East of the Andes begins the Amazon region, which extends all the way to the Atlantic Ocean in Brazil. Due to its closeness to the Andes it has a very rich species diversity and thus is an ideal region for rainforest tours. Many rivers that originate in the mountains of the Andes merge to form the majestic Amazon River. In Ecuador, the Napo River and the Pastaza River are the biggest and most important of these tributaries, flowing into the Amazon close to Iquitos, Peru.
The Ecuadorian Amazon region has an enormous biodiversity, with the Yasuni National Park being the place on earth with the highest biodiversity per unit. A visit in one of the area’s lodges offers great possibilities to encounter Ecuador’s wildlife, observe birds, monkeys, and other animals and enjoy the lush green of the rainforest. In the north and east you can still find a lot of primary rainforest, while the northwest is more populated. This page gives you a profound Amazon Information.
The Upper Napo Region used to be the only terrestrial access to Ecuador’s Amazon jungle. Visitors, like explorers and missionaries, could arrive in Puerto Napo on foot and would then have to travel onwards by canoe. Today, the road network has been extended, with a road going to Coca since the 1970s. The upper Napo area is on the edge of the jungle today. While you will not see a lot of wildlife, through its easy accessibility and excellent hotels and lodges it offers a great introduction into the rainforest and life of the indigenous Kichwas. Check out our Upper Napo tour, our build your own customized tour.
Yasuni / Lower Napo
The Yasuni is Ecuador’s biggest national park and has an incredible biodiversity. UNESCO declared the national park in 1989 a biosphere reserve. The most important river is the Napo, which flows into the Amazon in Peru. It is Ecuador’s widest river and navigable by smaller (from Misahuallí) or bigger (from Coca) canoes and boats. The Río Napo is the lifeline of the people living in the province of Orellana. The province has about 90,000 habitants and is home of three different indigenous ethnics, the Kichwas, Waoranis and Shuars. The Yasuni national park counts over 2,500 plant species, 107 species of reptiles and 111 species of amphibians. Due to this incredible diversity of species many universities have established research centers in this national park. Visitors can dive into the nature and wildlife of this national park while staying in one of the attractive rain forest lodges. However, the Yasuni national park also holds a great part of Ecuador’s oil and is constantly in danger of being exploited for this natural resource. Luckily some communities have successfully resisted the oil industry’s offers and have saved important reserves in and around the national park. Take a look at our Yasuni tour.
This 603,358 ha big Cuyabeno Nature Reserve has an incredible biodiversity. It is the home of the indigenous Sionas, Secoyas and Cofans. While some still live a rather traditional life focused on agriculture, many work in tourism and show their guests the beauty of the reserve. The nature reserve has 14 lagoons; the most beautiful and impressive is the Laguna Grande. Various lodges offer rainforest tours to visit local communities, take a refreshing swim in the Laguna Grande, or to look for wild animals and experience the fauna of this marvelous region. Guests of the rainforest lodges can explore the jungle, on foot or by canoe, at day or at night, and try spotting freshwater dolphins, caimans, different monkeys, ma natees and maybe even an anaconda. Want to see all these animals, take a look at our Cuyabeno tour.