Tips about visiting the Amazon Rainforest

Each visit into the mystical Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador is unique and how you will experience your visit depends on many things, including: the weather, the season, your preperations, your expectation, attitude and simply luck.

How to spot wildlife

Tourism in the Amazon RainforestOne of the best tips I can give  to anyone who wants to visit the Amazon Rainforest is to be realistic. The Amazon Rainforest contains literal thousands of different species of flora and fauna, but you always need some luck to spot the most exciting wildlife.

I often like to use an example from my time working as a volunteer for the Merazonia animal refuge in Ecuador. Months and months I spend working and living in the jungle between the Amazon and Andes. As for ‘exciting wildlife’ all I was able to spot were an anteater, tamarin monkeys, armadillos, the cock of the rock and some snakes. I thought that we were too far away from the ‘real Amazon Rainforest’ to be able to see monkeys and cats. We had seen home footprints and some volunteers once saw a few wooler monkeys high in the trees, but it wasn’t until some volunteers donated  trap cams with motion sensors to Merazonia when we found out how much wildlife was really around us. The trap cams were placed at different locations on trails less walked and the results were amazing! Among the animals they were able to film were: deers, ocelots, spectacled bears, pumas, a jaguar and even a black jaguar which is high on the list of animals threatened with extinction!

We were never able to see those animals right around ua at Merazonia, because they could hear and smell us way before we would be able to spot them. So when you go into the rainforest you can be sure that many animals already notice you before you can spot them. The best way for you to see wildlife is if you keep quiet and keep your eyes and especially your ears wide open. It is often underestimated how important it is to listen to your surrounding. With your eyes you can only focus on limited directions at a time, while your ears can pick up sounds all around you. Also many animals have good camouflage and are difficul to distinguish from the lush colors and moving shadows in the rainforest, but most animals do make sound when they move. Keep your ears focused on rusting leaves and breaking twigs and you increase your chance to spot wildlife. Binoculars can help as well, but usually you first need to see the animals before you can use your binoculars to focus in on them.