It felt as though we had been dropped straight into an Indiana Jones movie.
We had just been picked up for our journey to Cristalino Lodge, our Amazonian accommodation that was only accessible after a boat ride down the Cristalino River. We climbed into the small boat, just the two of us and our driver, ready for a new adventure. A blanket of silence enveloped us, save for the quiet whizzing of the boat motor and the myriad of birds chirping from somewhere deep within the dense rainforest. Slowly the dirt road behind us began to fade away, and in its place we were left with pure, unadulterated nature. It seemed any sort of civilization was miles and miles away, and, to a large extent, that’s because it was.
We were now on Cristalino Lodge’s private reserve, 28,167 acres of Brazilian rainforest set aside for the purpose of conserving Brazil’s biological diversity.
If we had any preconceived notions about what the Amazon would be like, it was this very first moment of awe. Luckily, the rest of our Amazonian adventure didn’t disappoint, either.
It’s not easy to spot wildlife in the Amazon. Though the Brazilian Amazon is considered to be one of the most diverse places in the world, and there is certainly plenty to see and discover, there’s just so much dense forest for birds and animals to hide within.
Still, we managed to have numerous exceptional encounters with wildlife during our brief stay—not to mention many moments of wonder from simply being in the midst of such renowned beauty.
We can’t wait to share our stories from our journey into the Brazilian Amazon. And we hope these 25 memorable moments get you excited, too:
What mysteries await in the Brazilian Amazon?
A Capuchin Monkey illuminated by the sun hides within the dense leaves.
A Banded Orange Butterfly poses perfectly on a leaf.
And this Blue Brazilian Butterfly is awfully keen on our friend’s finger.
Hundreds of other highlighter-colored butterflies prefer to bask in the nutrient-rich sun and soil.
Or encircle Casey.
A baby pineapple growing in the middle of the forest.
A loud and playful family of Macaws high up in their nest in the Brazilian Amazon.
Blue and Yellow Macaws pause for a smooch.
The Macaws are perhaps the easiest to hear due to their unique screech, but there are countless other beautiful birds to see.
Like this Brazilian Sunbittern.
Or this Burrowing Owl.
Colorful butterfly larvae decorate the Amazon trees.
We can’t get enough of the awe-inspiring beauty of the rainforest.
These adorable South American Tapirs head to the river to cool off, but first pause for an impromptu photo shoot.
This bird camouflages well as he hunts for dinner in the river.
Climbing one of the two towers at Cristalino Lodge for unparalleled views of the Brazilian Amazon from above.
Casey enjoys the view from the top of the tower.
It’s hard not to stare in awe at a sunset like this.
A Blue Headed Parrot perched upon a tree branch blends in well with the surrounding leaves.
After a long day of adventuring, there’s nothing like relaxing next to the fire at Cristalino Lodge.
This pink gecko wants to join in the party in our bungalow.
A night trek reveals all sorts of creepy crawlers, like this grasshopper.
And this friendly frog popping out for a quick hello.
One of our favorite animals of all time, the Brazilian Sloth is a rare sighting on the grounds of Cristalino.