I participated in the amazon expedition in the Cuyabeno Natural Park in Sucumbíos Province, bordering Colombia, north of the Equator Amazons. It was a very different trip from the Vaupes expedition in Colombia. One of the main differences is that there is asphalt road right to the river.
From Quito to Lago Agrio is the first part of the journey, which is 300 km. It took about 6 hours to arrive Lago Agrio, because we had to climbed up mountain raods from 2.850 m to over 4.000 m. We arrived Lago Agrio about 6 am. The shuttle dropped us at the meeting point, Hotel D’Mario. We wait there until 9.30. We had breakfast and chatted a lot.
The Cuyabeno Bridge – It has pictured with indigenous peoples of the region.
The second part of the road, from Lago Agrio to Cuyabeno bridge, is about 100 km. When the shuttle starts from Lago Agrio, the canoes leave the lodges at the same time to bring the previous groups the bridge to take the bus to Lago Agrio.
Anhinga – dive underwater with his entire body for hunting and opens his wings to dry … The most spectacular bird I’ve ever seen.
Along the river, there are about 15 lodges at different distances and each of them has more or less the same tour plan. What makes the difference is the lodge. Since I bought the tour from Hostal El Patio, where I stayed in Quito, I automatically chose Dolphin Lodge, due to their agreements. I could have bought it at another hostal or a tour agency. The agency from which I took my Galapagos trip had a deal with Dolphin Lodge. I also thought the rate was the right place.
The river here is quite narrow, very different than the river Vaupés, but the vegetation were smiliar. So we were so close to each side of the river and it was so easy to see birds, monkeys and snakes and stop for a closer look and take photos. During 4 day, 3 night tour we passed many times along the river and had a chance to see an anaconda and a boa on trees, resting. Monkeys jumping from one tree to another, beautiful Anhinga Birds, herons, white throated tucans so on.
White throated tucan
A beautiful butterfyl visited our lodge
On our 2nd day, we visited an indigenous village Taraupa at the river Tarapuy. Diana made us a traditional food, from Yuca. On my Vaupés trip, Yuca bread was served at a dinner at Pucaron, but there were ants on it.
It grows at the root of the tree. This yuka breed matures annually. Peel off is easy. Then grated and squeezed so that the water comes out. And then sieved…
Ready to cook
Cousins of the village
And later we met the shaman of the village to learn about how they use some plants for healing. This part supposed to be very interesting but it wasn’t. He mentioned about the plants he collects and prepares some drinks that heals the sick body. But these are mostly help to indigenous people, the locals. For us it might not work he said. He offered us to try, so we did. We all had a shot. It was strong. He also checked our energy. We all had good energies.
Runner snake and the most tiny frog we saw on the way to the village…
Our 3rd day’s plan was a jungle walk at 9.15 and around 13 pm swim at Laguna Grande. The walking was good in the jungle and although we didn’t see monkeys, frogs, birds, spiders we saw beautiful trees.
And on the way back to the lake, it started raining, but it didn’t stop us from swimming as the water was warm enough. So we wrapped our bags with the rain coats and jumped into the lake. It was so fun.
Laguna Grande was the place we visited every day. Sunset, sunrise, swimming, cayman visit, night walk. In fact, there were 14 lakes in the region, the others were far away perhaps we always came here.
The lake has many visitors sunsets. There were 5-10 canoes each night, but maximum 5 people were swimming as it was cold to swim around 5.30 pm.
The silence in the lake is incredible after all the canoes have shut down the engines. And the sun sets in the middle of the Amazon.
The other night after the sunset we made a night walk in the jungle to see frogs, snakes, spiders but only saw few spiders.
The other night, again after the sunset, we went to see caymens. But we saw a boa on a tree only.
So each night we returned from to the Lodge in absolute dark. The canoe drivers know the way by heart 🛶
The time passed so fast… Our last morning started at the Laguna Grande at 5.45 am to see sunrise and than to see caymans, but didn’t see. We returned to the Lodge, had our breakfast and checked out about 9 am. On the way to Puente Cuyabeno saw some birds and a mother monkey with its baby.
It was a pleasant weather, bright and sunny with a smooth wind as the canoe was navigating slowly.
May 31, 2019 ✌️😎