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Explore the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador by canoe, paddling deep into the heart of the Cuyabeno reserve on the Aguas Negras river. Spend 8 days exploring these remote waterways, spotting wildlife and visiting a local indigenous community on this unforgettable adventure!
The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve in Ecuador is a protected area of Amazonian tropical rainforest. The reserve is a complex of rivers, lagoons and floating forest, characterised by intense biodiversity and navigable waterways. The area encompasses 604,000 hectares of primary rainforest and boasts river dolphin, tapirs, caimans, anacondas, ocelot and piranha as well as 515 species of bird. Cuyabeno is the ancestral homeland of the Sionas, the Cofanes and Secoyas, three indigenous tribes who live in small homesteads deep with the Amazon. These people follow a traditional way of life in symbiosis with the forest.
Starting your 8 day trip up on the remote Aguas Negras River, you will alternate between exploring the water by canoe and entering the forest on foot along hidden pathways. Night-time hikes looking for the jungle’s nocturnal residents and a climb up an observation tower also lend themselves to the experience. You then swap your paddles for a motorized canoe as you visit an indigenous village of the Cofán tribe and travel upriver to the Cuyabeno lake system to visit a shaman.
Guides are on hand to spot and explain the incredible flora and fauna of the rainforest. They are experienced local tribesmen, certified by the Ministry of Tourism, who will explain the uses and applications of traditional plants. They will also give insider knowledge on medicinal plants, how best to catch a piranha when you go fishing or where to tread during a night walk in search of caiman.
This is an expedition in the best sense of the word. It is a canoeing holiday and as such includes water, insects and exercise. The 8-day tour is designed for people who want to explore more remote areas of the rainforest away from the typical routes that are offered by most tour operators. It would suit canoeists and/or wildlife enthusiasts who prefer small rivers with more chances of spotting wildlife. Group sizes are a maximum of 8. Families and children (10 years+) are welcome. If 8 days is too long or you would like to try something gentler you might be interested in the 5-day trip on the Cuyabeno River.
During the first 4 days of the tour all equipment has to be carried in the paddling canoes. Camps will be set up on the river bank, where you stay in tents. Shower facilities are available in one or two huts and there is a camping shower but washing is more often done in Nature's Bathroom (i.e. the river).
We select specialist operators who are experienced, qualified and most importantly passionate about what they do. Your enquiry will be passed straight through to the experts who will be able to give you the best advice.