Yasuni National Park
Yasuni National Park

Aerial view (photo: National Geographic)

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Quito
Quito

Demonstration to protect Yasuni (in front of the Presidential Palace)

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Cuenca
Cuenca

Protesting oil exploitation in the pristine Yasuni National Park

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Archidona
Archidona

Zebra striped church

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Hacienda Hakuna Matata, Archidona
Hacienda Hakuna Matata, Archidona
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Hacienda Hakuna Matata
Hacienda Hakuna Matata

Pool in the shape of a palm tree (photo from HM website)

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Hacienda Hakuna Matata
Hacienda Hakuna Matata

Horseback riding along the river and forest

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Hacienda Hakuna Matata
Hacienda Hakuna Matata

Clowning around in jungle costumes (from left: Linda, Chuck, Maureen, Buzz, Vicki)

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Tena - Rio Jacuntaya
Tena - Rio Jacuntaya

Our first river run down Class 3 rapids

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Tena Butterfly Farm
Tena Butterfly Farm

Morpho Pupae

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Blue Morpho -  Tena Butterfly Farm
Blue Morpho - Tena Butterfly Farm

Having giant blue morphos flitting around you is a magical sight!

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Amazon Caterpillar
Amazon Caterpillar
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Wild Amazon caterpillar
Wild Amazon caterpillar
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Amazon Butterfly
Amazon Butterfly

One of thousands of artful species

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Yachana EcoLodge
Yachana EcoLodge

Buildings blend in (middle of photo)

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Yachana EcoLodge
Yachana EcoLodge

Guest cabins hign on a bluff, overlooking the Upper Napo River

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Doug McMeekin
Doug McMeekin

Nationally recognized social entrepreneur, founder of Yachana EcoLodge and Foundation

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Good eating!
Good eating!

Beetle grubs (mayones) known as Jungle Bacon

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Cooked beetle grubs
Cooked beetle grubs

We couldn't bring ourselves to eat them raw and wiggling, but pan-fried they were delicious - just like bacon (they're all fat)

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River transport center
River transport center

For AmaZOOnico

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Amazon flora
Amazon flora
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Poison dart frog (underside)
Poison dart frog (underside)

Held by our guide who was unafraid of the poison

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Jaguar at AmaZOOnica
Jaguar at AmaZOOnica

Victim of illegal animal trafficking

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Camouflaged Lizard
Camouflaged Lizard
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Capybara at AmaZOOnico
Capybara at AmaZOOnico

Largest rodent

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Large Buttress root of Ficus tree
Large Buttress root of Ficus tree

Our guide was showing us how native nomadic hunters use the tree for shelter and hunting

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Jungle First Aid
Jungle First Aid

Banana bandage for an injured hand

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River scene with cayuca
River scene with cayuca
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Traditional Kichwa house
Traditional Kichwa house
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Kichwa Family
Kichwa Family

Three generations

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Interior Kichua house
Interior Kichua house

Note the TV, powered with a small solar panel the government has given all households in the Amazon

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Making Chicha
Making Chicha

Kichwa mother and daughter preparing the Amazon drink from yuca

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Gold panning in the river banks
Gold panning in the river banks

Usually only flakes are found - but they add up!

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Cacao pod
Cacao pod

Ecuador produces the finest raw chocolate - no wonder there are so many Swiss and Belgians in the country

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Cacao seeds
Cacao seeds

Still in the pod before they are dried and ground

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Cayuca (canoe) transport
Cayuca (canoe) transport

Leaving Yachana for a 2 hour ride downriver to the town of Coca, jumping off point for the Lower Napo River lodges

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