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“What an adventure!”
Review of Guacamayo Ecolodge

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Guacamayo Ecolodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 18, 2013 via mobile

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!

  • Stayed: July 2013
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6  Thank Leahlovesbirds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 - 135 of 209 reviews

Reviewed June 3, 2013

I just finished a 4D/3N trip to Cuyabeno and stayed at Guacamayo Lodge--paid $210 for the package, but others paid anywhere from $190 to $260--it depends on # of people and negotiation skills as well as the agency you go through. Groups range from 4 up to 10 people. It is located right next to Samona Lodge, but is better because it is newer and has a bird tower.

Positives:
Bird tower--we saw toucans, owls, and many other colorful birds from the tower--also a good place to sunbathe.

Guide-Nassir is amazing and the boat drivers were both good at spotting animals--saw anacondas, 4 types of monkeys, a bit of dolphin (he did a special trip at 6:30am our last day so that we could see them as we hadn't the previous 3 days).
Nassir speaks good english as well. The other guide, William, who I had for the first 2 days is not as great or enthusiastic and didn't explain anything--I'd chalk it up to being a language barrier, but another girl in our group spoke spanish fluently and he still wasn't very engaging.

Food-3 course meals that changed everyday. Examples of dinners and lunch included roasted chicken, sliced beef, fried tilapia with rice and mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes, fried yuca, veggies (don't eat these unless you have a strong stomach--i got sick when i did and didn't when I avoided them), soups--yummy.
Hot showers

Butterflies flying everywhere--very magical.
There are tarantulas all over the lodge--not a positive, but more of an FYI. Cool if you know that they don't bother you.

Negatives:
They were late to picking up me and the other girl at Hotel Di Mario--11:45am which was a bad start. We didn't arrive to the lodge until after 2pm so hadn't eaten since 7am.

Male guides (including Nassir) made inappropriate sexual comments to the younger girls (early 20s). I'm in my late 20s and seemed not to be a target. Those girls complained amongst each other and said they didn't feel comfortable (ie not in danger, but just awkward because they didn't want to laugh or respond to the sexual comments or jokes) doing activities alone with the guide.

They could tell us in advance what items to bring for activites--example our first day we didn't bring a poncho and got wet in boat. We went on night walk (we started in the day at 3:30pm and thought the night walk would be after dinner, not combined with day walk) and I wore black which apparently attracts bugs and 2 other girls didn't have a flashlight because they thought it was a day walk only--plus the guides didn't wait for them and share their headlights.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank relevart2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2013

This lodge provides very good accommodation (including all facilities), food and guided tours through the jungle. I spent 5 days/4 nights at this lodge and enjoyed every single day. Guides are very motivated, food dishes are changing daily and the staff does everything that you feel home. Highly recommendable...

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Delano11045
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

I have just been to the Amazon with my 8 year old son.
The lodge is well set out.
It has the most incredible meals.
The guide can spot a bird or snake from 50 metres away.
He was knowledgeable and helpful with my son at all times.
The agenda is packed -you get your moneys worth.
My only comment is meals are too late for a child - if I went back i would ask his were prepared earlier. Also some events went on too long for a child, but my son coped and I packed snacks, but he did get tired.
The guide Neissar is awesome with kids. He was patient and kind with my son.
He spent a lot fo time making sure he had a great experience.
We saw SO many animals, fauna, flora, birds etc.
The guide also dropped us for my son to play with kids at a village when the rest of the group went to the Shaman for white magic - I didn't want my son exposed to this and he gave us that option which was nice. If you do this - bring a book as it is about a 3 hour wait.
However my son enjoyed playing with the village kids and we brought stuff to give them.
Oh a note - walls are thin and a common roof so all can hear what is going on in your room!
I would recommend this Ecolodge as great value for money.

Room Tip: We had bats in the ceiling and leaks in the roof in the block where room 7 is. But it might be fixe...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Curleyistops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2013

Guacamayo Lodge on the Cuyabeno River was definitely one of my top five lifetime experiences! My travel companions and I were all thrilled with our time in the jungle and have already talked about having a reunion trip!

We were able to see dolphins, anacondas, a sloth, five different species of monkeys, tree boas, piranha, camin (alligators), countless interesting insects, macaws, parrots, pendulum birds and many other species of birds. The 4 day trip included two hikes, (a nighttime and a daytime), canoeing around in search of animals, piranha fishing, swimming, and visiting a local community and shaman.

Perhaps the best part of my experience was due to the local community members who worked at the lodge. The food was wonderful, especially considering the limited resources in the kitchen. Our guide, Neiser, without a doubt, made the experience a once in a lifetime for our group. Having lived in the area for more than 25 years he was etremely knowledgeable about all of the animals and plants in the area. He had an incredible ability to find animals with his naked eye and then show us with his telescope. He even found a Pygmy marmoset and owl, both the smallest of their Families in the jungle, with his naked eye! Very impressive!! He explained everything is Spanish and English and was very easy to understand.

My favorite characteristic of Neiser was his undying passion for conservation. The lodge was built and ran to make as little as possible of an impact on the surrounding environment. His love of the jungle was echoed by a local community member, his friend Diego. We visited Diego at a local school where he was volunteering to teach the children and community members how to better preserve their beautiful home, for this generation and the many to come. The passion that both Neiser and Diego expressed for the jungle was truly inspiring and my favorite part of this trip! I try to participate in Eco-tourism whenever possible and it was nice to experience the beauty of the rainforest without destroying it. If only the oil and cosmetic companies had some concept of this....

In summary, my experience at Guacamayo Lodge on the Cuyabeno River was nothing short of amazing!!! The best $200 I've ever spent and absolutely worth every penny!!! I hope to come back in the future!:)

Oh, also, Diego has been involved in creating an Eco-friendly experience for sports fishermen for any of those interested.

I sincerely hope that you get to enjoy the beauty of the jungle as I did, and highly recommend staying at the Guacamayo Lodge!!!

All the best,
Jen :)

  • Stayed: February 2013
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2  Thank Jendog333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

There is no place quite like the flooded forests of Cuyabeno. Once you experience it's intrigue and beauty, the charm of it's rivers reflecting the emerging forests and skies like mirrors, the symphony of frogs, crickets, night birds and monkeys lulling you to sleep, the birdlife, the plantlife, the animals.... you never come back to civilization quite the way you were when you departed. Guacamayo lodge sets itself apart from other lodges right away with its impressive bird-watching tower. I spent every morning here observing the treetops and witnessed not only a wide variety of birds but got to see a family of Saki monkeys travel across the landscape. Each day brings you face to face with a new adventure, and you never know what you will see but you will always see something. I am vegan and the lodge went out of their way to accommodate my diet, even making me soya milk. Our guide Neiser definitely has a sixth sense at spotting wildlife and made extra effort to ensure we all got an opportunity to take good photos. His enthusiasm and knowledge of the rainforest was inspiring. The staff overall was very friendly and made everyone feel welcome. Swims at sunset in Laguna grande were magical, and searching for caimans at night made me feel like we were all on a secret stealth mission. Watch out for biting insects at the community, and a mischievous monkey named Nacho who will likely steal your yucca bread if you aren't paying attention. I would visit Guacamayo Lodge again in a hearbeat!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Erika T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

My girl and I arrived to Lago Agrio late Friday night, hoping to somehow make things work out on Saturday morning and get into the Jungle. Luckily, we ran into some folks from Guacamayo. We're birders, so when we saw the picture of the epic bird watching tower, we were sold. (The very reasonable price didn't hurt either).

Our first day was mostly spent traveling - a ~2 hour bus ride through the deforested outskirts of Lago Agrio, and a BEAUTIFUL ~2 hour boat ride to the lodge. We saw monkeys, otters, and fantastic bird life on that first ride!

Though we arrived in the late afternoon, we were not bereft of activities - we had a fabulous night hike with our guide, Nesser, who quickly proved to have an almost supernatural eye for wildlife. Just that first night, we saw a large river spider capture and eat a fish!

The following days were filled with hikes, canoe rides (and paddles), and fabulous bird watching. It was a real pleasure to be with Nesser, who has an UNCANNY eye (could spot a toucan in an 80's clothing store from a mile away), and who still gets excited about the rarer sightings like it was the first time.

The food was delicious, varied, and plentiful, and the cabins were rustic but charming (don't plan on making much noise though - there is zero sonic privacy).

The whole operation just has the feeling of being really well-run on all levels. We were sad to go, and hope to be back.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Jake M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Guacamayo Ecolodge

Address: Near Siona Community | Along Rio Cuyabeno, Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, Ecuador
Location: Ecuador > Sucumbios Province > Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
Number of rooms: 15
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 

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