About 2% of the Amazon Rainforest lies within Ecuador’s borders at the foothills of the Andes, containing about one third of its diversity! The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve protects 590.112 hectares. Located just along the Equator, in the northeast area of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, in Cuyabeno it is possible to identify over 500 different species of colorful birds starting from tiny hummingbirds to the majestic Harpy Eagle.

240 different species of plants can be found within in one hectare, many with a specific practical and medical use. Jaguars, Monkeys, Anteaters, Sloths, Dolphins (IniaGeoffrensis and Sotalia), Manatees and Armadillos, are just some of the mammals that live in the Cuyabeno reserve. Amazing anacondas and caimans are some of the reptiles found. Piranhas, Catfish, the gigantic Arapaima (reaching over 2 meters), and other species of fish thrive here in the black water rivers and lakes. The Cuyabeno Reserve provides not only a habitat for countless plant and animal species but also for Indigenous communities such as Sionas, Secoyas, Kichwas and Cofanes.


Location: Upper and lower parts of Cuyabeno Reserve

Navigate along the Cuyabeno & Aguarico rivers to Zancudococha (Iripari Lake) one of the big lakes in the Amazon Basin. Full day to explore the Lagartococha River near the border to Perú

Cuyabeno Caone Tour Tree - Dracaena Lodge

DAY 01:

The tour begins at 09:30 in Lago Agrio. Your transfer by bus/truck brings you to El Puente (Approx. 2 hours) 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.

DAY 02: Through the dense Jungle to Zancudo Campsite

After breakfast, you will start your adventure in a motor canoe along the Cuyabeno and Aguarico Rivers, entering the Amazon until you reach your campsite, looking out for birds, sloths and monkeys along the way. Box lunch. The canoe ride will take approx. 4 hours but you will make stops to stretch your legs and enjoy the sand beaches of the Aguarico river. In the afternoon you will arrive at the Zancudo campsite of the local Kichwa community.

Cuyabeno Canoe Tour Monkey - Dracaena Lodge

DAY 03: Zancudococha explorations

After breakfast you will hike into the forest to learn more about the jungle and the medicinal plants and their use. Lunch. In the afternoon you will navigate to one of the big lakes of the Ecuadorian amazon basin, Zancudococha. Here you will explore with your paddle canoe the different ecosystems such as Varzea and flooded forest inhabited by many tropical birds. Later enjoy the sunset in this wonderful setting in the middle of the jungle. Good chance to look for caimans (alligators).

DAY 04: Zancudococha – Lagartococha

After breakfast we continue our expedition downstream the Aguarico River by motor canoe. Near the border of Perú you leave the Aguarico River and navigate upstream the Lagartococha River accessing the flooded area shaped by a system of lakes and small rivers. Here you will have the opportunity to discover some lagoons connected by Black water rivers and explore the different ecosystems of the flooded forest or Varzea region.  Box lunch. In the afternoon enjoy swimming in the Delfin Cocha Lake while observing some of the name giving freshwater pink dolphins (Inia Geofrensis). Later you will return to the Kichwa campsite located 30 minutes from the junction of Aguarico and Cuyabeno rivers.

Cuyabeno Canoe Tour Amazon - Dracaena Lodge
Cuyabeno Canoe Tour Bote - Dracaena Lodge

DAY 05: Kichwa camp & Tower

Early breakfast; then you will visit a salt lick at the riverbank which many parakeets and parrots visit (note: on rainy days only few birds come to these places). From here you continue to the Kichwa Tower built around a tall Ceibo tree (kapok tree), where you can climb up 26 mts of altitude to enjoy the views on the canopy of the rainforest. Later you navigate upstream Cuyabeno River for about 2 ½ hours to visit a family from the indigenous group of the Siona. Here you will learn about the local Casave (Manioc bread) preparation. Box lunch.  In the afternoon you return to the lodge.

Optional night walk.

DAY 06: Lodge – Return

Before breakfast you have the option to make some last memories of this wonderful place experiencing the jungle waking up when rowing silently with your canoe along the river. After breakfast it is time to get your luggage ready for your trip back.  You navigate along Cuyabeno River upriver to “El Puente” where a Box lunch awaits you before taking your bus/truck back to Lago Agrio, where you will arrive approx. at 15h00.

                                                                                                                                     B: Breakfast / L: Lunch / BL: Box Lunch / D: Dinner 


Cuyabeno Zancudococha Tour

6 days / 5 nights
          • Hike in the rainforest and learn about the medicinal and practical uses of the plants
          • Learn about the different eco-systems and their balance in the rainforest
          • Go on night walks to observe insects, spiders, snakes, amphibians and listen to nocturnal animals
          • Climb the Kichwa Bird Watching Tower with approx. 26 mts altitude.
          • Visit the Salt lick with parakeets and parrots (depending on the climate)
          • Go on an excursion to Zancudococha Lake to explore the flooded forest
          • Participate in early bird watching activities to observe many species of tropical birds
          • Observe the Amazon’s Pink and grey dolphins (Inia Geoffrensis & Sotalia Fluviatilis )
          • Go on canoe safaris in search of caimans (alligators)
          • Visit a Siona Family  
          • Learn more during captivating lectures given by our Naturalist Bilingual Guides
          • Amazing experience in the deep Amazon rainforest.
          • Explore the rainforest off the beaten track
Double, matrimonial, triple              US$  640
This tour operates with 4 people minimum
Prices per person
All prices are listed in US dollars
Children under 12 years old receive a 25% discount
Additional services:
  • Cost of the French, German translator service per day = US $ 95 (minimum 4 days)
  • In the case of requiring private tour services, these will have an additional cost per person or group.
  • Everything about the route, prices, activities, land and river transport, guides, etc., is shared based on groups of 12 or 13 people maximum.
Thursday  (for groups from 6 participants any day)
NB:  shared group departures are available; please contact us for details
        • Bus transportation from Lago Agrio to El Puente and back to Lago Agrio
        • (Tourism Ministry Licensed) bilingual naturalist guides trained in Eco-tourism
        • All meals from Lunch on day one until box lunch for the last day (including purified water)
        • Accommodation according to the program at the lodge in double rooms with private bathroom and at the camp sites in double tents including all camping Equipment, all bedding for long expeditions (sleeping mats, bed sheets, blankets, pillows and towels). This kind of adventurous trip involves that simple camping toilets and showers will be shared.
        • Personal equipment: lifejackets and rubber boots (up to size 45 – from size 45 on request prior to the tour without additional costs).
        • Tea, Coffee, hot chocolate available at the campsites
        • Catering for vegetarians
          • Trip Quito – Lago Agrio – Quito
          • Airfare Quito – Lago Agrio – Quito US$ 230 (40 minutes one way)
          • Bus Quito – Lago Agrio – Quito US$ 40 (6 hours one way – transport in a private bus in international groups)
          • US $ 5 Dollars for the visit of a native family (to be paid at site)
          • Rain coat
          • Additional beverages and meals
          • Single Supplement
          • Tips
          • Personal Insurance and expenses
          • Personal equipment besides lifejackets and rubber boots
          • All short-term price increases regarding fees and taxes.
            • An original document with photo (passport or identity card)
            • Rain poncho
            • Long sleeve T-shirt
            • Rotton socks
            • Shorts
            • Sandals or comfortable walking shoes
            • Rain poncho and a sweatshirt
            • Flashlight with spare batteries
            • Personal medicine
            • Toiletry bag (important: biodegradable soap and shampoo)
            • Swimwear and towel
            • Hat
            • Sunscreen
            • Sunglasses with tether
            • A waterproof or repellent backpack
            • Protection against insects
            • Zip lock bag or plastic bag
            • Camera
            • Binoculars (10×40 is recommended)
            • Notepad
            • Swiss army knife
            • Wet wipes
            • Reading material.
HEALTH ADVICE: You may be wondering if you should get a yellow fever vaccine before you travel. We recommend talking to your doctor (who knows your health condition best) or see a doctor who specializes in international travel, perhaps at a travel clinic.  
For this trip, you should be in good physical shape so that you can enjoy jungle treks for 2-3 hours in a humid, tropical climate. However, if you would like to skip the hikes and other activities described above and only want to take part in the canoe trips, you can, of course make use of the lodge´s facilities instead, for example: Relax in the hammock.
Tour to the lodge at Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve start in Lago Agrio. The journey to Lago Agrio takes place from Quito either by private bus (international group, about 6 hours each way, night bus with departure at 23: 00h in Quito the evening before the tour – return trip after the tour with arrival in Quito at about 9:30 PM or by flight (about 40 minutes each way).



“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.