Surface area : 1 489 410 acres /

between 656 and 918 ft (200 and 280 meter) /

Protected since: 1979


The Cuyabeno reserve protects a very broad spectrum of ecosystems. This area consists of rivers and lakes, swamps and flooded forests. You will also find slightly higher plains and more hilly areas.

Specific to this reserve is the abundance of shallow lakes, which lie between the forests like mirrors of mud and water. They dry out every year for two months, before being flooded again by the rivers Cuyabeno and Lagarto. The latter river floods some 10,000 has and reaches to the border with Peru. The lakes are home to a lot of animal life such as river dolphins, manatees, otters and a variety of fish, from small sardines to the catfish, which can grow to over 1.70 cm and weigh 75 kg. You will find piranhas, caimans and anacondas. The Rio Napo basin has more fish species than any other basin in the world of its size. On the dense banks you will find monkeys, tapirs and cougars. Hundreds of different species live there, including hummingbirds, parrots and the peculiar hoatzin.

In the dry season of the year, not only do the area’s inhabitants enjoy the abundant and easy fishing, but also the dolphins, otters, birds and other species that feed on fish. That is why at these times of the year a large number of waders especially storks and herons migrate here from other countries of South America.

The original population of the reserve consisted of Siona-Sequoia, Cófan and Tetetes Indians. The latter have since completely disappeared. The Cuyabeno Reserve is currently inhabited by several ethnic groups, including Signas-Sequoias, Cofanes and Quichuas. Recently, Shuar Indians from the South East of Ecuador have also migrated here in this sector.

This is one of the best areas to admire the wildlife of the tropical rainforest.


Tom - guide in EcuadorI’m Tom from Belgium and I’ll make sure your trip to Ecuador or cruise in Galapagos goes as smoothly and pleasantly as possible. I have been living in Ecuador for a decade and have been working in tourism for 8 years now. Before that, I obtained my guides diploma in Ecuador. Traveling and discovering new places is my passion.
Together with the local travel agency Descubre-Ecuador, we offer tailor-made tours in Galapagos and on the Ecuadorian mainland. Over the years, Descubre-Ecuador has built a reliable partnership with the best hotels and the best nature guides in Ecuador. Our small-scale way of working ensures easy accessibility and a lot of flexibility when traveling.
Customer satisfaction is the essence for us. And even in those rare moments of unforeseen difficult circumstances, we make sure that we are there to make sure your trip runs smoothly.
Explore Ecuador and Galapagos!


Indian woman from SalasacasIn South America, Ecuador is one of the smaller countries, but the country is hugely diverse in terms of geography, climate and population. You can visit the Andes, the Amazon rainforest as well as the tropical coast without taking extremely long domestic flights or transfers. And then you have the Galapagos Islands, a once in a lifetime experience. The diversity of flora and fauna per square mile is enormous. Ecuador is South America in a nutshell. Moreover, the country is relatively safe and little visited. The national currency is the USD and you have a wide choice of direct flights to Quito and Guayaquil from Europe and the United States.


Tom - guide in EcuadorIk ben Tom uit België en zorg ervoor dat jullie reis naar Ecuador of cruise in Galapagos zo vlot en aangenaam mogelijk kan verlopen. Ik woon al een tiental jaren in Ecuador en werk nu 8 jaren in toerisme. Daarvoor heb ik in Ecuador mijn gidsen-diploma behaald. Reizen en nieuwe plaatsen ontdekken is mijn passie. Samen met het lokale reiskantoor Descubre-Ecuador, bieden we reizen op maat in Galapagos en op het Ecuadoriaanse vasteland aan. Descubre-Ecuador heeft door de jaren heen een betrouwbare samenwerking opgebouwd met de beste hotels en de beste natuurgidsen van Ecuador. Onze kleinschalige manier van werken zorgt voor een vlotte bereikbaarheid en veel flexibiliteit bij het reizen. De tevredenheid van de klant is voor ons de essentie. En ook op die zeldzame momenten van onvoorziene moeilijke omstandigheden zorgen we dat we er zijn om jullie reis toch perfect te laten verlopen. Ontdek Ecuador en Galapagos!