When I first arrived in Ecuador to start my internship with Ecuatraveling, I did not know what to expect as it was my first time in the country and in South America in general. I expected Ecuador to be a very beautiful country and I knew it would be a major change of scenery in comparison to France or Europe, but my first trip exceeded all my expectations. Just a few days after my arrival in Quito, I did the Amazon Jungle 4 Days experience. At the very beginning, I was a bit nervous and intimidated by the jungle and its abundant wildlife. But the feeling soon faded away as I felt safe and overwhelmed by the beauty of the scenery! During these four days, I stayed in Waita Lodge and its heavenly facilities in the Cuyabeno Reserve Wildlife.
It was a truly incredible experience, as I was entirely immersed deep in the jungles of Ecuador. I felt privileged as Ecuatraveling is the only agency that can get you there. The guide and the staff working in the lodge were very competent, foresighted, and ready to help if needed. They anticipated our needs as snacks and drinks were always available, and the food was delicious! At the end of the trip, they even made a big cake for us, which was so sweet of them. They were also always ready to adapt and take into account the needs of everyone. Besides all that, they were above all very friendly, and we had such a great time. There were four tourists and I in total, and we were all always laughing and sharing stories about our own countries and how they are different from what we were experiencing in Cuyabeno. I felt completely immersed in a different culture and a different world that made me feel at one with nature more than as a tourist. Nature was really enhanced and brought to the fore, all the more so since the lodge was environmentally responsible and embraced wildlife. It was a unique experience to fall asleep and wake up while hearing the animals and everything that happened around me. I was also very impressed by the guide and the driver of the boat, whose ability to spot hidden or concealed animals is stunning. They helped me have a different view of my surroundings and be aware of what nature has to offer, even though it was hard – sometimes impossible – to see some animals who know well how to blend into the background, like snakes or bats! Concerning the activities, they were diverse and enthralling: bird watching and animal watching (monkeys, ara macaws, pink dolphins, spiders, butterflies, and so many others), boat tours, walks in the jungle – by day and by night, paddleboard, fishing piranhas, learning about cacao and other plants. I personally loved paddle boarding, I felt cut off from the rest of the world! Depending on the weather and the wishes of the tourists, the guide was able to adapt and choose the right activity that fitted the exact moment. Everything was well organized from morning tonight. It was a very rewarding and relaxing experience for me as there was no need to plan the activities, only to enjoy them. My trip to Cuyabeno was one of the best trips of my life, it was a great journey as everyone in the lodge was involved in offering us the best possible experience.
Written by Florence Courtois