The Cuyabeno wildlife reserve offers an ideal chance of looking at the rich Amazonian fauna and flora even if on a trip of just four days. Its lake scenery is not only ideal to watch many different species but also offers a fantastic scenic beauty and a relaxing atmosphere away from more densely populated rainforest areas.
As early as 1979 the Cuyabeno reserve was designated as such and encompasses 603.380 hectares of which 30.000 are off limits. It is situated in the northeast of Ecuador in the provinces of Sucumbíos and Orellana. The reserve got its name from the river Cuyabeno, which together with the rivers Aguarico and San Miguel runs through the area. During the floods in the rainy season a system of fourteen dark-water lakes develops alongside the Cuyabeno which in some years during the dry season partly fall dry.
With ten species of monkeys, more than 500 bird species and a record of 307 different tree species per hectare the reserve is justly called one of the richest and most complex ecosystems of the world. Besides the aim to preserve the unique fauna and flora of the reserve, there is another aim, namely the preservation of the four different indigenous peoples that still live in the area and so far keep to their traditional lifestyle.
Tours to the Cuyabeno wildlife reserve
We organize our tours to the Cuyabeno wildlife reserve in conjunction with Siona Lodge which was opened in 2009. Siona Lodge is built in a very appealing way with local materials and in the traditional style. In addition, the ecological standards of this lodge are higher than those of most other places in the region. It relies entirely on solar energy and the ecologically-friendly waste water treatment of the lodge should also be mentioned, as it unfortunately is not a matter of course in tourist accommodation in the rainforest.
DAY 1. – Reception in Lago Agrio at 09h00, and transfer to Cuyabeno River. At this point the visitors have to register in the Reserve’s office and pay the Entrance fee. Giving information about the Reserve, our Naturalist Guide begins 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. Night walk in the primary forest to observe amphibians and reptiles for about one hour. Return to the lodge for a welcome cocktail and dinner.
DAY 2. – After breakfast, departure to the Siona Community of Puerto Bolívar, the largest ethnic group in the Reserve. During this tour you will learn about their customs and you will be part of the Casabe’s preparation; a local dish made of yucca. The trip takes us two hours downstream, while you can admire the existing fauna along the Río Cuyabeno such as: birds, monkeys, snakes, pink dolphins, tortoises, etc. A visit to the Shaman is also included. Night navigation to watch Caymans. Dinner.
DAY 3. – Breakfast. Trek in the primary rainforest for approximately 3-5 hours, you will be able to explore the beautiful and complex tropical ecosystem. You will find a great variety of species of plants and animals. Return for lunch. In the afternoon navigation in the big lagoon, to enjoy the surroundings of the lake, time to fish piranhas, to swim and to wait for a beautiful sunset. Dinner.
On the 5 days 4 nights tour, a visit to Canangueno Lagoon for bird- watching in paddle canoe and another hike in the forest are the activities for the 4th day.
The tour includes:
- Accommodation in double room (single room at extra cost)
- 5-days-4-nights-Tour – 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
- 4-days-3-nights-Tour – 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
- Snacks, purified water, tea, coffee and milk are permanently available
- Tours with an English/Spanish speaking Guide
- Tours in motorized canoe according the itinerary
- Transportation from Lago Agrio to Siona Lodge and vice versa
- Rubber boots and life jackets
4 days / 3 nights $320 (starting days: Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays)
5 days / 4 nights $370 (starting days: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays)
4 days / 3 nights $290 (flexible starting days)
5 days / 4 nights $340 (flexible starting days)
If you are working in Ecuador as a volunteer or intern please ask for our special volunteer discount!