Unusual lifts: Touring the Amazon via canopy cranes
May 9, 2023 By National Geographic
Over the years, Amazon jungle canopy scientists, nicknamed “arbornauts,” have concocted creative research vessels: balloons, cherry-picker lifts, drones, cranes, towers, and walkways. The last is now a staple in the rainforest tourism experience, with canopy walkways welcoming travellers across six continents.
You can see some of the amazing views from these cranes by clicking here.
But now, a new tourism crane in the Ecuadorian Amazon, which debuted in March, offers an exclusive look into these normally impenetrable locations.
Getting to the crane launch pad, however, is a jungle safari in and of itself. From Quito, travellers take a half-hour flight to the rainforest town of Coca. Here, they take two-and-a-half-hour canoe ride down the Napo River through the forest to reach the lodge. From the lodge, it’s only a 20-minute canoe ride across a lake followed by a 15-minute hike along the forest floor, with spiders, frogs, and industrious leaf-cutter ants sharing the trail. The crane gondola, which holds up to four people, glides across 54,000 square feet of forest.
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