The Reserva Amazonica lodge package offers several excursion options and each group of guests can mix and match them as they wish. As it turned out, our group consisted only of ourselves! What a great guide/tourist ratio we had! And we had a wonderful guide who was with us the whole time and who was very accomodating to what we wanted to do.
We chose two different half-day excursions to fill our single full day in the jungle: an unforgettable trip up into the forest canopy, and a little canoe trip and walking tour of the Concepción Botanical Center, both just short boat rides up or downstream from the lodge. But we also had a fun and informative "orientation" hike around the lodge grounds on our first afternoon there, and went on two night excursions along the river. Unfortunately we couldn't take any pictures during the night excursions, but they were fun (and COOL!) in spite of our not being able to see too much wildlife because they were staying away from the full moon.
Here are a couple of pictures of Claudia, our wonderful guide, and Kathy, on the orientation hike:
We learned a lot about the ficus trees—and the strangler vines that sometimes infest them—that are common in the jungles around the lodge during our "orientation." Claudia was very knowlegeable, with perfect English, and taught us a lot about the jungle during our three days with her.
One of the highlights of the orientation hike was our sampling the jungle cuisine. I still can't believe I actually ATE a termite! Here I am about to do so, with Claudia's encouragement.
The next morning we took a short boat ride to the excursion I'd been looking forward to ever since we planned to go to the jungle—the forest canopy. As you can see, we had the place to ourselves!
Here is the 10 story tower we had to climb to get to the canopy walkways. It took a little while, but we eventually got up there, and had a great view of the top of the jungle. From this vantage point we saw a lot of neat birds, but unfortunately none we could photograph.
These two pictures give you an idea of the size of the complex; those were long walkways!
In fact, the walkways were long enough, and swaying enough, to make Henry a little uncomfortable, but you can't tell that from the pictures on the outside below. However, in the one in the middle, I detect a little shaky body language...
Here are a couple more shots of us, taken by Claudia, on the walkways. In the picture at the right you can see one of the platforms to which the walkways were attached—"solid ground" for the acrophobic!
At the left below, an example of the luxuriant foliage of the rainforest. At the right, a good example of strangler vines attacking a tree.
Our excursion to the Concepción Botanical Center started with an unexpected delight. Even Claudia was impressed by this "river" of leaf-cutter ants; she said she'd never seen such a large group working together.