CUYABENO RAIN FOREST ADVENTURE 4D
Our most popular tour offers the perfect way to explore the Amazon region. Traveling to our lodge is already an adventure, as you leave the summits of the Andes behind and enter the Amazon basin.
Spend two entire days exploring the Cuyabeno Reserve with its unique ecosystem of the flooded forest, look for wildlife, and visit an indigenous community. On the last day, you leave the lodge early, so that you can travel back to Quito on the same day.
If you have some more time, be sure to also check out our 5-day tour.
Day 1: Quito – Lago Agrio – Rio Cuyabeno – Laguna Grande – Cuyabeno Lodge
From Quito, fly or travel by road over the Andes to the frontier oil town of Lago Agrio where our private transportation will take you to the “Cuyabeno Bridge” to meet your guide. Your guide will register you with the National Park and help you get on the motorized canoe which will take you along the Cuyabeno River to the Laguna Grande, where our lodge is located. During this journey you will be able to observe the richness of the wildlife. Monkeys, and tamarin monkeys, as well as tropical birds like toucans, macaws, and parrots. With a bit of luck, you might also spot a sloth, a larger monkey like the woolly monkey or the howler monkey, an anaconda, caimans, or one of the other many inhabitants of the jungle. Keep your eyes open and your camera ready!
Settle into your room at the Lodge and take a short rest, you go out to explore the beautiful Laguna Grande. If you’re lucky, you might see the amazing pink river dolphins, which are often seen here. Swimming in the lake by sunset is one of the highlights for our guests, but of course, you can also enjoy the beautiful views from the canoe.
After a delicious dinner, your guide will plan the next day’s activities with you. Go to sleep surrounded by the relaxing sounds of the rainforest.
Monkeys or birds will probably wake you up in the morning. After breakfast, a short canoe ride takes you to one of the trails in the National Park. Walkthrough the “terra firma forest” and listen to your guide explaining the wildlife, medicinal forest plants, the forest ecosystem, and indigenous life. As you’re getting a close look at the jungle, pay attention to the small details you might see: different species of ants that have perfected the organization of their colonies, tiny poisonous frogs hiding under the leaves, insects on the hunt for their next meal, or fungi that take over and kill small organisms like insects or spiders. All of our guides are experts and will happily answer any question you might have.
After lunch, we recommend a siesta during the hottest part of the day. You can relax in your room, in the hammocks, or on the dock. Later in the afternoon, you will explore more flooded parts of the forest by canoe. The fascinating macrolobium trees covered with abundant epiphytes are the most typical plant in this area. Try to spot monkeys and birds, and also look for dolphins or anacondas.
After dinner, get your flashlight out and walk through primary forest, looking for insects like giant grasshoppers, stick insect, praying mantis and others that come out at night and are fascinating to see from up close. If you’re lucky (and quiet) you might see some of the other nocturnal jungle animals, like night monkeys, owls, and different kinds of rodents.
After an early breakfast, today you will visit the indigenous Siona. Follow the Cuyabeno River downstream for about 1.5 hours, of course always looking for wildlife, until you reach one of the three indigenous villages we work with and support with our visit. One of the women will give you a hands-on lesson in how to prepare the typical casabe, a tortilla made from manioc. Start by harvesting the manioc in the family’s fields, before it gets cooked in a traditional kitchen over the open fire. Your guide will give you some explanations about the indigenous people of the area, their history and their way of life.
Return to the Lodge for lunch. After the siesta, take a refreshing bath in the lake and enjoy once more the beautiful sunset.
After dinner, a special adventure awaits you: a nocturnal excursion by canoe, looking for caimans, snakes and nocturnal birds. Bring a good flashlight, then caimans are most easily spotted by the reflection of their eyes.
If you like, you can go bird watching early in the morning. Early mornings are a beautiful time in the jungle when everything slowly begins to wake up, the water is calm and the air fresh.
After breakfast, journey upstream, back to the bridge. Of course, we will look for wildlife one last time. From the bridge, our vehicle will take you back to Lago Agrio. Return to Quito either by bus or by air. We provide a packed lunch for the way.
Please note: the return time to Lago Agrio on the last day of the tour varies according to the airline’s flight schedule.
* This itinerary is an example, actual activities or their times might vary. Activities can be adjusted according to group interests.
- transportation by car/bus from Lago Agrio to the Cuyabeno River
- transportation by motorized canoe to the lodge and during the tour
- bilingual (English/Spanish) guide throughout the tour (max. 11 people per group)
- all meals, starting with lunch, ending with a packed lunch (special meals possible, like vegetarian, vegan, or for allergies)
- Coffee, tea, and water at all times, rubber boots and rain ponchos
- accommodation in selected room category
- transportation to/from Lago Agrio not included
- not all rooms have power outlets, you can charge your appliances in the communal areas
- private guide with a private canoe available at additional cost and previous reservation
- French- or German-speaking guide available at additional cost and previous reservation.