The Amazon Rainforest
A trip to Ecuador is not complete without a visit to the Ecuador Amazon Rainforest. Kapawi Ecolodge & Reserve is an award winning Amazon lodge in Ecuador, which offers various jungle tours.
The eastern slopes of the Andes stretch out towards the great Amazon basin, the world's largest rainforest. Rivers flowing down the Andes through Ecuador eventually link up with the mighty Amazon River on its 3,200 km journey across Brazil and into the Atlantic Ocean.
Nobody knows how many species of plants and animals live in the tropical rainforests. Conservative estimates suggest a figure of about 30 million species, but many scientists believe that the figure could be as high as 80 million or more, and that rainforests could account for more than half of all life forms on earth.
In the Ecuadorian part of the Amazon basin there are many indigenous peoples, the biggest groups being the Siona-Sequoia, Cofan, Huaorani, Quichua, Shuar and Achuar. Some of these groups have only recently had contact with people from outside their forest environment, and it is thought that there are still small groups that continue to be totally isolated. Other groups, however, have been in touch with the outside world for years and have had to adapt to it.
The rainforest is a fascinating place for visitors. The chance to make a connection with this strange world, by swimming in a local river, walking through the forest or spending the night in a jungle lodge, is not to be missed. To spend time with people who rely totally on this natural world, who don't separate the physical from the spiritual, whose way of life as jungle nomads contrasts sharply with the western concepts of materialism and possession, can be a life changing experience.