Staying in the jungle for three days was like going to the best summer camp in the world. One side of our room was open to the trees, and it had a hammock in it! My favorite thing at the lodge in Puerto Maldonado, however, was the canopy tower. Standing 120 feet tall, it towered above the trees.
Our group hiked about 30 minutes through the deep, squishy brown mud to the tower, and then began our long journey upward. After climbing stairs for 30 floors, and then a ladder, we finally reached the top. You could feel the entire tower swaying when the wind blew. You could see that the forest seemed never-ending, stretching on into the mist except where the river was.
Almost everything was green–the trees, the plants, even the tower was painted green! We stayed up there for a long time, watching for birds and other wildlife. The air was cool and wet, but it wasn’t cold. We saw three scarlet macaws, a green-colored parrot, and two blue-headed parrots. It was amazing to be as high as the birds that normally flew overhead. Everyone was silent so the only noises came from the wildlife surrounding us.
As we stood on the canopy tower, the mist gradually cleared away. You could use your binoculars to see lots of things that were just blurry dots without them. When it got dark, we went back down the 287 steps to the ground again. We hiked back to the lodge, stopping to see some insects. We saw a walking stick, a dragonfly, some leaf cutter ants, and two crop spiders. Then we met the other kids back at the lodge.