Welcome to Cuyabeno Wildlife Center, 25 years of expertise

Notice:

Due to heavy rain and recent reports, some routes in Ecuador are closed or experiencing delays. While our operations continue, there may be delays if using the shuttle bus or public bus. We will do our best to accommodate the operation so that your Cuyabeno tour is not affected.

5-day Cuyabeno Birdwatching

Our meticulously crafted 5-Day Cuyabeno Birdwatching Tour is a dream come true for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Under the guidance of our experienced and passionate naturalist guides, you’ll explore diverse habitats teeming with avian life on this private adventure. Expect to encounter a spectacular array of bird species, including rare and exotic birds, each with its unique songs and behaviors.

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Our Previews

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birdwatching-tour-cuyabeno

5-day Cuyabeno Birdwatching

Our meticulously crafted 5-Day Cuyabeno Birdwatching Tour is a dream come true for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Under the guidance of our experienced and passionate naturalist guides, you’ll explore diverse habitats teeming with avian life on this private adventure. Expect to encounter a spectacular array of bird species, including rare and exotic birds, each with its unique songs and behaviors.

Our Previews

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Spangled-Cotinga-cuyabeno-birds
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Discover Birds, Embrace Wilderness

Day 1: Arrival, Urban Birdwatching, Swamps, Canoe Journey & Laguna Grande

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  • Our tour begins at 6:00 am at Hotel D’Mario in Lago Agrio. You will meet with your guide and you will take a short transport to Santa Cecilia to begin your adventure.
  • We will start with urban birdwatching around the hotel, as it is near the Aguarico River and surrounded by a significant amount of secondary forest. This location allows us to observe a large number of bird species in a small patch of forest in the middle of the city.
  • After enjoying the morning, we’ll have a delicious breakfast before continuing our journey.
  • We will take our private transport and travel for approximately 4 hours, enjoying a fantastic route along the way, where we can observe small swamps within the secondary forest and spot bird species that are not very common within the forest. This part of the trip is particularly enriching for birdwatchers.
  • Upon reaching the Cuyabeno bridge, the main entrance to the reserve, we’ll share a box lunch and prepare to take a canoe to begin our journey downstream to “La laguna grande,” a journey of about 3 hours. Here, we will appreciate one of the great ecosystems of the area, the “Igapo,” and enjoy the landscape, observe freshwater pink dolphins, and appreciate the differences between primary and secondary forest as explained by our guide. During this first part of the trip, we will have the opportunity to observe and photograph a large number of bird species.
  • Upon arrival at our Lodge, we will have time to relax and become familiar with the surroundings. Before dinner, we will make a list of the birds observed during this magnificent day, then enjoy a delicious dinner and participate in a nighttime activity or simply rest.

Day 2: Sunrise Birdwatching, Terra Firme Hike, Canoe Expedition & Swimming

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  • At 6:00 am, we will take our motorized canoe to navigate upstream on the Cuyabeno River, through meanders and lagoons near the Lodge, to enjoy the morning and search for bird species that are not commonly observed during daylight hours.
  • After relaxing and marveling at the richness of the rainforest, we return to our Lodge for an exquisite breakfast.
  • After a short rest, we will take our canoe again to head to Laguna Grande, where we will take a walk in the terra firme forest to search for high-altitude birds such as pihas, manakins, and many more species.
  • As lunchtime approaches, we return to our canoe where a delicious box lunch awaits us.
  • We will then navigate among the vegetation adapted to the igapo ecosystem, such as macrolobium trees, in search of herons, tyrant flycatchers, and bird species that have made these ancient trees their refuge.
  • As the afternoon falls, we venture for a dip in the lagoon and then continue to our Lodge, where a captivating dinner awaits us. Afterward, our guide will invite us to enjoy a glass of wine while we make a list of the birds observed during the day.

Day 3: Deep Jungle Canoe Birdwatching, Swimming & Kichwa Territory Lodge

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  • A long day awaits us. We will have an early breakfast at 7:30 am, then gear up and board our motorized canoe to navigate downstream on the Cuyabeno River for about 5 hours. On this journey, we will have the opportunity to enjoy sighting new species as we go deeper into the forest. We will make several stops for photography, swimming and stretching our legs.
  • We will have lunch on the riverbank surrounded by lush tropical jungle.
  • As the afternoon falls, we finally arrive at a lodge that is built within the Kichwa territory, located on the shores of Laguna San Francisco, within the Cuyabeno Reserve.
  • We will have a break and time to relax and familiarize ourselves with the surroundings until dinner time. At night, we will make a list of the species observed and our guide will give an informative talk about the place.

Day 4: Parrot Clay Lick, Spotting Dolphins, Bird Observation Tower & Night Walk

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  • Early at 5:30 am, we start our excursion on the Cuyabeno River in our motorized canoe (approximate time of 1h30 min.), the best time to observe a wide variety of birds and other animals until we reach the “Saladero” (a nutrient-rich clay bank on the riverbank) where we can enjoy 5 species of colorful parrots and parakeets feeding on clay to extract toxins from their bodies.
  • After this magnificent morning with the birds, we return to our lodge for breakfast and a rest.
  • Then, together with our guide, we will take our motorized canoe to navigate the Cuyabeno River, enjoying the thriving activity of the rainforest until we reach “La Bocana.” Here, we can once again observe freshwater dolphins and delight in a wonderful landscape, as well as appreciate the coloration of the white waters full of sediments from the Aguarico River and the black waters full of tannins from the Cuyabeno River, a spectacular experience.
  • Afterward, we return to our Lodge for a delicious lunch.
  • In the afternoon, at 4:00 pm, we will take our canoe to go to the Bird Observation Tower, which is built around a “Ceibo tree,” one of the largest in the area, with a height of 28 meters. We will have a spectacular and wide view of the canopy and tropical jungle, giving us the opportunity to listen to and observe a great diversity of animal life.
  • As night falls, we venture on a short walk through the forest in search of new nocturnal creatures and enjoy the unique concert caused by the sounds emitted by a wide variety of insects. After this great time, we return to our Lodge where a delicious dinner awaits us. We will enjoy a local drink while making a general list of the entire trip, as it is our last night in the jungle.

Day 5: Back to Civilization: Final Canoe Ride and Jungle Excursion

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  • On our last day in this wonderful place, we will have an early activity with a brief excursion into the forest or by canoe to enjoy the awakening of nature and observe the birds. This activity allows us to take the last memory of this wonderful place.
  • Return to the lodge for breakfast and pack your bags for the return trip.
  • A 30-minute canoe ride downstream on the Cuyabeno River followed by an upstream journey on the Aguarico River (approximately 3 hours) will take us to “Tierras Orientales.”
  • There, our private transportation awaits to bring us back to Lago Agrio, arriving around 4:00 p.m. to connect with a public bus or flight (the next day) 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.

Pricing & Details

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

Our 5-day Exclusive Cuyabeno Birdwatching Tour offers an intimate and private exploration, specially designed for avid birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. This premium experience covers extensive areas of the Cuyabeno Reserve, providing a greater opportunity for unique wildlife sightings, particularly of rare and exotic birds.

2 travelers: $1.400 per person.
3 travelers: $1.300 per person.
4 travelers: $1.200 per person.

Ensuring an intimate experience, we limit the group size to a maximum of 4 guests.

We highly recommend opting for a private transfer from Quito to our meeting point and back for this tour. This choice not only ensures the most efficient transportation of your equipment but also provides you with peace of mind regarding the logistics of your journey. To enhance your experience, we are pleased to offer this service at a discounted rate.

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.

Inside Your 5-Day Cuyabeno Tour Package
  • River transportation.
  • Land transportation from Lago Agrio to Cuyabeno and back.
  • Taxi transportation from Lago Agrio to the Santa Cecilia starting point.
  • Certified naturalist guide, trained in biology and ecotourism, fluent in English and Spanish.
  • Accommodation in tents for two people and in traditional cabins upon arrival at Amazon lodges. (Comfortable rooms with private bathroom, twin and double beds)
  • Accommodation in double tents during camping nights.
  • Three nutritious meals a day (including purified bottled water).
  • Breakfast served at 8:30 a.m.
  • Lunch served at 1:30 p.m.
  • Dinner served at 7:00 p.m.
  • Tea, coffee, and chocolate available throughout the day.
  • Catering for vegetarians or vegans.
  • Electricity available for charging batteries at night.
  • Rubber boots provided.
  • Biodegradable shampoo and soap.
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
  • Tips for the crew and guides are not included in the tour package
  • Rain poncho

Even though our tours are 100% wildlife focussed, we are also a 100% community-based project. If you wish to visit a local community, we can arrange this for you. Please, ask your agent about availability and cost.

How to Get to the Cuyabeno: Best Options

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

Complete Bird list of Cuyabeno Reserve

Tinamous

  • Great Tinamou
  • Undulated Tinamou

Ducks and Geese

  • Muscovy Duck

Guans, Chachalacas & Curassows

  • Spix’s Guan
  • Blue-throated Piping-guan
  • Speckled Chachalaca

Cormorants and Anhinga

  • Neotropic Cormorant
  • Anhinga

Herons, Egrets & Bitterns

  • Boat-billed Heron
  • Black-crowned Night-heron
  • Cattled Egret
  • Cocoi Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Striated Heron
  • Capped Heron
  • Snowy Egret
  • Little Blue Heron

Storks, Ibises and Spoonbill

  • Green Ibis
  • Bare-faced Ibis

Vultures

  • Greater Yellow-headed
  • Vulture
  • Black Vulture
  • King Vulture

Osprey, Kites, Hawks and Eagles

  • Western Osprey
  • Gray-headed Kite
  • Swallow-tailed Kite
  • Snail Kite
  • Slender-billed Kite
  • Double-toothed Kite
  • Plumbeous Kite
  • Tiny Hawk
  • Slate-coloured Hawk
  • Great Black Hawk
  • Roadside Hawk

Eagles and Hawk-eagles

  • Harpy Eagle
  • Ornate Hawk-eagle

Forest-falcons

  • Laughing Falcon
  • Slaty-backed Forest-falcon

Caracaras

  • Red-throated Caracara
  • Black Caracara
  • Yellow-headed Caracara

True falcons

  • Bat Falcon

Crakes and rails

  • Sun grebe
  • Sun bittern

Plovers

  • Southern Lapwing
  • Collared Plover

Skuas and Jaegers

  • Wattled Jacana
  • Yellow-billed Tern
  • Large-Billed Tern
  • Black Skimmer

Doves and Pigeons

  • Ruddy Ground-dove
  • Plumbeous Pigeon
  • Ruddy Pigeon

Parrots

  • Blue-and-Yellow Macaw
  • Chestnut-fronted Macaw
  • Scarlet Macaw
  • Dusky-headed Parakeet
  • Maroon-tailed Parakeet
  • Dusky-billed Parrot let
  • Cobalt-winged Parakeet
  • Black-headed Parrot
  • Orange-cheeked Parrot
  • Blue-headed Parrot
  • Yellow-crowned Amazon
  • Orange-winged Amazon
  • Mealy Amazon

Hoatzin

Cuckoos

  • Little Cuckoo
  • Squirrel Cuckoo
  • Greater Ani
  • Smooth-billed Ani

Potoos

  • Great Potoo
  • Common Potoo

Nighthawks and Nightjars

  • Short-Tailed Nighthawk
  • Sand-coloured Nighthawk
  • Common Pauraque
  • Ladder-tailed Nightjar

Swifts

  • White-collared Swift
  • Short-tailed Swift
  • Fork-tailed Swift
  • Lesser Swallow-tailed Swift

Hummingbirds

  • Rufous-breasted Hermit
  • White-bearded Hermit
  • Great billed Hermit
  • Black-throated Mango
  • Long-billed Star throat
  • Black-throated Brilliant
  • Blue-chinned Sapphire
  • Golden-tailed Sapphire

Quetzals and Trogons

  • Black-tailed Trogon
  • Amazonian Trogon
  • Blue-crowned Trogon
  • Black-throated Trogon

Kingfishers

  • Ringed Kingfisher
  • Amazon Kingfisher
  • Green Kingfisher
  • Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher
  • American Pygmy Kingfisher

Jacamars

  • White-eared Jacamar
  • White-chinned Jacamar

Puffbirds

  • White-necked Puff bird
  • Collared Puff bird
  • Black-fronted Nun bird
  • White-fronted Nun bird
  • Swallow-winged Puff bird

Barbets

  • Scarlet-crowned Barbet
  • Gilded Barbet

Toucans

  • White-throated Toucan
  • Channel-billed Toucan
  • Lettered Aracari
  • Chestnut-eared Aracari
  • Many-banded Aracari
  • Ivory-billed Aracari

Woodpeckers

  • Yellow-tufted Woodpecker
  • Little Woodpecker
  • Golden-green Woodpecker
  • Yellow-throated Woodpecker
  • Spot-breasted Woodpecker
  • Scaly-breasted Woodpecker
  • Chestnut Woodpecker
  • Cream-coloured Woodpecker
  • Lineated Woodpecker
  • Crimson-crested Woodpecker

Wood creepers

  • Spot-throated Wood creeper
  • Long-billed Wood creeper
  • White-chinned Wood creeper
  • Straight-billed Wood creeper
  • Buff-throated Wood creeper

Antbirds

  • Plain-winged Antshrike
  • Pygmy Antwren
  • Amazonian treaked Antwren
  • Plain throated Antwren
  • Long-winged Antwren
  • Black-faced Antbird
  • Plumbeous Antbird

Flycatchers

  • Social Flycatcher
  • Great Kiskadee
  • Lesser Kiskadee
  • Yellow-throated Flycatcher
  • Streaked Flycatcher
  • Boat-billed Flycatcher
  • Tropical Kingbird
  • Drab Water-tyrant

Ramphotrigon

  • Cinnamon Attila
  • Citron-bellied Attila

Cotingas

  • Purple-throated Fruit crow
  • Plum-throated Cotinga
  • Spangled Cotinga
  • Screaming Piha
  • Bare-necked Fruit crow

Manakins

  • Wire-tailed Manakin
  • Golden-headed Manakin

Tityras and Becards

  • Black-tailed Tityra
  • Black-crowned Tityra

Jays

  • Violaceous Jay

Swallows

  • White-banded Swallow
  • Brown-chested Martin
  • Grey-breasted Martin
  • Sand Martin / Bank Swallow

Black-capped Donacobius

Thrushes

  • Grey-cheeked Thrush
  • Black-billed Thrush
  • Lawrence´s Thrush
  • White-necked Thrush
  • Thrush like wren

Tanagers

  • Red-capped Cardinal
  • Magpie Tanager
  • Orange-headed Tanager
  • Fulvous Shrike-tanager
  • White-shouldered Tanager
  • Masked Crimson Tanager
  • Silver-beaked Tanager
  • Blue-grey Tanager
  • Paradise Tanager
  • Opal-crowned Tanager
  • Opal-rumped Tanager
  • Green-and-Gold Tanager

Dacnis and Honeycreeper

  • Black-faced Dacnis
  • Blue Dacnis
  • Purple Honeycreeper
  • Green Honeycreeper

Satators

  • Slate-coloured Grosbeak
  • Buff-throated Saltator

Emberizine Sparrows and Finches

  • Saffron Finch
  • Chestnut-billed Seedeater

Icterids

  • Russet-backed
  • Oropendola
  • Crested Oropendola
  • OliveOropendola
  • Yellow-rumped Cacique
  • Solitary Black Cacique
  • Orange-backed Troupial
  • Oriole Blackbird
  • Giant Cowbird
  • Shiny Cowbird
  • Velvet-fronted Grakle
  • Thick-billed Euphonia
  • Orange-bellied Euphonia
  • Rufous Bellied Euphonia
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