Ecuador Journals

Amazon Jungle trek

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Ecuador by African Explorer

memo1 Photo, Ecuador, South America More Photos
Quote: Adventure in the upper Amazon region, exploring by dugout canoes on the Rio Napo

Amazon Jungle trek

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
What a great experience! Gliding down the Rio Napo River through the upper Amazon Jungle. The town of Puerto Misahualli is the most picturesque town I have ever seen with its small Village Square and trading post lining the river. The local Saturday market attracts many tribal people from deep in the jungle to trade their goods. Although I haven't been back to Misahualli since 1994, I long for the day of my return.

Quick Tips:

Best Way To Get Around:

The best transportation into the jungle from Quito is by 4X4. The roads are all dirt and when it rains (daily) mud! There are buses that go in as far as Tena but they are very unreliable due to road conditions and break downs.

Crossing the Andes Mountains

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Soon the gravel road before us began to wind around climbing the base of the Andes and it wasn't long before the temperature began to drop. At one point we pulled over and could see the huge city of Quito back in the valley behind us. It soon began to get foggy and started to rain. James informed me that we were now in a dangerous situation due to mud slides along this road. Many times we would have to wait in a line of traffic passing where a lane of the road was covered with rocks and mud from a recent slide. Fortunately there was little traffic only the occasional Land rover or cargo truck coming from the Jungle. Most of these roads were built in the early forties by the Amer...Read More

Entering the rain forest.

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The rain began again this time rushing like an open faucet. The one lane muddy road was slippery and James said we may have to stop in the next village and wait for the roads to clear up. We passed through the village called Casanga and while enjoying the beautiful scenery the car began to sputter a little. While climbing, James sighed and stated that he was a little concerned about the electrical system to the fuel injection but we kept going. This is not a place to break down: the roads are very few traveled and when they are, most of the people aren't prepared to lend assistance. As we crept along the muddy road, James decided it was time to pull over and look into fixing ...Read More

Small Jungle town.

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Heading directly south we begin to drive into a small town with paved roads, Ah Tena at last. Tena is a small Jungle town with a lot of amenities such as a choice in gas stations and a few hotels, it even has a small choice of restaurants. Tena is the hub for people entering and exiting the jungle, they have a fairly reliable bus station with weekly trips to Quito and a lot of supply houses with expedition equipment available. We head through the town to a hotel that James is fond of along the river and found it to be booked up for the night, as James haggled with the owner in Spanish, I walked around the hotel enjoying the scenery. I noticed in the trees that there were parrots of all co...Read More

Pepe, our jungle guide

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Pepe said that as soon as he got of work that night he would come to our hotel and discuss the trip. So after an excellent meal, James and I went for a walk around the small village. We went to another small hotel that had a restaurant that is a common place for the locals. This hotel was nicer than ours, it was all concrete and was completely enclosed. It was two stories tall and the restaurant/bar was popular with the locals. Outside along the dirt street there was an old Landrover owned by an old Grey haired English man that gave up the British life to disappear into the Amazon. This was the only locally owned auto that I noticed. We talked for a little while with some people from Fran...Read More

Explore the Rio Napo

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Along the beach as we loaded our canoe, we were literally attacked by wooly monkeys attempting to get into our packs. The monkeys frequent this area of the river knowing that this is where the traders' boats are docked and they hope to be able to steal some food or sometimes cameras as I found out. Fortunately James and I chased him and as he was climbing a tree he accidentally dropped it to the ground and we were able to retrieve it safely. One little monkey climbed on James and attempted to unzip his backpack, it was quite a scene. We loaded all our gear into the front of the canoe and sat towards the middle side by side on wooden chairs, Pepe stood on the bow of the canoe with a ...Read More

Explore the Rio Napo II

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Story/Tip

Amazon Jungle Photo, Ecuador, South America
Quote:
We soon made it back to the river and loaded our goods in the font of our boat. James slips on his rubber boots so that he can help push the boat from the bank. As he is pushing us away from the sand he steps into a hole, dunking his foot and rubber boot, all the way up to his waist. The children along the bank burst out with laughter as James hangs on the side of the boat draining all the water from his boots. So much for a dignified departure! As we proceed deeper into the jungle I notice many small huts (similar to the ones I explained earlier) along the shores of the river. Many hours later I noticed a small hut next to a thirty thousand-dollar Nissan Pathfinder parked on the san...Read More

Explore the Rio Napo III

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Story/Tip

Quote:
We soon begin to level out and reach a clearing on the top of a hill overlooking the river and jungle below. From this vantage point, the river looks like a winding snake looping around through the thick green carpet-like jungle. I realize that if you were to walk straight through the jungle you would cross the same river many times due to the way it winds around. It is no wonder that the early explorers would so easily get lost in this vast jungle. Looking inland from the river into the depths of the Northern Amazon, I can see smoke drifting skyward from what looks like small fires below the jungle canopy, according to my journal I counted four smoke clouds rising. Pepe said that t...Read More

July 1994

Story/Tip

Quote:
9:00am we leave Quito for my long awaited journey with the bright beautiful sun shining high. Heading southeast on a very fine pavement road. The first small town we pass through was “Pito” I have tried to research information on this small village to no avail. Ten miles outside of Pito our nice paved road turns into gravel and we proceed to the east passing ...Read More