Explore the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador for an insight into this incredible habitat where wildlife abounds.
The tree top canopy at Sacha Lodge was very memorable. It pushed us but was worth it to see so much at the top of the rainforest including macaws, parrots, toucans, vultures, monkeys and sloths.
Nature unspoilt and untamed, the Amazon jungle is all-embracing; its sights, sounds and smells surround you. Although comprising only 2% of the Amazon basin the rich rainforest of Ecuador’s Oriente, also known as Amazonia, contains a profusion of wildlife. Birds, mammals, reptiles and insects thrive in this pristine environment, to be observed as you explore on forest trails and cruise the waterways. Welcome to the jungle!
- Wildlife: The rainforest is a natural sanctuary which teems with life. Expect to see a whole host of birds including colourful parrots and macaws, toucans, hummingbirds and kingfishers. Keep an eye out for different species of monkeys which your guide will distinguish, tapirs, sloth bears, caimans and giant otters plus smaller creatures like frogs and lizards. There are insects galore including beautiful butterflies. It’s almost overwhelming and certainly humbling, nature at its abundant best.
- Trails, boardwalks & towers: Walking in the forest is an immersive experience. With jungle all around you, your senses are heightened as you watch and listen for signs of life. Your guide’s expertise helps you spot and recognise creatures large and small, identify various plants and learn about the habitat in its entirety. Night walks are especially atmospheric offering a glimpse of nocturnal species. Canopy walks and viewing towers offer a lofty perspective as you gaze out over the treetops, getting a sense of the immense size of the rainforest. You can also see monkeys and birds in the trees at close quarters.
- Water water everywhere: Drifting nigh on silently along a creek or in the mangroves in a dugout canoe is an absorbing experience. The pace is unhurried, you can pause to listen to bird and animal calls, turn your attention to movements in the trees and on the banks as you watch for wildlife and take plenty of photos to capture the scene. After dark, you can take a kayak out onto a lake where you may spot the glow of a caiman’s eyes just above the waterline.
- Clay licks: For many, this is the highlight of their rainforest holiday, the staggering sight of huge flocks of parrots and parrakeets converging on the mineral-rich lick to feast. The colour, clamour and competition among birds make for a great show and is at its tumultuous best in the early morning.
- Lodge or cruise boat: Amazon lodges, true to their location, are rustic and generally provide simple accommodation with some creature comforts such as en-suite accommodation with at least partial hot water. Between morning and afternoon small group activities you can relax in the lounge and enjoy meals in the restaurant usually served in a single sitting. Cruise boats offer greater luxury with mod-cons and a feeling of exclusivity. Interiors including cabins are often air-conditioned and there’s electricity. Picture windows and viewing decks let you admire the changing scenery and excursions by land and water led by the vessel’s naturalist guide are arranged each day.