The Amazon Rainforest is home to millions of species of mammals, birds, bats, plants, insects, fish and reptiles, making it one of the most biodiverse locations on our planet. From the city of Coca we navigated the Napo River to arrive to La Selva Eco Lodge were we spent 4 days exploring the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve, in a remote corner of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
It’s a peaceful place, an outdoor adventure lovers paradise. If you have always dreamed of going to the Amazon, here are 22 photos that will transport you there. For those wondering about choosing a good camera, don’t forget to check out our guide How To Choose The Best Camera For Travel.
Warning: This post contains images of creepy crawlies, a killing and even a sex scene.
LAKE GARZACOCHA IN THE YASUNÍ BIOSPHERE RESERVE
From the Napo River, we took a dug out canoe to reach Lake Garzacocha, where the lodge is located. This was our home base for adventures. We spent most of the day paddling around the edges, going through the creeks and walking the trails around this area. As you will see in the pictures, it’s a great place for spotting wildlife and experiencing the jungle first hand.
Here a few Hoatzins (pronounced Watsons) dry off after a morning of rain and get a cool drink from the lake.
There are 10 species of monkeys that live in the Yasuní Biosphere reserve. One of the most common is this squirrel monkey. They travel in troops in the hundreds searching for fruits and insects high in the trees.
SOUND THE ALARM
Squirrel monkeys make lots of calls when traveling from tree to tree but when we heard some unusually load screams we knew something had gone wrong.
NATURE ISN’T ALWAYS PRETTY
One monkey misjudged the jump and landed into the water. Squirrel monkeys are great swimmers but this little guy wouldn’t be making it back to the shore today. An anaconda got a hold of him and used it’s immense strength to strangle it. While it wasn’t a pretty sight, witnessing the power of nature was impressive.
Just off the dock of the lodge you can go for a swim or you can fish for piranhas.
INTO THE JUNGLE WE GO
After a long night of heavy rain parts of this jungle trail are flooded, good thing we brought rubber boots!
ONE OF NATURE’S COLORFUL CREATIONS
Here a bull spider spins it’s web and waits for it’s next meal.
FROGS OUT AT NIGHT
Night time is the best time to see frogs and toads because they are more active, especially when it’s raining.
While some creatures use bright colors to scare predators away, many use camouflage to blend in with the surroundings.
Not only does the jungle house interesting creatures but thousands of species of unique plants. Below is a plant known as Tiger Ears. To pollinate they wait for an insect to land on it then it traps it inside. The bug then has to bite it’s way out. It breaks free with the flowers pollen on it’s back.
The best time to spot insects is during the night. As we walk through the jungle, we shine our torches on the leaves looking for what might there. Here we spotted a huge, hairy tarantula.
PADDLING THROUGH THE SWAMP
The good thing about visiting the Amazon during rainy season is that many of the creeks become flooded which makes for a great time to explore them by canoe.
POISON DART FROG
This little frog can cause a lot of pain if you touch it’s back. This defense protects it from being eaten by snakes, monkeys and birds. The poison dart frog is a great example of how plants and animals of the Amazon can help humans. Scientists have been using a chemical found in the venom of this frog which is 20x more powerful than morphine to treat patients with severe pain.
FRUITS OF THE JUNGLE
The main source of food for many jungle creatures is fruits.
JUST HANGING OUT
Many lizards live on the trees. With so many insects around, it’s a food paradise for them!
MORE CREEPY CRAWLIES
While walking through the jungle you have to be careful not to grab on to trees or you might be in a lot of pain. If insects creep you out, the jungle is not the place for you. But if you don’t mind getting up close to some bugs, you can appreciate the small creatures that make life go around.