Explore Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve – 5 days

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the jungle, but you’re traveling on a budget, our Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve experience is the right choice for you. Cuyabeno Wildlife reserve is the second largest protected area in Ecuador and its inundated forests, lakes and creeks are home to a vast range of flora and fauna. We offer itineraries in a variety of jungle lodges in the area which are ideal for getting a true rainforest experience.


Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve covers over 6000 km2 and is home to 500 bird species, more than ten species of monkey and over 300 tree species per hectare. The reserve can be found at the foothills of the andes and water runs from the Andes into a network of inundated forests, lakes and creeks. This is where to come to see pink river dolphins.
Once you’ve chosen to explore Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, your next decision will be which lodge suits you best. Cuyabeno is home to a range of tourist class lodges, which makes it perfect for travelers on a budget. Staying in a lodge is not like staying in a hotel as it involves purchasing an all-inclusive package which includes accommodation, meals and guided activities. Lodges vary in their level of comfort, the type of food on offer, the facilities on offer and by extension their price, but most offer similar activities and itineraries. Some lodges have special features such as observation tower at Tapir Lodge that hovers over the forest canopy.
At TerraDiversa, we recommend five day excursions into the rainforest for first time visitors to give you enough time to really experience the jungle, as the first and last days will be taken up mostly by travel. Some lodges in the area recommend not taking kids under five.

This tour includes

· Transport from nearest airport to lodge (usually combination of canoe and private bus)
· Accommodation
· All meals
· Unlimited water
· Guided excursions e.g.: river and lagoon exploration, swimming, birdwatching, rainforest hikes, visits to local communities, informative talks and conferences

This tour does not include

· Airfare from Quito to nearest airport e.g. Quito-Lago Agrio-Quito (Approx. $190)
· Entrance fees to particular excursions (e.g. Community visit) which are paid locally
· Beverages (neither alcoholic nor non-alcoholic)
· Tips and gratuities
· Optional extras
· Personal expenses
· Any other service not mentioned herein

Sample itinerary (Jamu Lodge)

Day 1 - Quito - Lago Agrio - Jamu Lodge
Arrival in Lago Agrio at 9am. Private transportation to the entrance of Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve and packed lunch. Register and pay entrance to the Reserve. Two hour voyage down River Cuyabeno to Jamu Lodge for arrival around 16:30. Relaxation before heading out for a lagoon swim and to watch the sun set over Laguna Grande. Return to lodge for dinner. Meals included: -/L/D
Day 2 - Rainforest hike & lagoon swim & caiman hunting
3 to 4 hour hike through primary rainforest to kick-start your day and learn about tropical rainforest and medicinal plants. Return to lodge for lunch and a rest before heading out to visit incredible butterflies and enjoy a dip in the lagoon. You might even get a chance to see the incredible pink dolphins. After enjoying a breathtaking sunset, you’ll return to the lodge for dinner, before heading out at nighttime for some caiman hunting on the river. Meals included: B/L/D
Day 3 - Visit to Tarapuy community & nocturnal hike
After breakfast you’ll head out in a canoe for an hour to visit an indigenous family from the Tarapuy community. With them you’ll learn to prepare traditional yuca bread using traditional utensils before returning to the lodge for lunch. After some time for relaxation you’ll head out on a short hike into primary rainforest to observe nocturnal insects and listen to the sounds of the jungle. Meals included: B/L/D
Day 4 - Native canoe excursion
Travel by native quilla canoe for a spot of bird-watching followed by a rainforest hike. This is a fabulous way to explore the flooded forest and to learn about the local flora and fauna, including a wide range of birds and monkeys. A box lunch with be provided. Dinner and relaxation back at the lodge. Meals included: B/L/D
Day 5 - Departure - Lago Agrio - Quito
Optional early morning birdwatching. Departure after breakfast and transfer to Lago Agrio. Meals included: B/-/-

Packing tips

Please read the packing tips included in our Amazon travel guide for more information. Some lodges provide certain equipment as part of the price. Please check when you make your reservation.

2016 Rates for 5-day Itineraries

We’ve included a selection of rates for five-day itineraries at some of our favorite lodges in Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve to give you an idea of the variety on offer. While most offer similar activities, each lodge has it’s own itineraries available, facilities and they offer different levels of comfort and service. These are estimated rates which may alter. At some times of the year they also have special offers available. Contact one of our travel specialists to find out more.

Lodge Class Single Double National*
Kids (-12)
Cuyabeno Tourist $612 $506 $612 $506 -30%
Dracaena Tourist $560 $320 $560 $320 -25%
Jamu Tourist $548 $365 $548 $365 -50%
Nicky Lodge Tourist $640 $320 $640 $320 -25%
Tapir Tourist $1010 $775 $819
min. 4 pax
min. 4 pax

*National: Some lodges provide discounted prices for nationals. Anyone with an Ecuadorian Cédula is entitled to national rates. But keep in mind that nationals do need to pay Value Added Tax (V.A.T. 12%) which is not included in the prices above.
** Kids: Some airlines offer discounts for children and infants on their flights. Please check when you make your booking.