Anacondas, Piranhas, Tortugas, Birds, Insects, Monkeys, Dolphins, Caiman, swinging from jungle vines, paddling in dug out canoes.
We booked our 5 day Jungle Tour from Quito. The total cost was US$165 plus $US10 National Park entry fee.
Jungle Village visit
Basic Bush Survival
The food was excellent and the guide and staff at the camp were super friendly and made us very comfortable.
The camp consisted of about 8 open air huts. Each containing 2 beds (with good mossie nets) and toilet with hand basin. Our camp also had gum boots for everyone. You really needed these rubber boots when walking through the jungle as most of the mud puddles were knee high.
They also provided fishing lines for the Piranha fishing trips.
Definatly a worthwhile experience.
DON'T FORGET YOUR PASSPORT! It is a condition of entry to present your original passport.
It was great to explore the jungle by boat. Well in fact it is the only possibility to enter deeply in the jungle. As there are only small muddy foot paths in the jungle, no big roads.
In the beginning it was a bit scary in the boat because of the rocking, but after a while you get used to it, and you are more relaxed in the canoe, and you enjoy the trip more.
From the bridge were we started our boat trip, we had about three hours to admire the beauty of the Ecuadorian rain forest.
Every time our guide spotted an animal, we stopped to listen to his explanation, and for making pictures.
Like this we spotted these two monkeys, and soon the question followed : Who is watching who?
Note the thick fury tail of the left monkey.
Of course we also spotted a lot of birds. We saw them in all sizes, big and small.
I just loved spotting those birds of prey, like the hawks we did see.
Oooh, they are floating in the sky, Oooh what a beautiful view.
Of course it was not always easy to make a good picture while seated in a rocking boat.
As we woke up the first morning, it was raining.
Of course it is part of it, and we all thought when you are visiting the rain forest, it must be raining. Not the whole period, but at least a few hours.
So we started our first jungle walk in the rain.
The staff of the camp provided us with good ponchos and rubber boots.
We started our trip with a half an hour boat ride. Then we went a shore and walked for about 3 hours.
It was a great experience to walk in the rain in the rain forest.
Of course it is not so interesting for making pictures, as it is a matter of keeping your equipment dry.
I think that in this period (July), it rains a lot. All the paths were very muddy and slippery.
Lucky for us there were good rubber boots to wear. Only for the people with big feet (above 46), there was a problem. But these guys knew it and they brought a pair of boots from Holland.
And also they gave the boots to the staff after wards, so they could use them for future tourists.
As you can see on the picture, the paths were very muddy, and so were our pants after the walk.
Ooch, yes, I found it pretty exciting to make such a walk in the jungle.
Also along the road the local guide Freddy, explained the use of plants and animals by the locals.
Like this we did eat small lemon ants. No, no, it was not disgusting; you just put some ants on your tongue and taste some lemon.
He also told us about the use of certain plants to heal some diseases.
Because of the rain, the whole jungle looked very green (as you can see on the picture).
It was a great view.
But it was not so easy to spot birds, while walking. As with a group of 10, there is always some noise, and then thee birds fly away, when they hear something approaching.
It was much easier to spot birds from the boat. But then it was more difficult to make pictures from the boat.
Our rainy morning walk ended in a small Indian village.
As we arrived in the Indian village, it stopped raining, so we could off our ponchos.
But anyway we were wet, not because of the rain, but because of the sweating under those plastic ponchos.
The first thing we did see as we came out of the rain forest was an old canoe.
I don think they still use it, as it looked in not so good condition. Someone said that it was the Titanic canoe version.
In the Indian village there were several trees with colourful fruit.
It is a pity I can not remember what the name of this fruit was.
I am sure that our local guide, Freddy, told it. But on such a morning walk you see so much and you hear so much, that it is impossible to memorise it all.
Of course writing it down immediately could be a solution, but when you are walking in the rain that is not so handy.
Our morning walk ended in a small Indian village.
This village was located near the river, as the river is the only way to get somewhere in this rain forest.
Our canoes were waiting for us to bring us back to the Hot Spots Camp.
As we took off, there was still some time to look behind and to take a last picture of the Indian Village.
And so it was time for some new exciting adventures.
After our morning walk, we returned to the Hot Spot Camp for a delicious meal.
And in the afternoon it was time for a boat ride in order to spot some birds.
Och, yes, we were lucky, we spotted a big bird of prey in the forest.
I think it was a kind of Falcon. But it was not easy to spot and to make a picture as it was deep in the forest a bit hiding behind branches and leafs.
But I made several pictures, and one of these pictures was very beautiful, as you can see the entire bird at his hiding place.
During our afternoon boat ride, we spotted a lot of Black Vultures.
They were sitting on the high branches of the trees, waiting for something to eat.
You should know that Vultures are scavengers.
I also did see a lot of Black Vultures during my Mexico - Guatemala - Honduras trip of last year, especially while make the boat ride in the Canon del Sumidero (see the Sumidero page)
Our guide book told us that there is a chance that you might see some Hoatzins while visiting the Cuyabeno Park.
Well in fact we did see a lot of these Hoatzins.
These beautiful birds looked kind of primitive, as it seemed that they hardly had evolved, it looked as a bird from the prehistoric times.
The young Hoatzins have claws on their wins same as the famous prehistoric Archaeopteryx.
Like this they can leave the nest even before they can fly. Whenever they fall out of the nest, with these claws they can climb up the tree again.
Quite remarkable, isn't it?
The guys, who did work in the kitchen of the Hot Spots Camp, had thrown away a kind of sweet juice not far from the toilet bloc.
And a few minutes later, many beautiful butterflies came to that place, certainly attracted by the smell of the sweet juice.
A great opportunity for us to make some pictures of beautiful butterflies. And because of the juice they did not fly away.