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Paddling along the lake, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
"It appears to me that nothing can be more improving to a young naturalist than a journey in distant countries." - Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle
Black Caiman from the canoe, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Black Caiman  Jeff Waugh

Caiman live throughout the Amazon and can sometimes be photographed from the canoe during the day. Many of the lodges offer night excursions on the lake or river in search of caiman. Your guides will move spot lights along the surface of the water and everyone helps to locate the caiman by pinpointing their glowing eyes. Any trip to the Amazon is an amazing experience!

Turtle on a log near the lake shore, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Turtle Jeff Waugh

Anytime you are on the water, there is always a good chance to see some turtles from the boat or canoe, but you will need to be quiet and very patient in order to get close enough for a good look! Some of these turtles grow to 60 cm in size! This one enjoyed sun bathing on a log next to the canoe dock.

Macaws, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Macaws Jeff Waugh

Macaws and other parrots congregate on mineral licks at specific locations in the Amazon. Our native guides will take you to these locations at the best times for viewing these magnificent birds in relatively close quarters from within specially constructed blinds.

Canoing the creeks in the Upper Amazon with your local guide, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Dug-out Canoes Jeff Waugh

Dug-out Canoes
The local indigenous people still carve dug-out canoes from large trees in the rainforest. The rivers and streams are the main transportation routes in many areas of the Upper Amazon and the canoe is still a major means of transport. Some of the best wildlife viewing is often from the canoe along the river or stream.

Hoatzin perched in trees, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Hoatzin Jeff Waugh

The Hoatzin are a primitive bird and a symbol of the Amazon. This is one of the most commonly seen birds and it can often be seen and heard close to the lodges and along the trails. The Upper Amazon is the richest area in the world for the diversity of birds and you will be overwhelmed by the variety and outstanding colors of the myriad of species.

Caiman Lizard, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Caiman Lizard Jeff Waugh

Caiman Lizards
Caiman Lizards are fairly common in some areas of the Upper Amazon. They are usually spotted in the trees above low swamps and flooded forests and are good swimmers.

Howler Monkeys, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Howler Monkeys Jeff Waugh

Howler Monkeys
The mysterious "howling" of the Howler Monkeys is often heard early in the morning before you are out of bed. This troop was making quite a raucous very early one morning as we approached their location. They vociferously defend their territory from other monkeys (and people) in the area. 

Howler Monkey, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Howler Monkey Jeff Waugh

Howler Monkeys
On rare occasions they will surprise you by their curiosity and you may be able to get a fleeting look or photo. This one was perched on a branch in the canopy above us.

Great Kiskadee, Upper Amazon lodges and tours
Great Kiskadee Jeff Waugh

The Upper Amazon is home to more bird species than any other place on earth! This Great Kiskadee was perched on a branch above our heads as we glided down the stream in the canoe.

Amazon Forest Dragon, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Amazon Forest Dragon Kiva Waugh

There are numerous species and various sizes of lizards throughout the Amazon. It usually takes a keen eye (and usually your guides) to spot them amongst the verdant vegetation along the trail. If you keep your eyes focused and searching amongst the vegetation you may be fortunate to spot one yourself!

Squirrel Monkey, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Squirrel Monkey Jeff Waugh

You will have ample opportunity for viewing many different species of monkey during your stay in the Upper Amazon. Although they are plentiful, you will have to have plenty of patience and a quick hand with your binoculars or camera to get a really good look or reasonably good photo.

Giant River Otters, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Giant River Otters Jeff Waugh

Giant Otters
The Giant River Otters of the Upper Amazon can be elusive and difficult to find. You may hear them calling through the dense vegetation as you paddle along a creek or stream, but it is rare to have a really good look at one. These otters are residents near some of the lodges we offer and the local guides will help you to find them.

Squirrel Monkey, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Squirrel Monkey Jeff Waugh

No, this is not a flying monkey, although they seemed to be doing just that. We watched a troop of over 40 squirrel monkeys leap from tree to tree across the stream above us as they scurried through the canopy in search of food.

Woodpecker, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Woodpecker Jeff Waugh

This large and fairly common red-headed woodpecker is just one of many species of woodpecker that you will see in the Amazon.

Praying Mantis, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Praying Mantis Evan Waugh

The diversity of insect life in the Upper Amazon is absolutely astounding and quite amazing! As are the interactions between species. Just seconds after this photo was taken a fly-catcher zipped down and gobbled him up!

Local indigenous women, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Supporting local communities Jeff Waugh

Indigenous People
Many of the local indigenous people are involved in sustainable development and ecotourism projects to protect their native land and culture. Your participation in tourism supports their efforts and leads to a greater understanding of the sacredness of the rain forest and our role in protecting it.

Traditional face painting, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Face Painting Jeff Waugh

Future Generations
You will always have a local guide who is intimately familiar with the plants and wildlife of the forest and who will share their special knowledge and culture with you.

Through ecotourism, we support efforts to protect the traditional lifestyle of the indigenous people and the wilderness of the Amazon Rainforest for future generations.

What a Wonderful World...
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They're really saying I love you.

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

- Louis Armstrong

For future generations, Upper Amazon tours and lodges
Jeff Waugh

Discover Amazonia | Photo Journal


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