My mom (61) and I (26) just returned from the Cuyobeno Wildlife Reserve after staying at the Guacamayo Ecolodge for a 4N/5D trip - total cost $280 each plus $8 bus ride each way from/to Quito. We had a wonderful experience, but I would agree with the previous review that it definitely depends on your guide.
We had Diago as our guide for the whole trip and I would trust my life with him! He is such a passionate, considerate, knowledgable (not to mention hilarious) person who truly cares about the people, plants, and animals within the reserve.
During our five day (more like 4 with travel time) experience we went on several night walks where we saw (up close) numerous amphibians and insects/arachnids including tree frogs, scorpion spiders, tarantulas, giant lobster locusts, etc. Evening boat rides to the lagoon to watch the sunset were tranquil (especially when the pink dolphins stopped by). We also had the opportunity to go to a local community where we were shown how to make delicious bread from a root called manioc (not sure how to spell) as well as hear hallucinogenic stories from the local Shaman. On our last day we had a private paddle ride down the cuyobeno river while Diago explained to us the importance of proper conservation and meaningful ecotourism.
Things to remember if you go:
1) it RAINS in the rain forest!! - bring your own poncho (theirs are quite smelly)
2) Bring a headlight and bug repellent.
3) the schedule is always subject to change
4) make friends with your group members even if they don't speak your language - it made our trip even better (lost in translation laughs)
5) don't have any expectations!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Guacamayo Eco Lodge Cuyabeno Reserve, Guacamayo Eco Lodge Cuyabeno Reservethe Best Lodging in Cuyabeno National Park. We have the best Cuyabeno Reserve Tours of 4 Days or 5 Days Jungle Expeditions but also the best Cuyabeno Bird Watching Tour, that consist of 6 Days in the middle of the Rainforest seeking the most beautiful birds of the Ecuadorian Amazon. Enjoy the Natures purest place of Ecuador with its incredible Fauna and Flora. Our Cuyabeno Tours and Jungle Expeditions are ideal for Families, Couples, Friends or a Company Outing ! Visit the Guacamayo Eco Lodge Cuyabeno Reserve and discover the magic of the Amazon Rainforest and its treasures ! ... more less