The "Cuyabeno Loop" is a route that starts at the higher parts and ends in the middle of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, beginning on the Cuyabeno river and ending on the river Aguarico, thus offering one of the best options to explore the different eco -systems of the Cuyabeno National Park. At the upper part accommodation is one night (in the 4 day program, 2 nights in the 5 day program) in a camp in tents with mattresses. In the lower part of the reserve accommodation is in a lodge. The lodge is located at the banks of the Cuyabeno River, providing accommodation in 7 cottages built in the traditional style of the jungle. Each cabin has 2 rooms that can be single, double and triple all with their respective mosquito net, to keep safe from the insects that could bite (in accordance with the Kichwa style all cabins are open). All rooms have private bathroom and shower. All cabins have an area where you can relax in a hammock and listen to the sounds of the Amazon. In the main lodge you can enjoy delicious meals, refreshments in a traditional bar or read some interesting books about the Flora and Fauna of the Amazon, or just relax in a hammock with a beautiful view on the lagoon. We offer daily nutritious meals during the trip and options for persons with vegetarian requirements. Purified drinking water and hot drinks such as coffee, chocolate or tea are available throughout the day and electricity is provided by solar panels.
Day 01: El Puente del Cuyabeno – Laguna Grande – Río CuyabenoThere 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 the entrance of the Cuyabeno Reserve, El Puente ( 2 ½ hrs approx.) Your luggage will be load onto a dug-out motorized canoe with which you follow the winding Cuyabeno River. Keep your eyes and ears open all the time and spot all sorts of birds and butterflies, or just listen to the howler monkey. Your destination is the Laguna Grande, the largest lagoon in the Cuyabeno Reserve. While exploring the lagoon you get to know one of the ecosystems of the rainforest, the flooded forest Igapo, where we try to spot tropical birds, anacondas and pink dolphins. During this journey you will already be able to appreciate the richest nature reserve of Ecuador concerning wildlife and primary forest. If the weather permits we will enjoy the sun down floating on the Laguna Grande. After dinner there will be a nocturnal excursion to spot the red gleaming eyes of the caimans. L/D
Day 02: Río Cuyabeno - Explorations06h30 In the morning you will wake up with the most varied range of bird song. During a canoe excursion along Rio Cuyabeno (estimated 30 – 40 minutes), you'll have the opportunity to experience how the silent jungle wakes up and watch tropical birds and maybe even monkeys getting the day started. Later you return to the camp.
09h00 You trek for about 2.5 hours through the primary rainforest. Your guide will explain you about the flora of the rain forest, giant trees like the kapok, cedar, mahogany, moral and balsa and medicinal plants. With a bit of luck you might be able to spot some of the animals of the rainforest like insects and frogs, or even an armadillo, a tapir or the traces of a snake. Besides the naturalist guide you will be accompanied by a native guide from the Siona culture who will share his knowledge about the jungle, given on from generation to generation, with you. After the hike you return to the camp.
13h00 Lunch and rest.
15h00 In the afternoon we go out to enjoy the beautiful landscape and look for tropical birds and monkeys. Optional you can try to fish a piranha.
19h00 Dinner. After dinner you venture out on a night excursion to search for Caimans (alligator family) and nocturnal birds. B/L/D
Day 03: Río Cuyabeno - Excursions
06h30 In the morning you will wake up with the most varied range of bird song. During a canoe excursion along Rio Cuyabeno (estimated 30 – 40 minutes), you’ll have the opportunity to experience how the silent jungle wakes up and watch tropical birds and maybe even monkeys getting the day started. Later you return to the camp. 08h00 Breakfast.
09h00 In the morning you will hike along another trail through the primary forest to explore it’s diverse flora. With the help of your guide you will earn about the use of the medical plants that shamans have been using for generations as natural medicine. Keep your eyes open along our way to spot some of the many inhabitants of the jungle, like different species of reptiles, frogs and serpents. Return to the camp.
13h00 Lunch and Rest
15h00 In the afternoon you go out with either paddling or motorized canoes to enjoy the beautiful landscapes and to try to spot the shy inhabitants in the dense green of the surrounding jungle like species of monkeys, reptiles and birds. During this excursion you can enjoy the colorful sunset in the rainforest and observe tropical birds like parrots, macaws and toucans. Later you return to the lodge.
Day 04: Río Cuyabeno - Excursions06h30 Starting early in the morning you will continue your exploration of the rainforest. This morning you will go down river to observe the enchanting salt lick (exposed clay bank) where colorful Parrots and Parakeets feed on the clay to draw toxins from their bodies which they have ingested when eating different types of fruits. Return to the lodge.
09h00 After breakfast, you trek into primary rainforest with your naturalist and native guides who will share their profound knowledge on this fascinating ecosystem. Your guide will explain you about the forest, the practical and medicinal uses of its plants show you his skills in detecting insects and frogs and with a little bit of luck even an armadillo or a tapir or the track of a serpent. Return to the lodge.
13h00 Lunch – rest.
14h30 In the afternoon, you travel along the small rivers of the lower Cuyabeno reserve to look out for monkeys, reptiles, anacondas, tropical birds and dolphins. While travelling along the rivers you have good chances to see the freshwater pink and grey river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis and Sotalia fluviatilis) because in this area the rivers are deeper, attracting a variety of tropical fish like the arapaima. In the late afternoon you look for darker waters and try to fish some piranhas. Later you return to the lodge.
19h00 Farewell dinner. B/L/D
20h30 (Optional) After dinner you can go for a night walk through the forest to lean about and watch nocturnal insects, spiders, frogs and snakes and listen to the sound of the jungle. B/L/D
Day 05: Río Cuyabeno – Río Aguarico – Lago Agrio07h30 Breakfast.
09h00 You start your trip back by canoe down the Cuyabeno River until it flows into the Aguarico river, one of the tributaries of the Amazonas river in the Ecuadorian rainforest. From here you then head upriver in about three hours to Las Marcedes / Tierras Orientales near the estuary of Shushufindi River, 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
B= breakfast; L= Lunch/Box Lunch; D= Dinner
Prices 2017 per person
5 days (any days):
USD 430.- per Person in a double room/shared double room
Single room supplement: USD 70
4 days (any days):
USD 350.-per Person in a double room/shared double room
Single room supplement: USD 55
Flight Quito – Jungle – Quito: US$ 180 per person
Bus trip Quito – Jungle – Quito: US$ 20 per person
Private transportation Lago Agrio - Cuyabeno - Lago Agrio
Accommodation in double rooms
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 guides from local communities
Naturalist bilingual guide (English/Spanish – guiding in other languages upon request only).
Equipment for the excursions: Rubber boots (only until size 44), lifejackets
Tips and personal expenses
Everything that has not been included in the program
Travel Quito – Lago Agrio – Quito