A Butterfly in Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest

“Happiness is like a butterfly. If you chase it and chase it directly, it will elude you, but if you sit quietly and busy yourself with other things, it will come and light upon your shoulder.”
~Old Chinese Proverb

What’s so special about a butterfly, you may ask.

Well, I got a visit from one who cleaned my keyboard.


I was typing away, catching up with my notes about our stay at La Selva Eco Lodge near the Napo River. I sat in the dining room, all by myself. No people, no music, no distractions. Well, the latter is not correct. The view constantly drew my attention.

Laguna Garzacocha in the Amazon, Ecuador (©photocoen)

La Selva Eco Lodge and the Lagoon

The airy dining room sits above the reception and has no windows, allowing for a grander vista of the black-water Garzacocha Lake. The color of the water doesn’t mean it’s​ dirty but that it is acidic which is good for us as it keeps mosquitoes away.

The water surface was as smooth as a mirror, reflecting the thick vegetation of the primary forest that surrounds the lake. It was noon. Wildlife was asleep except for an occasional screaming macaw flying over, or a hoatzin bird fluttering among the treetops in front of the lodge.

Hoatzin Bird
Hoatzin Bird

Oohs and Aahs

Coen and I lived and traveled in Brazil and the Guianas for two years or so. We have seen our share of the Amazon Rainforest. Blasé as it may sound, we are not easily impressed anymore. Here, we were stunned for the full three days of our stay. Each morning we ‘ooh-ed’ when getting up and taking in the view from our balcony, even though it was somewhat obstructed by vegetation.

We ‘aaah-ed’ when entering the dining room for breakfast, and silently ‘wow-ed’ when our local guide Enrique paddled​ us around in a canoe to spot animals. I was mesmerized by this timeless landscape, which felt so ancient and so peaceful.

Bedroom at La Selva Eco Lodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon (©photocoen)
Canoe at La Selva Eco Lodge, Ecuadorian Amazon (©photocoen)

On a side note, I’d like to add that one of the best things this lodge has done is to keep outboard engines out. All lagoon and creek explorations are done by hand-paddled canoes. No roaring engines. I love it.

The Keyboard Cleaning Lady

Surprisingly I got some work done until I was distracted once more: a butterfly twirled down on the Shift key.

Its unfolded wings were brown with purple triangular patterns and the tiniest transparent dots at the upper end. It was searching for food. From its mouth came a bright green, centimeter-long tongue that tapered into a browning tip and was as fine as a thread. So many colors in just one, such delicate creature.

Travel in Ecuador – Recommendations

Butterfly, Ecuadorian Amazon (©photocoen)
Butterfly Galore in Ecuador (©photocoen)

It discovered it could hover its tongue over the key but also along its sides. The tongue was so fine that it easily penetrated between the black keys and the gray keyboard, where it sampled the delights underneath. As the laptop is a couple of years old and never cleaned on the inside, I’m sure a gourmet meal was at the ready.

The butterfly sort of vacuum-cleaned my keyboard. And quite efficiently, I might add. From the Shift it went to the Z, the A, and up to the Tab key where it turned around. Now I could study the butterfly’s head. While it was cleaning my Caps Lock and Command keys I studied the tip of its antenna. They were so sparkling white that they appeared to be miniature lanterns.

Butterfly at La Selva Eco Lodge's Butterfly farm, Ecuador (©photocoen)
Caterpillar at La Selva Eco Lodge's Butterfly farm, Ecuador (©photocoen)
At the lodge is a butterfly farm with various types of butterflies and extraordinary caterpillars.

I intensely studied its movements for at least ten minutes, making sure not to hit the table or laptop. Luckily, in a way, I didn’t have a camera because I would have scared the butterfly immediately by the movements.

Eventually something must have stirred and the butterfly flew onto my arm. After a short search, it must have concluded it offered nothing of interest, circled around for a bit and flew off to the lagoon.

Thank you La Selva Eco Lodge, for hosting us!

Practical Information on La Selva Lodge

Travel Guides for Ecuador

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Photos by Coen Wubbels. Follow our overland journey on Landcruisingadventure.com or on Instagram.

2 thoughts on “A Butterfly in Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest”

  1. love the butteerflies, but was wondering where the picture of the yellow butterflies was taken? And what kind is it? Thanks for your blog. Helpd me to slow down and be present for the moment…


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