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Which Remote Amazonian Place to go to in Ecuador - Cuyabeno / Kapawi / Other? (1 Viewer)

Semiramis

Well-known member
Hi,

I am looking into a trip to Ecuador and did some research on the Amazonian lodges. Enough info on Napo River/North Yasuni lodges (La Selva, Sacha, Napo Wc, Shiripuno, etc.) but what about the less well known areas in Ecuador.

As always I am equally interested in mammals and birds, so places that are good for both would be preferred.

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?

FInally, I have read very conflicting reports on Shiripuno Lodge. Any want to comment on that Lodge?

Sjef
 

lewis20126

Well-known member
I was at Cuyabeno in 1995! Very good area but must have changed greatly - no birders really seem to go there now which is a puzzle. It was very good for larger birds and monkeys etc but again that could have changed. The accomodations were very run down but there may be new lodges on the lagoon.

I went to Kapawi in about 2007. It is very good for Antbirds but very heavily hunted by Indians so monkeys, big birds are rare. I would not go again.

cheers, alan
 

Semiramis

Well-known member
Thanks Alan!

I think that eliminates Kapawi and I will look into Cuyabeno a bit more. The lodge situation seems to have improved a lot. I will contact 2-3 lodges in Cuyabeno and see what they say.
 

Coronatus

Well-known member
A couple of years ago 2011 I went down the Napo on my trip. We stayed at Sani Lodge and enjoyed it. The local excellent birder was Domingo Gualinga. We found Sani and him very worthwhile and less 'formal' than some of the larger lodges.
We also went 'native' into the Bush to the Shirupino river where we rode downstream, for two days or so to lodge with Huarani people for five nights. Here we found new birds including Fiery Topaz.
One place in Ecuador we never fully explored was Cabanas San Isidrio owned by the Bustamente family to which we intend to return.
Enjoy your trip.
 

lewis20126

Well-known member
Thanks Alan!

I think that eliminates Kapawi and I will look into Cuyabeno a bit more. The lodge situation seems to have improved a lot. I will contact 2-3 lodges in Cuyabeno and see what they say.

I would definately recommend Cuyabeno then, if hunting hasn't increased. One thing to bear in mind is that depending on the location of the lodges, you may have to get canoes to the trail heads. The old park huts were on what amounted to a forested island which meant we had to use dugout canoes.

Ther are interesting birds there from an Ecuadorian perspective; we had the first field record of Collared Gnatwren, which doesn't occur on the Napo.

There are a large number of lodges on the Napo which I've never been to, many are hunted. Another one, not on the Napo, which I've been tempted by is Tiputini Lodge - again, there is no hunting there.

cheers, alan
 

Semiramis

Well-known member
I was reading a few trip reports on Tiputini yesterday evening and it really sounds like our kind of place once you manage to get there. Is it still a bit of a hassle to get there ? That is, show up in person at the university in Quito to arrange all the paperwork and then get held up for a while by oil company workers at the entrance or has all this relaxed a bit? Will a tour operator be able to do the pretrip paperwork for a Tiputini visit? I simply don't (want to) have time to waste at least one day in QUito with arranging all that within a 2.5-3 week trip.

Thanks Coronatus, Sani Lodge is definitely part of Plan B, i.e., the easy and comfortable option:), sounds like a fantastic place if you read the reportsd but I also do like to try places that are slightly off the main trail. Still making my mind up.

Cuyabeno: I have sent 3 lodges an email with detailed questions. Not that Trip Advisor necessarily is a reliable source of information for a birding/mammaling trip, but there are a few birders there that comment and they do mention things that make me hesitant: inflexible, rather canned excursions, poor guides, not allowed to explore trails on your own at all, and indeed mostly/exclusively boat excursions. The answers from the lodges will have to be pretty convincing.
 

lewis20126

Well-known member
I was reading a few trip reports on Tiputini yesterday evening and it really sounds like our kind of place once you manage to get there. Is it still a bit of a hassle to get there ? That is, show up in person at the university in Quito to arrange all the paperwork and then get held up for a while by oil company workers at the entrance or has all this relaxed a bit? Will a tour operator be able to do the pretrip paperwork for a Tiputini visit? I simply don't (want to) have time to waste at least one day in QUito with arranging all that within a 2.5-3 week trip.

I think there is some good info online but not sure where to find it. There was a thread on BirdForum by a researcher who spent a lot of time there but can't recall the details.

cheers, alan
 

ovenbird43

Well-known member
I think there is some good info online but not sure where to find it. There was a thread on BirdForum by a researcher who spent a lot of time there but can't recall the details.

cheers, alan

That was me - I can't speak for how easy it is to visit as an independent birdwatcher, but as a researcher the logistics were very easy to arrange via email with the station manager (whose email address was listed in my now-defunct graduate student email account- but it should be available on their website, will look into it later). I always just told them when I wanted to arrive and depart (they do pick-ups and drop-offs two or three times a week), and they would pick me up at the airport in Coca and have everything set from there. I was also able to pay the station fees by sending a check to their U.S. bank account in Miami.

I think there was a time when they only allowed researchers and students to visit, but that may have changed and is definitely worth looking into. It's a fantastic place for both birds and mammals due to its remoteness and lack of hunting. It's a major site for primate research, so several troops of the 10 species of monkeys are somewhat habituated to human presence and easy to observe.
 

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