Ecuador’s Amazon Basin
The Amazon Basin is South America’s green heart—a dense wilderness abounding with rivers and pulsing with life.
This is the most biologically diverse ecosystem on the planet, supporting over one-third of all Earth’s species.
Approximately 25% of Ecuador’s territory lies within this basin, gathering the flow of a dozen major tributaries.
Known as El Oriente (“The East”), this verdant region extends from the eastern slopes of the Andes to the Peruvian and Colombian borders.
Visitors come to observe El Oriente’s abundant wildlife, enjoy the natural beauty of the rivers and forests, and commune with ancient indigenous cultures.
Pink freshwater dolphins, monkeys, caimans, parrots, and macaws are among thousands of animal species populating this region.
Amazon Wildlife Tours
Each dawn, a deafening chorus of birds, insects, and monkeys salutes the sun.
Expert local guides lead wildlife tours deep into the forest by canoe or trail.
Excursions to local villages, indigenous farming and hunting demonstrations, and medicinal plant walks with local shamans can also be arranged.
Accommodation in Ecuador’s Amazon
Options for visitors include comfortable lodges or multi-day river cruises.
In the northern Oriente, the Rio Napo, Rio Coca, and Rio Aguarico offer the best lodging and wildlife viewing options.
In the south, the Rio Pastaza is an excellent choice. Each of these areas can be reached by air from Quito.
As this is a rainforest region, the climate is humid and tropical; the average temperature is 90°, typically varying from a pleasant 80° to a steamy 100°.
March through June is rainy season—known for its swollen rivers.
August through November are the driest and most accommodating months.
During these months, the trails are more accessible and smaller tributaries can be explored by canoe.
To avoid the heat, most excursions are conducted in the early morning and late afternoon.
Midday in Ecuador’s Amazon is best for shady siestas and cool drinks at the lodge.
“He who leans close to a good tree is blanketed by good shade.”