A wonderful rustic lodge situated on the banks of a lagoon which forms part of a flooded forest in the Cuyabeno nature reserve, this is a truly special location offering visitors a unique chance to sample life in the depths of the Ecuadorean amazonic region. It's an eight-hour drive from Quito (or a short flight and three hours by minibus) followed by three hours in a motorised canoe to arrive but the trip is well worth it and the journey itself affords incredible scenery and the chance to see anacondas, many different species of monkey, alligators and myriad butterflies in their natural habitat. It's also a must for bird watchers.
The guides are highly knowledgable about the biodiversity of the region and there are also local guides from the nearby Siona indigenous community.
Activities include day and night walks, piranha fishing, a visit to an indigenous village to make cassava bread (you dig up the root and then help them prepare it - from the ground to the table in under an hour and absolutely delicious!) as well as swimming in the lagoon with fresh water dolphins. The cabins are comfortable and the food simple but fresh.
The real find is that there are no mosquitoes! The flooded forest and the subsequent rotting vegetation below the waterline means the ph of the water is slightly acidic and so mosquito larva cannot survive. The cabins are therefore open and cool, and really give you the feeling of being in the jungle.
Swimming in the lagoon while watching the sunet remains one of the highlights of my time in Ecuador. I can't recommend it highly enough.
Cuyabeno Nature Reserve
Oficina Neotropic Turis
Pinto E4-360 y Amazonas
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