We wake up on Wednesday ready for our next adventure…the Amazon. Today we journey to the tiny port of La Ounta Ahuano on the Napo River. Here we board our motorized canoes for our cruise to the lodge, Casa del Suizo, in the Amazon Rainforest. We immediately can feel the high humidity and high temperatures and start to remove some layers. The Amazon is HOT in comparison to the high altitudes near Quito and Otavalo.
Our boat arrives, we leave our life jackets behind and hike up the hill to our new home for the next we days. We are welcomed pool side with a local drank and shown to our rooms. Our rooms are open to the sights and sounds of the Amazon with only screen windows. Each room includes a balcony and hammock AND an amazing view of the property and Napo River.
I change to my hiking gear and meet up with my group and local guides for a quick lunch. We enjoy lunch, pick up our rubber boots (provided by the resort) and board our boats. We cruise to Ahuano, a small island of only 50 families, and spend time with a Quechua family. We learn about life in an Amazon village before our sunset cruise back to our lodge.
Before dinner I enjoy a swim at the pool and cocktails. We have an early hike tomorrow morning so I decide to turn in after dinner.
Returning to my room, I get ready to settle in for the evening when I realize the Amazon is not quiet at night. I wonder if I can sleep and also what is making all this noise….I also think about bats and lizards…are they in my room? To my surprise I sleep very well and wake up feeling great.
I wake up early this morning and again dress in my Amazon gear…mosquito resistant long sleeve top, quick dry pants with zip off legs and quick dry socks. After breakfast, I pick up my rubber boots and life jacket and board the canoe.
Our hike this morning is difficult and includes suspended bridges and a zip basket. Several people in our group decide to relax at the lodge and meet up with us later.
Our guides help us explore for bugs, butterflies, tropical plants and flowers of the Amazon Rainforest. We eat live ants which taste like lemon when you bite into them.
I had thought this hike would be easier than hikes we have taken at high altitudes but the humidity really wears me out. Our guides gives us a break after a few miles so we take a photo break before making our way back to the Napo River. We take a group photo and have fun taking photos with our guides.
We hike on and finally reach the Napo River. We are glad to see our boat and I’m ready for a beer and lunch.
Back at our lodge, we enjoy a pool side lunch before we meet again for our afternoon excursions. We have a few options and I decide on a visit to the AmaZOOnico Rescue Center and a Cacao Farm.
Our visit at a Cacao Farm teaches us how the cacao bean is dried and ground to produce chocolate. We are also entertained by a young local girl with dancing.
Next, we cruise further down the river and hike to the AmaZOOnico Rescue Center. This center rescues animals and returns them to the wild when possible.
Friday brings our Amazon adventure to an end as we turn in our rubber boots and life jackets this morning. Our canoe takes us back to the port of La Ounta Ahuano and we board our tour bus.
Our first stop today is El Pailon del Diablo (Devil’s Cauldron). After a hike through the Rainforest, this striking waterfall is revealed. Wow!
We continue to Banos to watch a demonstration of carving palm nuts into jewelry and animals. We also have a few hours to shop and walk around Banos. This small city is has a nice local market and lovely church.
We leave Banos for our hacienda and enjoying a lovely drive through the valley of Patate.
Our hotel for tonight, Hacienda Leito, is a welcome sight. The grounds are beautiful and weather is cool. Our fireplaces are a nice addition to our room tonight.