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The Telegraph

Welcome to the jungle: The best rainforest adventures on Earth

Have woodland walks got you dreaming of something bigger? Here are some of the best rainforest adventures on earth. For more holiday ideas, see our 1,000 Dream Trips. Ecuador’s mighty Amazon Explore the jungle-lined channels of the narrow, meandering Rio Napo by canoe, for birdwatching, animal spotting and memorable encounters with indigenous people. Why it’s special The headlands of the Amazon in Ecuador are known to botanists and butterfly experts around the world as a biodiversity hotspot. A great maze of rivers and streams feeds long, meandering tributaries such as the Napo and Putumayo, which have their sources up in the Andes. The lesser rivers, which traverse dense jungle, are ideal for motor-canoe journeys, and the focus here is on jungle walks and human-powered paddling into the tree-lined channels. The Napo, in Ecuador’s Oriente region, is the home of the Huaorani people – one of very few extant indigenous cultures found close to the riverbanks. Accessed overland from Coca, a hub for the petrochemical industry and something of a Wild West town, or by means of short flights in prop planes, are a handful of comfortable riverside lodges managed by indigenous co-ops or eco-minded operators, providing handy bases for an encounter with the extraordinary local people – and the rainforest, their ancient home. The Yasuni National Park, on the south bank of the Napo is home to hundreds of bird species. It’s a major site for Amazonian mammals, including monkeys, marmosets and squirrels, and is of global importance for the variety of its bat and amphibian species. To the north of the river, the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, with the Río Aguarico slicing through its heart – is harder to access and consequently more pristine. Freshwater dolphins and endangered river otters inhabit the waters close to the Peruvian border. A dizzying variety of palms, guavas and native trees make up the more than 200 tree species per hectare. Find out more about this holiday, including how to book


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