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PARKS AND TRIBES

 

CUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR

Cuyabeno National Park , Ecuador: Why better wildlife viewing:

  1. Imagine yourself exploring the Amazon rainforest. Of course, you really want to see wildlife. But only in Cuyabeno you actually get to see it. This is why: Most wildlife moves about through the canopy of the trees. From where you are on the ground, your vision is limited, because the undergrowth and the leaves are in your way. From the relative darkness where you are on the ground, you get blinded when you look up towards the canopy. That makes it difficult to distinguish the characteristics of the birds and mammals;

  2. From the ground, the canopy of the Amazon jungle looks almost black and distinguishing fauna that moves around at 35 m above the ground is almost impossible, except for highly experienced birdwatchers. The contrast between the canopy and the light of the sky is blinding;

  3. From the water, however, birding is great, because trees along the creeks are lower and also, many birds and mammals like to move about edges of the forest, not surprisingly, among them of course many water birds. The light shines on the trees from the side and you are not blinded by light overhead. Moreover, from a canoe, one can explore the rainforest comfortably watching wildlife from a seat with your camera, binoculars and a bird guide at hand;

  4. As wildlife observation must take place very early in the morning, it is paramount to be in the heart of the location of observation. In the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, the Cuyabeno Lodge is on a peninsula on the border of the Laguna Cuyabeno, right in the heart of the lake system, while visitors coming from other lodges must first travel at least 45 minutes to get to the lake.

These facts make the Cuyabeno National Park one of the best, if not the best Amazon National Park in the world, where one can see more different species of animals and flowers per day than in any other Amazon park.

 

 

The location within the Cuyabeno National Park also is of the essence:

As bird and wildlife observation is best very early in the morning, it is paramount to be right in the heart of the best place for observing animals. In the Cuyabeno, this is the Cuyabeno Lake system. The Cuyabeno Lodge is on a seasonal island, right in the heart of the lake system, while visitors coming from most other lodges must first travel 30 to 45 minutes to get to the lake. According to Tripadvisor, our Cuyabeno Lodge is the best Amazon Rainforest eco lodge in Ecuador!

 

CUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR, FACTS: Virgin Forest.CUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR, FACTS: Morning mist.

 

Visibility on the ground within the Amazon forests is poor, making exploring the Amazon rainforest more difficult as one is blinded looking up while having to permanently having to watch where one walks. This makes wildlife observation much more difficult.

 

CUYABENO OR YASUNI & MANY OTHER FAQ: Cofan lodge during your Amazon visit in Ecuador.CUYABENO LAGUNA GRANDE TURISMO DAYTRIP $99 [SUCUMBIOS]: Pajareras en el Amazonas.

 

Watching birds, flowers and mammals from narrow rivers is better as trees along the creeks are lower and the sunlight penetrates to illuminate the river banks. Moreover, wildlife observation and photography from the water is much more convenient and effective, as one always has his/her binoculars, camera and birdbook at hand, as opposed to when one is walking through the forest.

 

CUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR, FACTS: Blue and Yellow Macaw at Cuyabeno Wildlife ReserveYASUNI NATIONAL PARK TOUR: Bromelias are mostly epiphytes.

 

The beauty of the Amazon jungle is in the small details. There are up to 580 species of birds, many of them incredibly beautiful, while flowers, such as orchids and bromeliads decorate the forest.

 

CUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR, FACTS: Location of the Cuyabeno Amazon Jungle Lodge in Ecuador

 

Cuyabeno National Park Facts

With or About 150 long and 50 km wide, the reserve covers 590,912 hectares (5,901 km2 or 2,330 square miles) of mostly pristine Amazon jungle as you can see on Google Earth above. The Cuyabeno Lodge is only a few hundreds of meters away from the equator.

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE the official map:

 

 

Rivers of the Cuyabeno National Park

The Reserve incorporates most of the Rio Cuyabeno watershed which drains into the Aguarico River; About 60 km down stream, along the Río Aguarico, is the Zancudo Cocha Lake and further down stream are the Lagarto Cocha Lakes along the border with Peru. At a gradually sloping elevation form 300 in the East and 200 m at the border with Peru, the Reserve is covered with humid tropical rainforest.

 

CUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR, FACTS: Low water at Cuyabeno LakeCUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR, FACTS: Cuyabeno National Park during the dry season

 

Climate and Weather

The climate in the "Oriente" of Ecuador is varies between 3500mm at the airport of Lagoagrio and probably about 3200 mm near the border with Peru while average temperatures fluctuate between 24 C and 26 C. However, these values are very coarse and temperatures are lower in the foothills of the Andes, where the Cuyabeno Lakes are located. For instance the temperature runs up to 27 C in Leticia, in the eastern Colombian Amazon. Average Amazon rainfall also shows a strong west-east gradient, with average values decreasing towards the east.

CUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR, FACTS: Climate Lagoagrio.CUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR, FACTS: Weather data Lagoagrio.

Precipitation is the lowest in December, with an average of about 200 mm. Most rainfall falls in June, with an average of 345 mm.

At an average temperature of 25.7 °C, November is somewhat warmer, while the average temperatures in July are a bit lower at 24.1 °C. It is the lowest average temperature of the whole year.

 

Ecology and Species

There are the following 8 macro-ecosystems:

  1. frequently flooded forests or swamps;

  2. dwarf forests semi-permanently flooded by black-water rivers;

  3. poorly drained lowland forests;

  4. well-drained forest, located on undulating terrain;

  5. "coffee-with_milk" coloured sediment-rich rivers;

  6. black water rivers;

  7. semi-permanent lakes;

  8. permanent lakes.

The internal rivers and creeks are black-water ecosystems; however, during heavy rains they become laden with sediments and may become lighter to a "coffee with milk" color.

 

With some 580 of bird species, Cuyabeno is a world hot spot for birdwatchers. There are also many mammals tha call Cuyabeno home, such as dolphins, manatees, 10 primates, including the night monkey, the second smallest monkey on earth, many bats and rodents, varying from the world's largest, the Capybara to many small ones. Hoofed animals are include tapirs, two species of peccary and deer. Tree dwelling mammals include Sloths and Ant Eaters. Predotars include various South American cats, including jaguar and Puma.

 

When the United Nations project selected the protected areas of Ecuador in 1975, Cuyabeno was known for its 6 m giant Anacondas, occasionally reaching 9 m. With the better protection, big anacondas are seen relatively frequently, sometimes with the visible remains of an animal. Some of the turtles may grow to 1/2 meter, while yellow-legged tortoises roam the land. Moreover, many smaller snakes, lizards, geckos and iguanas are found in the park. Amphibians are everywhere, but hard to spot. The fish fauna of Cuyabeno is extremely diverse and includes the pirañas, enormous catfish, electrical eels, prehistoric paiches and small colorful fishes.

 

CUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR, FACTS: Yellow Handed Titi Monkey at Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.CUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR, FACTS: Squirl Monkeys at Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.

Of the 19 monkeys of Ecuador, 10 species occur in Cuyabeno National Park.

 

CUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR, FACTS: Amazon Manatee at Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.CUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR, FACTS: Amazon Dolphin at Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.

The Cuyabeno Rivers and Lakes are visited by Amazon Dolphins and  occasionally by Manatees.

 

The Cuyabeno and Cofan Lodges, are located for exploring the park. Our programs famous for the quality of our tours with great guides who know their birds, mammals and plants. Check our Cuyabeno Lodge rates.

 

CUYABENO NATIONAL PARK, ECUADOR, FACTS: Canopy Tower.

Cuyabeno National Park, Canopy tower

 

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.

 

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