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CONTACT US

Address: Ayarza # 400 y Av. Eloy Alfaro - Edificio Milanesi Of: 5 A
Quito, Ecuador

Phone: (00593) 2 242-280
(00593) 99 834-3149
(00593) 99 832-7167

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Cuyabeno Lodge

The Tapir Jungle Lodge is located in the Cuyabeno National Park and Wildlife Reserve, an elaborate system of remote lagoons, rivers and flooded forest found in north-eastern Ecuador. The reserve encompasses over 655,000 hectares of primary rainforest and boasts an incredible variety of neotropical wildlife including river dolphins, tapirs, capybaras, caimans, anacondas, ocelots, monkeys and the famous piranha. The bird life is particularly spectacular: over 580 species have been recorded such as the prehistoric-looking hoatzin, umbrella bird, blue-headed parrot, white-eared jacamar, scarlet macaw and the awesome harpy-eagle with its eight-foot wingspan. Additionally, over 12,000 species of plants have been identified.

The Siona, Siecoya, Cofan and Quichuas indigenous inhabitants of the Amazon basin for thousands of years, also call Cuyabeno is their ancestral homeland. Unfortunately, the relatively recent world-wide demand for oil and uncolonized land has placed unprecedented pressure on the inhabitants and ecosystems of Cuyabeno. As a result the Siona, Siecoya and Cofan are looking more towards tourism as a sustainable alternative to the use of their lands. One of the best ways to explore the rainforest is by canoe and Cuyabeno with its maze of waterways provides you with ample opportunities to experience this deliciously wet and wild green world in a way that is intimate and personal. Additionally, you are guided through the forest by an indigenous guide from the Siona Indian community, as well as a english speaking bilingual guide. Itineraries and activities can be custom-tailored to meet your interests but usually include canoeing (in motorised and dugout crafts), hiking, freshwater dolphin watching, birdwatching, piranha fishing, swimming, night walks and just swinging in your hammock. The lodge provides you with the most comfortable cabañas in Cuyabeno. It does provide you with the basic amenities necessary for rustic comfort: enclosed cabañas clean, bathrooms and even hot water showers. Adjoining the cabañas is a dining area which serves up Ecuadorian, Siona and international cuisine.

Itinerary:

Day 01: Quito - Lago Agrio - Cuyabeno
Today you will fly in the morning from Quito to Lago Agrio. The flight takes about 30 minutes to Lago Agrio. The airport is located outside the city; therefore you are not spending any time in Lago Agrio itself. The private transportation will take you to the bridge in about 2,5 to 3 hours, which is the entrance of the Cuyabeno Reserve. On this way you will have the chance to see a colorful landscape combining rainforest, rivers and small towns; a 40% of this road is paved and the other 60% is an open road which means that depending on the weather conditions, you could expect a dusty or muddy road. Here you will enjoy the box lunch and continue on canoe. You will get a rain Ponchos and life vests as well. This narrow river allows you to admire the wide variety of flora and fauna. After close to 2 ½ hours driving, you arrive at the lodge around dusk (06:00 PM). Dinner will be served around 19:30. After dinner the guide will give a short explanation of the next day activities, and the needed gear, overnight in the cozy Tapir Lodge. -/L/D

Day 02: Amazon Jungle Exploration
Breakfast will be served around 08:30 AM, if you like you can go to a bird watching tour before hand. You will leave the lodge at about 9:30 AM. Rubber boots will be provided. For bigger numbers than 44 EU shoe size, please bring your own boots. You will drive upstream to the Laguna Grande (main lake) enjoying a slow drive in order to catch sight of animals and plants. Usually to get to the lake takes close to 30 minutes (paddle boat about 1 hour). Once you get there, you can appreciate this flooded forest also known as Igapo. The trees are growing straight in the water, and many of them (real ancient) offer a perfect habitat for other plants, like Bromeliads, Orquids, Ferns and Cactuses. You will leave the lake in order to reach solid ground. The path where you will walk today is called Palma Roja (Red Palm), and used to be part of the scientific station of the University Catolica. These will be the first encounter with primary forest. This type of forest is the habitat of many terrestrial mammals; these are usually shy or active during the night. This walk shall take close to 3 ½ hours. On the way you will find a swampy area. Do not worry, the guide will lead you trough the right way. There is an opportunity to admire a big variety of ancient trees, long lianas, giant palms. With a little bit of luck you can catch sight and hear lots of birds such as woodpeckers, tanagers, macaws, and toucans and come across two or three species of monkeys. Then you get in the canoe or boat and drive back to the lodge for lunch which is followed by a resting period of approximately 2 hours. At about 17:00 hours you will take the canoe and drive to the Laguna Grande again. Once you get to the lake you will make a small drive in the surrounding area to look for birds and other animals. There is the chance as well for swimming. You will wait in the lake until it gets dark enjoying the voices of the forest. Then with the flashlights you will look for animals on the shores of the river. You will return to the l odge around 19:00. This free period before dinner can be used to take a shower, to have refreshing drink or to talk with the guide about the animals found during the day. Dinner will be served at 07:45 PM. After dinner depending on weather conditions you can take a small night walk around the lodge looking for frogs and other night wanderers. B/L/D

Day 03: Amazon Jungle Expedition
Early breakfast at 07:30. After this you will meet in the dock again. Today you will drive downstream. You will enjoy a 2 hour-navigation looking at Morphos (giant blue Butterfly), Toucans, Macaws and with some luck monkeys. On the way you will pass the village of Puerto Bolivar where the inhabitants of the area the Siona have chosen to live. After 20 minutes you will arrive to a small settlement. There you will get to know the Shaman, Alberto and his family. This people belong to the Cofan ethnic group. Nowadays Alberto conceals his time to cure and treat people with his vast knowledge of the medicinal plants. You will begin the trekking on the river bank. The path in the forest leads you trough small creeks. In the end (after close to 2 hours) you will get to the backyard of Alberto’s house. A superb box lunch will be served. After lunch, Alberto will share some of his time with you. He will explain you his experiences with the forest, other shamans and process of healing people. This short healing ceremony should last 40 min approximately. There will be some free time for asking questions to Alberto or simply take some pictures of him. Some handicrafts are available all of them done by hand and materials of the rain forest. Afterwards you will say goodbye to the family (close to 3:00 PM) and drive back to Puerto Bolivar. There waits a Siona family. You will take part in the preparation of the cassava bread (Manihot esculenta).This root has always been an essential food supply, and perhaps the main supply of carbohydrates, for the indigenous communities of the rainforest. After gathering the Yuca (cassava), it will be peeled off and grinded. This paste is pressed to eliminate the humidity and the starch. The remaining dried product will be cooked in a pan. After some minutes you obtain a pancake of neutral taste. Then you drive back to the lodge arriving there usually before dusk. Dinner will be served at around 20:00. B/L/D

Day 04: Amazon Jungle Expedition
Breakfast will be served around 08:00.This day you will have the chance to choose your activities with the guide.

There are several options: birdwatching, rowing in the lake, fishing or walking in the forest. According to what you choose, the day will be scheduled to fulfill your interests.

Lunch will be served at the lodge. In the afternoon you will take part in a briefing. Dinner will be served at around 20:00. After dinner you will be introduced to the crew members who did work during those days. You will be joined by a Goodbye - Passion fruit cocktail. Last Overnight at the Tapir Lodge. B/L/D

Day 05.- Cuyabeno - Lago Agrio - Quito
You will be waken up by somebody of the staff. Waking up and departure time from the lodge will be scheduled according to the river and road conditions, the decision of the guide and of course the fight. This information shall be given to you the day before. Breakfast will be served while the staff takes care that the luggage is carried to the canoe. You will leave the lodge and head back to the bridge. The private transportation is waiting for you. This time the drive to Lago Agrio should take less. Arrival at the airport. B

Price 2014 per person:

Days Double Room Single Room
4 Days

USD 550.-

USD 715.-

5 Days

USD 690.-

USD 897.-

7 Days

USD 965.-

USD 1,255.-

Flight Quito-Lago Agrio-Quito USD 135.-
Cuyabeno National Park entrance fee USD 20.-

In the price included:

  • Private transportation Lago Agrio - Cuyabeno - Lago Agrio
  • Canoe rides
  • meals as mentioned in the program
  • water, coffee, tea
  • Daily excursion program
  • Naturalist bilinguals guide (English or German).
  • Rubber boots (only until size 44) and raincoats for the tour.


Not included in the price:

  • Entrance fee Cuyabeno National Park USD 20.-
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Everything that has not been included in the program
  • International flight airport tax Quito (USD 41.- per person)
  • Flight Quito – Lago Agrio – Quito USD 125.-
  • Travel insurance

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