The Amazon jungle, the biggest rainforest on earth! And we are lucky enough to visit this mind blowing wonder of nature. Despite that visiting the Amazon jungle in Ecuador is one of easiest ways to do so, it still took us many hours by bus, car and boat. But in return we would get three beautiful and peaceful days without wifi, tv, noisy car horns or stinky gas exhausts, which felt like a kind of a nature detox.
Leaving from Quito, the capital of Ecuador, the bus took us to Lago Agrio in 6 hours. Sounds ok, 6 hours, but most part of this bus ride was leaving the Andes. What made de ride not the most comfortable, but as a backpacker in South America is was not the first, nor probably the last uncomfortable ride on our trip. In Lago Agrio the organized tour we booked started. After breakfast our ride picked us up for part two of the journey. A good two hour drive as far as the roads could bring us into the Amazon. From there we transferred to the last bit of our journey which was a two hour boat, or actually a canoe, ride to our lodge.
Unfortunately we were not that lucky on arrival in respect to the weather, as it was literally pouring with rain! But well, what may someone expect in the rainforest right? Perhaps this was the way of the Amazon greeting our arrival, although all we could think of at that moment was how to ever get dry again. The canoe ride itself is supposed to be already amazing, a great opportunity for wildlife spotting. However we were tucked away in our poncho’s, hiding for the rain hoping to arrive at our lodge as soon as possible!
Arriving in our lodge it had almost stopped raining and once it stopped entirely half an hour later, it luckily did not start again during our entire trip. Shortly when the sun appeared after that, the temperature boosted up and we couldn’t wait to head out into the jungle. In the following days we made several great trips by canoe and on foot (for real!) during early mornings to spot birds, in afternoons to spot Pink Dolphins and watch the sunset over one of Cuyabeno’s many lakes. Also at night hunting for crocks, anaconda’s, spinders, scorpions and many more creepy animals, I would not mind to never encounter again so up close.
The highlight of our trip was a hike through the jungle, ending in a swamp in rubber boots which were supposed to be (read: definitely not) high enough. Surprisingly there were no dangerous animals to worry about there.. Something a bit difficult to set in your mind, but well.. hour guide knows what he’s talking about right? Same as the supposed fact that during in the middle of one off the lakes it was perfectly fine for swimming at sunset as the larger animals don’t get there… Funny that three hours later when we set out for an evening exploring in on of the canoes, we found a huge black cayman in the middle of that same freaking lake.. thanks amigo!
Our over-enthusiastic and positively humoured guide, David, taught us much about the Amazon, its animals, its biodiversity, its inhabitants and about the ecosystems in Cuyabeno. Most interesting was to learn about the way the indigenous people use the plants and trees to survive and for medical purposes.
The days passed quickly so before we knew it, it was time to head back to reality again. We said our goodbyes to the great people we met and look back a great and beautiful experience.
Next stop: Baños (nope, not the toilets..)