I recently had such a great day visiting Long Beach in California, I just had to share! This is definitely not my first time visiting the area, but it was such a special day.
After getting lucky with little traffic out of Los Angeles, we started off the morning right with some ice cream after breakfast.
And then we got in line for a whale watching boat tour. I did one of these trips a few years ago and it was amazing to see marine life and enjoy the boat ride.
So I was definitely thrilled to do it again!
The boat ride lasts a couple hours and it’s such an exciting joy. The trip out of the harbor area is full of waves, making it feel like you’re on a rollercoaster. The wind blows sprays of water on you, but it just makes the whole experience feel that much better.
We quickly were surrounded by dolphins and their little ones. I love seeing animals in the wild. Unfortunately, you never know when a dolphin will jump out of the water or where so it’s very hard to capture a good photo. But I did my best.
And then we got very lucky and were able to find a fin whale!
After finishing the amazing tour, we realized we hadn’t had our fill of marine life, so we decided to take a trip to the aquarium right around the corner. I’ve been to a few aquariums, but this one was really special. The size was perfect, the variety in animal life was spectacular, and the exhibits were wonderful to look at.
It was so much fun hanging out with guys like this during our visit
We were even able to touch some animals in their opens tanks
It was a great experience overall and I definitely recommend this aquarium to anyone in the area!
So that next morning we woke up at 4:30am! This is the kind of crazy thing I would only do when I’m on the other side of the world exploring a jungle. We wanted to see the sunrise when we went to do the canopy walk. This was a good idea in theory, but unfortunately in reality it was very cloudy and foggy/misty from the night rain, and it just wasn’t the best spot for seeing a sunrise. We had to walk very very fast through the jungle in the dark to get to the canopy thingy, which I had a hard time with so early in the morning. I was exhausted when we got to the canopy area, then we had to quickly climb up 50 meters worth of stairs to this tower.
There were three towers connected by bridges. We walked to the middle tower and stayed there almost two hours in this tiny space like 10×10, to look for birds and monkeys, which we saw lots of at the top of the canopy.
Although the quality wasn’t the best and with the distance it wasn’t easy to do, I took some photos of the animals through a telescope. We saw like 4 different species of monkeys and tons of birds.
We then crossed to the third tower and stayed there almost another hour.
After an incredible experience and seeing so many amazing animals, we walked back a half hour to the hotel through the jungle.
On the walk we saw tons more monkeys!!
Once we got back to the hotel, we had an hour break. We decided to go fishing off this small wooden area into the lake that has black water. There are sardines and piranhas in there. I had a lot of fun because I love fishing and being outside. We didn’t do it long though because it started pouring rain! (Imagine that – it rains like crazy in the rainforest).
We ended the day with another canoe ride through the jungle after the rain subsided. This was like one of those rides in Disneyland but much better. We got to see monkeys real real close up like probably could touch them if I tried, they were all around our canoe climbing and jumping and swinging and everything. It was very special. We saw more birds and other things too. Then we had dinner and then could go to sleep. It was such a special day!
The next day, we woke up early and went straight on a hike through the jungle with our guide. He was a little older than me, from Quito, and he could speak and understand English well. Our older native guide who grew up in the area and doesn’t speak English at all really.
We took a canoe ride then walked a lot and saw many different things.
We walked through the jungle for a long time and saw tons of insects, frogs, birds, and crazy cool plants. Take a look at some of what we saw:
We stopped at a building they have near the lodge, where we got dropped off from the boat ride originally before having the 40 minute walk towards the hotel. It was nice to take a break and rest. While we stopped, it started to rain very hard so we waited a tiny bit. And then suddenly just as we were thinking of moving on through the rain, a bunch of monkeys started swinging and jumping around the trees nearby!
That was very special and super exciting. We watched them for a while then walked back almost an hour towards the canoe, took that back to the hotel, then went to our room to rest.
That afternoon, we met again at 4pm and got other group members because the first day had just been us. We had a young married couple from the UK, originally from India, they were really fun and nice, and then a lesbian couple from Australia. That night, we did another walk through the jungle with the whole group.
Later that night, we did a canoe ride in the dark to look for caiman and bats. No caiman that night, but it was cool anyway. We saw a caiman earlier in the afternoon so it was okay!