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Why So Shy? The Hidden Animals of the Amazon


The Amazon is a fascinating travel destination yet few people know exactly what to expect when they arrive. Most of us have images of hacking our way through nearly impenetrable foliage or watching as explosions of vividly colored macaws, lizards, and snakes burst from the leaves to welcome us. The fact is, extraordinary animals are waiting to be discovered among the sheltering leaves, yet their sophisticated camouflage systems make them virtually invisible.


Enter the expert Amazon guide. At Wild Nectar, we offer a wide selection of Amazon adventures both on stunning luxury river cruisers like the Delfin II and the Aqua Nera, and at lovely Amazon ecolodges like Reserva Amazonica, Sacha Lodge in Ecuador (has air conditioning) or Tambopata. Whether you’re traveling by ship or land, what will make your Amazon adventure truly spectacular will be your highly trained, expert guide. People who have grown up in the Amazon are used to spotting animals hiding in their favorite habitats. With a quick gesture from your expert guide and some focused observing via binoculars, suddenly you’ll be able to see them too.


Your Amazon adventure will consist of a wide array of daily activities for you to choose from and many of them include looking through the leaves for the abundance of animals wandering right next to you unseen.

You can set out on day hikes with your guides sometimes looking for bright wings or watching macaws and parakeets gather at clay licks. Night hikes are especially fascinating as a whole different set of animals are active at night. You can climb an observation tower, walk across hanging metal and rope bridges high up in the canopy, or you can set off in canoes or skiffs looking for wildlife from the water. If you’re active and love being outside, these days exploring the jungle with your expert guides will be heaven.


Some of the animals people are most hoping to see are also the most elusive:

Jaguars: Jaguars are particularly elusive and figure prominently in the local mythology. Your guide can help you spot them stealing through the undergrowth at night or hiding and relaxing during the day.


Pink Dolphins: Many people have heard of the pink river dolphins swimming the waters of Peru’s Pacaya Samiria Reserve and other areas of the Amazon basin. These dolphins are shy and elusive, often hiding from people and keeping a low profile away from predators like anacondas, jaguars, and caiman.


Harpy Eagle: One of the largest and most powerful eagles in the world, the harpy eagle has up to a 7-foot wingspan and is one of the most difficult birds to observe in the wild.


Giant Otter: These large animals are very social among themselves during the day yet are difficult to spot in the wild as they slip into waterways and easily hide away from unwanted stares.


Anaconda: The anaconda is the largest snake in the world and its ability to hide even in full view is one its most successful hunting attributes. Anacondas are mostly active at night and during the day, they blend in easily with their surroundings.


You’ve probably surmised by now that a good set of binoculars are going to make a big difference when it comes to getting in some great wildlife viewing. And, if you’re an avid photographer, you may want to consider investing in a good spotting scope so you can capture a lot of what you’ll be seeing.


In addition to packing your binoculars, I also want you to be ready for mosquitos and humidity. Both of these are part of the Amazon and if you invest in cool, ventilated, mosquito repelling clothing and bring insect repellent, you should be ready to stay comfortable during your animal adventures.

If learning about indigenous cultures is of interest, most of our Amazon adventures also offer you the opportunity to meet local people and discover what it’s like to live deep in the jungle. Encountering people leading such different lives from ours is always eye-opening, plus be ready for warm smiles and laughter all around.


Ready to head deep into the jungle? Contact us and we’ll help you select the Amazon adventure that’s just right for your activity level and travel style. A visit to the Amazon is an unforgettable adventure and we’d love to help you discover this verdant world brimming with exotic animals and plants for yourself!


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