The Amazon is one of Ecuador’s four distinct ‘worlds’ alongside the Pacific Coast, the Andes and the Galapagos Islands. The Amazon is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, home to 4000 species of trees and vines, 600 species of birds and 200 species of mammals.
There are plenty of activities that visitors to the equator-straddling country can enjoy in the Amazon. Here are the top 10 things to do in Ecuador’s Amazon region:
1. Go white-water rafting. Rafting is the most popular adventure sport in Ecuador’s Amazon, with rivers of different levels of difficulty and accessibility available.
2. Go kayaking. Ecuador is the third best destination in the world for rafting and kayaking, with the rivers flowing down from the Andes mountain range, providing excellent paddling.
3. Hike through the Amazon jungle. Explore the extensive and diverse Ecuadorian Amazon by foot with the help of a local guide.
4. Go birdwatching. With more than 600 species of bird, including macaws, toucans and tanagers, the Amazon provides an ideal location to birdwatch.
5. Experience an Amazon River cruise. A number of itineraries are available which allow visitors to closely observe the flora and fauna of the jungle visit indigenous communities. River cruises provide comfortable floating accommodation while ensuring little environmental impact.
6. Try maito, a traditional Amazon delicacy. Served wrapped in a yaquipanga or banana leaf, the tambaqui fish (which lives in the rivers of the Amazon) is cooked using charcoal, with a mixture of onion, salted tomato and coriander used as seasoning.
7. Visit local jungle communities. Take part in cultural ceremonies and find out a little about the people who call the Amazon home.
8. Put warrior makeup on. Visitors can be painted with vegetable pigments as part of ritual welcoming ceremonies.
9. Swim in a waterfall. Guests can visit the Latas Waterfall, where they climb up a river gorge, ending at a pool and waterfall, where they can swim.
10. Stay in an eco lodge. The Ecuadorian Amazon is home to a number of luxury, environmentally-friendly lodges, providing the ideal base from which to enjoy all the rainforest has to offer.
For information on Ecuador visit the consumer site – www.ecuador.travel