My first day in the jungle

My first day in the jungle, five days after my landing in Riberalta, a city lost in the heart of the Amazonian forest. I had no idea what could happen to me or what I would discover.

The roads are surprisingly bumpy by motorbike. The landscape starts to dazzle me.  There are trees in the distance.

We pass the San Jose community.  There is a total change of scenery and little houses built with nothing.  The area is so wild. The village is literally in the middle of the jungle.

We start to walk, we go deeper and deeper into the jungle.  The weather is cloudy and windy, the forest is calm.  The monkeys are hiding just like the birds, it is definitely too cold for them today.  The day goes on.  We don’t see a lot of animals but the ambience of the forest is over me.  I could have stayed all day watching the big trees sway with the breath of the wind.

A fascination for the scenery that never goes away

After two months of walking every week through the jungle I am still as fascinated by its nature as I was that first day.

I was able to observe the monkeys four times, both at night and during the day.

Speaking about the night.  My first time walking through the jungle at night was simply the most terrifying experience that I have ever lived through.  The wildlife is so noisy.  I walked along knowing I was not alone, but at this exact moment in my life I never felt more alone.  This is quite a complex feeling to experience that.  You understand how small you are in the middle of mother nature’s artwork.

I also realized my dream of seeing a sloth in his natural environment.  It took almost 2 months to find one, but I finally achieved that goal.

I was also very happy to be able to see lots of birds.  I think even more than I have seen in my entire life.  For sure, they are more birds in this reserve than in my entire country, Switzerland.

The butterflies are very gorgeous too and there are a lot of different species as well.

I regret not seeing more amphibians and reptiles.  Aquicuana is home to a lot of different and colorful species, however, the dry season is not a good time to observe them.

To summarize, I think the Amazon, and particularly the Aquicuana Reserve (because I worked there) is a paradise for biodiversity lovers, professional biologists, or people who are just passionate about nature.