Canoe the Cuyabeno River

About this Adventure




Fact File:
Duration: 5 days
Price: 213 GBP




Hike in the jungle, paddle through flooded forests and visit local indigenous communities on a tour that will blow your socks off.

The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve in Ecuador is a protected area of Amazonian tropical rainforest. The reserve is a complex of rivers, lagoons and floating forest, characterised by intense biodiversity and navigable waterways. Canoeing along these waterways is a great way to see the reserve and to catch sight of the amazing wildlife.

This wildlife is amazing, it includes river dolphins, caiman, tapirs, anacondas, ocelot and the notorious piranha as well as more than 500 species of bird. The Cuyabeno is also the historical homelands of three indigenous tribes, the Sionas, the Cofanes and Secoyas.

Exploring the flooded forests and the Cuyabeno River by canoe, spotting birds and wildlife as you paddle is an amazing adventure. On dry land, you will have the opportunity to explore the jungle on foot, hiking through the primary forest with your guide who will teach you about how the plants of the forest are used in everyday life by indigenous people.

There is also the chance to visit the communities of the indigenous tribes and discover how they live and how modern life is beginning to encroach on their traditional way of life.

For more information please continue on to the itinerary:

Day One: Cuabeno River – Tiger Pass Campsite
Leave Lago Agrio in the morning and travel to the Cuyabeno River bridge (the Park entrance) in private transport (3 hours). From the bridge you paddle by canoe down the Cuyabeno River to the Tiger Pass campsite, a beautiful spot in the midst of lush forest (3 hours). On the way, you will see the wide range of flora and fauna that live in the primary forest. Finish the day with a night walk in search of nocturnal creatures and spend the night camping out in tents.

Day Two: Laguna Grande Lake – Magic River Camp
Continue paddling downstream to the River Camp located on the banks of Cuyabeno River (3.5 – 5 hours). The facility consists of rustic jungle huts providing double rooms with beds, private bathroom and showers. In the afternoon you will explore the flooded forest of the Laguna Grande Lake, take a refreshing dip in the lake and watch the sunset.

Day Three: Cuyabeno River
In the morning you will take a longer walk on a small path through primary forest (3 hours). Your guide will explain the uses and applications of plants, those which are medicinal, edible, poisonous or hallucinogenic, and those that are used to build houses and canoes, or to make hammocks and baskets. Later you’ll head back to the camp for a rest. In the evening paddle downstream on the Cuyabeno River by canoe. There are good chances of fishing for the notorious piranha on our way. After dark take a night excursion in search of caimans.

Day Four: Tarapuy – Cuyabeno River
Today visit the cultural center of Tarapuy, the indigenous community of the Siona. Travel by motorized dugout canoe downstream on the Cuyabeno River and have a short hike, for about 2 hours, until you reach the community. Here you get an insight into the Siona culture and their current lifestyle. You will help to make bread from manioc root in a family home. On your way back to the lodge, you pass a gigantic kapoc tree with its immense buttress roots, believed to be about 100 years old.

Day Five: Cuyabeno River – Lago Agrio
Before sunrise you head out in the canoes, paddling along the Cuyabeno River to spot birds. Return to the camp for breakfast. During the morning you take the trip back in the motor canoe. Again there are chances of spotting wildlife on our way to the Cuyabeno River bridge. Your private transport will be waiting to take you back to Lago Agrio, where you arrive in the late afternoon.

To organise this adventure visit Tourdust.

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