After breakfast at the lodge, we set out on the first excursion of the day.
Piranha Fishing: For centuries, the Amazonian people have moved along the rivers in dugout canoes. Even today, this mode of transportation is the best way to explore the creeks: navigating slowly, listening to the sounds of the jungle and observing nature, attempting to imitate the exact way ribereño people see the forest. It is possible to observe many species of birds that feed and nest close to the river shores. Various species of primates such as brown capuchins, squirrel monkeys and saddle-backed tamarins are easy to spot. We may even observe rare and elusive creatures such as the river otters from the dugout canoes. At some point we will stop and fish for piranha using wooden poles with string and meat attached.
We return to the lodge for lunch.
Medicinal Jungle Walk: The rainforest is home to a host of plants used to treat different diseases. There are forest medicines for headaches, stomach aches, broken bones, hernias, and rheumatism – even for diabetes. On this excursion, we will explore the rainforest in search of medicines found in each plant or tree, learning the secrets of the jungle and the relationship between plant and man.
Visit Jungle Village: Due to conflicts and tribal disputes many years ago, a group of Jibaro people moved from their ancestral land located on the Pastaza River to an area closer to the equatorial border. They navigated downstream to the Tahuayo River - a small, blackwater tributary where they created their new community. We take a boat from Treehouse Lodge downstream on the Yarapa River for 30 minutes to reach Jaldar community. From this village, we walk 40 minutes on a jungle trail to the Jerusalem Jibaro community on the Tahuayo River. Here we learn the art of fishing Jibaro style and explore the Tahuayo River in dugout canoes in search of Amazonian animals such as monkeys, macaws, toucans and sloths. We also learn how the dugout canoes are made, how masato (a jungle beer made out of manioc) is prepared, and how the blow darts, bows and arrows used for fishing and hunting are made. We also see original handcrafts made by girls in the community. These handcrafts are available to purchase. Before leaving, we have a picnic lunch at the chief’s house to thank him for his hospitality.
After dinner back at the lodge, we head out on a night safari.
Night Safari: On our night excursion, we travel along the river, looking for wildlife with flashlights. The chances of spotting wildlife are good. We generally see beautifully coloured frogs resting on floating plants on the edges of the creeks, fishing bats that detect their prey using sophisticated sonar and then catch it using their talons, potoos, owls and caimans (located through their red eyes). Other nocturnal animals include kinkajous that feed on fruits and berries and opossums that feed on birds.