When reading about our Ecuador tour, many people focus on the Galapagos half of the tour – understandably so given the world renown of these amazing islands.
However, that often leaves the Amazon Rainforest vacation component overlooked. It shouldn’t be!
Our Amazon stay is at an amazing Ecolodge and Spa called La Selva, where we will spend three incredible nights. The lodge is located within the Yasuní National Park and Biosphere Reserve and is a two-hour motorized canoe ride from the nearest town, the city of Coca. We stay in luxury suites, eat in the lodge’s restaurant, and engage in daily activities with our local guide.
The lodge has five separate trails leading through the Amazon, ranging from 20 minutes to four hours walking time. We will take daily walks with a local guide, in part to get exercise but primarily to see the flora and fauna of the region. Although the Yasuní Reserve has big creatures such as jaguar and anaconda, it is actually the small wildlife that will provide experiences you will not forget.
I first visited Ecuador in 2002 and still remember my jungle stay vividly. Here are just a few of the things I experienced on daily walks through the jungle, all with a local guide:
- Climbed a tree using the vines hanging from its branches.
- Ate several Myrmelachista schumanni ants, which taste like lemons.
- Took a night walk where I paddled a boat, watched as our guide transfixed with his flashlight and then grabbed a small caiman (crocodile), and held it myself while he paddled us back to shore.
- Watched a large underwater clam slowly open its jaws as we whistled Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Symphony #9.
In short, the experience was amazing: a great combination of life in a luxury lodge, daily exercise, and being exposed to an amazing environment. Now, I have been to many countries and had many experiences but I would put my Amazon rainforest vacation high on the list. Combine this with the Galapagos Islands and you have an amazing adventure.