Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
A trip into the Amazon is a bucket list experience for travellers visiting South America. Although it is possible to visit the jungle from many countries across the continent, Ecuador sees fewer travellers than many others, making it the perfect place to explore without the effects of over-tourism!
This trip to the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve will provide you with plenty of magical moments, including wildlife spotting, meeting the local Siona community, learning how to make yucca bread and getting acquainted with this awe-inspiring environment.
During your trip to Cuyabeno you have the chance of seeing:
- Bullet ants
- Pink River Dolphins
- Electric Eels
4 Day Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve Itinerary
Departs: Every Monday, Tuesday*, Thursday and Friday (*4-day tour only).
Quito – Lago Agrio – El Puente
Please note: It is possible to make the journey to Lago Agrio by bus independently. It is an 8-hour journey and you will need to board the day before to arrive on time. If you would prefer to make your own way to Lago Agrio, choose the 4 day or 5 day option without return transport included.
From Lago Agrio, you will be picked up and taken to El Puente. The canoe trip to the lodge will begin around 11 am, during which time you will head down the Cuyabeno River. The evening will consist of a delicious dinner as well as an exciting night walk to spot the nocturnal animals and insects that live in this area.
The day will start with a three-hour hike in the primary forest. This is your opportunity to learn about the flora and fauna as well as hearing about how plants are used by the local community for survival.
The afternoon will include a bird-watching trip at Caimancocha and Patococha where you can see plenty of exotic species. You will watch the sunset at Laguna Grande before going for a refreshing swim and searching for caiman. Don’t worry, these are two separate activities – you won’t be swimming in the same waters at the caiman!
The day will begin with a boat ride down the river. The journey will take around an hour and a half and once you arrive at your destination, you will meet a Siona indigenous community. Here you can learn about their customs and traditions by making some local food under their guidance. The next part of the trip is many of our guests favourite and will see you meet the local shaman. Here you can learn about the ancestral knowledge of this ancient art and maybe even learn a few secrets!
Dinner will be served in the lodge before you are given free time that evening.
El Puente – Lago Agrio – Quito
The morning of your final day will start with bird watching alongside your guide. Breakfast will be provided before you journey back up the Cuyabeno River to El Puente. It is here where you will catch the transport to Lago Agrio, to arrive in the afternoon. This is where you will catch the bus back to Quito (only included if you select this option).
After breakfast is served, the morning will consist of a three-hour hike in primary forest. Here you will learn about the use of plants for survival and other interesting facts about the flora and fauna in the area.
In the afternoon, you will head to Caimancocha and Patococha for birdwatching, before heading off to watch the sunset at Laguna Grande. You can take a dip here before you head off to search for caiman.
On the morning of day three, you will enjoy a boat ride down the Cuyabeno River. The journey lasts around an hour and a half and will stop at the home of the Siona indigenous community. Here you can learn about their local customs and dishes, as you will be making some of the local food. Later that morning, you will visit the shaman to learn his secrets as well as discover a little about the history of this ancient practice.
Dinner is provided in the lodge that evening before free time for you to spend how you wish.
The day will start with a paddle in a traditional dug-out canoe. You will head through small canals and enjoy the peaceful setting of the jungle. This is a great opportunity to search for the local wildlife too, just make sure you don’t scare them away! As it is the penultimate day of the trip, you will spend the evening taking in the views of your final sunset from Laguna Grande. It really is a spectacle you need to see to believe!
El Puente – Lago Agrio – Quito
The morning begins with bird watching which will be your last activity of the trip. Once completed, you will head up the Cuyabeno River and back to El Puente, before being taken to Lago Agrio. The approximate arrival time in Lago Agrio is around 2 pm. From there, you will either make your own way back to Quito or hop on the pre-arranged transport (option including return transport must be selected at checkout).
Chris Roughley –
Quite good. A fantastic place to be. Plenty of dolphins but I would say the group was too large. The only people who got to see and learn where the first few at the front. The guys at the back missed out.