The Amazon of Ecuador occupies 120,000 km2, just under half of the total area of the country, however it is only 2% of the total area of the Amazon basin .
The Ecuadorian Amazon Region (RAE) mainly includes the Upper Amazon, with heights ranging from 6,000 to 200 meters above sea level, with an average temperature ranging from 24 to 9 degrees C.
Satellite map of the Cuyabeno fauna production reserve and the Yasuní National Park. amazon ecuador
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The RAE is made up of six provinces: Morona Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Sucumbíos, Zamora Chimchipe, in each of them you will be able to observe an impressive vegetation, typical of the humid-tropical forests.
Likewise, the most populated provinces are Morona Santiago -capital Macas- and Sucumbios -capital Nueva Loja-, and the largest Pastaza with 29,520 km2 and Morona Santiago with 25,690 km2. In addition, the most important cities are Nueva Loja, Coca, Puyo and Tena.
Cultures of the Ecuadorian Amazon
The largest nationalities in the Amazon are the Quichuas of the East and are found in the provinces of Pastaza and Napo, who speak the same language as the Quichuas of the Sierra, but have different customs and ways of life (See: Indigenous Languages ) .
There are also the Shuar and Achuar in Morona Santiago and Pastaza. For their part, the Siona-Secoya are in Sucumbíos. The Huaorani, who live between Orellana and Pastaza. Other groups are Cofán, in Sucumbíos, and Záparo in Napo.
Ecuadorian Amazon and its flora and fauna
The flora of the Ecuadorian Amazon has a great diversity in terms of its forests, it is home to no less than 5% of the planet’s plants.
8,200 species of vascular plants have been registered, of which 15% are endemic.
Similarly, there are some 538 species of fish in its rivers, and in the Napo River alone 473 species of fish have been counted, which represents a true record at the national level.
In addition, this high biodiversity is complemented by a high endemism of its wildlife : 7 species of mammals , 15 birds , 100 of reptiles and 136 of amphibians , these areas of faunal endemism being located in the Napo river basin and in the montane forests of the foothills of the eastern mountain range.
Rivers of the Ecuadorian Amazon
The Amazon basin is formed by the influx of numerous rivers that rise in the eastern Andes mountain range and in the Amazon mountain range. These rivers are characterized by being mighty and navigable in most of their course.
The most important being the Napo River, the longest in the country, formed by the slopes that come from the provinces of Tungurahua and Cotopaxi. On its way it receives water from the Coca, Aguarico and Curaray rivers.
Just as the Pastaza river, which is born with the name of Cutuchi and Patate rivers, flows into the Marañón river and the Santiago river, which results from the union of the Namangoza and Zamora rivers, also flows into the Marañón river.
How to go to the Amazon?
In terms of relief, Ecuador is made up of hills that originate in the eastern Andes and descend to the Amazonian plains.
Consequently, this allows traveling from the Andes to the Amazon easily and in a relatively short time, approximately 6 hours, from Quito.
Some of the most important attractions that you can enjoy when visiting the Ecuadorian Amazon are the Cuyabeno Reserve, one of the most biodiverse places on the planet.
As well as the Yasuní National Park, named by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve. in the provinces of Pastaza and Orellana, and a part of Napo.
The Misahuallí Port also stands out; a white sand spa, located 30 minutes from the city of Tena, in the province of Napo. Also known as the Forest Gate, for being the place from where many expeditions to the bottom of the Amazon start.
The Amazon is in danger
The Amazon contributes to a high degree so that Ecuador is among the 17 countries in the world with biological megadiversity. However, the rapid colonization of the region is endangering this enormous biological wealth.
At the same time, the growth of the oil industry in the region has stimulated a colonization policy aimed at converting Amazonian land into agricultural land, based on the development of roads and basic infrastructure financed by the State.
However, government concern for the environment and for reconciling development with conservation in a perspective of sustainable development included in the National Constitution has increased.
Despite this, much of the Amazon space is being subjected to extractive activities, and more recently it has suffered great damage from the fires that have devastated much of the extension of the so-called vegetable lung of the world.
The fires in the Amazon have taken the world’s attention and it is not for less. Between January and August 2019 the number of fires increased by 145% compared to the same period in 2018. It is estimated that one million hectares have been consumed by the flames.
Although the Tourism can be a very beneficial activity for the Amazon because it represents a source of income for its populations other than the depredation of the environment typical of activities such as mining, illicit crops, livestock, the illegal logging industry , the hunting and indiscriminate fishing among others, it is worth warning travelers that their behavior in the jungle can also be harmful to the ecosystem.
Do not leave garbage or plastic, do not feed animals and treat indigenous peoples , their beliefs and culture with respect, are some of the minimum recommendations before entering these wildlife sanctuaries.
Other Amazon countries
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