaman is also included. This is a full day excursion with Lunch in the Community. In the afternoon you return to the lodge. Night navigation for watching Caymans. Dinner.B/L/D
After breakfast you hike through the primary rain forest for approximately 3-5 hours, exploring the beautiful and complex tropical ecosystem. You will find a great variety of species of plants, trees and animal life. Lunch back at the lodge. In the afternoon you make a canoe excursion on the big lagoon to enjoy the surroundings of the lake, fish piranhas, swim and watch a very special sunset before returning to the lodge for dinner.B/L/D
Early in the morning (before breakfast) you can participate in a bird watching excursion (optional). After breakfast you return to Lago Agrio first by canoe then by private transportation.
NB: In the 5 days 4 nights tour, an excursion by indian paddle canoe to Canangueno Lagoon for bird watching and a hike in the forest are usually the additional activities for the 4th day.
NB: Please read all itineraries as a guide only. All routes and programs can change without notice due to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety reasons and the wildlife encountered during the travel. Flexibility is the key to the success of any tour. Nevertheless the safety and the interest of our passengers is always our first priority.
|5 DAYS 4 NIGHTS||USD 450.00|
|4 DAYS 3 NIGHTS||USD 360.00|
Included in the price:
Accommodation in double rooms for 2 people each with private bathroom with shower and toilet
Transportation from Lago Agrio to Siona Lodge and viceversa
English/Spanish speaking guide
All meals (B= breakfast; L= Lunch/Box Lunch; D= Dinner)
Free purified water, coffee, tea
General equipment (rubber boots, lifejackets)
Not included in the price
Flights Quito – Lago Agrio – Quito
National park entrance fee (US$ 2 per person)
Colaboration with Siona Community (US$ 5 per person)
Everything that has not been included in the program