Have you ever seen an anaconda one meter in front of you or jumping monkeys in the trees?
And I am not speaking from the zoo. I mean in free nature. I have. Last week I had the chance to see the real amazonian wildlife in the Ecuadorian amazon rainforest.
A long but rewarding journey
Late in the night I took the bus from Quito to Lago Agrio, a city near the Amazon rain-forest Sleepy but excited I arrived 8 hours later at the shore of the Cuyabeno River. A local guide already waited for us. Together with 11 other people the guide brought me with a motorized canoe to the lodge deep in the jungle.
This is where my adventure started.
During the way to the lodge I sighted anacondas, monkeys, parrots, dolphins and different kinds of birds. Being so close to these animals you only know from television or the zoo was really unbelievable. 2 hours later we arrived at the beautiful ecological lodge. There I had time to rest a bit in my charming bungalow before we entered the boat again to swim in the “Big Lagoon” in the Amazon. A bit skeptical I asked the guide about dangerous animals in the lagoon but he assured me that caimans are night active.
Swimming in the lagoon with the most amazing sunset in front of you was just an incredible feeling. Afterwards we went back to the lodge, had dinner and started the night tour to observe said nocturne caimans. The sky was full of stars and we felt like we were in a movie. Exhausted from the long journey in the night and the impressions of the day I went to bed tired but happy.
Piraña’s are no joke!
The next day started with a delicious breakfast and a walk in the deeper jungle. The guide explained more about local plants and their medical use. I drunk healing milk from a tree and ate leaves with lemon flavor. Afterwards we drove to a lonely located spot to fish Pirañas. After a few minutes we already had luck and caught a big Piraña. As a proof of their sharp teeth our guide put a leave in its mouth. Few seconds later the Piraña already snapped it.
What an impressive and exciting day! Back in the lodge we got fantastic food and had time to relax. The night-walk after dinner has crowned my day. Huge spiders and snakes crossed our way. An hour later we arrived at the lodge where the day ended in the hammock with a view to the Amazon.
There are worse ways to get awoken
On the second day I was awakened by the screams of monkeys near the lodge. Never heard these sounds before and I was kind of scared in the first minutes. After tasting self-made crepes in the lodge I got ready for our next adventure: a visit of a local community.
The two-hour boat drive brought us to the community. A dressed up man and a native family were still waiting for us. We picked some Yuka, a root that grows in the jungle, to make bread of it. That was really interesting because nothing else was needed. After our delicious bread the dressed up man told us more about healing methods in the jungle. We also learned something about living in the jungle, the local traditions and their belief.
In the evening, thanks to our nice guide, we had again the possibility to spot caimans.
Just hearing the noises of the jungle in the night made me grateful to experience that moment. At the last day I woke up early to participate on a bird-watching tour. At dawn we took the boat and made our way through the Amazon. We saw many different sized and colored birds.
Time to leave the amazon and return back to civilization
Back at the lodge we enjoyed a great breakfast and had to say goodbye to the staff and the jungle. The two hours back to the shore of the Cuyabeno River made me feel sentimental and reminded me of 3 unforgettable days.
Being separated from civilization, without internet and the total trust in our guide during these days was an unique experience.I hope to return one time to be surrounded by this magical place again.0