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LAGARTOCOCHA ECUADOR IN CUYABENO RESERVE AT BORDER WITH PERU. Unmatched wildlife viewing at the Lagartococha River in most remote and wildest Amazon of Ecuador

Is Lagartococha in Cuyabeno Reserve at Peruvian border the best place to discover the Amazon?

YES! This is why...

When walks through the jungle, wildlife overhead in the canopy are difficult to distinguish. When you look up there is not much to see. The leaves are dark against the light sky, appearing almost black.  Along narrow rivers though, light can penetrate through the forest allowing you to see birds and other animal. This allows you to watch birds, flowers and mammals much better, from the comfort of your canoe.


So what makes Lagartococha so special...

  • The only nature reserve in the Amazon-Andean countries with plains in the near-Andes Amazon region. The slow-flowing Lagarto Cocha River and Lagartococha lakes lie in a huge swamp system in flat terrain unique in the Andes-Amazon countries. This makes our Lagartococha, Ecuador tour, so unusual;

  • With such abundance of water, you will get to see lots of water-bound animals like: Dolphins, Manatees, paiches, Capybaras, Caymans, Ducks, Cormorants, Herons, etc.;

  • Watching animals from a boat is much more comfortable than on foot. Your birding and mammals books, your binoculars and your camera are all easily at your disposition;

  • It is located in a tri-national marsh and swamp system op protected areas in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia, together about 1.5 million hectares;

  • Getting tourists to Ecuador and providing them with proper hosting and food is a major challenge, so very tourists ever go there; As a result you will find the most wildlife from any location in the Amazon of Ecuador.


But there is more...

  • Getting to the border with Peru from Coca takes just 4 hours in high velocity speed boats;

  •  Our programs are organized in collaboration with a small Secoya tribes, at the border, who will host your stay;

  • All programs are so child friendly, I took my grandchildren there. Wao, did they love it!



Lagartococha, Ecuador, Day one

We meet you in Lagoagrio to bring you to the Eastern port from where Amazon River Cruises depart to Peru and beyond.


AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Transportation from Lago Agrio to Cuyabeno.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Cuyabeno Park Entrance, "The Bridge".

Our transport meets you in Lagoagrio to bring you in about 2 hours to the main entrance of the park.

Main entrance ranger station "Cuyabeno Bridge", where visitors enter the canoes to the Cuyabeno Lake area.


Starting in the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, your adventurous Amazon River Cruise really takes off, as we take you along the beautiful winding Cuyabeno River to reach our Cuyabeno Lodge. It's a fascinating ride on this tributary of the Amazon River, that will take you  first to the largest lake in the reserve, the Laguna Cuyabeno also known as Laguna Grande. This is the perfect spot to experience the upper Amazon River of Ecuador, as our Cuyabeno Lodge is one of the few accommodation located on any of the seven lakes of the Cuyabeno river system.


AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Visitors on their way to the Cuyabeno Lodge. AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Navigating down the upper Cuyabeno River.

Our canoe takes you on a cruise down the winding, narrow upper Amazon River branch, the Cuyabeno.


AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Cuyabeno Lodge seen from the air.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Cuyabeno Lodge welcome sign.

Until you reach the Cuyabeno Lodge at a seasonal island in Lake Cuyabeno.

The welcome sign of the Cuyabeno Lodge.


AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Modern showers at the Cuyabeno Lodge. AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Looking down at the Cuyabeno Lodge from the canopy tower.

Upon arrival you can take a refreshing shower in your cabin.....

and take a look over the premises from the Cuyabeno Lodge Canopy Tower.


AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Relaxing on the deck of the Cuyabeno Lodge.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Taking a plonge at the Cuyabeno Lake.

After which you can relax on the deck, or....

take a refreshing swim in the lake.


AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: the cosy restaurant of the Cuyabeno Lodge.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Comfortable rooms at the Cuyabeno Lodge.

At night enjoy a delicious meal in the Cuyabeno Lodge restaurant.

All beds have mosquito netting.


Lagartococha, Ecuador, Days 2 and 3

As birds are most active at dawn, you may start out your day with birdwatching before or right after breakfast with our experienced guide. Blue and Yellow Macaws fly noisily across the Cuyabeno Lake, while Hoatzins whisper their hoarse sounds as they brows the leaves of the Macrolobium trees. 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 RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: In Ecuador, birding is for all ages.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: The electric excursion canoe of the Cuyabeno Lodge.

Birdwatching early in the morning.

Exploring Lake Cuyabeno from a dugout canoe. For the short distances we like to use peddles instead of a motor or use our brand new whispering electrical motor.


AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Chesnut-fronted Parrots are common in the Amazon.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Patoos are so well-camouflaged, they are rarely flushed from their roosts.

Chestnut-fronted Parrots are among the 550 species known to Cuyabeno.

The Common Patoo is so well camouflaged, it hardly ever leaves its day-roost when approached by visitors.


After breakfast experience the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador in the "terra firma" forest with your naturalist guide where you can learn about the forest's medicinal plants and traditions. There are many colorful flowers in the Cuyabeno Nature Reserve, but it takes a bit of an effort to find them. Orchids and Heliconias are among the more spectacular Amazon Forest Plants.


AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Panama Flame tree Brownea macrophylla have their flowers come straight out of the trunc.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Pink flowering bush at the Cuyabeno Lodge.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Pink flowers along the Cuyabeno River.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Bright orchid are very popular among the Amazon rainforest plants.

Some of the spectacular flowers of Cuyabeno.


AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Giant hollow fig tree.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Amazon fresh water crab.

A giant tree in the better-drained "tierra firma.

At a distance of 3000 km from the sea, there are fresh water crabs, high up in the Amazon watershed. Are they there from ancient days when the Amazon was under the Atlantic Ocean, or did they adapt to fresh water and migrated upstream? Any way, they now live on land in the tierra firma.


One of the afternoons, you will be taken to a Siona village, where you will learn about Siona cooking and traditional food from their kitchen garden. Each time a different woman of the community will give an explanation so that they will all get a turn.


AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Kitchen gardens of the Sionas have many stapel food crops, like cacao.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Siona woman cooking on traditional fire box.

Live in the the Secoya community: The Secoya Kitchen garden includes all sorts of staple food, like manioc and even cacao.


Secoya woman showing the traditional way of cooking on a fire in a fire box.


At night you will be taken on night excursions, some - by canoe - to look for nocturnal animals in the swamps, like Caymans and frogs.


AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: on a night excursion in Cuyabeno.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Amazon whip spider Amblypygi are clawed spiders without scorpion tail or poison

A night excursion to experience the critters of the night.

Whip spiders are related to the spiders, but but still very distinct. They are among the many critters of the jungle you only get to see at night.


AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Enjoying the view from the Cuyabeno Lodge landing dock.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Bonsai shaped Macrolobium trees at sunset.

The Cuyabeno Lodge landing dock offers a fabulous view over the Cuyabeno Lake and is a favorite hangout for many of our guests.

The famous bonsai shaped Macrolobium trees of Lagartococha at sun set.


AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Anacondas are infamous Amazon Jungle animalsAMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: There are 3 species of Caiman in the Amazon.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Yellow butterflies swarming around a salt lick.AMAZON RIVER CRUISE ECUADOR: Ring-tailed Coati, Nasua nasua, is a common inhabitant of the Amazon.

Some of the fascinating wild animals of the Cuyabeno Lake area.


Lagartococha, Ecuador, Day 4


On day four you will experience the feel of so many of our visitors: "It all went by too quickly". Maybe you will become one of our frequent visitors that keep coming back for a special program of one or two weeks. Anyway, you will have to leave in the morning to get back on time to catch the plane or bus in Lago Agrio. You will ride the canoe up the Cuyabeno River to the bridge, where your transport will be waiting for you to bring you to the airport or to the bus station for your return to Quito.



Lagartococha, Ecuador, Days 4 and 5

Days 4 and 5 are like days 3 and 4 if the 4 DAYS CUYABENO LODGE TOUR. The 5 DAYS CUYABENO LODGE TOUR offers a fantastic opportunity to really experience the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador and get to know the Cuyabeno Lake area more thoroughly while spending a bid more relaxation time at our wonderful lodge.


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.


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.




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.


We hope will meet you in person on one an Lagartococha tour, Ecuador and enjoy the beautiful Amazon region.



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viaje a Cuyabeno


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

admirando la increíble vida silvestre


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


admirando las increíbles aves


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 Lagartococha!



Price: from $ 450

4 days

Laguna Cuyabeno


The Cuyabeno Lake Programs 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:  $ 410

4 - 5 days


Chimborazo con Lamas


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 Vecuñas and Lamas, the highest active volcano in the world, the Cotopaxi.



Price: from $1149

5 days

Cascada San Rafael


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.

Precio: $ 1999

9 days


Bartelome ent Galapagos


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



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.

Precio: $ 1199

7 días

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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