For at least a thousand years, the Amazonian rainforest of Ecuador, the Oriente, has been home to the Huaorani (meaning ‘human beings’ or ‘the people’). They consider themselves to be the bravest tribe in the Amazon. Until 1956, they had never had any contact with the outside world.
Now visitors have the opportunity to see the Amazon through the eyes of the people who live there.
There are no roads and the only people who live in this area belong to the Huaorani indigenous culture, a tribe that fiercely resisted contact with other people until fairly recent times. This trip is a true once in a lifetime experience for cultural and adventure travelers.
Highlights to see on Ecuador packages that include the Amazon rainforest:
Indigenous cultures: While experiencing the wild sights and sounds of the amazing Amazon rainforest, you also get the chance to learn about the people who live in the jungle. They may teach you about medicinal plants they use, how they track wildlife, and how they survive in the jungle.
Toucans, macaws, and other exotic birds: There are nearly 600 species of birds that frequent the jungles of Amazonian Ecuador. Although many are difficult to see inside the dim, dense confines of the lowland rainforest, visitors to remote ecolodges are often treated to sights of huge, colorful macaws, several species of toucans, a number of colorful tanagers, parrots and parakeets, raptors, the odd Hoatzin, and other types of birds. Most lodges have guides that make it much easier to see birds and some have canopy towers that provide close looks at hundreds of birds.
Monkeys: The Ecuadorian Amazon hosts more than ten species of monkeys and they are often seen at remote lodges in protected areas. Red Howler Monkeys call from the canopy, long-limbed Black Spider Monkeys frequent fruiting figs, and the forest echoes with the rollicking calls of the Dusky Titi Monkey. Flooded forests also host populations of the tiny Pygmy Marmoset. This tiny, adorable primate is the size of a small squirrel!
Boat rides on rivers and lagoons: Since the best Amazonian ecolodges are in roadless areas and can thus only be reached by waterways, ecotourists usually spend a fair amount of time on canoes or small boats. Wildlife viewing can be good from a boat, especially on the quiet, black waters of oxbow lakes.