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PARKS AND TRIBES

Thumbnail for version as of 11:35, 19 August 2016Thumbnail for version as of 11:35, 19 August 2016Thumbnail for version as of 11:35, 19 August 2016Thumbnail for version as of 11:35, 19 August 2016Thumbnail for version as of 11:35, 19 August 2016

 

CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE ECUADOR

 

CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE THE BEST AMAZON RESERVE IN THE WORLD?

Imagine yourself walking through the immense Amazon jungle. You want to see wildlife and birds. But most animals run or fly through the treetops. Distinguishing animals in tree tops at 35 m from the ground is almost impossible. The contrast between the treetops and the light of the sky is blinding and the leaves darken your vision. Therefore, from the relative darkness on the ground, it is difficult to distinguish the particularities of birds and mammals.

 

So how is the reserve different from other Amazon reserves in Andean Amazonian countries? Well, only Cuyabeno has rivers and lakes in a totally flat lowlands. Only Cuyabeno has plain plains where in absence of hills, the rivers run relatively slow, facilitating their navigability.

 

  1. Cuyabeno National Park

  2. Geology

  3. Hydrology

  4. Conservation status

  5. Things to do

  6. Vegetation

  7. Mammals

  8. Birds

  9. Other critters

  10. Getting there

  11. Best tours

From the water, is is much easier to watch wildlife, since the vegetation along the rivers is lower and many animals like to move along the water's line. Moreover, there is water loving wildife. The light illuminates the lower branches of the trees on the banks where you are not blinded by light from the sky. In addition, from a canoe, you can watch wildlife comfortably, with camera and binoculars ready and a bird book at hand.

 

From the water you can move conveniently and quickly to the best places for watching animals in different places. Cuyabeno is the only Amazon-Andean reserve that offers these conditions as everywhere else in the Andes foothills the landscape is too hilly to have such conditions. You can check it out for all Countries from Venezuela to Bolivia on Google Earth if you don't believe me.

 

CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Reserva Faun?tica Cuyabeno.

CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]:

 

Geology of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

It is located in the northeast of the country, in the provinces of Sucumb?s and Orellana, on an extensive plain very close to the Andes foothills. That is unique throughout the Andean-Amazonian region.

 

There are two types of soils in the area: compacted, little permeable red with only superficial organic matter and high aluminum content, which are, covered by forests. The other soils occur on marshy depressions, with abundant organic matter. The latter are found between the Rivers Putumayo and San Miguel, generally behind the natural dikes of the largest rivers, the River Cuyabeno and River Aguas Negras.

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Hydrology of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

The most important rivers within the reserve are the Rivers G?ppi, Cuyabeno, Lagarto, Z?alo, Zancudo, Pacuyacu and Yanayacu, which all originate in the lower Amazon  around 300 masl and flowing into the River Aguarico. Among the most important tributaries: Tarapuy, Aguas Negras, Balatayacu and Quebrada Hormiga.

 

The Cuyabeno River crosses the Reserve from northeast to southeast. North of the Aguarico River are two systems which together have 13 lakes, the largest of which, Cuyabeno Lake measure some 2 km. During the dry season, they can fall completely dry. The water in the lakes have a dark color, due to the decomposition of organic plant material. The largest lake of the entire reserve is Zancudo Coche, south of the Aguarico River.

 

The Lagartococha River black water watershed: Formed by the Imuya River, the Lagartococha River, the Lakes Imuya, Redondococha, Delfincocha, Lagartococha and numerous smaller lakes and  (30) ponds.

 

Lake Zancudococha: It is the largest lake in eastern Ecuador. It pours into the River Aguarico via the Zancudo River. The Zancudo Cocha Quichua community also manages a tourism camp at Lagarto Cocha.

 

The four aquatic ecosystems of the reserve are:

  • "coffee-and-milk" coloured sediment-rich rivers, the largest being the R? Aguarico;
  • "black-water" sediment-poor rivers, like the tributaries to the R? Cuyabeno;
  • permanent lakes that rarely fall dry, primarily Zancudo Coche along the R? Aguarico;
  • semi-permanent lakes - the largest being the Cuyabeno Lake - that most of the years fall at least partly dry.
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    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: The Z?alo River is one of the few black water rivers in the Ecuadorian Amazon. CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: The black water of the Z?alo River mixes with the white water (rather coffee with milk) of the River Aguarico which is loaded with sediment.

    Black water River .

    Black water mixes with sediment loaded water.

     

    The average temperature is 25 ? C; the average annual rainfall is about 3,400 mm. See our climate page.

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    Conservation Status of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

    Cuyabeno was decreed on July 26, 1979 Ministerial Agreement No. 322, Official Register of November 20, 1979 r. O. No. 69. Total area 590,112 ha; Altitudinal range 326 - 177 masl. A management plan dates to 1993, but probably a newer one exists.

     

    Not only from a biologically but also culturally. there are 7 indigenous communities in the reserve belonging to five tribes: Sionas, Secoyas, Cofanes, Quichuas and Shuaras. The communities that are on the banks of River Cuyabeno are: Puerto Bolivar, Tarapuy (Sionas); Pucape? (Secoya), Playas de Cuyabeno and Zancudo (Quichuas). On the banks of River Aguarico are: Z?alo (Cof?), Taikiua and Charapa (Shuaras). The Sionas and Secoyas are relatively old settlements in the Reserve, while the others settled relatively recently. These communities date back to approximately the 1960s. Previously to that period, the Sionas, Secoyas and Cofans probably were semi-nomads, who wandered through the Putumayo, San Miguel and Aguarico watersheds. After the settlement of the Ecuadorian Amazon region by small-holders from the mountains, these groups established themselves permanently.

     

    The Cofans have best conserved their customs and traditions and still have a considerable knowledge of the plants, animals and ancestors. More than two decades ago, this community migrated from the upper Aguarico, escaping an invasion by settlers of its original village. Indigenous communities still use many products of the jungle, trey practice small scale farming and are involved in ecotourism, particularly in providing the transportation needs with their canoes, while the Cofans have their own Cofan Lodge.

     

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Learning how to shoot a blow gun.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: The Cofan shaman with children of the village and visitors.

    Learning how to shoot a blow gun.

    The Cofan shaman with children of the village and visitors.

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    Things to do

    The Ministry only allows tours accompanied by licensed naturalist guides. Most of the tours are made entering the reserve by its main entrance "El Puente" at a distance of 2 hours from Lagoagrio. From there, motorized canoes take you on an astonishing ride along the winding Upper Cuyabeno River to Lake Cuyabeno, which is surrounded by a dozen lodges.

     

    It is also possible to enter by navigating the Aguarico River, on the Cuyabeno Loop, a route that takes more time, but that shows the immensity of the Amazon rainforest and the system of rivers, lakes, marshes and flooded areas.

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    Vegetation of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

    The flora is among the most diverse of the planet, with more than 12 000 species distributed in different ecosystems and each of them with different ecological characteristics and particularities. It is unknown how many species grow in the reserve. However, Ecuador's Red Book records some 47 species endemic to the reserve. Among the species that stand out are: Unonopsis magnifolia, Astrocaryum urostachys, spearhead, Columnea tenensis, Besleria miniata; Miconia hylophila, Cousarea spiciformis, Pourouma petiolulata, and 10 species belonging to the orchid family such as: Eltroplectris rosii, Maxillaria neilli, Palmorchis imuyaensis, etc.

     

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: pink flowers along the river.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: White orchid.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: yellow orchids.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: pink orchids.

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Heliconia flowers.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: heliconia flowers in the Amazon.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]:  helic?ia flowers in Cuyabeno.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: helic?ia flowers in Ecuador.

     

    There are five major vegetation ecosystems:

     

     

    Humid tropical lowland evergreen forest, well drained: A very diverse forest, with three vegetation strata canopy (30 m), lower trees (15-25 m) and  a ground layer of herbs and low shrubs. The canopy occasionally has trees with heigher trees, up to 40 m, like the chuncho (Cedrelinga cataeniformis). No species in particular dominates the vegetation, which is characteristic of the humid tropical forest.

     

    Palms in these well-drained forests are not abundant. Characteristic species include Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) and guayacan (Tabebuia chrysantha) which used to be common in these forests, but today it is difficult to find them as they are very valuabe and have been cut along the rivers. Other Species of this formation are guarango (Parkia multijuga), ceiba (Ceiba pentandra), rubber, Hevea guianensis, Guadua cane (Guadua angustifolia, shimbillo (Abarema laeta),  Strangler fig (Psittacanthus cucullaris), ungurahua (Oenocarpus bataua), palo de cruz (Brownea grandiceps), quince or python (Grias neuberthi), cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa), huito (Genipa spruceana), dragon's blood (Croton lechleri), Eucharis formosa, copal (Protium nodulosum), Lemon ants Tree (Duroia hirsuta), whose hollow branches are inhabited by ants that produce citric acid, protecting the tree from predators.

     

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: The mouth of the Cuyabeno River, frequently visited by dolphins.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: The highest canopy tower of Cuyabeno Reserve with view on the coranas of the trees.

    The mouth of the Cuyabeno River, frequently visited by dolphins.

    The highest canopy tower of Cuyabeno Reserve with view on the coranas of the trees.

     

    Tropical evergreen humid lowland forest, frequently inundated: Found mainly along the Rivers Aguarico and San Miguel, where the forests often get flooded for several days. Numerous streams cross the forests and lots of fallen trees are on the ground. In good condition the forest may get as high as 30-40 m. Important species are Calycophyllum spruceanun, hen's blood (Otoba parvifolia), Ficus insipida, Iriartea deltoidea, toquilla straw (Cardulovica palmata, Cyclanthus bipartitus), Adam's ribs (Monstera dilacerata), sanango (Abuta grandifolia), ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi). Along the river banks are Inga punctata, Guarea guidonia and Balsa (Ochroma pyramidale), a tree characteristic of secondary and recovering lowland forests.

     

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: vines can spread along several tree canopies.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: you can clearly see that very few plants grow on the dark soil of the rainforest, while vines race up towards the canopy.

    Examples of tropical vines or lianas, as they are often referred to in the rainforest. In the photo on the right you can clearly see that very few plants grow on the dark soil of the rainforest, while vines race up towards the canopy.

     

    Tropical evergreen humid lowland forest, seasonally inundated:

    Found on very poorly drained plains, with trees up to 25 m. They occur primarily on the plains along the Rivers Cuyabeno, Lagarto, Zancudo and Z?alo. In the rainy season, the water may get as high as of 3-4 m in these forests, while during the dry season even the lakes may fall dry. Diversity is much lower as compared to lowland forests. Common species are: along the lake shores Macrolobium acaciifolium, pambil, (Iriartea deltoidea), tagua (Phytelephas tenuicaulis), Astrocaryum jauari, Bactris concinna, Chamaedorea sp. Other characteristic species are Coussapoa trinervia, Guatteria sp., Herrania nitida, Theobroma bicolor; Vismia sp., Balsa (Myroxylum balsamum), saniyura (Picramnia sellowii), Heliconia orthotricha, Vriesea dubia and a variety of ferns.

     

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Travel upstream the Cuyabeno River during the Cuyabeno Loop. CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Macrolobium trees in the swamps of Lake Cuyabeno overgrown with epiphytes.

     Travel upstream the Cuyabeno River during the Cuyabeno Loop.

    Macrolobium trees in the swamps of Lake Cuyabeno overgrown with epiphytes.

     

    Tropical evergreen humid lowland forest, semi-permanently inundated, dominated by palms:

    Poorly drained, the vegetation is dominated by canangucho palms (Mauritia flexuosa) or Scheleea brachyclada. Many plants and animals depend on these palms for food and shelter. You can also find Triplaris weigeltiana, Euterpe precatoria; cordoncillo(Peperomia serpens), "Black Lips" (Blakea bracteata).

     

    Semi-permanently inundated forests flooded by black-water rivers, or igap?(Pires and Prance, 1985), dominated by macrolobium trees:

    Macrolobium trees - often growing not higher than some 8m-, some palms and shrub, submerged most of the time make up the vegetation. The former are covered with blankets of epiphytes, and homes to herons, blue and yellow macaws and hoatzins;

     

    Submerged herbal vegetation:

    Found along lake and river shores, they consist of rooted water plants and shrubs that endure long-term submergion. Common are (Cyperus odoratus), Montrichardia linifera, Saggitaria sp. and certain species of the families Onagraceae, Pontediraceae and Polygonaceae.

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    Mammals of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

    Approximately 1,400 species of vertebrates call Cuyabeno home: ?165 of mammals, ?540 of birds, ?100 of amphibians, ?100 of reptiles, ?475 of fish.

     

    Of the 165 species of mammals, bats are the most abundant. In order of abundance: fruit bats of the genera Artibeus, Sturnira and Carollia are most abundant, followed by fishing bats (Noctilio sp.), insectivore bats (Rhinchonycteris sp.), Pollen eating bats, hematophages, etc. Probably, the largest bat of the Americas, Vampyrum spectrum, is also present.

     

    More conspicuous mammals are: Jaguar, Panthera Onca, Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), (Eira barbara), Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris), capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), giant armadillos (Priodontes maximus); Collared Picary (Pecari tajacu), Whiteliped Peccary (Tayassu pecari), anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), Giant Otter (Chironectes minimus), (Caluromys lanatus). Monkeys include the pocket monkey (Callithrix pygmaea), the second smallest pirmate in the world, the black or yellow-headed cotyledon (Callicebus torquatus), chorongos (Lagothrix lagotricha), howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus), barizos (Saimiri sciureus). Check out the complete mammal list of Ecuador.

     

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: jaguars are rarely seen but omnipresent.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Ocelot cats are common but rarely seen.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: White-nosed Coatis are common in the Amazon.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Neotropic otters frequent the waters of the Amazon.

     

    Aquatic mammals are common, including: Pink dolphin (Innia geoffrensis), Grey dolphin, Giant otter (Pteronura brasilensis) and manatee (Trichechus inunguis).

     

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Pink Dolphins, Inia geoffrensis, can be recognized by its dorsal fin in the form of a hump.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Grey Amazon Dolfins are recognized by their shark-shaped dorsal fin.

    Pink Dolphins, Inia geoffrensis, can be recognized by its dorsal fin in the form of a hump. Particularly males may be pink, but often in Cuyabeno are quite gray. The Amazonian Pink Dolphin can turn its head 90 degrees each way.

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    Birds of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

    About 540 species have recorded for the reserve; 17 are considered threatened, 31 are rare, 3 are very rare: common gull (Sterna hirundo), (Brotogeris sanctihomae) and (Geotrygon violacea), and possibly an extinct species Crax globulosa. Among the most important species are: macaws (Ara ararauna, A. macao) which can live up to to 30 or 40 years; (Chrysoptilus punctigula), Common Potoo (Mothotus momota), (Crotophaga sp.) colonizing bird of open areas, (Penelope jacquacu), masked tangara (Ramphocelus nigrogularis), toucans (Ramphastos vitelinus), kingfishers (Megaceryle torquata), Pigme kingfisher (Chloroceryle aenea) the smallest of kingfishers, etc.

     

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Scarlet Macaws are more common along the Zabalo River.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Silver egrets are widespread but less common.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Chestnut-fronted Macaws are among the smallest macaws of the jungle.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Common Potoos rarely fly up, as they count on their splendid mimicri.

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Blue and Yellow Macaws frequent the Cuyabeno Lake. CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Muscovy ducks you see in North America came originally from the Amazon.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Mealy Parrots are common in Cuyabeno.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]:  Hoatzins are primitive birds that frequent the Cuyabeno Lake swamps.

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    Other critters

    Reptiles of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

    Among the reptiles we mention first of all the anaconda (Eunectes murinus) for which the reserve was famous already back in 1975, when I first visited it. Supposedly there were giants of up to 6 m. The good news is, such giants are still there. The Boa constrictor, which has more of a reputation, than actual size, with a maximum of no more than 3m is there. Other snakes are, (Corallus caninus), living exclusively on trees, green snakes (Pseustes sulphureus), (Bothriopsis bilineata), the infamous Equis (Bothrops atrox), the Wart snake, (Lachesis muta) the largest venomous snake in America (4.5 m long).

     

    The turtles include: charapa (Podocnemis unifilis) a species hunted for its meat and its eggs, motelo (denticulated Chelonoides) and tapaculo (Kinostermon scorpioides). Among the caimans we have: (Caiman crocodilus), Specticled Caiman  and dwarf caiman (Paloesuchus trigonatus). There are also lizards like Guichenot iguana (Enyalioides laticeps); Geckos like (Gonatodes concinnatus), which are very common in houses; and the Tropidurus flaviceps a strictly arboreus species.

     

    Amphibians of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

    Among the amphibian species we can mention the Giant Toad, Leptodactylus pentadactylus, poisonous toads, Epipedobates bilinguis, which cares for and tags along its tadpoles to a water source, leaf frog, Phyllomedusa vaillanti, Dendrophyniscus minutus, and tree frogs like, Cruziohyla craspedopus, Hypsiboas granosus, and Dendropsophus triangulum. Other amphibians include salamanders, like (Bolitoglossa equatoriana).

     

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Green tree frog.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Giant Amazon Toad. CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: salamander in the Amazon.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Frog hunting for insects.

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    Fishes of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

    Studies of the Aguarico basin indicate that there are over 475 species of fish, which is the highest known diversity of species in any of Ecuador's watersheds. Most common are white piranha (Serrasalmus cf. Humeralis), paco (Colossoma dibens), a large fish characterized by having a double row of teeth very sharp teeth, and very popular. Other species include (Aequidens sp.), that live in the Lakes Lagartococha, Limoncocha and other stagnant water bodies. Further: Paiche (Arapaima gigas), tetra (Bryconops caudomaculatus), leporin (Leporinus trifasciatus), barbudo (Pimelodus sp.), (Caenotropus labyrinthicus), (Calophysus macropterus), Catfish, some of which may grow up to several meters (Pimelodella sp.), Hacha (Thoracocharax stellatus), carachama (Hypostomus sp.),  (Leporellus vittatus), (Heterocharax macrolepis) and trahira (Hoplerythrinus unitaeniatus). Fishing is no longer allowed in parks, except for indigenous people who can fish for personal use.

     

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: This Sucker-mouth Catfish is a new species for science. CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Peacock Bass are great predator fish in the rivers.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Bristle Nose Catfish are bottom dwellers that explore with their wiskers.CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Bagres, giant Catfish, are prized catches for their delicious meat.

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]:  Indian family out fishing. CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: pira? in Cuyabeno.

    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE [ECUADOR's AMAZON]: Paiches have survived from paleontic times and are among the greatest acquatic preditors of the Amazon.

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    Getting there

    To enter into the park you will always have to join a program of a tour operator. We like to recommend these services.

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    Best Tours

    For the best tours we refer you to our page Cuyabeno Programs and other great programs in Cuyabeno National Reserve.

    CUYABENO, GETTING THERE AND BACK

    There are 3 options to travel to the Amazon Lowlands:

    • Take the night bus on the Putumayo bus cooperative from Quito to the Cuyabeno Reserve (usually leaves at 11 at night) from the "Terminal Carcelen (Norte)"  in Quito and arrive in Lagoagrio the next day. Another option is from the "terminal Quitumbe (Sur). As a result of major construction works it now takes about 13 hours. It costs about $ 25 one way and you have to leave from your hotel in Quito to the terminal  an hour before departure (by taxi).

    • Fly Quito - Lagoagrio, which about $ 200 round trip, but it takes 2 X $25 to take a taxi to Quito airport. The flight usually leaves at 9 in the morning, and takes 30 minutes to arrive. After getting your luggage, it will be 10:30. We'll pick you up at the airport.

    • Fly Quito - Coca, which about $ 180 round trip, but it takes 2 X $25 to take a taxi to Quito airport. The flight usually leaves at 9 in the morning, and takes 30 minutes to arrive. After getting your luggage, it will be 10:30. This fight is great for the Yasuní - Napo River Cruise and the Lagartococha tour. We can coordinate a 3 hours private transportation to Cuyabeno for $60 with a minimum of 2 persons.

    • Take our Private Trans-Andean bus Transportation to Coca and the Cuyabeno Reserve. It 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.

    Routes of the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve and Yasuní programs of Parks and Tribes / Cofan Lodge:

    • Cuyabeno Lake Area including our new 1 Day Trip;

    • Lagarto Coche Expedition Leaving from Nuevo Rocafuerte at the border with Peru;

    • Cuyabeno Loop;

    • Yasuní - Napo River Expedition.

     

    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 has collapsed into a sinkhole and is no longer accessible.

     

    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 lava 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 to get to the reserve.

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

    Lagoagrio airport.Cayambe Volcano right on the Equator.

    Arrival at the airport of Coca.

    On a clear day one can see the Antisana Volcano, as you fly passed it.

     

    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 cancellation.

     

    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 cancellation fee of $100.

     

    WHAT IS ESSENTIAL TO BRING?

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

     

    2023 COFAN LODGE / CUYABENO LODGE / PARKS AND TRIBES PRICES

    PARKS AND TRIBES AMAZON PROGRAMS

    CUYABENO DAY TRIP

    DURATION STAY

    Prices in US$

    1 DAY

    $ 99

    Discounts for families with children

    NAPO RIVER CRUISE

    DURATION STAY

    Prices per person in US$

    3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS

    $ 450

    LAGARTO COCHA EXPEDITION

    DURATION STAY

    Prices per person in US$

    4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS

    $ 450

    Departure from Nuevo Rocafuerte at the border with Peru. There is a daily rapid public boat services between Coca and Nuevo Rocafuerte for about $50 (not included).

     

    Prices are based on a minimum of 2 passengers.

    COFAN LODGE PROGRAMS

    COFAN LODGE STANDARD PROGRAM

    DURATION STAY

    Prices per person in US$

    4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS

    $ 499

    Prices are based on a minimum of 2 passengers.

     

    CUYABENO LOOP

    DURATION STAY

    Prices per person 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.

     

    CUYABENO LODGE PROGRAMS

    CUYABENO LODGE STANDARD PROGRAM

    DURATION

    Prices per person in US$

    3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS

     

    Standard room (17 m2, private bathroom, shared balcony)

    $ 280

    Standard room Plus (±20 m2, private bathroom, shared balcony)

    $ 350

    Deluxe room (25m2, private bathroom, private balcony in the tower)

    $ 370

    Suite (36m2, private bathroom, private balcony)

    $ 390

     

     

    4 DAYS / 3 NIGHTS

     

    Shared budget room (Dormitory shared among 4 people, shared bathrooms)

    $ 280

    Standard room (17 m2, private bathroom, shared balcony)

    $ 390

    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 per person 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)

    $ 420

    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 from or to Quito. Group Price for parties of 2 - 7 to the park entrance (minivan) who share the costs.

    $ 300

    One way Coca to Park entrance per taxi (Japanes size). Minimum 2 maximum 4 A 6 persons minivan is also available.Luggage capacity for carry-ons only.

    $ 120 / $150

     

    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.

     

    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.

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    CUYABENO WILDLIFE RESERVE ECUADOR

    PARKS AND TRIBES, Agencia de viajes

    Calle Las Casas, Intersección: Jose Coudrin, 2 Cuadras sobre la Occidental

    Cantón Quito, Prov. Pichincha, Parroquia Belisario Quevedo

    Teléfono Quito: (++593)(02) 2 2324 4086, Celular: (++593) (0) 99 283 2187 Teléfono EEUU: (++)1 304 901 0718

    Correo: info@parks-and-tribes.com