One of the favorite things that we did during our time in Ecuador was to climb up a twelve story tower in the rainforest to watch for wildlife. Like most days that we spent at the Napo Wildlife Center in the Amazon, we were woken up at 4:30 am to have a quick breakfast and jump into a canoe to paddle to our destination. Obviously, the best times to see wildlife anyplace is at dusk and dawn when animals are most active and the same is true of animals in the jungle.
Once we beached our canoe, it was a relatively short hike through the forest to reach the observation tower. Standing at the bottom of the tower will certainly test any potential fear of heights, but it was an easier climb up the stairs than we had at first anticipated. We climbed up through the tree tops as well as the fog and arrived to see an amazing view of the jungle below us. It didn’t take long for the group to start spotting birds. The goal was to act as a team, each of us looking through binoculars and zoom lenses searching for motion that might be from an animal. Once someone saw something, our guides would point their telescopes at it and determine what we were looking at.
We were able to see so many amazing animals from macaws, toucans, and various monkeys. Overall, during our time in the jungle, we saw over 52 types of birds, 5 different monkeys, 2 tree sloths, as well as caimans. We weren’t able to take photos of everything because of the denseness of the forest, but we will treasure our memories of seeing them forever. We had several wonderful adventures during our time in Ecuador, but this day was definitely one that was extremely memorable.