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Rainforest at Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

Experience the magical rainforest at Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

Tour Information

Experience the Amazing biodiversity of Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.

Cuyabeno, located in the provinces of Sucumbios and Orellana, is the second-largest reserve in the northern part of Amazon region.
This reserve is home to four different native tribes, the Siona, Secoya, Cofanes and Kichwa. All of them are native tribes to this part of the Amazon, some migrated to the reserve in 1940 and 1972 from the borders of Colombia and Peru.

This reserve is one of the most visited for nature lovers because of its unique biodiversity. This tropical rainforest is home to a countless number of plants, monkeys, reptiles, amphibians, birds, the mythical pink river dolphin, and many other mammals. It is considered by many to be the oldest living ecosystem on Earth.

During your visit, you will immerse yourself in this glorious ecosystem by walking between giant trees inside the pristine forest and taking slow canoe rides in the lake and along the creeks. Also, the night walks in the forest allow us to hear many animals that are very difficult to see, but some others will be close enough to photograph, creating many memorable moments.

Day 1:

Transfer from your hotel in Quito to the Airport for your local flight to Coca.

You will arrive in Coca City at about midday. This city, officially named Puerto Francisco de Orellana, is the gate to the Amazon Basin. From here you will take our private transportation to Cuyabeno bridge, where your nature experience starts. Depending on logistics, we will either have lunch here in a local restaurant or when we arrive at the lodge.

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Your local guide will register you with the National Park and help you board the motorized canoe, taking you along the Cuyabeno River to our lodge, located at Laguna Grande. This journey is approximately two hours down river. During this canoe ride, you will have an introductory taste of marvelous forest and its inhabitants. It is common to see different species of monkeys on the way, such as squirrel monkeys, capuchin monkeys and tamarin monkeys, as well as a variety of bird species, like toucans, macaws and parrots. You may also spot anacondas and caiman. Be sure to keep your eyes on the banks and your camera ready.

After arriving at the lodge, settling in your room and a short rest, we will go out to explore the beautiful Laguna Grande in search of pink dolphins and birds. You will also be able to swim in the lake by sunset and enjoy its unique atmosphere.

After dinner at the lodge, your guide will plan the next day’s itinerary and activities. Then, you retire to your room for a good night’s sleep, surrounded by the nocturnal sounds of the rainforest.

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Day 2:

Exploring the Rainforest on its purest stage, wildlife watching.

You will be awakened early by a symphony of monkeys, birds, and frogs. We will start with a cup of coffee and explore the area close to the lodge, then enjoy a lovely breakfast. Later on, a short canoe ride will take us to one of the trails in the National Park. We will walk through the "Terra firme" forest and listen to the native guide explain about the experiences they have had with the local wildlife. While you’re getting a close look at the jungle, be sure to pay attention to the small details you might see, such as the various species of ants that have perfected the organization of their colonies, the tiny poison dart frogs hiding under the leaves, the insects on the hunt for their next meal, or the fungi that take over and prey on small organisms like insects or spiders.

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After lunch, we will take a break, since afternoon is the hottest part of the day. You can relax in your room or in the hammocks on the dock. Later in the afternoon, you will explore more flooded parts of the forest by a dugout canoe. The fascinating macrologies tree, covered with abundant epiphytes, are the most typical plant of this area. Try to spot monkeys and birds, and also look for dolphins and anacondas.

After dinner, get your flashlight or headlamp out for our walk through the primary forest, looking for insects like giant grasshoppers, stick insects, praying mantis, and other nocturnal creatures - they are fascinating to see from up close. If you’re lucky, you might see some of the other nocturnal jungle animals, like night monkeys, owls, and different kinds of rodents.

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Day 3:

Learning about local culture and traditions in the heart of the Rainforest.

After an early breakfast, today we will visit the native Siona community. We will follow the Cuyabeno River downstream for about 1 hour and half (always looking for wildlife), until we reach one of the three native villages we work with and support with our visit. One of the women will give you a hands-on lesson in how to prepare the typical casabe, a tortilla made from manioc.

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The demonstration will start by harvesting the maniok in the family’s fields before it gets cooked in a traditional kitchen over an open fire. You will learn a bit about how the local inhabitants live in the forest, and they will share with us some of their knowledge about the local medicines, traditions, local cuisine, in addition to teaching you a few words in their language, later on return to the Lodge for lunch and siesta.

After a siesta, you can take a refreshing bath in the lake and enjoy the beautiful sunset.
After dinner, a special adventure awaits you: a nocturnal excursion by canoe, looking for caimans, snakes and nocturnal birds, will have a good flashlight or headlamp, as the caimans are most easily spotted by the reflection of their eyes

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Day 4:

Waking up with natural melodies, birds, frogs and monkey calls.

Early in the morning, you can enjoy the sunrise in front of the lake or go birdwatching around the lodge. The early mornings are beautiful and unique in the jungle - everything slowly begins to wake up, the water is calm, and the fresh air caresses your face.

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We will have a traditional breakfast before our final journey upstream. This canoe ride is our last time to search for wildlife that we haven’t seen yet. Once we are back to Cuyabeno bridge, we say farewell to the rainforest.

From Cuyabeno bridge, our vehicle will take you back to Coca City for your domestic Flight to Quito.

Arriving in Quito about midday, you will be transferred to the hotel near the airport for dinner and overnight.

If you are journeying on to the Galápagos, please be advised that most flights depart early in the morning.

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¡Please note!

This trip can be arranged by flying or by private ground transportation from your hotel in Quito to Cuyabeno.

More Information

  • What does the Trip Include

    • Pick-up and drop off at the airport at any time that you manage to get the flight. Transport to the day trips excursions out of the lodge.
    • English-speaking naturalist and local guide.
    • Entrance and fees to the reserves and national parks.
    • All meals, from the first to the last day of the tour.
    • Purified water and water dispenser to refill your bottles.
    • Coffee and tea with your meals.
    • Private transportation through the tour.

  • What is not included

    • Alcoholic drinks, laundry services.
    • Extra services and trips not specified in the posted itinerary.
    • Travel insurance.
    • International and local flights.
    • Tips to the staff and local guides.
    • Extra trips or day tours not specified above.

  • Relevant Information

    • Climate is highly variable in Ecuador, with temperatures varying from 10-30°C/50-80° Sudden rainstorms interspersed with bright sun is not uncommon.
    • The official currency in Ecuador is US dollars.
    • The national language in Ecuador is Spanish.
    • Internet is available at some lodges, but not guaranteed. Nature Quest can arrange for the purchase of local SIM cards with advance notice in order to provide data based internet service.

  • Suggested Packing List

    • Clothing, quick dry material; no cotton.
    • Long sleeve shirts
    • Long convertible pants
    • Waterproof hiking boots or trail runners
    • Sandals and water shoes
    • Quick dry / merino wool socks
    • Sun hat or baseball cap
    • Lightweight rain jacket
    • Soft shell jacket or fleece
    • Binoculars 8x42 or 10x42.

    Others: Camera always stunning wildlife to photograph, Refillable water bottle, Eco friendly sunblock, Eco friendly mosquito repellent (we suggest sawyer brand picaradin), Personal medications that you are taking, Hiking poles if needed.

    By Visiting Ecuador, you help us Protect and Preserve Nature for Future Generations!


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