We booked a day trip out of Banos de Agua Santa with a local tour company. It included a couple of stops to see amazing water falls, a wildlife refuge, traditional lunch, a hike in the rainforest, a visit with the Shuar community, a canoe ride, and finally a hike to a view point which included hammock resting and an amazing swing.
Driving through the cloud forest on our way to Puyo was rainy. I think it might always rain there -there were many water falls and is was really lush. Some of the waterfalls were abosolute raging torrents. A few stops had cable cars which offered a ride over the river and canyon for waterfall views. Thank goodness that was not included in our tour. It looked pretty terrifying. I don’t have photos because it was quite wet out and I didn’t think I could capture the scene well.
The refuge we visited hosts animals that have been captured by people in the wild and offered for sale to the most awful humans I can imagine (people who want to keep exotic animals as pets). The refuge tries to rehabilitate the animals so they can go back to the wild. This is not always possible for example we saw a cayman (smallish alligator) that had no feet. Our guide let us know this happens sometimes when the asshole owners also have dogs and the dogs bite off their feet. Very super sad.
In addition to the caimans we saw monkeys, birds, snakes, turtles and more. It was pretty fun, especially the spider monkey and the toucan.
We hiked in the forest up to a waterfall. What sticks out was the massive number of spiders in their webs that we saw. Near the bridges that cross the streams we saw about 20-30 sizable spiders in their webs all clustered together. It was pretty much something I could never see again and feel happy.
Our visit with the Shuar community was fun. They offered a drink of chicha, painted our faces, demonstrated a blow gun, and sold us souvenirs. After we went for a scary canoe ride in a dug out canoe. It was not something I would have ever thought I would do and thankfully it turned out okay!
We saw and did a lot of things that day and on our way back to Banos our guide, a twenty something man and the driver decided to listen to Guns N Roses. It was really strange and delightful to sing along with the others and Axl Rose to Sweet Child Of Mine. A fun end to a great day!