Cuyabeno Expeditions

Rainforest Expedition to 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.

In this Cuyabeno expedition can see 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. In our Cuyabeno expedition, activities include canoeing in motorized and dugout crafts, hiking, bird watching and night walks and can be adjusted to your requirements and interests.

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Nueva Loja, EC
7:03 pm,
temperature icon 24°C
Humidity 95 %
Wind Gust: 3 mph

Piano di viaggio

Giorno 01
Meeting in Quito

We will organize a hotel reservation for you in Quito in the hotel Mercure Alameda, where your guide will meet you according to your arrival times in the afternoon or in the evening. He will give you an introduction to the expedition as well as answer any last questions before the expedition starts the next morning into the Amazon rainforest. The rest of the day will be at your own disposal in order to prepare for the jungle adventure.

Giorno 02
Into the Amazon Rainforest

The tour starts at 23h00 p.m. in the City of Quito and has an estimated time of 8 hours, to get to the Cuyabeno Bridge, we arrive at 08h00 – 09h00 a.m, after checking at the guardianship of the Cuyabeno Bridge, we will navigate down the cuyabeno river for 2 hours and thirty minutes to reach our Nicky Amazon Lodge, on the way our guide will be looking for different species of monkeys and birds. Arrival at the lodge. Lunch. You will have time to rest until 16h30p.m., and then you will go on a night walk to observe different species of spiders, insects, amphibians and others. Dinner and our guide will share the next day’s program.

Note 1: At the moment there is no flight operation from Quito to Lago Agrio.

Giorno 03
Parrots Island

Breakfast 08h00 a.m. then we take a short walk in the tropical rainforest to see some plants and trees, then we navigate the Cuyabeno River observing a variety of species; including Toucans, Parrots, Monkeys, then we arrive at the Aguarico River (white water river) and navigate down (approx. 4 hours) to our second campsite at Zancudococha Lagoon. Along the way, we have a good chance to see the pink and gray freshwater river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis and Sotalia fluviatilis). We will enjoy the wonderful sunset at the Zancudococha lagoon. After dinner, our naturalist guide will tell us the plan for the next day.

*The second camp is located in Zancudococha, the largest lagoon in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Giorno 04
Lagartococha

After breakfast, our native and naturalist guides take us to a different ecosystem (Terra Firme forest), where they explain the difference between this area and the places we have seen before. Our native guide shares his wealth of knowledge, showing us the medicinal and practical uses of the jungle flora that their ancestors have taught them through generations. We return to our camp for lunch. In the afternoon, we navigate on the lake to enjoy the flooded forest (Igapo). We enjoy a relaxed dinner at our camp. After dinner, we venture out on a night excursion to look for Caiman (Alligator family).

Giorno 05
Lagartococha

06h30 a.m. morning activity. After breakfast, we return to navigate the Aguarico River for approx. 2 hours to the confluence of the Aguarico River with the Lagartococha River. We navigate in the remote jungle along the Lagartococha river accessing the flooded area where we discover some lakes connected by black water rivers, where we admire a different ecosystem that exists in the flooded jungle or Igapo. After the box lunch, we enjoy a swim in the Delfin Cocha lake while observing the pink fresh water dolphins (Inia Geofrensis) swimming near us. We return to the Kichwa Community of Zancudo on the banks of the Aguarico where we have our third camp. Dinner. Relax

Giorno 06
Tierra Firme Forest

Before breakfast, we will navigate by motor canoe to enjoy the beautiful scenery that offers us the flooded forest of the border area between Ecuador and Peru, we will observe some species of birds and monkeys. Breakfast, after breakfast, we will go on a short hike to listen to our guide explain a little about the ecology of the tropical rainforest. Lunch. In the afternoon, we will enjoy navigating in different lakes that this place offers us, trying to look for different species of animals. After dinner, we will go on a night navigation, just to enjoy the sounds of the jungle and observe caimans.

Giorno 07
The Kichwa

After breakfast, we navigate upstream on the Aguarico River. Box lunch. On the way, we stop in the riverside villages of the local communities to see their handicrafts. Finally, we return to Nicky Amazon Lodge. Dinner. After dinner, we venture into the jungle to find insect species and, with a little luck, snake or frog species.

Giorno 08
Birdwatching

Breakfast 07h00 a.m. after breakfast we head back to Cuyabeno Bridge doing our last activity, which is to look for all kinds of animals that the rainforest can show us. Arriving at the Cuyabeno Bridge, we will receive our box-lunch, and it is the place where our transportation will take us back to Lago Agrio or to Quito depending on availability.

Important: The naturalist guide will be able to re-organize the days of the itinerary in the way that he/she believes convenient.

Day 09
From the Amazon Rainforest into the Andes

After breakfast, you travel by canoe down the Cuyabeno River and back along the Aguarico river to Chiritza where your bus/truck will take you back to Lago Agrio. A short flight (ca. 35 minutes) will bring you back from the Amazon rainforest up into the civilization in Quito in the middle of the Andes. You will be back in Quito at ca. 05pm. End of our services. According to your travel plans we gladly help you with the organization of transfers, hotels, national flights or further travel services e.g. a cruise in the Galápagos (optional)

  • 1 night accommodation in Quito (Hotel Mercure Alameda or a similar hotel of the same category)
  • Transfer hotel – airport day 02
  • 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 life jackets.
  • All equipment is of high quality and in good condition.
  • Three nutritious meals a day (including purified bottled water)
  • Catering for vegetarians (please advise with the booking)
  • Cuyabeno Park Entrance fee US $20 Dollars to be paid in cash at Lago Agrio
  • Additional beverages and tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Voli internazionali
  • Anything not mentioned in the program

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REQUIREMENTS: For this nature and culture trip a healthy fitness level is necessary to be able to enjoy hikes of about 2 hours (depending on the conditions, maybe longer) at altitudes of up to 5000 m and in tropical climates (rainforest). Technical experience is not necessary for the hikes. Hiking boots are recommended.

PRICES 2022: Prices (in USD $) with English speaking tour guide (minimum 2 people): US$ per person in double room accommodation US$ Additional for single room Price for optional train ride over the Devil´s Nose: US$ per person

NB: Read all routes as a guide. All routes and programs are subjected to change without notice due to national park regulations, weather conditions, natural events, seasonal changes or, safety reasons. Flexibility is the key to the success of each tour. The safety and interest of our passengers are our top priority. For more information Contact Us

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