The Watering Hole Blog

Welcome to the Jungle – Ecuador #5


Welcome to the Jungle – Ecuador Photo Blog #5


MA, Lynne & gang on the Nepo River in the Amazon basin, Ecuador

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

– Robert Swan

Finding the above quote for this Ecuador travel blog sure got me thinking. Click To Tweet

This is the fifth & final photo blog about our Ecuador adventure…

After the Galapagos, we returned to the mainland (Cumbaya, a suburb of Quito). I love this photo…I was buying a belt from a guy outside a market and this old fella was supervising the transaction:

Basílica del Voto Nacional, Quito, Ecuador

Then we headed to the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest. Our base was the ever so lovely La Casa del Suizo jungle lodge (I highly recommend it…the food was outstanding). From there, we did day trips as well as an overnight stay in a local community…right IN the rainforest (our hut was on stilts; the ants were HUGE).

Our mode of transportation was by boat on the Nepo River (a tributary of the Amazon River):

Amazon-sized leaves, primary forest

Yours truly ticking another item off the bucket list: hiking in the Amazon 🙂

Our community-stay in a local village…

Muddy trails


Margarite the matriarch


Goofing around with selfies (looking a little wild)


Goofing around with a blow gun

And look what we found on a tree in the village…if you look closely, you’ll see it is hundreds & hundreds of caterpillars:

Another thing we found in the village…two of our own group dubbed as princesses:

Lynne & Nancy were singled out (in a good way) by the local women for asking lots of questions

Back at the La Casa del Suizo, we heard an informative presentation by the sister (third from right, back row) of our Altropico guide, Sante. She works with OMASNE, an organization that raises awareness about mining development in Ecuador. Their hashtag is #Bosques Sin Mineria, which means Forests Without Mining.

Some of us in our OMASNE t-shirts

“Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.”

– E.O. Wilson

We also visited a butterfly farm just down the road from our lodge…

Check out the GOLD cocoons!

After leaving the butterfly farm, we walked past a school and I popped my head in a classroom and snapped this pic:

Not to be outdone by Lynne’s princess-status, I received some recognition of my own on the tour as a DOUBLE WINNER of the Party Animal Award AND the Sung Hero Award. No wait…I think it was called the Unsung Hero Award – but by the time I was finished wearing it for a few days, they may have had to rename it…a humble Double Winner I am not.

And that’s a wrap! Our adventure was truly a trip of a lifetime and I am beyond grateful that I was able to go.

Thank you for sharing in my photo journey…and if you have a hankering to go to Ecuador yourself, I highly recommend traveling with Experience International and Altropico. I have been blessed to travel to many places but these two organizations ensured my time in Ecuador was a truly unique (and fun!) experience that I will never forget.

Thank you Charlie & Sante…and Lynne, of course, for putting up with me. Rooming with a Double Winner cannot be easy 🙂

About Experience International Study Tours

Experience International (EI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization based in Bellingham, Washington. Incorporated in 1988, their mission is to embrace and create opportunities for international understanding and human resource development through technical and cultural exchange in a wide spectrum of disciplines including but not limited to agriculture and natural resources.

EI also works with community and choral groups of all ages that travel and often sing to celebrate human diversity, peace, and social justice; to exchange and share with local groups and communities off the beaten track.  Please click here for details. 

About Altropico

Altropico is an organization committed to social and environmental causes in the binational region of Ecuador and Colombia. They collaborate with indigenous, afro-descendant and mestizo organizations, with programs and projects oriented to the good living of their populations. Please click here for further info.

Related Blogs by Maryanne

Great Galapagos – Is that a Giant Tortoise or What?!

Surviving Inti Raymi – Ecuador Photo Blog #3

Magical Moran – Ecuador Photo Blog #2

Walking the Line – Ecuador Photo Blog #1

Celebrate Good Times – Saying Goodbye to Sadie Pope

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here.


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2 thoughts on “Welcome to the Jungle – Ecuador #5”

  1. An amazing time with an amazing group and THE best travel partner!! (oooops, I shouldn’t have said that, that and double winner, you’ll never get your head through another door!)

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