Don't let yourself be fooled by the big pipes at the entrance to the reserve: the oil companies operate as far as the borders of this protected zone, but Cuyabeno is one of the most well preserved sites of Ecuadorian Amazonia!
The reason for including Cuyabeno in your tour of Ecuador is above all because the reserve is a jewel of nature. It is also because, for once, tourism does not seem to have had a negative impact on its incredible environment. Native tribes still live there and some of them even benefit from eco-tourism, which provides them with a stable source of revenue and protects their habitat.
The impressive number of animal species that live in the reserve also show that man has not had much impact on the habits of the local fauna. In a few days of expedition, nature lovers will probably have the opportunity to observe a number of toucans and parrots, all kinds of insects, monkeys, and also snakes (mainly boas and anacondas), enormous spiders (the tarantulas come out at night!) and tiny but venomous frogs! Of course, the scenario is never written ahead and it will take a little luck, plus a good local guide, to observe the full range of species present in Cuyabeno.
The main attraction of the reserve is without a doubt Laguna Grande. This lake, which forms during the rainy season (even if it rains year round), completely floods the flora. The result is absolutely unique: trees with their feet in the water and only the tops in free air, forming little islands. The decor of this flooded forest is a magnificent sight, especially during the fabulous sunsets. It is also possible to swim in the middle of the lake (but really in the middle, because caimans live on the shores...), a great experience off the beaten track, don't you think?
From Quito the Cuyabeno reserve is accessible by bus or plane as far as Lago Agrio. The tour operators then take over and take charge of your transport by van and then boat to the lodge of your choice. Plan at least 3 days there. There are many activities and nature observation is a question of patience...