On a shoestring -Cuyabeno Adventure
Nicky Lodge

About 2% of the Amazon Rainforest lies within Ecuador's borders at the foothills of the Andes, containing about one third of its diversity! The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve protects 603.380 hectares. Located just along the Equator, in the northeast area of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, in Cuyabeno it is possible to identify over 500 different species of colorful birds starting from tiny hummingbirds to the majestic Harpy Eagle.

240 different species of plants can be found within in one hectare, many with a specific practical and medical use. Jaguars, Monkeys, Anteaters, Sloths, Dolphins (Inia Geoffrensis and Sotalia), Manatees and Armadillos, are just some of the mammals that live in the Cuyabeno reserve. Amazing anacondas and caimans are some of the reptiles found. Piranhas, Catfish, the gigantic Arapaima (reaching over 2 meters), and other species of fish thrive here in the black water rivers and lakes. The Cuyabeno Reserve provides not only a habitat for countless plant and animal species but also for Indigenous communities such as Sionas, Secoyas, Kichwas and Cofanes.

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.


Monday to Friday or Friday to Tuesday
* Location: lower part of  Cuyabeno Reserve ( Aguarico and Cuyabeno Rivers)

DAY 1.

There are two direct ways of travelling from Quito to Lago Agrio: by plane or by bus. If you travel by plane, you will arrive in Lago Agrio at 09:30am (estimated 30min flight). If you travel by bus, you must leave Quito a day in advance in order to reach Lago Agrio in time for the tour (estimated 8 hours drive). Your adventure begins at 10h00am traveling by bus/truck from Lago Agrio to Tierras Orientales (2 hours), where you start your canoe journey down the Aguarico and continue along the Cuyabeno black water river, to the Lodge (3 hours approximately). Keep your eyes and ears open all the time and spot all sorts of birds and butterflies, making extra effort to listen out for the howler monkey. During this journey you will already be able to appreciate the richest nature reserve of Ecuador concerning wildlife and primary forest. After dinner our naturalist bilingual guide gives you a captivating lecture. L/D

DAY 2.

In the morning you will wake up with the most varied range of bird song. During a canoe excursion, you’ll have the opportunity to watch the birds before breakfast. After breakfast, you trek in primary rainforest. 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 you will take a trip by either paddling or motorized canoe to explore the enchanted landscape with all shades of green, with abundant epiphytes – like bromeliads, whose glowing colours break the deep green of the impenetrable vegetation. Here, you can also often spot the active monkeys, jumping about in the canopy, and birds such as the prehistoric-like Hoatzin, parrots and maybe even the pink-bellied freshwater dolphins. On the way back to the lodge you make a stop to catch a piranha. After dinner there will be an excursion to spot the nocturnal active inhabitants of the jungle. B/L/D

DAY 3.

Early in the morning you wake up to the sound of the jungle. During some bird watching around the lodge you have good chances to observe tropical birds species such us: macaws, toucans, parrots, caciques, hoatzins and more. After breakfast, you trek into primary rainforest with your naturalist and native guides who will share their profound knowledge on the rainforest and explain you about the practical and medicinal uses of the plants. After Lunch you go out with either paddling or motorized canoes to enjoy the beautiful landscapes and to try to spot the shy inhabitants of the jungle like species of monkeys or dolphins. After dinner you can do an optional night walk to find species of insects and with a bit of luck species of snakes or frogs. B/L/D

DAY 4.

Starting early in the morning you will spend the whole day exploring. Observe the enchanting salt lick (exposed clay bank) where colourful Parrots and Parakeets feed on the clay to draw the toxins from their bodies. After breakfast you trek into pristine primary rainforest. Your native guide shares his wealth of knowledge, showing you the medicinal and practical uses of the rainforests flora and fauna that their ancestors have taught throughout generations and you learn how all life in the tropical rainforest co-exists in a fragile balance. In the afternoon, you travel on the small rivers to visit the Quichua Birdwatching Tower. Here above the canopy you have a breathtaking view of the surrounding rainforest. From the tower you can observe a variety of species including Toucans, Parrots, Monkeys, and many more. While travelling along the rivers you have good chances to see the freshwater pink and grey river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis and Sotalia fluviatilis). After dinner you venture out on a night excursion to search for Caimans (alligator family) and nocturnal birds. B/L/D

DAY 5.

The brisk morning hours are the best time to see the rainforest thriving activity. After breakfast, you visit to the Quechua Indian Community where your naturalist guide explains the culture and traditions of the native people from the past to the present. Afterwards you continue by canoe down the Cuyabeno River and back along the Aguarico river to Tierras Orientales from where you will drive back to Lago Agrio which you reach around 16:00pm. From here you return back from the rainforest up the slopes of the Andes to Quito with the transport of your choice (bus/plane); on clear days you can see several summits of the Andean volcanoes. B/L

Something inportant to know

In the Rainforest.- The Area that we visit has a very marked dry season starting from December until March. The temperature in the Amazon rainforest is most of the year stable going from 25 Centidegrees to 28 Centidegrees during the day, there is a change during the night when the temperatures could go until 15 Centidegrees.
Health Advice.- Precaution against Malaria is recommended specially for the adventures tours. Before departure visit your doctor to get the most up to date health information.
Group size.- We realize the extreme importance of small groups, not only because we want to ensure our visitors experience the jungle and all it’s splendour without being overcrowded but also to reduce our impact on the unique ecosystems we observe. Our groups are small, not only because we want to ensure our visitors experience the jungle and all it’s splendour without being overcrowded but also to reduce our impact on the unique ecosystem we observe.
When you travel into the Orient you don’t forget to bring your passport

Equipment Needed

    • Long-sleeved cotton shirts
    • T-shirts material
    • Long-sleeved cotton shirts
    • Cotton socks
    • Shorts
    • Sandals or walking shoes
    • Light wind-breaker and sweater
    • First aid kit
    • Toilet Kit (biodegradable soap and shampoo)
    • Swimming suit and towel
    • Hat or cap
    • Sunglasses with a strap
    • One small waterproof daypack
    • Insect repellent
    • Sun block
    • Zip-lock plastic bags
    • Camera
    • High speed film 400 ASA and spare camera batteries
    • Flashlight (torch) with spare batteries
    • Binoculars (10x40 are better)
    • Notebook
    • Swiss Army Knife  
    • Wet wipes
    • Books to read

About highlights

Wander amongst ancient trees and take time to explore flooded  forests buzzing with wildlife. Every twist and turn creates a new challenge providing a fascinating insight into the world’s most complex eco-systems. Whatever your interests from bird watching… to hiking there’s adventurous activity for everyone to enjoy.

During a trip to the jungle, our visitors may participate in the following:

  • Observe the  Amazon’s Pink and grey dolphins (Inia Geoffrensis &  Sotalia Fluviatilis )
  • Hike into the rainforest and learn about the medicinal and practical uses of the plants
  • Visit a Salt lick of parrots and parakeets (exposed clay bank )
  • Night walks to observe insects, spiders, snakes and listen to nocturnal animals song
  • Botany observation
  • Climb the Quechua Birdwatching Tower to enjoy a magnificent view of the canopy and emergent part of the Rainforest
  • Travel by canoe at night to search of Caiman  (Alligators )
  • Paddling by Dugout canoe to enjoy the sound of the jungle
  • Ecological Piranha fishing
  • Community Visit

Prices 2018

Please contact us for a free quote!

Services included in the price

  • Private transportation Lago Agrio - Cuyabeno - Lago Agrio
  • Accommodation in double rooms
  • Canoe rides
  • Meals as mentioned in the program (including vegetarian options if confirmed with the reservation; B= breakfast; L= Lunch/Box Lunch; D= Dinner)
  • Water, coffee, tea
  • Daily excursion program
  • Native guide from Kichwa Community
  • Naturalist bilingual guide (English/Spanish – guiding in other languages upon request only).
  • Equipment for the excursions: Rubber boots (only until size 44), lifejackets
  • Not included in the price

  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Cuyabeno National Park Fee US$ 2
  • Everything that has not been included in the program
  • International flight airport tax Quito (USD 43.- per person)
  • Flight/bus trip Quito – Lago Agrio – Quito
  • Travel insurance
  • Additional beverages
  • Tips
  • Single supplement
  • Ecuador Galapagos Travels
    Ecuador Galapagos Travels
    Veintimilla E10-78 and Av. 12 de Octubre
    El Giron Building – Tower E – 2nd Floor – Office 104
    fax: (593 2) 2224 628
    P.O.BOX: 17-01-43
    email: info@ecuadorgalapagostravels.ec
    Quito - Ecuador

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