The rivers of Ecuador are so awesome that oft times the surrounding jungle gets little more than a second glance. High forest cloud forest, low altitude jungle–the river we do on any particular day determines the backdrop of scenery.
For once, we decided to leave the (plastic) kayaks behind and take a bit of time to explore the jungle of Ecuador. Destination: Cuyabeno Reserve. The point of embarkation for Cuyabeno is six hours further down the road then we have ever been here in Ecuador. So we drove past our favorite haunts in Baeza, Borja and Chaco and continued following the Quijos north downstream past San Rafael Falls and continued further past the point the Quijos/Coca turned and headed east towards the Napo River, until we reached the infamous town of Lago Agrio. For a town that did not exist prior to the oil rush of 1970, the 40,000+ populated city was the last stop for “civilization.”
The Cuyabeno River flows into the Agrio River—which while smaller than the Napo is still one of the main tributaries heading off to the Amazon. This is where we left our wheels behind. From the bridge at the Cuyabeno River, transportation is limited to boat. Boat or tall boots!
We had an amazing three days/nights in the jungle. During day we embarked on avatar-like walks through the primary forest. And a visit to Siona tribe—one of the four indigenous groups that inhabit the reserve. We were treated to a glimpse into the daily life of a remote community.
Our remarkable visit into the jungle was over too soon. We returned to Quito on our well-traveled road, stopping for a glimpse of some of our favorite sites in the Oriente.
We invite you to take a moment to enjoy our whole collection of photos from Cuyabeno Reserve, and our individual paddling trips!