I really wanted to see the sloth and the anaconda that I've read so much about but I came upon this red faced monkey chomping on a guava fruit and I had to take this picture. In my desperate quest for the anaconda/sloth combination, I almost missed this little creature up on the tree! What was memorable for me was how it was cutely devouring that fruit and it's red face! I later found out it was the Uakari (found in Peru and Brazil), which has so little fat under its skin and is so full of capillaries that the blood shows through to make it red-faced.
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The moment when my crazy guide jumped in the river and emerged with the baby Caiman in his mouth sent a shudder through my spine - I can't ever forget this experience. It was fascinating and disgusting all at once. But he turned the otherwise touristy Caiman spotting into a nighttime adventure :)
Our small canoe slowly glided forward, surrounded by the mysterious, pitch black waters. The only thing visible was the narrow beam of search light wielded by the guide.
The serene soundscape during the day gave way to the deafening symphony of frog calls at night over the Amazon river. Suddenly, a huge splash was heard off to the side of the canoe. In the blink of an eye, our assistant guide was in the river with one arm holding out to me. I promptly grabbed her arm and helped her back into the canoe, and little did I know that under her other arm, tightly clutched, was a young caiman alligator, that she managed to catch in one shot as she dived into the water.
I nervously held the vicious looking yet docile caiman in my arms as my wife quickly snapped this memorable photo.
White sand island in the middle of the Amazon River
Spent two weeks on the Amazon River in Brazil, and one of the highlights of the trip was when we would stop for lunch on these little white sand islands, really just sand spits, in the middle of the river. Surrounded by the Amazon river, the jungle running right up to the edges, and enjoying a lunch as clouds passed by overhead was simply amazing.
During my trip through the Amazon, I had the opportunity to fish for piranha so that we could have lunch. Within a few minutes of fishing, we hooked into these two beauties. We beached the boats and our guides made a simple, yet delicious shore lunch. Catching the legendary piranha, in the Amazon river, was a great experience, and the memory of that will not be forgotten!
Sloth is common in the Amazon, where local kids play with sloth as their pet. The movement of the sloth is very slow - guess that's where the name came from. They usually stay on top of the trees, and just cling there for a whole day.
If you are taking a river trip on the Amazon, you will notice a lot of these floating gas station, where boats fill up the gas just like us here in the U.S. fill up the gas on the highway service center. The only difference is that most of the floating gas station is not self-serve.
Turns out, there are different seasons in the Amazon rain forest. I went there in November, and the water level was very low, which created a "beach" view rather than a rain forest look. However, if you visit the Amazon in April to July, you will be traveling door to door on boat. It's actually will be cool since the boat has to drop you off at the hotel lobby.
No matter what type of the side trip you signed up for, boat is the only travel option for you. A lot of locals run a boat business that the head of the household is the captain, and with the rest of the family working and living on the boat.
Shopping is a staple activity for any trip. Without a shopping event, the entire travel experience is not complete. The stores on the amazon river are usually on the floating houses or decks, where the local will sell their crafts made with the natural elements, such as beads, coconut shells, or even fish scale. It's a totally different experience from the Amazon at your computer.