Incredible viewpoint in the Amazon:
One of the cities in Ecuador that is considered an ‘entrance to the Amazon’ is Puyo. This city is itself not very interesting, but from here you can start your tour into the jungle. There are plenty of options to book an organized tour, but this blog is about an excursion that you can do all by yourself. You do not need a big budget and it’s definitely worth it! Keep reading to find out about a wonderful place near Puyo, called Mirador Indichuris.
Magnificent views over the Amazon
As the name indicates, ‘Mirador’ is a lookout, situated on top of a hill. From here you can enjoy a beautiful view of the point in the forest where the rivers Puyo and Pastaza come. Indichuris is the name of an indigenous community nearby that runs this touristic attraction. The name means ‘Children of the Sun’.
When you arrive, you’ll first see some interesting looking caves with faces carved around the openings. Also there are a few wooden buildings, which include a kind of information center where they sell some drinks and food, and cabañas where you can spend the night. From the entrance, you can climb up to the actual Mirador within a few minutes. There you’ll find another wooden construction with a bar and a number of hammocks. Just imagine relaxing in one of those, with a drink in your hand while you enjoy this stunning view…
Spend the night at the Mirador
There are a few wooden cabañas available for accommodation. We reserved one of those for one night ($10 per person, reserve by telephone). Our cabin had six beds, including one double bed, but we stayed there with just the two of us. The cabañas are very basic: the only furniture were the beds with mosquito nets and a small table. The windows are glassless and cannot be closed, which means the cabin is completely open. If it weren’t for the mosquito net, I think I would not have been able to sleep! Thanks to the openness, however, the temperature in the room was comfortable. The cabins have a private bathroom with toilet and (cold) shower. Nevertheless, what it is all about, of course, is the view. The cabins are situated not as high as the actual lookout, but you still have a nice view over the jungle and rivers.
Although there is a kitchen where meals can be prepared for you, this service is only available when you request it in time. When I was there, my friend and I were not able to have dinner because we did not reserve it upfront… So make sure to bring your own food or make a call before you go if you want them to prepare you a meal – whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Around Mirador Indichuris
For breakfast there is another option as well. You can walk to the chocolate farm further along the road (about half an hour, even though they will tell you ‘just 15 minutes’). We enjoyed a great breakfast here, consisting of fresh fruit salad, tortilla de yucca with cheese and fried eggs, chocolate milk and cacao tea. We also got to taste cacao fruit right from the farm. It is possible to get a tour of the chocolate making process here, as well.
Further on the road we found a place where a few men were just loading up some big wooden canoes onto a pick-up. They told us they were preparing for a canoe trip that was part of an organized tour from Baños. We were lucky to arrive just in time to be able to join them! Since there was not enough space inside the car, we climbed in one of the canoes on top of the truck to drive to the river. It was actually a super fun and adventurous ride. Once by the river, we got our private boat and one of the guys joined us to lead us safely over river Puyo. There were some calm and relaxing parts, and some exciting rapids where our guide had to steer us skillfully between big rocks. By chance, the end point of the canoe trip happened to be Mirador Indichuris. Very convenient, because now we did not have to walk all the way back!
How to get to Mirador Indichuris?
From Puyo it is easy to get to the Mirador. From a small terminal, one block from the Mercado Mariscal, you can take the bus in the direction of Pomona. These buses leave a few times a day (ours left at 16:00, but I don’t know the other departure times). Just ask the driver to drop you off at Mirador Indichuris. The ride is about 45 minutes and costs $0,75. Upon arrival, it is recommended to ask the owner at what times there are buses going back to Puyo. There are again not many options, but if you’re on a tight budget it can save you a lot of money compared to a taxi ride.
Mirador Indichuris is a great, accessible place to explore on a day or two-day trip from Puyo. However, if you are looking to get really deep in the jungle and spot wildlife, a visit to Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve or Yasuni National Park might be a better fit for you!
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