Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Located in the Ecuadorian Orient the Cuyabeno is a unique section of the Amazon at the foothills of the Andes that is a poorly drained plain with a network of periodically inundated forests, lakes and creeks. These conditions prevent the development of swamps and lakes. Since it is closer to the the Andes, and is slightly cooler and wetter then other parts of the Amazon it contains a different species composition than other areas in the upper Amazon. As expected, this area has a high biodiversity and it truly alive night and day. The climate corresponds to a wet tropical rain forest, with precipitation of about 3000 mm, and humidity ranging from 85% to 95%. The annual temperature is around 25°C.
We stayed at the Cuyabeno Lodge on Cuyabeno Lake which can be dry for parts of the year. The lodge offers 3 or 4 night trips. We were picked up in Lago Agrio at the Hotel D’Mario which is also where we stayed. Lago Agrio is a working oil town in the East that is quite busy and not a touristy place at all. When we left we were dropped off at the Airport for a return flight to Quito. The four night trip offers plenty of time to see what the Amazon has to offer in Cuyabeno.
Every day we went out for boat rides to see the surroundings. It seems that this is a good way to cover terrain and see sights as much of the wildlife also likes the rivers. Of note, on our first day we also went on a short hike close to the lodge. On our second day we went on a short hike in the morning, lounged at the lodge in the heat of the afternoon then went on a night hike. On our third day we took a trip to an indigenous village and also had a long boat ride down the Cuyabeno river. On our fourth day we combined a morning hike with a sunrise boat ride.
Every day we saw great diversity of birds, flora, monkeys, a tapir, birds, insects. This area is truly alive.
Much credit to our guide Guido who has an amazing eye for flora and fauna and who could pick camouflaged things out like the expert that he is while explaining away in four languages! Big thanks to the friendly staff who made the stay comfortable and the boatrides fun.
The sign we arrive after a two hour boat ride from Lago Agrio.
Our Lodge – we each had a bed with a mosquito net not that there were any mosquitos.
Main lodge at night.
Dinner and Breakfast was served.
Each day we went on a ride in the boat.
Most days we had time to lounge in the hammocks.
View of the grounds from the tower where you could see over the forest canopy.
Each night we spent the sunset on the lake where you could enjoy the views or go for a swim.
Me, our guide Guido and Lee.
Our group – Jessica, Emilie, Sharon, Lee, Guido, Daughter/Father from Germany, Couple from France.
Quatzi – Flying Turkey bird
Wolf Spider in Horn Guido was just blowing
Tree snake at night, I think this was a boa.
Caiman at night
Common Potoo. It sits like part of a tree all day and is active at night.