The Amazon is our Earth’s lung, and Ecuador is fortunate to host part of this lung. With incredible biodiversity, the Ecuadorian Amazon is an atypical world, without buildings, cars, or screaming phones. Visiting the Ecuadorian Amazon, which is in the heart of the forest, is ideal to recharge your batteries and to appreciate the magnitude of this natural wealth. The Amazon will offer you an authentic stay in the heart of a mystical civilization.
The Amazon rainforest represents almost 50% of Ecuador’s territory. Therefore, it has nothing to envy to its Peruvian and Brazilian neighbors. Only a few hours from Quito, it would be a shame to visit Ecuador without an excursion, a short stay or a cruise in the Amazon, lost among gigantic trees and extraordinary fauna.
The Amazon Rainforest:
Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
The Cuyabeno Reserve is one of the two main reserves in the primary Amazon. Located to the north-east of Ecuador, this authentic and unspoiled reserve will delight you with its very rich flora and fauna. One of the geographical areas with the most biodiversity in the world.
With an area of 6,100km², the Cuyabeno reserve is home to 13 lakes, only one of which is accessible by tourist boats. You can see more than 12,000 different species of plants and trees.
There you will find one of the densest fauna in the world: 550 species of birds and 350 species of fish, including piranhas. Of particular note among these are caimans, anacondas, pink dolphins, river turtles, numerous poisonous frogs, toucans, and an impressive variety of monkeys. Truly an open-air zoo!
In order to get to the Cuyabeno reserve, the easiest way is to take a flight from Quito to Coca or Lago Agrio depending on the case. The flight travel is about 40 minutes long. Followed by a 3-hour canoe trip to get to the lodge where you will stay. You can also reach Coca or Lago Agrio by road, where a journey of almost 5 hours will be necessary.
A stay in the Amazon leads you to Cuyabeno or Rio Napo and allows indigenous community “visit” days: travel through culinary traditions and observe the local way of life.
Yasuní National Park
Yasuní National Park is one of the biological mega-diversity areas of the world. Indeed, this park is one of the most famous in the Amazon rainforest. It is also the reserve with the greatest biodiversity in the world.
Its immense area of 10,227 km² makes it possible to have a national park of rare conservation. Located in eastern Ecuador, to the south of the Amazon tributary, in Rio Napo. Yasuní National Park is the largest protected area in Ecuador, and UNESCO has considered this reserve a “Biosphere Reserve”.
The number and species of animals found here are more impressive compared to the Cuyabeno reserve:
610 species of birds,
105 reptiles, and more than 250 species of fish.
You can see the jaguar, giant otter, pink dolphin, manatee, puma, and many species of monkeys.
To visit the Ecuadorian Amazon in a beautiful ecotourism lodge that is located just south of the Yasuni reserve, you have to take a small plane from Shell airport, near Puyo (30mn flight). Puyo is accessible by road with approximately 4 hour and 30 minutes of travel.
There are several isolated Ecuadorian Amazon communities to discover. During your stay in the Amazon, meet an authentic population! The main community present within Yasuni National Park are the Huaorani.
Tena & Puyo Region
The region of Tena and Puyo in Ecuador allow an immersion in the Amazon rainforest that is accessible by road from Quito or Baños. You will surely meet Kichwa or Huaorani communities there.
Visiting the tropical forest primarily means discovering the region of Tena and Puyo, at the primary Amazonia and the secondary Amazonia crossroads. The change of scenery is very present, but the flora and fauna are not as abundant as in the Cuyabeno and Yasuní reserves. Indeed, urbanisation took precedence with human activity not being very distant, which resulted in the flight of certain animal species.
The fauna and flora of the secondary Amazon is less impressive compared to that of the primary one. Indeed, you will only see very few species of animals there since this region is much more inhabited.
Accessible by motorised vehicle: it takes 4 hours to reach Tena via Quito or Baños. The city of Tena is one of the gateways to Amazon. Once there, an additional road trip of about 30 minutes to 1.5 hours is required to visit the Amazon in a pleasant lodge.
In Ecuador, Tena and its region offer the possibility of meeting several indigenous communities. The best known and most visited are the Kuichwa and the Huaorani communities. During your stay in the Amazon Rainforest, You will have the opportunity to discover their customs and know-hows while enjoying an interesting and learning-rich tour / stay.
Visiting the Ecuadorian Amazon: Our Favorite
We also offer a roaming trip from Tena to Peru to visit the Amazon. You will leave with your English-speaking guide for 5 or 7 days on a motorized canoe. You will be able to observe and enjoy the two main natural protected parks of Ecuador: the Cuyabeno and the Yasuní. You can also go in search of large macaws, parrots or even caimans.