RFI – Ecuador – Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve / Southern Yasuni / Kapawi Lodge


Has anyone been to Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve for mammals (or birds)? And are there any lodges that stand out? Private guiding would be a must though, don’t want to be put in a group with general interest visitors.

And what about southern end of Yasuni NP (Pastaza district), are there any intresting lodges there? Even further south there is Kapawi Lodge, looks rather plush but an interesting fairly remote location?



  • Cheryl Antonucci

    I am going to the Cuyabeno lodge in November, mainly for yellow handed titi monkey. I hired a private guide so I can let you know when I get back! Supposedly there is a chance for amazon manatee as well…..

  • vdinets

    I was there (at the W end) for a couple days in 1995. Got 5 spp. of mammals and 50+ spp. of birds. Got Chestnut Sac-winged Bat in a hollow tree on the shore of Rio Aguas Negras, and Anderson’s Four-eyed Opossum along a logging road at night. There wasn’t much real protection at the time.

  • Mathieu_W

    I went to Cuyabeno NP (Samona Lodge) in August 2010. I didn’t have a personal guide, nor a good guide at all (Miguel was his name), but Neiser would have been a good guide (he guided another group) and when I was in a boat with him on the way home we saw a lot!
    We had Hoffmnn’s Two-toed Sloth and Brown Woolly Monkey on our way back, on the way in we saw Graell’s and Brown(?)-mantled Tamarin.
    Inside the NP we had Squirrel Monkey, White-fronted Capuchin and one Lucifer Titi. I don’t remember if I had White-tailed Titi, as I saw many before along Napo river and in Shushufindi, as with Golden-mantled Tamarin.
    On the lodge grounds there would have been a Night-monkey dayroost, but Miguel didn’t tell us and so I only found out, when Neiser told me on our way home 🙁
    Manatees, I was told exist in the region, but are hard to find as everywhere. Pink River Dolphins we saw almost everyday.
    Giant Otter was seen by one group, as was three-toed Sloth, but not by me.

    • sjefo

      Thanks Matthieu, this is very helpful. Are most/all of the excursions by boat ? or are there also trails that can be walked? And do they do spotlighting either by boat or on foot?


  • Mathieu_W

    Most excursions were by boat. Just a few were by foot and we didn’t get very much (just a few bugs, not even many birds), which might have been due to the group size and noisyness. Spotlighting by boat was okay, we found Pauraques and Caymans, but no luck with mammals again. I think Neiser had some kind of Opossum with his group…
    I also found Proboscis (Long-nosed) and Greater Sac-winged Bat and most likely a dozen more, but couldn’t ID those. There are lots of lodges around, so I’m sure there’s also lots of many great guides there, which I guess will be crucial to find much stuff. For manatee I guess a private excursion will have to be done, as most other visitors won’t probably be willing to wait several hours just to see a glimpse of a back…

    • Mathieu_W

      And about Yasuni: I haven’t been to the southern parts nor have I even visited one of the famous Lodges like Sacha or Napo Wildlife Center, but I’ve been quite often to the town of Coca (Puerto Francisco de Orellana), I’ve been to the small vilages of Shushufindi and Tigüino and I’ve been to Yarina Lodge close to Coca. Just in the suburbs of Coca I had dolphin, pygmy marmoset and capybara. White-tailed Titi was common both in Shushufindi and Yarina Lodge, where there were also loads of Black Agouti and Capybara. Also Squirrel Monkey and Golden-mantled Tamarin were common. Tapir, Paca, and Yellow-footed Tortoise were encpuntered in an area with a fence around it, but that wasn’t very high so I wouldn’t be surprised if the animals could just go in and out as they want.
      Coati, Capybara, Monk Saki and for another group Crab-eating Raccoon were nice extras.

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