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How I Got Lost in the Amazon Jungle

My trip to Ecuador was mostly influenced by my desire to experience a few days in the Amazon jungle. Out of the three weeks I planned to spend in Ecuador and Colombia, five days were reserved for the Amazon. After my arrival in Quito, I found out that some people from my hostel were going on a tour of the jungle so obviously I didn’t hesitate to join. We booked a 5-day tour with the Dracaena tour company to venture into the deepest part of the Amazon. Our starting point was in Lago Agrio, since you obviously can’t go to the jungle on your own.

We took the cheapest option (approx. $12) to get to Lago Agrio, which was via overnight bus. To my surprise the bus was pretty full, so lying on two seats wasn’t an option. The bus dropped everyone off in the middle of nowhere, I presume so a few locals could make some money by taxiing us to the meet-up point. After 3h of waiting at a restaurant, we got picked up by our tour guide for another 2.5h drive by minivan, followed by a 3h boat ride.

We were all pretty scared because a lot of people took their 30kg suitcases with them, despite being advised not to bring anything apart from a small backpack, so the boat had to carry a lot more weight than we expected. To be honest, as a tour guide I would have simply refused those people entry on to the boat with suitcases that big.

Upon arrival to our lodge I realized that the trip was definitely worth it. The semi open-air houses made out of bamboo looked amazing! Every morning the toilet was full of frogs, scaring my Finnish roommates away, and a group of bats would chill on the top of my bed cover. One morning our neighbors freaked out because a boa was right next to their beds, but according to locals this brings you good luck.

Call me crazy, but the only real problem I had was the shower since I like to take my showers in boiling hot water and I can’t stay in cold water (for me it’s cold, for others it’s a normal temperature) for longer than a minute. In the jungle I had to resort to being slightly less clean than usual.

Every day we got offered a bunch of activities. We took long walks through the forest to spot birds and bugs, boat rides to see river dolphins, and went fishing for our own dinners. I got to see a toucan, falcons, poisonous caterpillars, and plenty of monkeys including the ‘local’ one I made friends with.

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