Here are our 10 Reasons to Visit Cuyabeno Wild Life Reserve!
The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve is located north-east from Quito, in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle. It’s indeed one of the most biodiverse zones in the Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle. This reserve has 14 lakes, the ones that give the tourist the unique opportunity of admiring the beauty of the flora and fauna in this flooded rain-forest, known as Igapó. And, yes, it is as lovely as it sounds!
1. Yes, it is as green as you can imagine
Lush, green jungle lies on this zone, in this area of pristine beauty, botanists have discovered hundreds of tree species. It is a heaven to be explored with its impressive vegetation and humid, earthy odor, along with the song of hidden frogs, extravagant birds, the wind-like cries of howler monkeys and the constant buzzing and chirping of a fascinating variety of insects. Just as a sample, more than 198 species of mammals inhabit this past of the rainforest.
2. Close encounters with movie-like wildlife (anacondas are actually not that big, though)
There is no need to say that the Amazon is home to more a vast variety of species. Cuyabeno is considered one of most biodiverse zones in the Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle; over 500 different species of colorful birds starting from tiny hummingbirds to the majestic Harpy Eagle inhabit the area. Monkeys, Anteaters, Sloths, Dolphins, Manatees, Armadillos and Jaguars (which to be honest are quite hard to see), are just some of 165 species the mammals that live in the Cuyabeno Reserve. Amazing anacondas and about 91 species of reptiles found in the area, and the caimans too. Piranhas, Catfish, the gigantic Arapaima reaching over 2 meters and approximately 470 species of fishes thrive here in the black water rivers and lakes.
3. Support community tourism and wildlife conservation
One of the best ways to help in the preservation not only of the Cuyabeno Reassure, but all of the Amazon Jungle, is by involving in sustainable and local tourism activities. Eco-tourism is the perfect alterative to oil drilling. Lodges such as Tapir Lodge carry activities which cause the minimum impact to the area and help share the culture and natural heritage in Cuyabeno Reserve. Also, most activities are carried out with the collaboration of local community Siona, which results in profit to preserve the local culture.
4. Enjoy the rich biodiversity and indigenous cultures
The Ecuadorian Amazon region is also home of eight indigenous communities: The Cofanes, the Shuaras, the Huaoranis, the Secoyas, the Sionas, the Achuar, the Quichuas and the Zaparos. Visitors of the Cuyabeo Reserve, will have the opportunity to discover some of the ancient traditions of Siona native people, as well as receiving the benefit from their vast knowledge and understanding of their environment. The Sionas live in the area of the upper Cuyabeno lakes network and along the Tarapuy river. Siona shamans are respected for to their botanical knowledge and use of natural medicines. Until the 1980s, these communities have mainly lived of fishing, farming and hunting. Since then, the life of the indigenous communities in the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve has changed due to improved access with roads and earnings from ecotourism.
5. Awesome activities
Wildlife observation is definitely a major highlight of Cuaybeno Reserve. From Caiman watching to river dolphins, trust me, the wildlife in Cuyabeno will never cease to amaze you. Jungle hikes, day and night hikes, are equally amazing. There is no activity that will allow you to feel the Amazon more that a hike. You get to know the diversity of plant and trees- A hike through the rainforest is one of the most intimate ways to discover its beauties. Boat trip are also a treat!
6. Adventurous night hikes
Nightlife inside the forest is unique and exciting. Night hikes in the jungle are lightened by the stars, exploring the thick forest to spot birds, sloths, snakes and alligators hidden in the sounds of darkness. When the sun sets in the Ecuadorian Amazon, the rainforest become a totally unique ecosystem. You have the chance to observe insects with incredible, leaf-like camouflage. It’s the best time to find beautiful tree frogs, shy snakes, and other rainforest creatures that only come out at night. Jungle night walks are the best time to see dozens of animals and insects that are never found during the day, plus, it is thrilling.
7. Perfect tune-off and relaxation spot
Imagine yourself sleeping surrounding by the soft jungle sounds, or the smell of rain falling on the green jungle vegetation. Yes, the Amazon jungle is the best sport to disconnect form day to day life. If you are looking for a perfect escape vacation, the jungle is absolutely the best spot to cleanse your body and mind. Additionally, internet is in the jungle is unstable, so you may find yourself away from all outside world noises.
8. Rain and Rivers (?!)
The only road through the Cuyabeno area is the Cuyabeno River itself. It’s much narrower than the Napo River which gives a more intimate feeling since the banks of the river are much closer together and, therefore, the wildlife is much closer at hand. This make canoe trips a unique experience.
9. The best sunrises and sunsets ever!
This will depend in whether you are a morning person or a night lover. Canoeing at dawn on the Cuyabeno River offers one of the most beautiful sights ever. You will navigate Cuyabeno River to watch the birds flying and the beauty of all the colors when the sun rises in the Amazon sky. Plus, the waking jungle sounds is probably one of the most sublime sounds you’ll ever hear. Sunsets in the jungle are not short of beauty. One of nature’s most beautiful spectacles and one of the best places to enjoy them is from a boat on the Laguna Grande, Lake or Caiman Cocha Lake. Different kind of trees found it in the lake, birds and mammals (one of them the pink dolphin) will be part of the colorful sunset in Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.
10. Explore one of the rarest and most unique Reserves in Ecuador.
The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve is an important nature reserve in Amazonia with rather unusual ecological characteristics. Because it is located at the foothills of the Andes, it is different from any other Amazon protected area in the world. The area encompasses a lightly drained plain with a network of periodically inundated forests, lakes and creeks. Such conditions are quite rare so close to the Andes, where the drainage in the foothills prevents the development of swamps and lakes. Given its proximity to the mountains, combined with a slightly cooler and wetter climate it may be expected to have a partly different species composition than other areas in the upper Amazon watershed. This makes Cuyabeno one of the most unique spots in Ecuador.
So, what are you waiting to to visit Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve!