The Cuyabeno Amazon Jungle

Week 49

Day 347

Napa, CA

38.3047° N, 122.2989° W

Between my camera and Phillip’s (a fellow Amazon traveler who took most of the photos since our camera had been stolen) I had over 1,500 photos from the Amazon, so it’s taken me some time to go through them all and upload them to this post.

The good news is it’s finally done and I can share our experience!

The Amazon Jungle first and most importantly is an amazing experience.

It was kind of like being on Safari, but instead of driving through you mostly canoe around.

Like most things we did this year, we ended up in the Amazon almost on accident.

As I was doing research on where to go in Ecuador, I read a couple blogs talking about Amazon experiences and decided this was a must a we had to do.

For those who are as clueless as I was about how to get to the Amazon, there are probably thousands of ways.  You can get to different regions of the Amazon from Columbia, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, and perhaps other countries I haven’t heard of people going from!

We chose to head out from Banos Ecuador.

We were originally going to do a 2-3 day trip from Banos to the Puyo Jungle, but thankfully the hostel owner at Transylvania  advised that we do a 4 day trip to a deeper Jungle.

She advised that doing a 2-3 day in Puyo was a waste of money as you see everything there is to see the first day.  The jungles she recommended were either Coca jungle or Cuyabeno Jungle which are much deeper and have more animal life.

The Coca jungle sounded pretty cool, it’s a little deeper and rather than sleeping in a lodge you sleep in a tent that your guide sets up for you at each different location you stop at along the way.

We chose to do the Cuyabeno Jungle though because of the equipment we had with us (Computers.)

We stayed at Samona Lodge and had a blast!

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Getting there was pretty crazy.

First we had to take an overnight bus from Banos to Lago Agrio where we met our tour group.

You never know what you're getting yourself in for with an Ecuador bus.  It could break down, you could get robbed, and often times you'll run into a military check point.

You never know what you’re getting yourself in for with an Ecuador bus. It could break down, you could get robbed, and often times you’ll run into a military check point.

Every tour group meets at a little hotel in Lago Agrio.  When we first arrived, we weren’t sure what we were getting ourselves into because there were quite a few people and we thought at least half of them would be with us, but we never saw anyone except for our small group of 6 the rest of our time in the jungle.

From Lago Agrio, tour groups come one by one and collect their participants for another 2 hours drive to the Cuyabeno River.

Once you arrive at the river, you’re not quite there but that is where the adventure begins!

Our first ride down the river actually turned out the be the most exciting part of the whole trip!

Within minutes we were seeing Monkeys, Herons, Sloths, and Anacondas!

Arriving at the Cuyabeno River

Arriving at the Cuyabeno River

And we're off!

And we’re off!


Pumped with adrenaline from the ride in we hit the lodge, had some lunch, unpacked and were back on the river for a sunset cruise to the lagoon to hunt pink dolphins!

We saw a bunch, but those little buggers are hard to get a picture of.  The sunset was beautiful though!

IMG_4953 IMG_4938Day 2 started with another ride down the river, to a rare “dry” area of the jungle for a forest walk.

Obviously some things you can’t get pictures of, but the highlight of the walk was the Marching Wasps nest we went by.

When a Marching Wasp hears a noise near their nest, the entire colony will make a “marching” noise to scare away predators.

We got them to start “marching” by yelling March!

It literally sounded like troops marching through the woods!

On land, you basically see a lot of spiders, bugs, and insects but the ride there offered some cool animal life!




Tree Cutter Ants go marching one by one


Another cool bug!


Stinky Turkeys~ The first time you see these birds, you think they are amazing but they are a dime a dozen in the Amazon!


Cappuccino Monkey!


Toucan Sam!

Each afternoon we’d spend chilling at the lodge, lounging in hammocks and of course mucking around!

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The camp Croc

The camp Croc

They don't call it the Rainforest for nothing

They don’t call it the Rainforest for nothing

Later that night we headed out for another forest walk, but this time at night.

The night tour basically ended up being a snake tour :/

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Part of the night tour was hitting up the Equator.

Part of the night tour was hitting up the Equator.

The third day we headed South on the river to a local tribal community to learn how to make Yucca Bread.

Heading out!

Heading out!

For all my paleo friends out there, Yucca Bread is amazing!  I really want to make a pizza out of it!  (Eventually or in the future when I have a home 😉 )


To make Yucca bread, first you need to harvest the crop.


Once you peel and clean the yucca, you grind it down into a mushy paste.

Building a fire to cook the bread.

Building a fire to cook the bread.



IMG_5408 IMG_5409 IMG_5410Once you have your “flour”, all the work is basically done.  From there you just need to bake it over a fire.  (Although I’m sure an oven would work too.)

So easy even Tom has this recipe down! :)

So easy even Tom has this recipe down! 🙂

We ate the Yucca bread with some tasty Tuna Salad and then went on a nature walk to see the giant Samona Tree!

Natural Jungle War Paint and the beers the local tribe sold us :)

Natural Jungle War Paint and the beers the local tribe sold us 🙂


The Base of the tree looking up


Who needs a wall when you have a Samona Tree!


Next up on the agenda was learning to hunt with a dart gun!



Tom and I both hit the target!  I guess we could survive in the Jungle!

Nature at its finest...

Nature at its finest…

The last stop of the day, was a local Shaman who cleansed our spirits.


That about wraps up our time in the Amazon.

It was a super cool trip and we are so glad we made it happen!

What would Amazon Creature interests you the most?


A big Thank you to Phillip for all the photos! 🙂


Comments 2

  1. Aunt Teresa

    I’m sitting here with Colby Jack catching up on your adventures. Of all those interesting creatures in the Amazon–you two are the coolest!
    Colby and I will keep in touch. (He was annoyed by weird black neighbor cat trying to invade his space on the deck this morning!)

  2. Pingback: Maylyn’s Guesthouse

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