El Fuerte, a pre-Incan religious site. This ceremonial area was carved into the stone that topped the mountain and is believed to have immense spiritual significance. It held a commanding view over the wonderful jungle valleys below. And from this vantage it seems the area has not changed in thousands of years.
La Yunga, cloud forest and ancient giant ferns. These ferns apparently grow 1 cm a year, and are ten to fifteen meters tall, you can do the math. We spent the day tromping through the jungle and spotted this green snake about 15 minutes before we arrived at the car. So glad we did not spot him earlier or I would have been so paranoid walking through the jungle. As it was I was blissfully unaware of the snakes lurking around.
We elected to go on a birding tour, we are so lame, I know. But we had quite a good time, saw over 20 species of birds in 3 hours of walking. We were only 2 hours from the jungles of La Yunga but it was a semi-desert area. We don't have any good photos of the birds but we did see them I promise. Our favorite was the red comet, a tiny hummingbird with a long red tail. It was unexpected and beautiful. As an added bonus we also got to see some cave paintings, these are particularly important because they are some of the only ancient paintings of faces in the region. Funnily enough there was also a painting of a bat and we could hear the squeaks and smell the guano of some vampire bats that lived in the cave.
 





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