Amazon rainforest’s unmistakable treasures include vipers, tarantulas and piranhas

I recently travelled to the Amazon on two separate occasions. Whether in Ecuador or Peru, I had family accompanying me, and plenty of excitement waiting in the rainforest.

My son and I visited the Napo Wildlife Centre in Ecuador for our Amazonian adventure. This is accessed via a 30-minute flight from Quito, Ecuador’s capital, to Coca, where we were picked up in a high-speed motorized canoe that took us to a tributary of the Amazon, at which point we were met by our two guides.

The final leg of the journey to Napo was by non-motorized canoe, upon which we were more than happy to join in the paddling for the 45-minute trip to the wildlife centre. This was our first experience of the wonderful sounds and sights of the Amazon, and we were greeted by a cacophony of noise courtesy of a group of the wellnamed howler monkey. The next morning, we quickly learned why the Amazon rainforest was so named as we awoke to an absolutely torrential downpour. We were scheduled to paddle back up the tributary and go on a hike through the rainforest itself. The rains just added to the experience and it helped that Napo equipped us with heavy-duty ponchos and rubber boots.