Explore one of the world’s most mystical and wondrous regions: the South American rainforest. Among the inhabitants of Ecuador, this area at the foothills of the Ecuadorian Andes is better known as “Oriente”. Despite the comparatively representing only 2% of the Amazon rainforest, the Ecuadorian rainforest accounts for one-third of the Amazon’s biodiversity. The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve protects approximately 603,380 hectares located near the equator in the northeastern part of Ecuador. There are over 500 different species of colorful birds ranging from the smallest hummingbird species to majestic harpy eagles.
Within one hectare of this reserve, it is possible to find up to 240 different plant species, many of which are still used for medical purposes today. Jaguars, monkeys, tapirs, sloths, pink river dolphins (Iniageoffrensis and Sotaliafluviatilis), manatees and armadillos are just a few of the mammals that live in the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. To complete the biodiversity of this nature reserve, impressive reptiles such as Anacondas and Caimans should not go unmentioned. In the black-water rivers and lakes there are a variety of fish species such as piranhas, catfish and Arapaimas (which can reach a length of 2 meters) and many others. The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve not only provides habitat for countless plants and animals, but also for many indigenous people and communities such as the Siona, Secoya, Kichwa and Cofane.
Treat yourself to a break away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and relax in a natural environment, with the comfort of spacious and comfortable so-called “cabañas” (open country huts with private bathrooms with hot running water). The excellent service of the Nicky Lodge is complemented by professional chefs serving a mix of national and international cuisine. The many years of experience of the entire staff will enable you to have a safe and pleasant stay. The tour guides know the rainforest like the back of their hand and are happy to share their knowledge about flora and fauna with you. Their experience will make it possible to discover the shy animals in the dense green of the rainforest.
DAY 1: ADVENTURE IN AMAZONAS (BL / D)
In the morning you will reach Lago Agrio, a small town at 500 meters above sea level on the edge of the Ecuadorian rainforest. The actual tour into the rainforest starts at 09:30 AM in the morning. You will drive for about 2.5 hours until you reach ‘El Puente’, the main access to the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve and the last place in civilization. Here you will have lunch (box lunch) and then rive in a motorized canoe on the Cuyabeno River for about 3 hours until you reach the lodge. With a little luck you can already observe the first monkey and bird species on the way. The river is extremely narrow in this region and allows you to experience the wildlife up close. After your arrival at the lodge, you will have time to recover and go on your first exploratory tour in the surroundings of the lodge. After dinner your bilingual guide will inform you about the activities of the following days.
DAY 2: ADVENTURE IN AMAZONAS (B / L / D)
After an early breakfast, you will begin exploring and use the early hours of the morning to observe the activities of the awakening tropical forest. During a hike through the rainforest your guide will share his knowledge and experience with you. You will experience how the most diverse life forms in can coexist in the jungle and survive side by side within a delicate balance. Watch out for colorful butterflies, frogs and birds as you learn more about the great variety of flora. Later you will return to the lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon you will take a trip on the Cuyabeno River, which will lead you through the dense forest landscape. You will be able to observe the wildlife found on the riverbanks, especially monkeys, macaws, toucans and sloths. Here you also have good chances to see pink river dolphins (Iniageoffrensis and Sotaliafluviatilis) in the impressive river landscape. Before dinner, afterdusk, you will explore the lodge’s surroundings to look for nocturnal animals become active when the sun sets, such as insects, spiders, snakes and frogs.
DAY 3: ADVENTURE IN AMAZONAS (B / L / D)
As an early morning excursion, you will have the opportunity to observe the wildlife during its morning activities while the jungle awakens. After having your breakfast, you will follow the so-called “turtle trail” by using a motorized canoe to visit the Seoqueya community, home to some Siona indigenous families. The family members will show you how to make ‘Cassave’ (typical Yuca bread for the region). Your guide will explain the local customs and traditions of their past and present culture.
In the afternoon you will travel by motorized canoe along the Cuyabeno River to the Laguna Grande. As you explore the lagoon, you will get to know ‘Igapó’, the flooded rainforest. This is a very special rainforest ecosystem dominated by giant macrolobium trees which, provide habitat for epiphytes and specialized bird species. After exploring the lagoon, you can refresh yourself off with a swim in the calm waters while watching the spectacular sunset of the Amazon. Later you will continue your adventure and observe the nocturnal fauna of the river landscape. In particular, watch out for caimans before returning to the lodge.
DAY 4: AMAZONAS – QUITO (B / BL)
Today’s morning excursion includes a short trip by canoe. Take advantage of the early morning hours to observe the animals during their morning activities and to say goodbye to the jungle. After breakfast at the lodge you will have sufficient time to pack up your luggage for the return journey. The ride takes us upstream back to the civilization, ‘El Puente de Cuyabeno’. After lunch (box lunch), a private bus will take you back to Lago Agrio and from there you will return back to Quito, where you will arrive at around 21:00.
- What Will You Do- Explore the Amazon Rainforest
- Meet local indigenous community
- Canoe rides through flooded forests
- Amazing Plant and Animal Diversity
- Accommodation in comfortable cabins
- What To ExpectExperience the amazing wildlife of the Amazon rainforest region!
- What Is IncludedTransfer by bus from Quito to Lago Agrio – from Lago Agrio to El Puente de Cuyabeno – from El Puente de Cuyabeno to Lago Agrio - and from Lago Agrio to Quito.
Transport by canoe from El Puente de Cuyabeno to the lodge, during the excursions and from the lodge to El Puente de Cuyabeno. Bilingual tour guide (English and Spanish) during all excursions, 4 nights of accommodation in a comfortable lodge of the tourist class, in open wooden huts with mosquito nets and private bathroom; all mentioned meals, water, coffee and tea; Life jackets and rubber boots (up to size 45 - from size 45 on request without additional costs).
- What Is Not IncludedTips and personal expenses for the Kichwa community in Cuyabeno, (about $ 5 per person; to be paid locally) travel insurance. Rain poncho, additional drinks and meals, additional /optional excursions.* All short-term price increases regarding fees and taxes. All services not listed in the program.
*Private excursions can be arranged upon request and at extra cost according to your interests, such as jungle walks, canoe tours with your guide or an indigenous guide from the Siona and Kichwa community.