Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO
Transfer from Lago Agrio to the Tapir Lodge
The services starts at the Lago Agrio airport. This point can be reached either by bus or by plane from Quito. The approximate time by bus is eight hours, while the flight will take approximately 40 minutes. From Lago Agrio you will drive to the northeast side of the Sucumbios province to where “El Puente del Cuyabeno” (The Bridge) is located. Throughout this drive you have the opportunity to see beautiful landscapes created by the combination of rainforest, rivers, agricultural fields and small towns. During a break you enjoy your lunch and then get ready for your next journey on board of a motorized canoe. You will be provided with rain coats and life vests; your luggage will be covered with plastic for protection and to prevent it from getting wet in the event of rain. Throughout the trip on this narrow river you will be able to admire some of the wide variety of flora and fauna that the Cuyabeno Reserve has to offer. You will navigate for approximately two hours until you arrive to the destination: the Tapir Lodge. Once at the lodge, guests will be shown to their rooms to make themselves comfortable. After dinner the guide will provide general explanations about the Tapir Lodge, as well as about the Cuyabeno Reserve and the upcoming activities.
Motorized canoe to Laguna Grande
You start in the morning with a delicious breakfast and meet at the pier, so everyone gets rubber boots for the excursion. You take a motorized canoe upstream to the “Laguna Grande” (Big Lake). It takes around 30 minutes to get there. The Flora found in the lake is quite unique, since you can find Ígapo or inundated forest as well as the Macrolobium, ancient trees that have adapted themselves to the surrounding environment thus growing straight out of the water. These majestic and antique trees create the perfect habitat for other plants, such as Bromelias, Orchids, Ferms and Cacti. Later you will travel to “Terra Firme” and begin a trek on one of the official paths, which are part of a bio friendly system of roads throughout the reserve. Hopefully you see and hear many species of birds such as Woodpeckers, Tanagers, Macaws and Toucans and if you are lucky enough you will come across two of three species of monkeys. You return to the lodge for lunch and a two hour brake. You return to the Laguna Grande and if the weather allows it you you could go for a swim which is a perfectly safe and a very relaxing activity. Depending on the weather, you may be able to admire a breathtaking sunset. After dinner enjoy a refreshing drink at the bar or take a quick night trek around the lodge looking for frogs and other night insects.
Navigate to the village of Puerto Bolívar
You can rise early for a bird watching excursion (optional), by navigating downstream without engine and admiring the native flora and fauna, which is found along the river. We return to enjoy our delicious breakfast. Our morning excursion begins with a two hours canoe drive downstream to a native community. Throughout your journey you will search for Morphs (giant Blue Butterfly), monkeys and more. You will pass the village of Puerto Bolívar, which its solely inhabitants are the Sionas. You continue downstream to visit and meet Thomas, the local Shaman, who belongs to the Cofan ethnic group. He spends most of his time curing and treating the local inhabitants with his vast knowledge of medicinal plants. At Thomas’s backyard, you will enjoy a tasty box lunch. Thomas will share his experience of the rainforest and the processes for healing people. In the afternoon you navigate back to Puerto Bolívar, where you will be greeted by a local Siona family. Here you will observe, how the Cassava Bread is prepared and you will be able to taste it. This has always been an essential food supply and perhaps the main source of carbohydrates for the indigenous communities of the rainforest. You will then head back to the Tapir Lodge, where you will have dinner, chat with the guide about the day ́s events and might have a typical cocktail that has been just prepared.
Navigation to the bridge and transportation to Lago Agrio
After a healthy breakfast the departure is generally between 10.00 and 11.00, depending on the level of water in the river and the weather conditions. The staff will attend to your luggage to make sure it is all safely loaded onto the canoe. You will depart and make a relaxed two hours navigation back to the bridge at the Cuyabeno river, looking forward to see further species during the cruise. Your private transportation will be waiting for you and drive you back to Lago Agrio to arrive on time at the airport.