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AMAZON, ECUADOR, TOURS

 

OUR PARKS AND TRIBES ECO TOURS

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Indians take you in their agile dug-out canoes along winding rivers.

STANDARD COFAN LODGE TOUR

Start your Cuyabeno journey on Ecuador's most scenic wide Amazon tributary, the Aguarico River. Spend 3 nights in the Cofan Lodge, exploring the lower Cuyabeno and Zábalo Rivers.

 

 

Price: $ 499

 4 days

Children learning about the rainforest.

CUYABENO LOOP

The Cuyabeno Loop explores the breathtaking scenery of lower Cuyabeno and Zábalo Rivers and the Cuyabeno Lake. Watch the amazing birds and wildlife. Pass 2 nights with the amazing Cofan Indians in the Cofan Lodge and enjoy 2 nights of comfort in the famous Cuyabeno Lodge.

Price: $ 799

5 days

 

Birdwatching by visitors of the Amazon in Ecuador

LAGARTO COCHA EXPEDITION

The Lagarto Cocha Expedition on hidden creeks and lakes is the best Amazon journey in Ecuador! Discover Indian tribes in Ecuador, Monkeys, Sloths, Dolphins. No other Amazon rainforest in any of the Amazon-Andean countries can match the wildlife viewing of Cuyabeno and it is far better than Yasuní!

 

Price: $ 1099

7 days

excursion on Lake Cuyabeno

CUYABENO LAKE PROGRAM

The Cuyabeno Lake Program explores all the wild places surrounding the Cuyabeno Lake. Bonsai-shaped Macrolobia trees with the whispering of the mysterious prehistoric Hoatzin birds and the noisy Blue and Yellow Macaws. Our Cuyabeno Lodge is on the best location, because we were the first and chose the best location on a seasonal island in the Cuyabeno Lake itself.

Price: from $ 410

4 - 5 days

 

Alpacas in Chimborazo Wildlife Reserve are the domesticated form of the vicuńas.

NORTHERN ANDES TOUR

Our Northern Andes Tour lets you get a taste of some of the best Andean National Parks, visiting the highest groves in the world: the Polylepis trees, the highest mountain in the world calculated from the center of the Earth, the Chimborazo with Vecuńas and Lamas, the highest active volcano in the world, the Cotopaxi.

 

 

Price: from $1149

5 days

San Rafael Falls

NATIONAL PARKS TOUR

Our National Parks Tours take you on a fantastic journey along the best possible sample of Andean and coastal parks. They have been designed to complement Galapagos and/or Amazon cruises. They can start from different places, particularly Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca. While the full program lasts 9 days, it is possible to make a limited selection of parks, like the 6 days' "Andes and Coast" module.

Price: $ 1999

9 days

 

Bartelome Island at Galapagos National Park

GALAPAGOS LAST MINUTE

We have a fabulous selection of Galapagos programs, including cruises, island hopping, scuba diving or relaxing on one of the many different hotels varying from modest inns to deluxe resorts.

 

 

Price: from $ 550

from 3 days

Inca wall in Cusco.

PERU HIGHLIGHTS

A fabulous program for visiting the most famous cultural highlights Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. At the same time it serves as the Lima hub for the Peru National Parks Tour. This module is an extension to our National Parks Tour Ecuador and/or Galapagos National Park and/or Amazon Cruises.

Price: $ 1199

7 days

Continuation of the current page theme

 

Tours to the Amazon of Ecuador

CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE MAP: Lake area tours. CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE MAP: Cuyabeno Loop.
CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE MAP: Lagarto Cocha Expedition.

Routes from the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve programss of Parks and Tribes / Cofan Lodge:

  • Left above: Cuyabeno Lake Area;

  • Right above: Cuyabeno Loop;

  • Left: Lagarto Coche Expedition with the Cuyabeno Lake area as an additional option.

 

Are these really the best trips to travel the Amazon of Ecuador?

YES! This is why...

When one walks in the forest, the animals above you in the the crowns are difficult to observe. Looking up you hardly see anything. The contrast between the sky and the leaves is so overwhelming, that they appear almost black.  On the other hand, along narrow rivers, the light can break through the canopy, illuminating lower braches and wildlife. So, from the water you see the birds, flowers and mammals much better, as they frolick through the shrubs and lower trees along the shores.

 

So what makes Cuyabeno so special...

  • It's the only Amazon park in all Amazon-Andean countries with wide flat plains. Slow-flowing narrow creeks, rivers and many lakes can only develop in flat lowlands; not in hilly terrain. This makes Cuyabeno so unique!

  • In the dryer sections, one gets to see the terrestrial animals and birds. With so much water, one also gets to see water animals like: Dolphins, Manatees, Capybaras, Cayman, Ducks, Cormorants, Herons, etc.

  • Spotting wildlife from a canoe is much easier than when walking on a trail. You have your birding and wildlife books, your binoculars and your camera all close at hand.

But there is more...

  • Tours to the Amazon of Ecuador from Lagoagrio to Cuyabeno travel (mostly) over an asphalt road. Distances over water are much shorter than to other reserves, like Yasuní National Park;

  •  Our programs are organized by or in collaboration with small Indian tribes, the Cofans and Sionas;

  • All programs are so child friendly, I took my grandchildren (3,5 & 6) there. Wao, did they love it!

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Boy with butterfly in Cuyabeno.AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: lunch in Cuyabeno.

Butterfly licking salt from boy's face.

Picnicking on a "blanket" of palm leaves.

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve with Cuyabeno Loop route.

4 DAYS' STANDARD COFAN LODGE PROGRAM

Standard Program, Day 1 Ecuador Amazon tour

Our transport meets you in Lagoagrio to take you in about 1 hour 30 minutes to the the canoe landing location Nuevo Unión, on the Aguarico River.

 

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Aguarico River landscape.AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Visitor canoe of the Cofan Nation.

Cuyabeno Loop route takes you on a 200km odyssey through the Western Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.

The tourist canoe of the Cofan Lodge.

 

Upon arrival in Zábalo, you will be shown around in the village and taken to your cabins to freshen up and rest, as it has been a long day since your departure from Quito.

 

Cuyabeno Loop: Relaxing on the Cuyabeno Lodge deck during your Amazon visit in EcuadorCuyabeno Loop: Cofan Lodge Cabin.

The restaurant of our Cofan Lodge.

One of the cabins of the Cofan Lodge.

 

Upon arrival in Zábalo, you will be shown around in the village and taken to your cabins to freshen up and rest, as it has been a long day since your departure from Quito.

 

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Resting in hammocks at the Cofan Lodge when visiting the Amazon in Ecuador.AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: an evening stroll through Zábalo village, the center of the Cofan tribe.

Relaxing in the hammocks in our restaurant.

A view of our Zábalo village.

 

In the evening, you will be taken on a night excursion to discover the critters of the night.

 

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Tree Frog of the Amazon Jungle seen on a night excursion when visiting the Amazon in Ecuador.AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Grasshopper shedding skin.

 

Tree frogs are everywhere, but it is a bit difficult to spot them. The moment you think you finally have one in your camera, they leap away to never be found again smiley. On a rare occasion, with lots of luck you may catch the green eyes of a wandering Ocelot Cat in the beam of your flash light.

 

Standard Program, Day 2  Ecuador Amazon tour

Early in the morning, we take on one of the few Ecuadorian black water rivers, where the clear water provides an ideal conditions for Giant Otters. Black water gets it color from decaying leaves fallen in the forested lowlands and swamps, while there are little or no sediments. There is also a vivid population of Scarlet Macaws as well as a great variety of tropical birds and monkeys.

 

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Cuyabeno Lodge welcome sign welcoming you on your Ecuador Amazon visitAMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: The black water of the Zábalo River mixing with the "white" -in reality coffey-with-cream colored sediment loaded River Aguarico.

The Zabalo River is one of the few clear black water rivers in the Amazon of Ecuador.

The clear black - sediment poor - water of the Zábalo river mixes with the sediment loaded water of the Aguarico River. The color comes from the soil particles dispersed in the water.

 

5 DAYS' CUYABENO LOOP

 

Standard Program, Day 3 Ecuador Amazon tour

The day starts out with a discovery of the Cofan ways. You will be taught how to use a blowgun, and

get to see the traditional Cofan dresses.

 

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Learning how to shoot a blowgun.AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Cofan and visitor children with the Cofan shaman.

Learning how to shoot with a blowgun.

The shaman with some of the children of the village and of visitors.

 

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Manioc plants in the Cofan vegetable garden.AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Turtles being raised in the captive breeding program to restore turtle densities.

The traditional Cofan vegetable garden produces a part of your food.

The Cofan turtle breeding program has restored the turtle population in the Zábalo River.

 

After breakfast, we take you to the mouth of the Cuyabeno River, where usually some river dolphins hang out. From there you will be taken to the Canopy tower, to have an impression of the natural canopy.

 

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: The mouth of the Cuyabeno River as it poors into the River Aguarico.AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Climbing the Canopy Tower of Cuyabeno.

The Mouth of the Cuyabeno River is frequented by Amazon Dolphins.

The highest canopy tower in Cuyabeno takes you all the way into the crown of a gigantic tree.

 

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: admiring the jungle as monkeys see it from the tree canopy.AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Looking down from the Canopy tower at Cuyabeno.

Admiring the view from the canopy tower platform.

Looking down from the canopy tower.

 

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Pink Dolphin at the Amazon River in CuyabenoENDANGERED ANIMALS OF ECUADOR: Amazon manitees are often seen in the Cuyabeno Lake

Most of the time you will be able to spot an Amazon Dolphin (of course no we can never guarantee this) or maybe, if you are very lucky, even a Manatee.

 

 

Blue and Yellow Macaws fly noisily over the jungle, 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.

 

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: excursion on Lake CuyabenoAMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Birdwatching by visitors of the Amazon in Ecuador

Bird and wildlife watching

 

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Achiote bixa Orellana shrubs provide a natural coloring.AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Beautiful flowers enlighten Amazon visits in Ecuador.AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Amazon rainforest plants include the Orchids growing in Cuyabeno. AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Heliconia in the Amazon tropical Rainforest seen when visiting the Amazon in Ecuador.

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Blue and Yellow macaws can be frequently seen in Cuyabeno.AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Brown Woolley Monkeys are common in Cuyabeno.

Blue and yellow Macaws are fairly common in Cuyabeno.

Brown Woolly Monkeys are also common in Cuyabeno.

 

 

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Swamp trees, Macrolobiums, at Cuyabeno are frequently seen on Amazon visits in Ecuador.AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Liana or vine reaching for the tree crowns.

 

 

AMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Visitor on the Cuyabeno LoopAMAZON ECUADOR TOURS: Watching wildlife

 

The Cofan Lodge standard program will take you on a fabulous excursion into the Amazon jungle, after which it takes you back to the Cofan Lodge.

 

Standard Program, Day 4 Ecuador Amazon tour

On day four, of the standard Amazon Ecuador Tour takes you back on a ride on the Aguarico River, and from there back to Quito.

 

 

CUYABENO, GETTING THERE AND BACK

There are 3 options to travel to the Amazon Lowlands:

  • Take the night bus from Quito to Lagoagrio (usually leaves at 11 at night) from the "Terminal Norte" in Quito and arrive in Lagoagrio at dawn, which takes about 7 hours. It costs about $ 25 for the round trip and you have to leave from your hotel in Quito to the terminal  an hour before departure (by taxi). Alternatively, you can take a day bus, but then you will have to spend the night in Lagoagrio. We will pick you up in Lagoagrio in combination with arriving passengers by plane, departing generally at 10:30 (depending on the arrival of the plane), to Nuevo Unión (2 hours), where we embark in our canoe at about 12:30. Between your departure from your hotel at night at 10 at night until boarding the our motorized canoe, will be more or less 15 hours. The same applies for the Lake Cuyabeno accommodations which pass through the main park entrance on the Cuyabeno River.

  • Fly with Tame Quito - Lagoagrio. You can book your ticket at https://www.tame.com.ec, which costs about $ 150 round trip, but additionally you have to consider the cost of a taxi that costs 2X25; Then it actually costs $ 200. Your flight usually leaves at 9 in the morning, and takes 30 minutes to arrive. As many times the flight is delayed, count on arriving around 10, and after getting your luggage, it will be 10:30. We'll pick you up at the airport. From there it takes two hours to arrive in Nuevo Union, where we leave in our canoe at 12:30. Thus flying takes a total of 5 - 6 hours from your hotel until you can embark on the Rio Aguarico. The same applies for the Lake Cuyabeno accommodations which pass through the main park entrance on the Cuyabeno River.

  • Take our Private Trans-Andean Transportation to the Aguarico or Cuyabeno River, of which you can read the details below. We will pick you up at your hotel early in the morning and take to the Aguarico River in about 8 - 9 hours depending how much time we spend on the way at the overlooks into the Cayambe - Coca Ecological Reserve, the San Rafael Falls, the Reventador Volcano and the Papallacta spas. The same applies for the Lake Cuyabeno accommodations which pass through the main park entrance on the Cuyabeno River.

CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE MAP: Lake area tours. CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE MAP: Cuyabeno Loop.
CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE MAP: Lagarto Cocha Expedition.

Routes from the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve programss of Parks and Tribes / Cofan Lodge:

  • Left above: Cuyabeno Lake Area;

  • Right above: Cuyabeno Loop;

  • Left: Lagarto Coche Expedition with the Cuyabeno Lake area as an additional option.

 

PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION QUITO - AGUARICO

 

Lake Papallacta.San Rafael Waterfalls.

Near the mountain pass you pass by beautiful paramos and some of the highest rainforests in the world along Lake Papallacta.

The San Rafael waterfall surrounded by virgin cloud forest is the most beautiful waterfall of the country.

 

Jamanco Spa at Lake Papallacta LakeThe Reventador Volcano pouring out lava.

Bordering Lake Papallacta is the Jamanco Spa with great mineral water without prior filtration as done in the Papallacta resorts. As a result, the mineral quality is supposed to be better, while resort prices are a fraction of the spas in Papallacta.

The Reventador is Ecuador's most active volcano and frequently runs of down-pouring can be seen glowing in the night.

  • It is possible to arrange for spending the night at either a Papallacta (costly) or Jamanco (friendly and much more economical) Spa, but then another day is needed.

  • Many passengers who take the private transportation, chose to fly back or visa versa.

Lagoagrio airport.Cayambe Volcano right on the Equator.

Arrival at the airport of oil-boom town Lagoagrio.

On a clear day you can see the Cayambe exactly on the equator, as you fly around it. It is the only major volcano as well as the only glacier in the world precisely on the equator. On the way in, chose a window on the right and on the way back on the left of the plane.

 

WHAT IS INCLUDED?

 

National Parks Tours

  1. All hotels and lodges;

  2. Transportation: All ground transportation on the National Parks tours;

  3. In-country flights where included in the national parks tour program, but NOT to/fro Galapagos or Lagoagrio;

  4. An English speaking naturalist guide. A German or French speaking guide may also be available, but can't be guaranteed.

  5. All entry fees.

NOT INCLUDED:

Meals and beverages.

Amazon Tours

  1. Lodging;

  2. Excursions with professional nature guides;

  3. All Amazon programs include all meals, and fruit juices served with the meals. Our restaurants serve a mix of international cuisine and occasionally, the Cofan Lodge offers  a sample meal of traditional Cofan dishes.

  4. Meals include coffee, tea and bottled water;

  5. Transportation between Lagoagrio and the access rivers.

NOT INCLUDED:

Bottled and alcoholic beverages need to be paid.

 

COMBI-DISCOUNTS

Depending on the program you selected, we always try to give you a discount on combined modules. Groups above 4 passengers will receive discounts, depending on group size.

 

HOW TO BOOK A TOUR?

Our programs are rather customized and we try to accommodate the travel needs of our customers. To avoid misunderstandings, we don't offer a prepaid travel option. Just send an email to or contact us through our contact data below. 

 

From Abroad:

Sending money from abroad is rather costly and we try to minimize money going to bank transfers. Once your schedule has been worked out, we kindly request you to make a reservation guarantee transfer of only $100 by Western Union or Moneygram. The balance you pay in CASH in Quito upon arrival (we don't take credit cards!) This way you don't lose a lot of money sending money. The $100 is NOT recoverable upon cancelation.

 

Why we don't accept credit cards in Ecuador either? The credit card services charge 7%! We would have to charge you for that, making your trip more expensive. We do everything to make your trip as cost effective as possible.

 

Already in Ecuador?

You can pay in our office mentioned below. We apply a cancelation fee of $100.

 

WHAT IS ESSENTIAL TO BRING?

For this question we link to our special vacation packing list.

 

2019 COFAN LODGE / CUYABENO LODGE / PARKS AND TRIBES PRICES

 

COFAN LODGE PROGRAMS

COFAN LODGE STANDARD PROGRAM

DURATION STAY

Prices in US$

4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS

 
Standard room

$ 499

Prices are based on a minimum of 2 passengers.

 

CUYABENO LOOP

DURATION STAY

Prices in US$

5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS

 
Standard room at the Cuyabeno Lodge part (nights 3 &4) $ 799
Standard room in the Cofan Lodge (nights 1 & 2) and Deluxe room at the Cuyabeno Lodge (nights 3 & 4) $ 899

Prices are based on a minimum of 2 passengers.

 

LAGARTO COCHA EXPEDITION

DURATION STAY

Prices in US$

7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS

$ 1099

Including Extension Cuyabeno Lake from where returning to Lagoagrio.

$ 1349

Prices are based on a minimum of 2 passengers.

 

CUYABENO LODGE PROGRAMS

CUYABENO LODGE STANDARD PROGRAM  
DURATION

Prices in US$

4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS  
Shared budget room (Dormitory shared among 4 people, shared bathrooms) $ 270
Standard room (17 m2, private bathroom, shared balcony) $ 410
Standard room Plus (±20 m2, private bathroom, shared balcony) $ 430
Deluxe room (25m2, private bathroom, private balcony in the tower) $ 480
Suite (36m2, private bathroom, private balcony) $510
 
CUYABENO ADVENTURE  
DURATION

Prices in US$

5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS  
Shared budget room (Dormitory shared among 4 people, shared bathrooms) $ 340
Standard room (17 m2, private bathroom, shared balcony) $ 510
Standard room Plus (±20 m2, private bathroom, shared balcony) $ 535
Deluxe room (25m2, private bathroom, private balcony in the tower) $ 595
Suite (36m2, private bathroom, private balcony) $635
Single occupancy surcharge (for the entire trip) $100

Individual bookings are WELCOME

 

QUITO - LAGOAGRIO

(or visa versa)

PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION

 

Prices in US$

One way per party price

$ 300

Group Price for parties of 2 - 7 (minivan) who share the costs.

 

NATIONAL PARKS TOUR PROGRAM

DURATION STAY

Prices in US$

OPTION A: Complete national Parks Tour (10 days) $1999
OPTION B: After Machalilla return to Quito (6 days) $1349
OPTION C: After Machalilla return to Quito (6 days) via Chimborazo Wildlife Reserve (7 days) $1399
OPTION D: Start and finish in Guayaquil (5 days) $1149
OPTION E: Start in Cuenca and Finish in Guayaquil (5 days) $1149

Prices are based on a minimum of 2 passengers.

 

GALAPAGOS TOURS

GALAPAGOS TOURS

For island hopping starting at  (Read details)

$520

Individual bookings are WELCOME

 

LIMA CUSCO MACHU PICCHU

DURATION STAY

Prices in US$

6 or 7 days (subject to flight itineraries)  
LIMA - CUSCO MODULE (Read details)

$1199

Prices are based on a minimum of 2 passengers.

 

What is essential to bring?

For this question we link to our special vacation packing list for the Amazon of Ecuador Tours.

 

PARKS & TRIBES and the COFAN LODGE have their sales office inside:

Hotel Balmoral, Address: Calle Moreno Bellido E6-57 & Avenida Amazonas, Quito

Telephone: (++593)(02) 2 50 5310, Cell phone: (++593) (0) 96 29 35 271

Email: [email protected]

Skype: ecotravelworldwide

Parks Man Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil is author of this website and founder of Parks and Tribes. He dedicated his life to the conservation of nature. https://www.facebook.com/DrDaanVreugdenhil, https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdaanvreugdenhil/. He was part of the team that selected the first 39 protected areas of Ecuador, including. Yasuní and Cuyabeno, the latter of which he he later recommended to be expanded from originally 150,000ha to 600,000ha, together with then Cuyabeno director Prof. Dr. Flavio Coello and Parks and Tribes partner. Daan is also the founding father of the Cuyabeno Lodge and co-manager of the Cofan Lodge.