We signed up for 3 day/2 night jungle tour through a travel agency in Misahualli. It just so happened to be the agency our hostel in Banos recommended.
Jose decided that he didn’t want to do the jungle tour so he headed out with Katie and Cali back to Quito. It was a good plan since he likes cities and had not yet been to Quito, and I had already spent 3 days there.
So it was just me and Jeremy. We negotiated the rate from $45 a day to $40 a day, or $120 total for the trip.
They supplied us with all the food we needed and boots. It was very muddy so we definitely needed the boots.
The trip was surprisingly very well planned. We started out with a 20 minute ride in the back of a pick up to the trail entry. We hiked 3 hours and the main guide Javier stopped along the way to show us all sorts of plants
It was outfitted to fit 20 or so people but it was only the two guides, Jeremy and I. We were exhausted all day; it was so hot and humid it drained us. After a delicious spaghetti dinner we headed straight to bed. The rooms were not screened in so we had individual screens over our beds.
We really needed the nets, the bugs were incredibly bad. I had 100% deet bug spray and thought I was prepared. It turned out the only way to get away from them was to either be in the river down the hill from our site
or in our screened in bed. Long sleeves helped but they still bit my neck. Plus it was just so hot to wear long sleeves. The locals aren’t bothered by the sand files, they have thick skin that is used to them they can’t bite through. The mosquitoes came out at dawn and dusk to add to the bites.
We went to bed no later than 10 and slept at least 11 hours. Exhausted.
After lunch we went tubing. We hiked back up through the village
So lush and green and relaxing. After napping once again, we had dinner.
After dinner, we headed out for a night hike. We would sit silently with our lights out and wait to see if any animals came by. None did. He would turn on the flashlight and show us tiny nocturnal spiders and other insects. Just sitting there in the dark was amazing with all the noises of diversity. The sky was so bright with stars.
They had them sing a song to us, and we in turn sang back “the wheels on the bus go round and round” and “this is the song that never ends”
We couldn’t help but laugh about how rough they played; one kid grabbed rock in his hand and slammed it over his friends head. Later on the same kid threw a rock at another kid. Violent!
After playing with them for a little while, we went back across the river to their house.
We were initially going to take a canoe back to town, but our second guide randomly left on the second day. He said he had some sort of meeting and Javier was not to pleased about it. It was also tough for Jeremy and I because the other guide spoke english and did a lot of translating for us.
Emerging back to civilization definitely felt weird. It had seemed much longer than 3 days. We jumped in the back of a pickup and made our way the rest of the way to Mishualli.
Overall it was an amazing experience. Although at times the bugs were so bad I couldn’t wait to get back, in the end the bug bites will be gone and I will still have great memories.
If I were to do it again, I would definitely take the trip from Lago Igrio. It is deeper in the jungle where there are piranhas and more wildlife. I was disappointed we didn’t really see any animals, and we had to wait until the villager’s dogs stopped barking at night to hear the wildlife. The locals were also always buzzing up and down the river on motorboats so I felt we could have had a better jungle experience.