Just back from… The Ecuadorian Amazon With Konrad Mludzinski-
Our Real Latin America Expert
Tailor-made Travel Consultant Konrad has recently returned from a trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon. Read all about his experience here.
Where have you been?
I was travelling to the Galápagos for work but on the way I stopped off to visit the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Have you been before?
If so… notable differences?
It’s not just about flora and fauna. There’s a real focus on engaging with the local indigenous communities. Most lodges visit a nearby village where you learn about the culture and traditions and gain an insight into how they lead their lives. I found this fascinating.
How did you get there?
It’s just a 30-minute flight from Quito to Coca and then about three hours along the Napo River by motorboat to get to the lodges. The last bit of the journey is usually by paddle canoe which really adds to the sense of excitement.
How long were you there?
I spent five days in the jungle and visited three different lodges.
Which was your favourite excursion?
A full-day hike through the forest was an unforgettable experience. We set off at dawn, when the jungle was still eerily quiet and everything around us was just beginning to wake up. We navigated through the morning mist, experienced sudden downpours, saw troops of howler monkeys and then returned to the lodge just as the sun was setting against the beautiful sky. An incredible day.
Appeals to which type of traveller?
I think everyone should “experience” the jungle at least once in their life!
What did you pack?
Try to take as little as possible (I’d suggest leaving your main luggage in Quito). The lodges provide Wellington boots and full-length ponchos, so all you really need are a few shirts, lightweight trousers and a hat. You’ll also want some dry clothes to change into when you get back from the day’s activities. Sun cream is essential and I’d recommend mosquito spray (although I found I didn’t need it most of the time). A dry bag to protect your camera and personal belongings is really useful too. Invest in a pair of binoculars.
Any good food, drinks, restaurants or bars recommendations?
The food at all the lodges was great. Ecuadoreans make especially good soups. I was also able to try a local delicacy – lemon ants which were surprisingly tangy but actually quite nice!
How would you sum up your trip in a sentence?
My favourite jungle experience to date.
Any top tips?
Don’t come to the Amazon expecting a safari. Yes, you’ll see various animals (lots of beautiful birds, monkeys, caiman and river otters) but given the sheer size of it and the dense foliage, you’ll often need a pair of binoculars to truly appreciate them. Some of the most interesting creatures I saw were the tiny creepy crawlies expertly spotted by the beady-eyed local guides (even at night). Visiting the rainforest is so much more than just seeing wildlife; you’ll learn all about the environment, local cultures and the medicinal purposes of plants – it’s an all-round amazing experience that you’ll never forget!
Read more about the Ecuadorian Amazon.