Cristalino Lodge and the Observation Tower (2), Amazonia

Cristalino Lodge and the observation tower : (2) Amazonia

When:  November 2019               Weather: Hot 30C

Leica M10P 35mm Summilux,   Nikon P900


One of the things we had been looking forward to on our trip to Amazonia was the National Geographic type view of the Amazonian forest from above the forest canopy.  Cristalino Lodge has two observation towers, one of which is 50m high or about a 15 storey building.  We visited it on two occasions, on the first and last mornings of our visit especially to catch the sunrise and to see the early morning birds.   Be warned, 50m is quite a climb if you are weighed down by camera gear and binoculars as we were…..each flight has 8 steps and I counted about 27 or 28 flights….


The brilliant 50.4m high observation tower at Cristalino Lodge….

We set off the first morning at about 5am and by the time we arrived at the top, the sun was already peeping over the horizon, illuminating the clouds and the forest canopy….a truly NatGeo moment if ever there was one….


First glow of sunrise over the horizon


the sun begins to show, lighting up the mist over the forest


view from the top of the 50m observation deck at Cristalino Lodge


As the sun rose and the light changed, the forest took on a totally different hue


the rainforest at daybreak is no less delightful in black and white


and as the sun came up, the forest began to light up

curl crested aracari (3)

the first birds appeared…..a couple of colourful aracaris ….

curl crested aracari (2)

a pair of beautiful Curl Crested Aracaris….distinctive red in the male and colourful beaks

curl crested aracari (4)

Of course the name comes from that amazing curly hairdo…the curl crested aracari

blue headed parrot

a blue headed parrot from afar

spangled cotinga

Brilliantly coloured Spangled Cotinga

spangled cotinga (2)

Spangled cotinga with its red throat


Few things beat the thrill of seeing a pair of scarlet macaws flying over the canopy


another pair of Chestnut fronted macaws winging it


mist covered canopy


Spider monkey


Hummingbird from afar

epaulet oriole

Epaulet oriole

paradise tanager (3)

paradise tanagers

paradise tanager

Just gorgeous Paradise Tanager

white bellied parrot

White bellied parrot

yellow backed tanager

Yellow backed tanager

yellow backed tanager (3)

Yellow backed tanager

yellow tufted woodpecker

spectacular yellow tufter woodpecker

yellow tufted woodpecker (2)

yellow tufted woodpecker


By mid morning, the mist was lifting and the canopy lightened up…it was also getting pretty hot so we descended….

We headed into the adjacent forest on the way back to the lodge to hunt for one of the birds I had been hoping to see…the scarlet manakin,,,

scarlet manakin (3)

the stunning scarlet horned manakin soon appeared…

scarlet manakin (2)

Here, two males presented themselves…alas they did not do the mate attracting dance that had been featured by David Attenborough on TV….but still a stunning bird….


So our first foray up above the forest canopy delivered everything we had hoped for…a stunning sunrise over mist draped trees….many super bird sightings…..highly recommended!

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