I have now made three trips to the Amazon in Ecuador (two to the Cuyabeno region and one near Misahualli) and this was probably the best of the three. We stayed for 5 days and activities included animal sightings, some short (1-2 hr) walks, swimming, a visit to a native village, bird watching and piranha fishing. As a summary, we had a great guide, saw tons of wildlife, ate amazing food, and enjoyed all the activities we participated in. Particularly given the reasonable cost, this was a fantastic trip!
Our primary guide's name was Nesir; he spoke English well and was very knowledgeable and passionate about the rainforest flora and fauna. He had a fantastic eye for finding wildlife and, when compared to findings described by residents of other, nearby, lodges, it seemed that our group had seen much more wildlife relative to those others. For a couple of the outings, we had a second guide whose English wasn't quite as good...although he seemed to be knowledgeable it was harder to understand him so felt we didn't get as much out of those particular outings.
As has been described in other reviews, the food at the lodge was excellent. They also accomodated my vegetarian family members with very tasty vegetarian options.
I have rated the rooms and cleanliness as average but only because this is rustic lodging not a 5 star hotel. Having said that, in my opinion, the rooms were as clean as they could be given the environment.
My favourite part of this trip was the visit to the native village. We practised using a blowdart (the kids loved that), watched and helped a local woman make yucca bread (right from pulling the yucca out of the ground!) and visited the shaman. Nesir did a fabulous job of explaining what was going on throughout the day and translating our questions to both the bread-maker and the shaman. Unfortunately, it sounded like the experience at the village really depended on the guide....we heard from some younger travellers who went the previous day, with a different guide, that they didn't enjoy the visit very much. One other interesting thing was that during the visit with the shaman, he performs healing on one attendee...and I was selected for it. I have had chronic back pain from an accident 14 years ago and after the session I noticed a significant improvement in the area of my back that he worked on. Given that I'm an engineer by trade, I'm perfectly willing to entertain that the "improvement" was (and still is) all in my mind, but I also question whether there is something to what they do...my back hasn't felt this good for as long as I can remember despite ongoing treatments through physio, chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage!
Overall, this lodge is highly recommended for others!
- 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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