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My sweet spot for for happy returns is to actually start this route in Misahuallí, a small town to the east of Tena where monkeys stroll around as casually as the people do. Then head north from Tena to go spelunking in the Jumandy Caves outside Archidona and some beautiful lodges and waterfall walks in nearby Cotundo.

If you want to imagine yourself in legendary adventure of Francisco Orellana and Pizarro to discover the source of the Amazon, hike the famous stone Guacamoyas Trail in Cosanga where they began. 

Not much farther up the road is Ecuador's highest falls of San Rafael Falls near Salado, as well as Ecuador's most elusive and cranky volcano, El Reventador.

Great white water river rafting trips await you in the Quijos river region, and the best spot to scout for a local outfitter is Baeza (which is also the connecting point if you want to go back to Quito).

In Lago Agrio, which is mostly the entrance point for hiking into the huge Amozonian Cuyabeno Reserve, try to get there on a Sunday for the street market in which you can see the colorfully dressed Cofán people, but at any time you should make a point to promenade with the butterflies around the beatiful Laguna Jambeli just outside the town.


Flowers, Cotundo
  • On this route:
  • Misahuallí |
  • Tena|
  • Archidona|
  • Cotundo|
  • Jumandy|
  • Cosanga |
  • Jondachi|
  • Baeza|
  • El Chaco|
  • Salado|
  • Reventador|
  • Lumbaquí|
  • Lago Agrio!