Welcome to Cuyabeno Wildlife Center, 25 years of expertise

5-day Canoe Paddle Paradise

Welcome to our 5-day Canoe Paddle Paradise tour with the Cuyabeno Wildlife Center! This is a truly unique and immersive experience that allows you to explore the breathtaking beauty of the Amazon in a more intimate and eco-friendly way – by paddling instead of using a motorized canoe. This means you’ll be able to fully appreciate the tranquility of the jungle, spot more wildlife, and move at a pace that lets you truly connect with the natural environment.

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Terrain

Physical level

Skill Level

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canoe-paddle-tour

5-Day Canoe Paddle Paradise

Welcome to our 5-day Canoe Paddle Paradise tour with the Cuyabeno Wildlife Center! This is a truly unique and immersive experience that allows you to explore the breathtaking beauty of the Amazon in a more intimate and eco-friendly way – by paddling instead of using a motorized canoe. This means you’ll be able to fully appreciate the tranquility of the jungle, spot more wildlife, and move at a pace that lets you truly connect with the natural environment.

Terrain

Physical level

Skill Level

cuyabeno-reserve-ecuador
birdwatching-cuyabeno-reserve
5-day-cuyabeno-tour
night-of-the-caimans-tour

An Expedition into the Jungle

Day 1: Arrival, Camping and Into the Jungle After Dark

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  • The adventure begins at 9:30 AM at Hotel D’ Mario’s restaurant in Lago Agrio. Whether you arrive by public bus, shuttle bus, or your own private transport, this is where we will meet. For those who prefer to fly, the nearest airport is located in Coca City. Be sure to check our transportation guide for more information.

  • We’ll take our private bus and travel for approximately two hours to reach the village of “King of the Andes,” situated on the banks of the Aguas Negras River. Here, we pause for a well-deserved lunch and prepare our gear for a long journey downriver.
  • It will be about a three-hour trip downstream. Along this route, we will have the opportunity to appreciate the rich biodiversity of the forest, observing a wide variety of local flora and fauna. After a wonderful journey, we’ll set up our tents. Our first campsite? A rustic abode nestled within a local family’s property. 
  • After dinner, our guide will give us an informative talk about the activities for the following days and invite us to take a nocturnal walk around the campsite in search of interesting nocturnal species. Look for insects, spiders, amphibians, tree snakes, and much more.

Day 2: Birdwatching, Botanical Insights, Nighttime Adventures, and Camping

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  • After the breakfast we immediately start the navigation river down, this will be approximately 4 hours. It’s an amazing chance to spot wildlife due to the narrow river.
  • Following a lunch break and some time to relax, our guide will invite us to join a short hike. During this trek, our guide will explain and share his knowledge about the practical use of medicinal plants that have been passed down through generations by his ancestors.
  • After enjoying a brief rest, we’ll once again take our rowing canoe to navigate downstream. We will navigate some obstacles and fallen trees until we reach our second overnight spot, where we’ll set up our camp.

  • After experiencing an afternoon full of surprises and preparing our camp, as the night begins to fall, we’ll embark on a canoe journey or jungle hike. Along the way, we may also encounter nocturnal animals such as fishing bats, tree boas, and night birds.

Day 3: Exciting River Journey, River Fishing, Forest Hike, and Camping

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  • We start the day with an early breakfast before resuming our downstream river navigation along the dark waters.
  • We break for lunch and try our hand at some catch-and-release fishing. Experience a rush of excitement as we cast our lines to catch legendary river predators and other Amazonian fish.
  • After fishing, we set off on an interesting rainforest hike. Experiencing the rainforest on foot allows us to spot more species of wildlife.
  • As the day unfolds, we arrive at our next campsite, which could be hidden deep within the forest or next to the riverbank.

Day 4: Birdwatching, Journey to the Lodge and Trekking through Cuyabeno’s Wilds

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  • Bright and early, we set out on canoes for a bird-watching expedition, capturing the enchanting sunrise. After returning to the camp for breakfast, we continue our downstream journey until we reach the Cuyabeno River.
  • From there, we proceed to our lodge, where we’ll spend the night. Along our river journey, we will engage in various jungle activities. After making our way through the different obstacles along our jungle adventure, we will reach our end destination. We will arrive to the lodge late in the afternoon.
  • Upon reaching the lodge, we embark on an exciting nighttime hike in search of new species for our list, followed by a satisfying dinner and a well-deserved rest.

Day 5: Return to Civilization: Parrot Clay Lick, Bird Observation Tower, and Final Canoe Ride

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  • As this is our last day in this wonderful place, we will have two final early activities. Our first activity is the “saladero,” a clay bank exposed on the river’s edge. Colorful parrots and parakeets arrive here every day around 7:00 a.m. to feed on clay, which helps them detoxify their bodies. At this location, we’ll have the chance to observe five species of parrots and parakeets feeding or perched in the vicinity.
  • This is followed by a canoe ride to the Bird Observation Tower, which is over 28 meters high and built around one of the largest trees in the area. It offers a wonderful view of the canopy of the jungle. 
  • Return to the lodge for breakfast and pack your bags for the return trip.
  • Take a 2.5-hour canoe ride back to Tierras Orientales, with opportunities for animal sightings and soaking up the beauty of the Cuyabeno rainforest.
  • From Tierras Orientales take the private bus for around 2 hours to Lago Agrio.
  • Arrive in Lago Agrio around 4:00 pm and take your bus or plane back to Quito. If you wish to use the shuttle bus option for your return, the itinerary can be adjusted on the final day to accommodate this.
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Pricing & Details

Join the Adventure: Prices for 5-day Cuyabeno Tour!

This is one of our special itineraries, to discover the jungle in a unique way. We are the only lodge that offers a full canoe paddle based itinerary, to connect with the Amazon.

2 travelers: $990 per person.
3 travelers: $850 per person.
4 to 6 travelers: $750 per person.

The maximum amount of participants is 6 people.

If you are a group or you are traveling solo, get in contact with us to receive a personalized quotation.

To ensure the best experience and service, please note that our itineraries may be adjusted without prior notice in response to external conditions or unforeseen events.

About the Paddle Canoe Journey

This adventure unfolds along a narrow river, where fallen trees require us to navigate by cutting through or passing over and under them. Depending on the season and water levels, the terrain may require some walking or offers an extra challenge when navigating. We do ask that participants have good stamina and strength due to the physical nature of the tour.

The tour can be done year-round. Whether the water level is high or low, you will spend 3 nights inside the forest. We camp wherever nightfall finds us, emphasizing the spirit of improvisation. This isn’t glamping; it’s camping, but the experience is undeniably beautiful.

The water levels vary according to the season of the place.

  • August: Low water level.
  • September to October: Medium water level due to rainfall.
  • November to February: Low water level because it’s summer.
  • March to July: High water level due to winter.

Feel free to ask us the expected forecast for your canoe paddle tour.

Note that due to weather, water levels, season or other circumstances, guides are able to change the itinerary based on their expertise, all to ensure a wonderful journey.

Inside Your 5-Day Cuyabeno Tour Package
  • Expert bilingual guide fluent in English and Spanish.
  • In addition to a regular guide, a local guide will also join.
  • River transport included for comfortable and efficient travel.
  • Accommodation in private tents, and comfortable cabins with private bathrooms at our lodge.
  • Mouth-watering meals included in the tour package (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • Enjoy tea, coffee, and chocolate available all day (only at the lodge)
  • Special catering for vegetarians or vegans
  • Electricity provided to charge your batteries and stay connected
  • Essential equipment provided, including poncho and rubber boots.
  • Happy hour every day from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm (only at the lodge)
  • Convenient transportation included from Lago Agrio to Cuyabeno Reserve
Excluded from Your 5-Day Cuyabeno Tour Package
  • Transportation to and from Quito-Lago Agrio is not included
  • Alcoholic beverages (beer and wine) are not included in the tour package
  • A visit to the observation tower costs an additional 6 dollars per person
  • Breakfast on the first day is not included in the tour package
  • Dinner on the last day is not included in the tour package
  • Binoculars (can be rented at the lodge for $10 per day)
  • Tips for the crew and guides are not included in the tour package
Camping Details

During your stay, you’ll have the pleasure of staying in cozy tents furnished with comfortable mattresses, sheets, blanket, and pillow. The mattresses measure 80 cm by 2 meters, and have a thickness of 5 cm. These mattresses have been carefully chosen to ensure a good night’s rest in the midst of the enchanting surroundings. 

As for shower facilities, we rely on the natural beauty of the nearby river for bathing. To maintain the ecological balance, we strongly encourage the use of biodegradable soap, which we’ll gladly provide. Additionally, we’ll supply you with a towel, though you’re welcome to bring your own for added convenience.

Regarding bathroom facilities, we’ve created a thoughtfully designed structure nestled in the forest, offering a comfortable seating arrangement. Furthermore, we’ve implemented a considerate voting system that allows us to rotate the location periodically, ensuring a fresh and pleasant atmosphere.

We provide a reliable power generator during your camping trip, ensuring your electronic devices never run out of battery. 

Our dedicated tour crew consists of four members, though the team size may vary based on the group’s size and needs. All meals will be provided by a cook, also according to any dietary wishes.

How to Get to the Cuyabeno: Best Options

Check the best transportation options to arrive to the Cuyabeno Reserve.

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