The Ecuadorian Amazon is an exotic paradise that boasts a seemingly endless variety of animal and plant species. Ecuador’s rainforest is home to almost half of the planet's 8,500 bird species, more than 1,000 butterflies, and thousands of reptiles and mammals – monkeys, rare pink river dolphins, the elusive jaguar, twenty-foot long anacondas, and schools of carnivorous piranha to name a few. All of these species thrive amidst a primordial setting of black-water lagoons, winding creeks, and towering Amazon trees.
Travelers often find the Amazon rainforest's abundance and variety of flora and fauna overwhelming - one Amazonian tree can host more ant species than all of the British Isles put together and one hectare of forest boasts about as many frog species as all of North America! In addition to its incredible plant and animal life, Ecuador's Amazon rainforest is home to thousands of indigenous inhabitants from many distinct nations, including the Siona, Secoya, Cofan, Shuar, and the infamous Huaorani. The indigenous tribes that live in Ecuador's rainforest are the ancient keepers and guardians of the Amazon’s biological heritage.
Ecuador’s share of the Amazon rainforest (known as the Oriente) provides unparalleled opportunities for experiencing the magic of the jungle. And, surprisingly, travelers may access the wild green expanse of the Ecuadorian Amazon relatively easily. All but the most remote areas of the Ecuadorian Amazon can be reached by a 45-minute plane ride (or an 8-hour bus ride) from Quito followed by a short but delightful canoe ride from rainforest towns such as Coca, Tena, and Misahuallí. Only in Ecuador can you wake up in the Andes and watch the sun set while sipping on a cocktail, poolside at your isolated jungle retreat deep in the Amazon rainforest.