The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings.Buddhist Sutra
April 10-16 2018
Leaving the cool mountains and valleys of southeast Peru, we headed to the hot and humid northwest corner of the country to visit the Amazon Rainforest. It would be our last stop during this leg of our trip through South America, and it was a place we couldn’t miss checking out.
Our base would be the city of Iquitos, the largest city in the world that is not connected by road, meaning the only way to reach it is by boat or plane. It is well known for the Belen Market, a place where you can find all sorts of medicines, herbs, and food sourced from the surrounding jungle.
A bustling city that grew to prominence when the rubber barons used it as a base of operations, then abandoned the area once the resources were gone. A large section of the city is built on stilts or floating platforms that rise with the waters during rainy season.
After a couple of nights we headed a few hours up the Amazon River to where we would be staying for the next three nights, inside of a comfortable eco-lodge deep within the jungle. It was surprisingly cool and the lodges were built to keep the many bugs out, a welcome relief.
Here we would go on multiple excursions each day, looking for animals and different types of plants and trees unique to the area. We would sometimes hike through muddy trails, or take a variety of boats along different segments of the Amazon and it’s tributaries. At one point we even jumped in the river for a swim.
We saw many types of monkeys, reptiles, birds, and fish while we floated or hiked around, hacking through the dense brush with a sharp machete. Pink and grey dolphins could be seen swimming in the water, sloths climbing and clinging from the trees, and piranhas were an easy catch making for a great meal.