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Rainforest Expedition

7 Days along the Aguarico, Cuyabeno and Lagartococha Rivers

In 1979 the Cuyabeno Nature Reserve was founded between the rivers Aguarico and San Miguel, which are in the province of Sucumbios. This spectacular expedition into Cuyabeno introduces the visitor to the complex system of tropical lagoons, swamps and flooded areas inhabited by the Siona Indian Community. Cuyabeno's abundant aquatic and land habitats are home to fresh water dolphins and turtles, anacondas, crocodiles, monkeys, ocelots, sloth and birds such as hoatzins, arras and kingfishers. A huge range of vegetation flourishes in this tropical rainforest: plants such as palms, bromeliads, ceibos, helicons, macrolobium, wild roses, and orchids are frequently seen. This once-in-a-lifetime expedition will definitely be a memorable experience for everyone who is fortunate enough to participate.

This expedition has been designed to give biologists as well as interested travelers the opportunity to explore the rainforest and Cuyabeno with its maze of waterways provides you with ample opportunities to experience this wet and wild green world in a way that is intimate and highly rewarding. You are guided through the forest by an indigenous guide from the Siona Indian community in his canoe, as well as a bilingual naturalist. Activities include canoeing in motorized and dugout crafts, hiking, bird watching and night walks and can be adjusted to your requirements and interests.

Please note: This expedition gives you the opportunity to camp in various places deep in the Cuyabeno Reserve. In order to organize this expedition, we work with native communities, renting their open huts (rustic cabins without walls made of local and ecological materials), letting you enjoy nature and the surroundings all the time. We provide always: Tents, sleeping pads, mosquito nets, blankets or sleeping bags, additional equipment such as: lifejackets, rain ponchos and rubber boots. This kind of adventurous trip involves that toilet and showers will be shared.
With simple accommodation but with all camping equipment in good condition, this expedition offers an unforgettable experience in the depth of the Amazon rainforest most tours cannot provide.

In order to provide you with the best possible service we have trained the entire staff in the specific areas related to the tour: Experienced naturalist guides are trained in Biology and Eco-tourism speaking well English and Experienced cooks specialize in local and vegetarian food. During this expedition we work with the members of the native communities being our native guides, helpers and canoe-drivers.

(Please find the detailed itinerary below)

Contact Ecuador Travel Prices 2018 per person

USD 924.- per person in a double tent/room
USD 1032.- per person in a single tent/room

Departure:This expedition is organized upon request only and can start any day from Monday to Saturday with a minimum 04 people. Please contact us for confirmed departures.

In the program included:
Transfer hotel – airport in Quito
Flight Quito – Lago Agrio - Quito
Private transport from/to Lago Agrio
(Tourism Ministry Licensed) bilingual naturalist guides trained in biology and Eco-tourism
Native guide
High Quality Camping Equipment, tents, sleeping pads, mosquito nets, rubber boots, raincoats and lifejackets.
All equipment is of high quality and in good condition.
Three nutritious meals a day (including purified bottled water)
Catering for vegetarians (please advice with the booking)

Not included in the program:
Quichua (Kichwa) community fee US $2 per person
Additional beverages and tips
Travel insurance
International flights
Anything not mentioned in the program


Day 01 Into the Amazon Rainforest

In the morning a transfer brings you from your hotel to the national airport. You fly from Quito down the Andes to the jungle town Lago Agrio where you will arrive at ca. 09.30am and meet your guide. Your adventure begins at 10h00am traveling by bus/truck from Lago Agrio to Tierras Orientales (2 hours), where you start your canoe journey down the Aguarico and continue along the Cuyabeno black water river, to the Lodge (3 hours approximately). Keep your eyes and ears open all the time and spot all sorts of birds and butterflies, making extra effort to listen out for the howler monkey. During this journey you will already be able to appreciate the richest nature reserve of Ecuador concerning wildlife and primary forest. After dinner your naturalist bilingual guide gives you a captivating lecture and takes you on an adventurous night walk, where it is possible to observe nocturnal animals and giant insects. L/D

Day 02 Pacuya River:

After the breakfast, you make an early start travelling by motorized canoe along the Aguarico River deeper into the dense jungle to your second campsite located on the estuary of Pacuya River. After reaching your second campsite you pitch your tents. In the afternoon you explore this river to get to know its flora and fauna. Dinner. B/L/D

Day 03 Lagartococha:

After breakfast you continue downstream the Aguarico river and then head to your camp site situated deep in remote jungle along Lagartococha river accessing the flooded area where you discover some lagoons connected by Black water Rivers. Here you can admire a different ecosystem which exists in the flooded forest or varzea region. If time and climate allow, you will also visit the Imuya lake. Box lunch. In the afternoon you enjoy swimming in the Delfin Cocha lake while observing some freshwater pink dolphins (Inia Geofrensis ) swimming close to you. Campsite. Dinner. B/L/D

Day 04 Lagartococha:

Today you spend the whole day exploring the rainforest. The early morning hours are the best time to observe the rainforests thriving activity. Therefore you make an excursion at sunrise to observe the abundance of birds and wildlife. After breakfast you head by motor canoe upstream Lagartococha River near the border with Peru. First your naturalist guide takes you to a different ecosystem, Terra Firme forest, where you hike through pristine primary rainforest. Later you continue by motor canoe to a remote Secoya Community where Peruvian and Ecuadorian indigenous people live together. Box Lunch. While the local guide explains their customs and habits which their ancestors have taught throughout generations, a secoya woman offers you Casave, the bread of the jungle, a traditional meal prepared from yucca (manioc). Later you return to your campsite. After dinner, you venture out on a night excursion to search for Caimans. B/L/D

Day 05 The Quichua (Kichwa)

In the early morning, you travel by motorized canoe up the Lagartococha River to observe the species-rich bird- and wildlife. After breakfast, you continue downstream along the Lagartococha River and navigating to the Aguarico River you finally reach your fourth campsite located near the local Quichua (Kichwa) community. According to the conditions you may visit the community before enjoying the sunset in the jungle. B/L/D

Day 06 Birdwatching

After breakfast, you navigate upstream Aguarico River. Box lunch. Along the way you will stop at riverside villages of local communities to see their handicrafts. In the afternoon you travel up the Cuyabeno River to Nicky Lodge. Enjoy the late afternoon in the lodge to relax, reflect about your adventure and enjoy the sounds of the surrounding rainforest. B/L/D

Day 07 From the Amazon Rainforest into the Andes:
The brisk morning hours are the best time to see the rainforest thriving activity. After breakfast, you return by canoe down the Cuyabeno River and back along the Aguarico river to Tierras Orientales from where you will drive back to Lago Agrio which you reach around 16:00pm. A short flight (ca. 35 minutes) will bring you back from the Amazon rainforest up into the civilisation in Quito in the middle of the Andes. B/L/-

B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / D: Dinner

NB: Please read all itineraries as a guide only. All routes and programs can change without notice due to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety reasons and the wildlife encountered during the travel. Flexibility is the key to the success of any tour. Nevertheless the safety and the interest of our passengers is always our first priority.

Additional Information

In the rainforest: The Area that we visit has a very marked dry season starting from December until March. The temperature in the Amazon rainforest is most of the year stable going from 25ºC to 28ºC during the day, there is a change during the night when temperatures can drop down to 15ºC.

Health advice: There are no mandatory vaccinations required when entering Ecuador and the rainforest, nevertheless we recommend consulting with your doctor about the following vaccinations before going on this expedition: Tetanus, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis (A and B)and Malaria.

Group size: We realize the extreme importance of small groups, not only because we want to ensure our visitors experience the jungle and all its splendour without being overcrowded but also to reduce our impact on the unique ecosystems we observe. Therefore we organize this expedition for maximum 8 participants. If you have a bigger group, please consult with us about the options in the desired travel period (e.g. splitting the group using two or more canoes during all transfers and excursions uniting the group only in the campsites).

When you travel into the Orient please don’t forget to bring your passport!

      Original passport
      Long-sleeved cotton shirts
      T-shirts material
      Long-sleeved cotton shirts
      Cotton socks
      Sandals or walking shoes
      Light wind-breaker and sweater
      First aid kit
    Toilet Kit (biodegradable soap and shampoo)
      Swimming suit and towel
      Hat or cap
      Sunglasses with a strap
      One small waterproof daypack
      Insect repellent
      Sun block
      Zip-lock plastic bags
      High speed film 400 ASA and spare camera batteries
      Flashlight (torch) with spare batteries
      Binoculars (10x40 are better)
      Swiss Army Knife  
      Wet wipes
      Books to read

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