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PARKS AND TRIBES

 

AMAZON, ECUADOR, TOURS

 

 

Tours to the Amazon of Ecuador

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.

 

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 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 - 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. We'll pick you up at the airport. This fight is great for the Yasuní - Napo River Cruise. 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 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.

 

2022 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)

$ 250

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

$ 340

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.

 

What is essential to bring?

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

 

PARKS & TRIBES Travel Agency

Street: Las Casas, Side street: Jose Coudrin, 2 blocks above the Occidental Highway

Cantón Quito, Prov. Pichincha, Parroquia Belisario Quevedo

Tel: (++593)(02) 2 2324 4086, Cell phone: (++593) (0) 99 283 2187 Whatsapp: (++)1 304 901 0718

Email: info@parks-and-tribes.com