- Clear sustainable travel policy
- Social / Environmental Impact
- Tourism Dispersal
- Behavioral Awareness Education
- Small Group Travel
Travel by motorized canoe and stay at campsites and lodges along the river banks on an extraordinary tour exploring the deepest of the primary forest in the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.
During this incredible journey, you will visit the eastern part of the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest as far as the border with Peru along the Aguarico, Lagarto Cocha, Cocaya and Napo rivers with great chances of watching wildlife. Your whole journey will be around 600 km in total. During this fantastic tour, you will have the opportunity to visit Iripari Lake (Zancudo Cocha) which is the largest blackwater lake in the Ecuadorian Amazon. You will also have the chance to admire the biggest flooded forest area in our Ecuadorian Amazon where you will easily observe the legendary pink freshwater dolphin (Innia Geofrensis). On your last day, you will navigate along the greatest of the Ecuadorian rivers: the mighty Napo River, which is one of the main tributaries of the great Amazon River in Perú.
Seasonal Notes: Any time of the year is perfect for visiting the Ecuadorian Amazon since the weather varies only slightly from month to month in both rainfall and temperature. Expect some rain (it is the rainforest after all!) but you’ll likely have similar periods of bright sunshine. In general, it’s hot and humid, but not as much as many people imagine. The year-round temperature average is 82°F (28°C), however, nights can be cooler. Since Ecuador is located right on the equator, the country does not experience extreme weather changes aside from a slightly rainier and wetter season. During a visit to the Amazon region, in 4 or 5-day visit, you will often see more or less the same amount of rain and sunshine.
This itinerary is customizable. Contact Yugen Earthside for more information.
Day 1: Lago Agrio [Ecuador] (arrival day) – Aguarico River – Zancudo Lodge
Day 2: Zancudo Lodge – Zancudo Cocha Lake Camp (Iripari)
Day 3: Zancudo Camp – Aguarico River - Lagarto Cocha River Flooded Forest System - Border With Peru
Day 4: Lagarto Cocha River Flooded Forest System
Day 5: Lagarto Cocha River Camp Site – Aguarico River – Cocaya River Lodge
Day 6: Cocaya River
Day 7: Cocaya River – Aguarico River – Napo River – Nueva Rocafuerte Village
Day 8: Nueva Rocafuerte Village – Coca City (departure day)
Our View on Sustainability
We not only care about our travelers, but we care about the local communities and the environment. When you book a tour with us, you become an active collaborator of the local and international foundations we work with in order to do our part. Whether it is educating children on the coast of Ecuador, or helping out conservation projects in the Galapagos, we care.
This trip takes travelers off the beaten path and avoids tourist "hot spots".
Behavioral Awareness Education
We specifically discuss with travelers how to act responsibly in this destination, and why that's important.
The crew members consist of experienced, well-trained indigenous Kichwa people ready to assist our conscious travelers and make sure that everyone has the best possible jungle experience.
This is an ecotourism effort by an indigenous community that believes that tourism is a friendly ecological way that provides a sustainable income for their survival and, at the same time, helps with the preservation of one of the most biodiversity richest places on earth for the future generations.
Positive Impact Travel
We try our very best to make a positive impact on the destinations and communities our travelers visit, not only providing enriching experiences for them but contributing to the local economy.
We support other local and international projects that provide jobs and assistance to local communities. Two projects we support are the Amiguitos del Océano, which works to reduce and prevent waste from going into the ocean, and the Galapagos Conservation Trust.
We believe that the Amazon indigenous communities are and will be the guards of this beautiful region. The extractions of oil and wood are currently the main destructive activities of the rainforest so it is necessary to integrate indigenous communities in tourism for conservation and protection. It's also a way of avoiding the natives partaking in destructive activities. Community tourism focused on the protection of our natural resources will ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty of the Amazon Rainforest.
We focus on serving locally and organically grown foods, mostly collected in the forest.
Our accommodations are small and locally run, use eco-friendly cleaning products and energy-saving lights, and recover and reuse rainwater. We also stay in most of our accommodations for at least 2 nights.
Use the Google map to orient yourself about where in the world this trip is. The location indicates the starting point for this trip.
A specific route map is included in the downloadable detailed itinerary.
Prices exclude flights to/from the destination.
See the full list of price inclusions and exclusions in the downloadable detailed itinerary.
Children under 12 years old will receive a 40% discount (1 child for every 2 adults).
To reserve your spot on a tour, a 20% deposit will be required. Final payment (balance due): 60 days prior to departure. The deposit is not refundable. Reservations made between 59 days and the tour departure date require a total payment.
You can be reimbursed as follows:
This trip is a Private trip that can be booked year-round. Book for when you feel comfortable and safe to travel. A Private trip means you'll only travel with those whom you book the trip with.
⚕️ Be sure you have traveler's insurance.
Please be fully vaccinated and boosted before traveling. You may also need proof of a negative Covid test before arrival to the country. Keep a mask and hand sanitizer with you at all times.
With a capacity of 10 guests only, plus its remote location, the lodge, camping areas, and tours are a safe way to enjoy the Amazon Rainforest.
Q: What does the Physical Rating of "Mildly Strenuous" mean?
The environment depends on some factors that include weather conditions and some luck. You will be walking slowly in the primary forest on trails opened by the natives. Sometimes, this implies crossing by flooded and muddy areas. In general, the terrain is flat and does not demand much effort. A maximum walking time is approximately 3 hours at a time.
Q: What are the accommodations like?
Standard lodge & campsites.
Q: Is this trip recommended for solo travelers, women, LGBTQ+, and POC travelers?
Yes. The lodge was built and is now managed by native members of the Kichwa Native Community. They are used to welcoming travelers from all over the world. All of the staff is welcoming and have been professionals in the tourism industry for over 15 years.
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT YOUR TRIP
Please remember that Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve is a stunning area, one of the most complex and biodiverse richest places on earth that contain a great amount of wildlife.
We will explore a pristine rainforest area where few tourists visit and few native people live, therefore the chances of watching wildlife are great.
Every day by canoe and on foot we will be searching for wildlife including Macaws, Parrots, Toucans, Monkeys, Freshwater dolphins, Caimans, and Anacondas. However, observing wildlife in their natural environment depends on some factors that include weather conditions and some luck.
Please remember that the name "rainforest" comes precisely from the 4000mm (about 12 feet) of rain it receives a year. Our canoes, motorized canoes, or paddling canoes do not have a roof so please expect heavy rain at any time. Our canoes are comfortable and provided with seats for two people: each one with cushions and life jackets. Your luggage will be covered and protected against rainwater.
During all the navigation journeys you'll have access to cold drinks.
Campsites are located on the margin of the rivers so that we will not need to carry the equipment for long distances, but you will need to be able to transport your own luggage for short distances. You will be asked to assist in setting up the campsites. You will visit the most pristine and remote areas of the Cuyabeno Reserve and in order to reach our furthest destination (the City of Coca), we will need to travel by motorized canoe a distance of around 600 km.
The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve is a protected area and to get there we will have to drive and navigate through oil installations, secondary forest, and farms. Once we enter the Reserve the landscape will change into a beautiful pristine Amazon Rainforest.