Explore one of the world’s most mystical and wondrous regions: the South American rainforest. Among the inhabitants of Ecuador, this area at the foothills of the Ecuadorian Andes is better known as “Oriente”. Despite the comparatively representing only 2% of the Amazon rainforest, the Ecuadorian rainforest accounts for one-third of the Amazon’s biodiversity. The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve protects approximately 590.112 hectares located near the equator in the northeastern part of Ecuador. There are over 500 different species of colorful birds ranging from the smallest hummingbird species to majestic giant harpies.

Within one hectare of this reserve, it is possible to find up to 240 different plant species, many of which are still used for medical purposes today. Jaguars, monkeys, tapirs, sloths, pink river dolphins (Iniageoffrensis and Sotaliafluviatilis), manatees and armadillos are just a few of the mammals that live in the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. To complete the biodiversity of this nature reserve, impressive reptiles such as Anacondas and Caimans should not go unmentioned. In the black-water rivers and lakes there are a variety of fish species such as piranhas, catfish and Arapaimas (which can reach a length of 2 meters) and many others. The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve not only provides habitat for countless plants and animals, but also for many indigenous people and communities such as the Siona, Secoya, Kichwa and Cofane.


Upper area of the Cuyabeno Reserve (Cuyabeno River)

DAY 0.- The journey begins at night at 11:00 PM by bus starting from the highest capital in the world: Quito, located at 2,850 meters above sea level. Crossing the eastern mountain range of the Andes (Cordillera), you will pass “El Paso de la Virgen” at over 4,000 meters above sea level. From there you will drive the Andes down through the cloud forest into the rainforest to reach the small town ‘Lago Agrio’ after about six hours’ journey.

There is flight leaving from Quito to Lago Agrio at 10h00 it takes 35 minutes approximately, another option to reach Lago Agrio.


In the morning you will reach Lago Agrio, a small town at 500 meters above sea level on the edge of the Ecuadorian rainforest. 

The actual tour into the rainforest starts at 09:30 AM in the morning. You will drive for about 2 hours until you reach ‘El Puente’, the main access to the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve and the last place in civilization. Here you will have lunch (box lunch) and then drive in a motorized canoe on the Cuyabeno River for about 2 hours until you reach the lodge. With a little luck you can already observe the first monkey and bird species along the way. The river is extremely narrow in this region and allows you to experience the wildlife up close. After your arrival at the lodge, you will have time to recover and go on your first exploratory tour in the surroundings of the lodge. After dinner your bilingual guide will inform you about the activities of the following days.

Cuyabeno Canoe Tour Amazon - Dracaena Lodge
Cuyabeno Canoe Tour Mono - Dracaena Lodge


Early in the morning you will explore the area by paddle canoe looking out for monkeys and birds in the awakening tropical forest. Breakfast. After you will paddle to enjoy the awakening nature downstream to visit the Seoqueya community, home to some Siona indigenous families. The family members will show you how to make ‘Cassave’ (typical manioc bread of the region). Your guide will explain the local customs and traditions of their past and present culture while you have lunch. Later you return to the lodge.

In the afternoon you will take a trip by paddle canoe on the Cuyabeno River, which will lead you through the dense forest landscape. You will be able to observe the wildlife found on the riverbanks, especially monkeys, macaws, toucans and sloths. Here you also have good chances to see pink river dolphins (Iniageoffrensis and Sotaliafluviatilis) in the impressive river landscape. Before dinner, after dusk, you will explore the lodge’s surroundings to look for nocturnal animals such as insects, spiders, snakes and frogs becoming active when the sun sets.


During an excursion early in the morning, you will paddle to enjoy the nature. You will travel by motorized canoe along the Cuyabeno River to the Laguna Grande. You will spend a full day quiet paddling, you will explore the lagoon, and you will get to know ‘Igapó’, the flooded rainforest. This is a very special rainforest ecosystem dominated by giant macrolobium trees which, provide habitat for epiphytes and specialized bird species. Box lunch. After exploring the lag oon, you can refresh yourself with a swim in the calm waters while watching the spectacular sunset of the Amazon. You will paddle downstream Cuyabeno. Later our motor canoe will pick us up to return to the lodge.

After dinner you will continue your adventure and observe the nocturnal fauna of the river landscape, watching out for caimans before returning to the lodge. Dinner.

Cuyabeno Canoe Tour grupos - Dracaena Lodge
Cuyabeno Caone Tour Frog - Dracaena Lodge


After breakfast. After time to relax you will hike through the rainforest and your guide will share his knowledge and experience with you. You will learn how the most diverse life forms can coexist in the jungle and survive side by side within a delicate balance. Watch out for colorful butterflies, frogs and birds as you learn more about the great variety of flora. Later you will return to the lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon, you will be able to explore the Cuyabeno River by paddle canoe and enjoy the views of the exceptional scenery and listen to the sounds of the jungle as you watch out for the exotic local exotic species. Return to the lodge


Today’s morning excursion includes a short trip by canoe. Take advantage of the early morning hours to observe the animals during their morning activities and to say goodbye to the jungle. After breakfast at the lodge you will have time to pack your luggage for the return journey. The ride takes you upstream back to the civilization at ‘El Puente de Cuyabeno’. After lunch (box lunch), a private bus will take you back to Lago Agrio at approximately 15h00 and from there you will return to Quito.

Cuyabeno Canoe Tour Bote - Dracaena Lodge
                        B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / BL: Box Lunch / D: Dinner 



    “Dracaena Lodge is definitely the place to go. We had the most incredible 5 days” 


    “Our guides were absolutely great. They were extremely knowledgeable of the jungle flora and fauna and were great “teachers”. They made the experience very interesting and educational. We learned so much about the indigenous tribal cultures, the birds, snakes, monkeys, animals, insects, fresh water dolphins, fish, etc.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 jhabs

    “The rooms are amazing. Really cute huts with hammocks and super comfortable beds with mosquito nets. The activities are awesome as well including night jungle walk, boat tours hunting for crocodiles, and piraña fishing. I never wanted to leave. Everything about this place is so amazing, you have to go!”                                                                                 



    Cuyabeno Jungle Trip

    5 days / 4 nights

    Cuyabeno Jungle Tour

    4 days / 3 nights

    Zancudococha Tour

    6 days / 5 nights

    Cuyabeno Canoe Tour

    5 days / 4 nights

    Cuyabeno Canoe Tour

    4 days/3 nights

    Largatococha Tour

    7 days / 6 nights

    Cuyabeno Birding Tour

    5 days / 4 nights

    Cuyabeno Birding Tour

    4 days/3 nights

    Special Interest Tours

    photography, cultural, academic, etc.