Guided tours of the reserve can be arranged at the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ranger Station in San Miguel. The rangers here can serve as guides, and charge about $10 per day (entrance to the reserve is free). Two guides are needed for trips, with one for each end of the paddle-and-pole-operated dugout canoe. Alternatively, you can visit on a guided tour arranged through one of the lodges in San Miguel.


These hills are the haunts of rarely seen mammals including giant anteaters, Baird’s tapirs, jaguars and, in the upper reaches of the reserve, spectacled bears. However, the chances of seeing these animals are very remote. You're more likely to see monkeys, squirrels, sloths, nine-banded armadillos, bats and a huge variety of bird species.


You'll need to bring your own food, or you can buy some from the rangers if you arrange a tour.


There are some places to camp overnight if you have tents and the necessary gear.