Cuyabeno Reserve
Cuyabeno Reserve
5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
Encompassing more than 604,000 hectares of primary rainforest, wild lagoons and rivers, this reserve features an incredible variety of wildlife including anacondas, ocelots, river dolphins, piranha and more than 515 species of birds.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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Tours & experiences
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Top ways to experience Cuyabeno Reserve

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles314 reviews
Excellent
270
Very good
32
Average
7
Poor
2
Terrible
3

Małgorzata K
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
The reserve is beautiful. Lots of birds to watch, insects, monkeys, we were also lucky to see anaconda, otters, pink river dolphins and many other animals. The organization was very good, food was very tasty. Also our guide Francesco was great, he was very friendly and he had a lot of knowledge that he shared with us.
It was a very nice adventure! I highly recommend it.
Written 12 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Xiao H
concord, United States7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Family
That was the best tour for my family and the other family we went with. We still think of our tour guide Elvis fondly. When we finished the tour, the oldest boy was very sentimental and weeped a bit. Food was great and we had a wonderful Christmas celebration at the lodge.
Written 5 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
We stayed at the Nicky Amazon Lodge for 3 nights/4 days and had a wonderful time. Great food and people. It was nice they had made the meals vegetarian for me. Each day there are 3 excursions by canoe and walking around the property, spotting animals at various times of the day. Only sad part was leaving. Once in a lifetime memories!
Written 23 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Charlotte G
Somerset13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We saw pink dolphins, monkeys, caimans, tarantulas, an anaconda and amazing birds. The highlight was visiting an indigenous visit and meeting with the amazing people who live there, who also helped run the Magic River lodge and campsite. Our guide was knowledgeable and friendly this was an amazing experience.
Written 22 March 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

538jaimeb
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Solo
Fantastic experience for urban folk.
The 2% of Amazon Basin in Ecuador ( 60% Brazil, 13 % Peru, the rest belongs to Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana & Surinam ) is a large-enough part of the 107 million square kms of the ecosystem to provide for a full, exciting time while visiting.
You can fly in to Lago Agrio ( Nueva Loja, ) or spare yourself a hotel night by going overland. $12 USD by public bus from Quito, or $ 20 private, and there's no difference.
Stayed at the Siona Lodge four nights for $250 through Jungal Tours in Quito. Recommended, although individual arrangements can be made.
The tour, with Luis, the most knowledgeable " guia naturista " I can think of, starts with a long-boat ride around the Cuyabeno Lake, three rivers removed from the headwaters of the Amazon.
Luis' arms are going left and right and up and sideways pointing at this or that bird, toad, boa or bark. You only see green foliage and stunning waterways, some as wide as 200 feet, some so narrow you have to duck to avoid low-hanging branches, and can touch both sides w/o stretching your arms.
Until Luis orders the boat to stop, and point at the animal in question ( all secretive as they hide in ambush or escaping predators ) and there it is: a sloth, a pocket monkey, a pink river-dolphin, a cayman, one of 7 species of boa, a multi-colored bird, or a tree covered by a fungus, used in known drugs or traditional medicine.
Didn't understand ? No problem, he can repeat the explanation in six languages.
Later there is a night walk around the area not flooded by rainwater.
Same thing: despite your potent flashlight, you can't see the conga ants marching, or the mini toad and its bright red belly. That's what Luis is there for, you come back to sleep enlightened by knowledge of nature you didn't even suspect you lacked.
A 3-hour walk the next morning is equally as interesting.
From then on you take it easy, and go on more long-boat tours, including stunning jungle sunset and sunrise ones. You're welcome to take to the water, andmany do, as the piranha remain close to the lakeshore.
Bring your camera, the scenery is asking for it.
There is one traditional and freshly prepared lunch at a village nearby, and an expected visit to the shaman, further downstream, with predictable cultural stuff that some tourists seem to need and seek more than others.
The villages are a bit too " modern " for the surrounding scenery, and take away from the pristine environment that you have come to visit, but they are there, and you don't need to expect naked aborigines with feathers sticking up from their behind and blowpipes at the ready. Jeans, flip-flops, shorts and T-shirts are everywhere, and there's more traditional garb worn around trendy areas of Quito than around the lake and adjacent rivers.
The last night at the lodge Luis regales us ( simultaneously on guitar and zampolla, an Andean panpipe ) with a selection of local tunes that some locals dance very well, ending with a rendition of El Condor Pasa ...sang in quechua.
Altogether an excellent tour, providing memories for a lifetime and thousands of pictures for those so inclined.
Around Siona lodge there are more tourists than elsewhere in the park, but also more guides in Luis' league, and a wider diversity of animals.
Our own footfalls, our oohs ! and aahhs ! and chatter keep jungle deer and jaguars away, but we managed yet to see a good 50 species that only exist there.
This tour was in the middle of the rainy season. The lake, 5 mts deep, dries up in November and December, when the locals collect clay before it hardens to something like cement. Think of a relatively flat area of thousands of square kms going from 5 mts of water all around to dry and you start to grasp the meaning of rainforest.
Written 19 April 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ellen60_12
Rochester, NY23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2013 • Friends
Four of us just returned from a 5 day trip to Primary Rainforest in Cuyabeno Reserve in Ecuador.
I researched at home and decided on 5 agencies to check out once I arrived in Quito. 4 of the 5 lodges are located on the same lagoon but Nicky Lodge is is about 30 minutes downstream of the Laguna set totally by itself in privacy and remoteness. Luckily, the agencies were honest and told me that the Laguna was dried up and therefore no river dolphins were there.

Nicky Lodge however is near the intersection of two rivers and there was plenty of water. We saw a number of river dolphins, monkeys, hoatzin birds, etc. etc etc We just can't say enough about the great crew they had. Our guide was Jacob, confident, very respectful of natural world, intelligent, knowledgeable, spotter, well organized, decisive, aware of groups needs, our go/to guy. Mathias was our spotter, guitar player, jewelry maker . Ebby was the lodges caretaker keeping things clean, neat, making our beds, setting out candles, playing UNO with us, etc.. The cook prepared very tasty nutritous meals three times a day. We were pleasantly surprised with the quality of every meal. Our boat men were great drivers and we always felt safe and secure. All 4 of us highly recommend Nicly Lodge which I booked through Dracaena Agency in Quito on the street Joaquin Pinto. I only hope i can take their 8 day trip another year.
Ellen, Michelle, Ruth, Jerry
Written 10 March 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matjcarney
Melbourne, Australia18 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018
Cuyabeno River Lodge -

Where do we even start. This place is an absolute shambles. We spent 480USD for 3nights/4days and I can easily say most of that was significantly wasted. We don’t even feel like we have seen the proper Amazon. I’ll break it down:

Upon arrival at the Lodge there was little to no coordination, at all. We booked a private room however were told there were no private rooms available. Luckily a French couple swapped rooms so we could have one.

The lodge wasn’t really expecting us. The one guide/staff member who was there upon arrival was confused and was unable to direct us to a manager.

My partner and I and another couple payed for a multilingual guide - however there were none available. We went 4 days with no guide/staff member speaking English. Nothing was explained to us. We learnt not a single thing as the guide couldn’t speak one bit of English. It was horrendous. We paid for an English guide.

Basically for the majority of the time we sat around ‘waiting’ having no clue what was to occur next. When told to wait 20 minutes, we sat there waiting for 3 hours. No one cared. We were in the jungle and not a single thing/complaint could be made. The itinerary we received when we booked was NOTHING like we did or attempted to do.

We went for a 4 hour canoe ride, a night walk, and a half day trip to a touristy village and lake. That’s it. Nothing was explained to us. I know we can’t blame the lodge for not seeing animals - but we pretty much almost saw nothing.

The food was tough - not the quality but the portions. Most meals were smaller than entree size and you were forbidden to ask for more. One piece on bread and a boiled egg for day two breakfast. I asked for more and was bluntly told ‘no’.

I could keep on complaining about this lodge. It was terrible, especially from a staff and organisational point. Nothing we expected occurred and we really were jibbed out of $480USD.

Another negative worth taking into account is the distance from the lodge to the lake/village. Literally took 4 hours in one direction. Most of the other lodges are in actual primary rainforest and only 20 minutes from lake/village.

We are going to attempt to seek some for of refund however know this will be a challenge. Most disappointing experience. We were so looking forward to this experience. Was a complete fraud.

Written 16 February 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard E
Munich, Germany2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2013 • Solo
Paddling down by yourself a little river in the middle of the Cuyabeno nature reserve was a very special experience for me. You don't make any noise and the animals don't get scared by you.
The silence was only interrupted every hour or so, only when a motor canoe passed by, full with tourists for one of the normal jungle lodges.
The first night we spend in a tent camp, only surrounded by the sounds of nature.
Each day you paddle more or less 4 hours, but only down stream so it is not too demanding. More a gentle flow. All the other 3 nights you spend in their rustic jungle lodge with no electricity. The food was excellent and the staff very friendly.
Another advantage is that the group size is very small, we were only 6 people in the entire lodge and the owner told me that the maximum is 14.
The only thing I recommend if you want to do a trip with Magic River, is to bring an extra batterie for your camera if you have one.
Written 4 March 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NATIONAL PARKS E
Washington DC, DC34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2012 • Family
I have traveled the Amazon region for 4 decades as a conservation biologist and know all the main Amazon Parks of the Amazon countries. In order to enjoy the Amazon tropical forest one should observe it from the water from narrow rivers and small lakes. No park from Venezuela to Bolivia has anything like the interconnected lakes and creeks that Cuyabeno has. Check out Google Earth for yourself if you want. You can then also see that this enormous park still is in prime condition. When you walk on land in the jungle, you have to look up to see wildlife, but the leaves contrast with the sky and you hardly can see anything at all. From a narrow river, it feels like you are in the jungle, but low shrubs border the river and you see lots of wildlife on low branches. Moreover you have all the aquatic birds and wildlife. This feeling of being in the jungle you dont have on wide rivers and foremost, most wide rivers are now deforested. Cuyabeno is an undiscovered jewel which is far more interesting to visit than Manu Park in Peru. Brazil has far more amazon jungle, but try to fly there from a major city to let's say Manaus. You spend $400 and then you still have to get to an amazon park, not to speak of the Brazilian tour prices. So if you want to discover the Amazon, Cuyabeno is your best bet, and I was extremely happy with the Cuyabeno Lodge as the best located accomodation and highly professional excursions. I saw many species of birds I had not seen in years.
Written 17 July 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Luis Alberto R
Quito, Ecuador163 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2014 • Friends
I consider myself a city boy preferring all comfort and fun that urban areas have always got to offer. Knowing this, I felt quite excited & terrified to come to the Amazon forest and be in the middle of the nothing, with no telephone signal and electricity at all (but for a plug to charge camera batteries in each amazon lodge). After taking fears out, and being equipped with comfortable boots, protection against the rain and mosquito repellent, I didn't feel any issue at all: I loved the experience! Some months of the year it tends to be quite cloudy and heat won't be an issue, but you might have to deal with terribly humid and hot sunny days. Lodges and amazon communities are all set at the Cuyabeno river shore and the only communication system will be your boat. Always be following instructions and warnings from your guide! I swam in a certain part of the Cuyabeno river (feeling unsafe, but as my group of friends did so, I did not feel afraid) - I even noticed a guy was fishing pirañas right beside me! Luckily, nothing happened. I could also watch pink dolphins! - Remove your fears towards the Amazon forest, and get into the adventure!
Written 18 May 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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