About 2% of this Amazon Rainforest lies within Ecuador’s borders in the foothills of the Andes. Despite its small proportion, it contains about a third of the Amazon’s diversity!

The Ecuadorian Amazon Region takes up half of the country, spilling east from the gentle eastern slope of the Andes into Perú. Rainforests are defined by low altitude (up to 1,000 meters), high temperatures (25- 28° C) and daily rainfall. Among the oldest of all ecosystems, Amazon basin forests are at least 100 million years old. A large percentage of Ecuador’s animals and plants live in the area. From the jungle rivers of the Amazon-side of the Andes to the misty cloud forests, an awe-inspiring experience will be had by any nature lover.

The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve protects 590.912 hectares of precious primary forest which must be conserved as a natural patrimony for our future generations. It is located just on the Equator, in the northeast area of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. The elevation gently slopes from about 300 meters to slightly under 200 meters above sea level.

Seasonally flooded swamps with thick green water create a dramatic juxtaposition against the sediment-poor dark rivers in the lower part of the Cuyabeno River. Further down the Amazon, rivers like Várzea and Lagartococha are flooded with dark and mysterious sediment-rich waters. In Igapó, Macrolobium trees are scattered along the landscape housing epiphytes and different bird species like herons, Macaws, and Huatzins. Permanent lakes exist in places like Laguna Grande and Zancudo Cocha. We can find well drained forests located on smalls hills and in the upper watershed near the top of the Cuyabeno River. The reserve includes areas from the white waters in Aguarico running to the border of Perú, to other drastically different ecosystems, making the Cuyabeno rich in diversity and bursting with life.

In this paradise, it is possible to identify over 500 different species of colorful birds starting from tiny hummingbirds to the majestic Harpy Eagle. There are 240 different species of plants in one hectare, each one with a specific practical and medical use. Jaguars, Monkeys, Anteaters, Sloths, Dolphins ( Inia Geoffrensis and Sotalia ), Manatees and Armadillos, are just some of 165 species the mammals that live in the Cuyabeno Reserve. Amazing anacondas and fer de lances are only two of the 91 species of reptiles and caimans found. Swimming in the many rivers of the Amazon reside piranhas, catfish, the gigantic arapaima that can reach over 2 meters. Approximately 470 species of fishes thrive here in the black water rivers and lakes.

The Cuyabeno Reserve provides home and habitat for countless plant and animal species as well as for Indigenous communities such as Sionas, Secoyas, Kichwas, Shuar and Cofanes.