Tapir Lodge

Tapir Lodge is located in Sucumbíos Province, in the upper Ecuadorian Amazon region, within the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, and was built in partnership with family members of the Siona Community.

Itinerary 4 Days

Day1

Our services start at Lago Agrio´s Airport. Which can be   reached either by bus or by plane.   In the first flight TAME 08:30.  The approximate time by bus is of 8 hours while the flight will approximately 30 minutes on board of a Boeing.  From Lago Agrio we will drive to the Northeast side of the Sucumbíos province where “El Puente” (The Bridge) is located.  It will take  us between 2 or 2 ½ hours to reach The Puente depending on weather and traffic conditions.  Throughout  this drive  you will have the opportunity  to see beautiful landscapes created by the combination of rainforest, rivers, and small  towns.

After our arrival to “EL Puente” we will take a break to enjoy our box lunch then we will proceed to get ready for our next journey on board of a motorized canoe.  We will provide  you with rain ponchos and life vest; your luggage will be covered with plastic  for protection, to prevent it from getting wet in the event of rain.  Throughout the trip in 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.  We will navigate for 2,5 hours until we arrive to the Tapir Lodge.  Once in the Tapir Lodge guests will be indicated to their rooms to make themselves comfortable.  After dinner (19:30) the guide will provide general explanations about the Tapir Lodge as well as about the Cuyabeno  Reserve and the activities that will take place the following days.

Day2

Our  day  will begin  with a healthy and delicious  breakfast that will be served  at around 07:30 am, after that we will meet our guests  at our pier where we will  make sure that everyone has got a pair of rubber boots for the excursion (available until size 45 EU).  Depending on the size of the group  we will be driving  with a motorized canoe or with a paddle canoe.  Our tour this day  will start  at 09:30, this day consist of an upstream drive to the “Laguna Grande” (Big Lake) it will take  around 30 minutes by motorized canoe or 1 hour by Quilla.  In the Laguna Grande  we will have the opportunity to observe that surroundings Flora and Fauna.  The Flora find in the lake is quite unique, we will find  Igapos or inundated forest as well as the macrolobium; ancient trees that have adapted themselves to the surrounding, enviroment 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 Once the Igapo  excursion has been completed, we will travel  to “Terra Firme” and begin a trek on a path called “Palma Roja” (Red palm); this path was once part of a scientific research station belonging to the Catholic University.  Before starting our trek  our guide will  provide a brief explanation regarding basic  ecology of the rainforest.

We hope  to have the opportunity  to see and hear  many species of birds such as Woodpeckers, Tanagers, Macaws, and Toucans; and if we are lucky enough we will come across  two of three  species of Monkeys.  We will return to Tapir  for lunch, it will be served at 14:30, after that our guests will have  a 2 hours brake approximately.
At around 17:00 hours we will meet at our pier and drive with the canoe to a different  area of the “Laguna Grande”.  Once we get to the lake  we will navigate  thought the surrounding area searching for birds and other animals.  If so desired our guests could go for a swim whick is a perfectly safe and a very relaximg activity.  Depending on the weather, we may be able to admire a breathtaking sunset.

Once the evening activities are closed, we will return to Tapir  and have a refreshing drinks at our bar or chat with the guide about the day´s events.  After dinner depending on the weather  conditions we can take a quick night trek around the Lodge looking for frogs and other night wanders.

Day 3

Depending  on the weather conditions, we could  have an early start and head out on a bird watching excursion.  We will leave Tapir  at around 06:00am navigating downstream admiring the flora and fauna found along the river while  searching for exotic birds, native to the region we should  be returning at around 07:00 am  to enjoy a delicious breakfast.  After this  we will meet at the pier.  This day  our excursion will consist of a 2 hours canoe drive downstream.  Throughout our journeys we will search Morphos (giant Blue Butterfly ), Monkeys and more.

On Our way  we will pass the village of Puerto Bolívar who´s solely inhabitants are the Sionas.  Following Puerto Bolívar  we will  continue to an small community where we will have the opportunity to visit and meet Thomas the local Shaman who belongs to the Cofan ethnic group.  Thomas spends most of this time curing and treating the local inhabitants with his vast knowledge of medicinal plants.

At Thomase´s backyard.  At our arrival we will take a break to enjoy a tasty box lunc.  After lunch Thomas will share with us his experience in the rainforest as well as the processes for healing people.  For those interested in taking part of a healing ceremony the options is there and it should last about 40 minutes.  Handicrafts are available for purchase, all of them crafted out of materials provided by and obtained in the rainforest.

At around 15 hours we will navigate back to Puerto Bolívar where we will be greeted by the local Siona family.  There will observe how the Cassava Bread is prepared.  The Yuca (Cassava) Root ( Manihot Esculenta) has always been an essential food supply and perhaps the main source of carbohydrates for the indigenous communities of the rainforest Once the Yuca (Cassava) has been  collected it will be peeled and grinded into a paste; this “paste” is then pressed to eliminate the water and the starch.  The remaining dried product will be toasted in a pan for few minutes and the result will be a “pancake” like bread of neutral taste which we will be able to taste.  We will then head back to the Tapir, there we will take a dinner and spend the night.  After the dinner the staff will introduced to the guests that worked in that days then they will share and enjoy of a typical cocktail of passion fruit.

Day 4

Breakfast will be served at 08:00 AM. After breakfast we will coordinate and schedule your departure from Tapir. Which is generally between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM depending on flight  and weather  conditions. Our staff will attend to the luggage as they make sure it is all loaded onto the canoe. We will depart Tapir and make our way back to the bridge. Our private transportation will be waiting for us. Drive back to Lago Agrio. Arrive to airport.

END OF SERVICES

These itineraries are subject to change without previous notice depending on weather conditions, client’s requirements or if our guides feel that it would improve the quality of services.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Cotton shirts,
  • Small backpack (waterproof)
  • Long trousers, (not jeans)
  • Insect repellent
  • Shorts,
  • Water Canteen
  • T- Shirts
  • Binoculars
  • Cotton socks, a pair per day
  • Torch (flashlight)
  • Comfortable walking, shoes and sandal
  • Sun block
  • Sweater
  • Bathing suit
  • Book and notebook
  • Cotton underwear
  • Toiletries
  • Money
  • Sunglasses
  • Original Passport
  • Prescription medicines and small first aid kit
  • Hat or cap