Cuyabeno Reserve is characterized for be one of the most important protected areas in the northeastern Amazon region of Ecuador. Due to its geographic and biophysical conditions, the reserve has considerable biological and cultural diversity.
The Cuyabeno Reserve includes areas covered by forests and wetland plains, where have been registered a considerable number of trees variety of all the world. Moreover, within the Reserve Cuyabeno are 514 species of birds, 117 species of mammals and 176 species of amphibians and reptiles.
The Cuyabeno Reserve is located at the northeastern Ecuador, in the province of Sucumbios, cantons Cuyabeno, Lago Agrio and Putumayo. And a small fraction of the reserve is located in the province of Orellana, Canton Aguarico, between the basins of the San Miguel and Aguarico Rivers, one of the most important feeders of the Napo River. The natural reserve presents an average temperature of 25 ° C degrees. Within the reserve are located the basins of the rivers Sábalo, Pacuyacu, Yanayacu and Cuyabeno.
The northern territory of Sucumbios (Ecuador) and the Alto Putumayo (Colombia), was historically the land of several ethnic groups who maintained a close social interaction. According to historical records, during the early Spanish colonial incursions into the area, several villages were identified as the Quijos, Omaguas, Encabellados, Záparos, among others.
Some sources refer to the fact that between the Napo and Putumayo, in 1742 the Tetetes and Mumus societies were located on the banks of Cuyabeno river. The Tetetes occupied part of the the present province of Sucumbios and were traditionally herbal healers with vast knowledge of it. The Sucumbios, until 1779, according to primary mapping, were part of the territory of the Quijos until the initial years of the conquest.
In the seventies, XX century, as well as the arrival of settlers, mainly from the highlands, likewise there were Kichwa indigenous population movements from Tena, Archidona, Pano to Lago Agrio and the northeast. In the same way, the Shuar migrated toward this area, outside their territories of ancestral occupation. The creation of Protected Areas in the country since the early seventies was a new incident factor on the relationship between indigenous people and their territorial space.
The declaration of these protected areas didn’t consider the presence of previously human settlements, mainly Indians, which caused resistance in this population.
The access isn´t easy. You have to get to the city of Lago Agrio in the Amazon, go to the Cuyabeno River bridge and from there starts a trip of more than two hours until the Cuyabeno lagoons.
It is prudent to contact your travel agency or the preferred tour operator to make the trip to the Cuyabeno Reserve.
However, it is possible to go to the Cuyabeno Reserve by road. You must take the road Lago Agrio - Tarapoa - Tipishca.