Pristine and remote, the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador encompasses nearly half of the country. Packed with exuberant tropical rainforest, an astounding array of exotic wildlife and home to several indigenous nations, this wedge of Amazon offers a unique and unspoiled look into one of the wildest and most biodiverse places on Earth.
Located in the east of Ecuador better known as ‘El Oriente’, the lowlands of the Amazon is an adventure playground made up of wild-winding rivers, flooded canopies and vividly coloured plants. Hiking through pristine forest on numerous trails, kayaking through swampy mangroves or paddling along the river in dugout canoes makes for a spectacular wildlife viewing opportunity. Home to 800 species of fish, 500 species of birds and over 300 mammals, the biodiversity in this region of Ecuador is prolific. Spot pink river dolphins, giant river otters and black caiman wandering the waters of the murky rivers. See monkeys swinging from tree-tops, sloths lazing in the canopy and vibrantly coloured macaws floating in the sky. Go fishing for piranhas, see hundreds of parrots at one of the revered parrot clay-clicks and discover the footprints from the elusive jaguar.
Any experience to the Ecuadorian Amazon is much of a cultural experience as it is a wildlife experience. Various indigenous tribes such as the Huaorani and Quichua as well as several other uncontacted tribes call the Amazon basin their home. Their languages and customs are all unique and learning about the way they live and self-sustain is an eye-opening experience. Many of the eco-lodges work with some tribes to promote conservation of the area and offer the chance to see the rainforest from an indigenous perspective; learn how to hunt through spear and blowgun demonstrations, climb trees, smear your face with red achiote paste and identify numerous medicinal plants. Most importantly learn about their ongoing fight to preserve the Amazon.
The Amazon in Ecuador is divided into a number of national parks which help to ensure Ecuador’s wildlife continues to thrive and the area stays pristine. The Yasuni National Park is among the largest and best known in Ecuador. Home to a wealth of biodiversity in 1989, it was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is also home to some of the most comfortable and revered eco-lodges in the Amazon. Spend time discovering the flora and fauna with a naturalist guide, learn what it is like to call the rainforest home, and discover a hidden and untouched slice of Ecuador.