Nature, wildlife, customs and heritage of Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

This short video depicts the natural beauty of Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve. Located in the northeastern part of Ecuador, near the border with Columbia, the relatively new national park contains rivers, swimming lagoons, and a floating forest. It is also abundant with life.

Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve contains more than 550 different bird species including the ancient Hoatzin (or “stinky turkey” because of its digestive system producing odorous manure) and more than 350 fish species, including piranhas, which we had an opportunity to “catch and release”.

If you are not a birder upon arrival at Cuyabeno, you will definitely leave as one. Just in case though, to keep your cameras rolling, there’s easy access to other notable species including capuchin and Howler monkeys, anacondas, caiman alligators, freshwater pink dolphins, armadillos, poison dart frogs, and river turtles. To round out the color scheme, cacao trees, orchids, wild roses and medicinal plants abound in the area too.

Imagine a place where the sounds of wildlife overtake any human conversation, where the night’s sky is at its most brilliant with an easy view of the Southern Cross constellation to the planet Venus and everything in between, and you have a taste of what it is like to visit Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be discussing my travel experiences through this region as well as the economic plight of the indigenous Siona, Secoya, and Cofan tribes who call this land home.

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