Age old traditions
in the jungle
Several indigenous communities, such as the Quichuas, live in Napo.
The inhabitants traditionally have held on to and manifested their
cultural identity by using native materials harvested in the rain
forest to handcraft beautiful artisan products such as shigras (bags),
ceramics, bows, and arrows. Located in northeastern Ecuador, Napo
has a wet tropical climate.
The most active volcanoes in Ecuador - Sumaco (3900m), Reventador,
and Sangay - can be seen from the Parque Central in Napos
capital city of Tena. Located at the confluence of the Tena and
Pano rivers, Tena offers great bathing spots such as Rancho Alegre,
Cocha del Cementerio, and Dos Ríos, amongst others. There
is also a botanical garden in the center of the town called Amazonian
Park, which is ideal for ecologists. Tours into more isolated
parts of the jungle depart from here.
- Healing Hot Springs
Set high in the Ecuadorian Andes and surrounded by towering peaks,
Papallacta is one of the prettiest places in South America to take
a dip in thermal waters. Moreover, due to the mineral content and
high temperature (between 35 and 64 degrees centigrade) of Papallactas
water, the hot springs have medicinal properties and healing powers.
You can either camp on the shores of nearby lakes, such as Ninalviro
and Paltacocha, or stay in one of the local hotels.
The town of Archidona is located 10km from Tena. Dating back to
the Spanish conquest of the area in the 16th century, the town has
a rich history, a wealth of natural beauty, such as the Hollín
Waterfall, and is great place to buy typically Amazonian artisan
National Park - A Rich Natural Reserve
This enormous national park (approximately
982,000 hectares) encompasses the Yasuní, Nashino, Cononaco,
and Tiputini river basins and is well known for the variety of bird
species which populated its densely forested hillsides and its permanently
flooded lowlands. Yasuní wildlife highlights include jaguars,
harpy eagles, and caimans. The average temperature here is around
30 degrees centigrade. The park is accessed is by boat.
This complex, based around three large caves, is 5 km from Archidona
and a short distance from Tena.
Located just 7 hours from Quito and 20 km from Tena, Misahuallí
is a popular launching point for excursions deep into the Amazon.
From here, you can go up the Napo river to visit Auca (a.k.a. Huaorani)
settlements deep in the rain forest.
On the road to Lago Agrio, you will the San Rafael Falls. At 160
m, this is Ecuadors highest waterfall. There is a path here
which leads to a lookout point above the falls before continuing
down to the base of the falls where you can take in San Rafael in
all of its glory.
There are several handicraft markets in Tena, Archidona, and Misahuallí
where you can buy products handcrafted by artisans from different
Amazonian communities. Shigras (bags), hammocks, ceramics, bows
and arrows, spears, and blowpipe are just some of the things available.
Masato, made from yucca and banana, is a traditional dish
in this region. Other dishes include Chontacuro, a species
of worm; Uchamango, made with chilli and fish; banana colada;
plantain soup with meat and boiled wheat, yucca soup, and chicha.
Map of Napo, Ecuador
||Sumaco Napo Galeras
| Tena | Papallacta
| Archidona |
| Yasuní National Park | Jumandy
Caves | Misahuallí |
| San Rafael Falls | Handicrafts
| Cuisine | Map of Napo,