Tips for Going into the Rainforest

Cabana Kate S., '15 Minutes of Fame' Contest winner and current Great Travel Abroad participant, gives us expert advice for entering rainforest territory

 1. Most language schools can set you up with guides and places to stay. This is safer (for you and your money) than winging it with a tourist agency in town.

2. Find out all you can about where you're going and what to expect. How long will it take to get there? Will you have electricity? Will you be asked to hike or visit an indigenous village? Do not be afraid to ask so there is no shock later.

3. Be prepared (One): You need clothes that cover you, including a hat. This keeps bugs away (bug-spray too). Makeup and lotion attract bugs.

4. Be prepared (Two): Don't be afraid to ask your guide to tell you exactly what you need to bring. You shouldn't haul a poncho and rubber boots if your cabin provides them, and you'll want to know if you're supposed to bring a mosquito net.

5. It will rain and be noisy. Sounds obvious, yet many of us expect the sunny rainforest of movies. Don't be stunned by loud birds and an abundance of mud.

Heredia_monkey 6. Your guide wants to teach you about animals, plants and indigenous peoples. Be ready to listen and ask questions.

7. Bring a camera! If you have video or amazing zoom, even better. If you have a weather-proof camera (I'm telling you, it rains), you win.

8. Be open to adventure. Your guide might suggest that you try eating lemon ants, swinging from a vine, or fishing for piranha. Trust in them and experience something you can't anywhere else in the world.

9. Respect the ecosystem, its beauty, and its dangers. Do not litter, pick flowers or lose sight of your guide.

10. Enjoy every moment. It's a truly special place.



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