The Cuyabeno Lodge Amazon Tour - From $550 pp
Short tour itinerary:
Day 1: Quito – Lago Agrio – Start tour into the Amazon Rainforest of Cuyabeno.
Day 2: Bird and monkey watching
Day 3: Bird watching and looking for special flowers
Day 4: Exploring the Amazon and surroundings of the main Cuyabeno Lake.
Day 5: End of the Cuyabeno tour and back to Quito
The Cuyabeno Lodge Amazon Tour –
From $550 p.p.
The Cuyabeno Amazon Reserve is unique in the whole of South America for its geographical characteristics and location. It is like an enormous hollow bowl with a narrow exit, which causes a large area to be seasonally flooded with scenic interconnected lakes, creeks and rivers. There is no other park in the Amazonian Andes countries Venezuela, Colombia, Peru or Bolivia with so many lakes and creeks that is as conveniently accessible as Cuyabeno. In fact, nowhere in South America exists another Amazon park as accessible and at such competitive prices as the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.
For spotting wildlife the location of the lodge within the park also important.
As bird and wildlife observation is best very early in the morning, it is paramount to be right in the heart of the best place for observing animals. In the Cuyabeno, this is the Cuyabeno Lake system. The Cuyabeno Lodge is on a seasonal island, right in the heart of the lake system, while visitors coming from some other lodges must first travel 30 to 45 minutes to get to the lake.
Full itinerary of this Amazon tour:
Day 1: Quito – Lago Agrio – Start tour into the Amazon Rainforest of Cuyabeno
Fly in about 25 minutes from the capital Quito across the Andes to the frontier town of Lago Agrio, the oil boom town where the Amazon lowlands begin and your program for visiting the Amazon in Ecuador starts. Your flight passes by the Cayambe. Ask for a window seat at the right side of the plane to take pictures; on the way back on the left side. From there, our bus takes you in about 1 hour 45 minutes to the entry station Cuyabeno Bridge.
Here is where your real trip starts: An agile dugout canoe takes you on a one and a half hour tour on the beautiful winding Cuyabeno River to our Amazon Rainforest lodge, the Cuyabeno Lodge.
It is a fascinating ride on this tributary of the Amazon River, that will take you first to the largest lake in the reserve, the Laguna Cuyabeno also known as Laguna Grande. This is the perfect spot to explore the Amazon, as our Amazon Jungle Lodge Cuyabeno Lodge is one of the few accommodation located on any of the seven lakes of the Cuyabeno river system.
Upon arrival at the lodge, you can take a hot shower, relax a bit and have a late lunch.
After some rest, you may enjoy a swim in the lake and with some luck, spot a few Amazon Dolphins or maybe even a Manatee.
Once the curtain of night falls after dinner, you will silently head out onto the lake again; this time in search of Caiman, a close relative of Crocodiles and Alligators. You can spot them with flashlights, reflecting in their eyes like bright orange lights. Occasionally, with a bit of luck you may also catch the green eyes of a wandering Ocelot Cat or Jaguar in your beam.
Day 2: Bird and monkey watching in the rainforest
As birds are most active at dawn, you may start out your day with bird watching before breakfast with our experienced guide. Blue and Yellow Macaws fly noisily across the Cuyabeno Lake, while Hoatzins whisper their hoarse sounds as they scope the Macrolobium trees for food. You may also hear the mysterious swelling sound of the Howler Monkeys or see a troop of squirrel monkeys bouncing through the treetops. In fact, 10 species of monkeys have been recorded in the reserve.
Return to the Lodge for breakfast. After breakfast explore the Amazon rainforest in the “terra firma” forest with your naturalist guide where you can learn about the forest’s medicinal plants and traditions.
After lunch and a siesta you will look for birds and orchids in the flooded igapo (Brazilian Portuguese for Amazon swamp) with Macrolobium trees covered in abundant epiphytes. At the end of the day you can enjoy a sunset swim in the lake.
This night we take you on a walk through the woods with a flashlight. During such walks, we may find some of the strangest creatures, like the spider-like critter we once found. Tree frogs are everywhere, but it is very difficult to find them. And the moment you think you finally have one in your camera, they leap away to never be found again.
Day 3: Bird watching and looking for special Amazon flowers
After another early bird watching tour, we return to the Lodge for breakfast.
Filled with a good and healthy breakfast we travel deeper into the reserve down the Cuyabeno River. There are many colorful flowers in the Cuyabeno Nature Reserve, but it takes a bit of an effort to find them. Orchids and Heliconias are among the more spectacular flowers, which we will try to find today.
In the late afternoon you can enjoy ‘a sunset swim’ in the lake. After the swim, we serve dinner, followed by a nightly walk through the woods: grab your flashlight and check-out the rainforest’s nocturnal critters such as translucent tree frogs, armadillos, bats, nocturnal insects and frogs.
Tonight you can enjoy a quiet read in the evening, while relaxing in one of the hammocks and listening to the sound of the jungle or……
Having fun at our jungle bar!
Day 4: Exploring the Amazon and surroundings Laguna Grande
After breakfast, you will enjoy a paddling canoe journey to feel the silence of the Lagoon and at the same time the thousand sounds of birds and insects. In the afternoon you can relax and/or explore the surroundings of the lake at your own. For the evening we have included an excursion to discover other little lagoons or to hike along another path in the Cuyabeno Reserve, spotting al kinds of wildlife.
Day 5: End of the Cuyabeno Amazon tour and back to Quito
On day five you will experience the feel of so many of our visitors: “It all went by too quickly”. Maybe you will become one of our frequent visitors that keep coming back for a special program of one or two weeks. Anyway, you will have to leave in the morning to get back on time to catch the plane or bus in Lago Agrio. You will ride the canoe up the Cuyabeno River to the bridge, where your transport will be waiting for you to bring you to the airport or to the bus station to take you on a trip back, skimping the Cayambe National Park as it winds along the Andes flanks back to the central valley. For the flight back ask for a left window seat.
Note 1: This tour can also be done in 4 days; the itinerary of day 4 will then be replaced by day 5.
Note 2: The itinerary above is a good indication of the general 5-days tour, but the final itinerary is always subjected to (unpredictable) local (weather) circumstances.
Inclusive in this Amazon Tour:
– Transfers from and to the airport/ hotel in Cuyabeno
– Overnight inclusive breakfast, lunch and dinner in the Cuyabeno Lodge in a standard room for two persons, starting with lunch on day one and finishing with a lunch package on the last day
– Different guided tours into the Amazon in English (or Spanish) during your stay
– Transportation during your tour in private cañoes
– Guided hikes though the Amazon rainforest in groups no bigger than 12 persons
– We provide rubber boots (available up to size 46) and rain ponchos
– Drinks and other personal spendings
– Entrance fees (around 6,- US$)
– Additional fee for one-person bookings
– International banking costs
Recommendable items to bring on this tour:
• Comfortable loose Clothing, shorts and T-shirts
• Long-Sleeve shirt and light long pants for the evenings (insects)
• Warm jacket for the night
• Socks for in the boots
• Bathing Suit and towel
• Protection against the sun (Sun Block, Sun Glasses, hat)
• Sandals/ flip flops
• Personal things
• Insect Repellent
• Head light/ flashlight with extra batteries
• Camera with extra batteries and memory cards (+ protection against humidity)
• Original Passport