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Amazon Highlights - Link Experiences

Amazon Highlights

When Francisco de Orellana – a Spanish conquistador – got separated from the main group exploring the rainforest, he didn’t realize he had actually discovered the Amazon River until his crew made it to the Atlantic Ocean. His expedition departed from Quito looking for El Dorado, a city filled with gold and precious jewels, or so the legends said. Instead, he found one of the richest places in the world, with exuberant forests, wildlife, and cultures.

The Ecuadorian Amazon – also known as “El Oriente” – is home to some of the most spectacular reserves on earth. The Yasuní Biosphere Reserve has the greatest biodiversity of any tropical humid forest. Compared to other countries in the region, it has the easiest access: 30 minutes by plane and about 4 hours by car.

The Amazon is the perfect place for nature lovers; it is a birdwatcher’s paradise and the main oxygen factory of the world. When riding canoes through the Amazon River, make sure you keep your eyes wide open. This place has many secrets to share with you. Come and visit native communities and learn from their ancestral customs and traditions. Enjoy a beautiful sunset from a hammock overlooking the pristine jungle.
Go fishing for piranhas and grill them for dinner. Fall asleep to the comforting music of raindrops and relax in one of the international award-winning lodges run by local communities. The Amazon should really be on everyone’s travelling bucket list!

Main cities – attractions

Yasuní

Every year, hundreds of biologists and scientists from all over the world travel to Ecuador looking to do research at the Yasuní National Park. Even though they’ve identified thousands of unique flora and fauna species in this area, they are still far from creating a realistic inventory for Yasuni’s mega-diverse wildlife. It holds the highest concentration of species worldwide. Currently, there are 1,300 tree species in Yasuní; a world record. There are around 4,000 plant species per 10,000 square kilometers. It is the Garden of Eden on earth.

Once you get here, the locals’ recommendation is to let nature reveal itself slowly to you. While you float silently across the water in a canoe, let yourself surrender to the mystic rainforest. Hear the sounds, feel the air, touch the water. Breathe. Walk through the majestic green of the jungle, and let an orchestra of thousands of insects follow your way. Finally, treat yourself to one of the many luxurious eco-lodges in the middle of nature and immerse yourself in the culture of local tribes. They will make your experience out of this world.

Tena

Tena has earned its popularity over time due to the famous rivers that surround it. This small town – the gateway to the Ecuadorian Amazon – boasts the best rafting and kayaking options in the country, and some even say the world. Get your adventurer’s spirit going and your adrenaline flowing; you’re in for a treat!

The capital of the Napo province is home to some of the finest ecotourism in Ecuador. The weather, unlike other parts of the Amazon rainforest, is delightful; because of the altitude it’s not too humid. The diversity of the flora and fauna is impressive, and you might be able to hang out with some monkeys at the main plaza! It’s also another hot spot for bird lovers.

A couple miles away from Tena, you’ll find other charming villages with numerous touristic options.

Such is the case of Misahualli, a great starting point for rainforest tours and canoe rides. Head to the Jumandi caves in Archidona, another nearby town, and discover the underground natural caves and tunnels. Get your rain gear ready and visit the San Rafael waterfall, one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Ecuadorian Amazon. End the night experimenting exotic delicacies like a grilled chontakuro worm!

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Additional Reading Material

When researching your trip to Ecuador, Ñan Magazine is a must-read. Not only will the publication provide you with useful information but more importantly, it will inspire you to feel, taste, smell, and touch what the country has to offer. The following article will take you to the Amazon. Grab your cup of tea and relax — you’re in for a treat.

If you want more, visit their website, sign up to their newsletter, buy the magazine or read it on your tablet! www.nanmagazine.com