The traveler: Gary T. Bank of New Brighton.

The scene: A caiman lizard observed the world around him from the tip of a branch in the Amazon rain forest of Ecuador. So upright and still, the semiaquatic creature almost seemed to pose for the camera. Bank caught sight of the animal while on an afternoon hike near the Napo River, a tributary to the Amazon River. “He seemed well worth a photo,” Bank wrote in an e-mail.

Destination: “The Amazon rain forest is a fascinating environment easily visited in Ecuador,” wrote Bank, who pointed out that the upper reaches of the Amazon River system flow through Ecuador. “I highly recommend it since there are an incredibly vast number of native species.” The rain forest has astounding biodiversity, including river dolphins and sloths and macaws.

Trip details: Bank was in Ecuador visiting the Galápagos Islands and extended that trip with a four-day stay at Sacha Lodge, where he took hikes and tours. “They have their own guides who led us on several day and night hikes plus canoe excursions and a visit with a local tribe,” he wrote. He made the trip with Discover Corps (

Equipment: Bank made this photograph using a Nikon D810 camera with an 18-400mm lens.


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