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Tapir Lodge 6-Night Itinerary

On this 7-day/6-night Amazon jungle tour, you will journey deep into hidden areas of the Amazon where its lush vegetation and fascinating wildlife will be revealed. You’ll make authentic contacts with the indigenous Siona people, visiting the home of a local family and participating in a spiritual cleansing ceremony led by a shaman medicine man; other highlights of this tour include nighttime caiman spotlighting in a canoe and piranha fishing in the surrealistic waters of the Laguna Grande Lake and the Igapo flooded forest. On this Amazon tour, you’ll also go on easy jungle treks where you’ll observe exotic wildlife, bird and plant life. While based at the comfortable Tapir Lodge, you will also experience two nights of camping “under the stars” in the tropical rainforest, where you will learn jungle survival techniques, fall asleep under the orchestra of the sounds of the jungle night, and likely wake to spider monkeys swinging through the forest canopy.


“My parent wanted to go to Peru and see Machu Picchu, Titicaca lake and Nazca Lines. Surtrek made a perfect customized plan for them. ”Nakyoung Park


Lago Agrio, Cuyabeno Reserve, Siona Community, Laguna Grande, Igapo flooded forest

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Quito – Nueva Loja – Cuyabeno Amazon Reserve – Tapir Lodge
Day 2: Laguna Grande “Igapo” Excursion – Rainforest Hike – Night Trek
Day 3: Camping – Rainforest Trekking
Day 4: Rainforest Trekking – Birdwatching – Caiman Spotting
Day 5: Breaking Camp – Visiting and Indigenous Village – Shaman Healing Ceremony – Cassava Bread-Making
Day 6: Optional Activities – Farewell Dinner
Day 7: Departure – Lago Agrio
South America Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Quito – Nueva Loja – Cuyabeno Amazon Reserve – Tapir Lodge

AM: Our services start at Lago Agrio (Nueva Loja) Airport. This point can be reached from Quito by either bus or by plane (the approximate travel time by bus is 8 hours, while the flight will take approximately 40 minutes). From Lago Agrio, we will drive to the northeast side of Sucumbíos province to El Puente (“The Bridge”), taking us between 2 and 2½ hours to reach this spot, depending on weather and traffic conditions. Throughout this drive, you will have the opportunity to view beautiful landscapes of agricultural fields, small highland villages, rainforests and rivers.

PM: We will take a break on the road to enjoy lunch, and then we will get ready for the next leg of our journey on board a motorized canoe. The lodge will provide you with a raincoat and a life vest, while your luggage will be covered in plastic to prevent it from getting wet in the event of rain. Throughout the trip on this narrow river, you will be able to admire the wide variety of plant, animal and bird life that the Cuyabeno Reserve has to offer. We will ride for approximately 2 hours to reach our destination: the Tapir Lodge. Once at the lodge, guests will be shown to their rooms for a chance to unpack and make themselves comfortable. After dinner (served at 7:30 p.m.) the guide will provide general explanations about Tapir Lodge as well as discuss the Cuyabeno Reserve and the activities that will take place over the next several days.

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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2
Laguna Grande “Igapo” Excursion – Rainforest Hike – Night Trek

AM: Our day will begin with a healthy and delicious breakfast that will be served at around 8:00 am. After that, we will meet at the pier and make sure that everyone is prepared for the excursion and provided with a pair of rubber boots (available up to size 45 EU). Our tour will start at 9:30, when we´ll take a motorized canoe upriver for around 30 minutes to Laguna Grande (Big Lake). At Laguna Grande, we will have the opportunity to observe that surroundings flora and fauna. The plant life found in the lake is quite unique, as this “Igapo” (blackwater-flooded Amazonian forests) is noted its ancient trees that have adapted to the surrounding environment by growing straight out of the water. These majestic trees create the perfect habitat for other plants, such as bromeliads, macrolobium flowers, orchids, ferns and cacti. Once the Igapo excursion has been completed, we will travel onto “terra firme” and begin a trek on a path called “Palma Roja” (Red palm), a trail that was once part of a scientific research station belonging to the Catholic University. Before starting our hike, your guide will provide a brief explanation regarding the basic ecology of the rainforest. Along the way, you will have a chance to see and hear many species of birds, including woodpeckers, tanagers, macaws and toucans. And – if we’re lucky – you might even come across two of three species of monkeys.

PM: We will return to the lodge for lunch, which is served at 2:30 p.m. Afterwards, travelers will have approximately two hours to relax. At around 5:00, we will meet at the pier and take a canoe ride to a different area of Laguna Grande. On the lake, we will ride through the surrounding area in search of exotic birds and other animals. If desired, guests can go for a swim, which is a perfectly safe and very relaxing activity. Depending on the weather, you may be able to admire a breathtaking sunset. Once the evening activities have ended, we will return to the lodge for a refreshing drink at the lodge’s bar or a chat with the guide about the day´s events. After dinner, served at 8:00, and depending on the weather conditions, we can go on a quick night trek around the lodge looking for frogs and other night wanderers.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3
Camping – Rainforest Trekking

AM: On the third day, we will start our camping expedition riding downriver in the motorized canoe for about 4 hours. On our way, we will take a break and enjoy a delicious box lunch.

PM: Right after lunch we will search for the perfect spot on the banks of the Cuyabeno River and set up our camp. We will then trek through the rainforest and might even see some diurnal mammals. We will return to the campsite for dinner and spend the night there.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4
Rainforest Trekking – Birdwatching – Caiman Spotting

AM: We will have an early start and ride by canoe downriver, which we will give you the opportunity to enjoy the sounds of the various animals along the way. We will then find the right spot in the heart of the rainforest to enjoy our breakfast. After eating, we will trek through the rainforest for about 4 hours searching for birds such as herons, egrets, curassows, hawks, Screaming pihas, oropendolas, Flycatchers and Kingfishers, as well as different species of monkeys.

PM: We will then return to the camp for lunch. Afterwards, we will have a well-deserved resting period of about 2 hours before riding along the Cuyabeno River for more birdwatching until nightfall. Once the night settles, with the aid of our flashlights we will search for caimans and other nocturnal animals. We will return to the campsite for dinner and spend the night there.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5
Breaking Camp – Visiting and Indigenous Village – Shaman Healing Ceremony – Cassava Bread-Making

AM: After an early breakfast, while enjoying the mood of the rainforest, we will begin disassembling the campsite. We will then head upriver following the Cuyabeno River. During our return, we will stop at a small settlement. Here we will have the opportunity to visit and meet Tomas, the local Shaman who belongs at the Cofan ethnic group. Tomas spends most of his time curing and treating the local inhabitants with his vast knowledge of medicinal plants. He will share with us his experience in the rainforest as well as the processes for healing people. For those interested in taking part in a healing ceremony, this will be an option (it should take about 40 minutes). Handicrafts are also available for purchase, all of them crafted out of materials provided by and obtained in the rainforest.

PM: Following lunch, at around 3:00 p.m. we will start our canoe trip back to Puerto Bolívar, where we will be greeted by a local Siona family. From them, you can observe how they prepare cassava bread – an essential food supply and perhaps the main source of carbohydrates for the indigenous communities of the rainforest. We will then head back to the Tapir Lodge, where we will have dinner at around 8:00 and spend the night.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6
Optional Activities – Farewell Dinner

AM: Breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m., though the rest of the day will be scheduled according to your interests, as guests will have the option of choosing their activities. Several alternative activities are available, ranging from birdwatching and canoeing to fishing or hiking in the rainforest.

PM: Lunch will be served at the Tapir Lodge, and in the afternoon guests can enjoy some leisure time before enjoying their last sunset on the lake. After dinner, you will be served a farewell passionfruit cocktail and have a chance to bid farewell to the lodge’s hardworking, attentive and diligent staff members.

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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 7
Departure – Lago Agrio

AM: Breakfast will be served at 8:00 a.m., after which time you can check out of your room and prepare for your departure from the lodge. Departure is generally between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m., depending on flight times, the river’s water level and the weather conditions. The lodge’s staff will attend to your luggage and make sure it is all loaded onto the canoe. We will depart and take a relaxed 2-hour motorized canoe trip to the bridge, looking forward to catching our last glimpse of the last species on your visit. Private transportation will be waiting for you and will drive you back to Lago Agrio with plenty of time to check in at the airport for your flight back to Quito.

[If you are taking the early flight back to Quito, breakfast will be served between 4:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., and departure should be at around 5:30 a.m. (depending on the river’s water level)]

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2019 - Price per person
7 DaysUS$ 1,189 PPUS$ 1,546 PPUS$ 1,189 PP
*Price per person based upon double occupancy.
*PP (per person)
Included in the price:
  • Accommodations in a double room with private bathroom and hot-water shower
  • Private transportation (Lago Agrio – Cuyabeno – Lago Agrio)
  • All the meals indicated in the itinerary
  • Water, coffee and tea
  • Daily excursions indicated in the itinerary
  • Naturalist guides (English-, German- or Spanish-speaking)
  • Canoe rides
  • Use of rubber boots, raincoats, lifesavers
Not included in the price:
  • Entrance fee Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
  • Airfare (Quito – Lago Agrio – Quito) $256 per pax
  • Alcoholic and bottled beverages
  • Tips (i.e. guides and/or lodge staff)
  • Personal expenses
  • Contributions to the community ($10)

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Traveler Reviews

“I had a great trip with the liveabord at Agressor II, everything was just perfect, the boat, the trip, the team and the dives. I would like to thank for all the support from Surtrek team.”Alex