Best of Tena

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Tena
On the western edge of the Amazon, the forest-backed town of Tena has long been a magnet for adventure-minded travelers. Rushing rivers nearby set the stage for some of Ecuador’s best white-water rafting. Tena also makes a suitable base for trips into the rainforest, with jungle lodges and abundant wildlife watching. Tena is a five-hour drive from Quito, making it a good choice if you’re looking to visit the Amazon without having to fly in or take an overnight bus trip. 

As the nation’s unofficial whitewater capital, Tena has loads of options for rafting trips. You can take fun, family-style floats with gentle currents or tackle class III and class IV rapids along both the Río Napo and the Río Misahuallí. For a taste of the Amazon, naturalist guides lead excursions into the isolated Sumaco Napo-Galeras National Park, where wildlife-filled tropical rainforest flourishes on the slopes of the Sumaco volcano. Closer to Tena, you can visit Kichwa communities and learn about their traditions and beliefs. At Tsatsayaku you can see a women’s cooperative of cacao producers who are helping to revitalize the community.
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Río Napo in Ecuador
Map of Best of the Ecuadorian Amazon: 7 Days
Best of the Ecuadorian Amazon: 7 Days

Leave the cold climes of Quito and descend to the sinuous rivers and sticky jungle of the Ecuadorian Amazon, one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth. On this 7-day itinerary, you will wildlife-spot along mighty waterways, climb into rainforest canopies, brave some of South America’s best white-water rapids and bathe in beautiful thermal pools. If you are set on exploring the Amazon, Ecuador is one of the best places to do it.

Exploring scenic terrain with the family in the Galapagos Islands
Ecuador Family Trip: Quito, the Amazon & Galapagos Islands - 11 Days

From the colorful wildlife of the Amazon rainforest to the underwater playground of the Galapagos, this family-friendly journey around Ecuador offers adventure and education for all ages. Start in Quito, where you'll take a hands-on cooking class and set foot on both halves of the equator at Mitad del Mundo. Then delve into the Amazon rainforest, spotting exotic insects on a nighttime jungle tour and canoeing to a parrot habitat — bring your binoculars for the best views! Finish the itinerary in the Galapagos Islands with several days of wildlife viewing, snorkeling, and so much more. Keep your eyes open for giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies!

Baby Alpaca
Map of Multi Country South America Adventure: Ecuador & Peru - 14 Days
Multi Country South America Adventure: Ecuador & Peru - 14 Days

Experience the best of Ecuador's mainland and Peru's highlights on this two-week trip. Start in Quito to tour the UNESCO-designated city center, then head to the Amazon for cultural experiences with the Kichwa indigenous community, wildlife viewing, and a peaceful rainforest atmosphere. Return to Quito by way of Cotopaxi National Park, home to the eponymous volcano. Then, catch a flight to Lima—the urban hub of Peru. End the trip with a visit to Cusco's pre-Inca ruins and a tour of the Sacred Valley and imperial Machu Picchu residence.

Hoatzin in Yasuni National Park
Map of Nature & Culture in Ecuador: Quito and the Amazon Rainforest - 7 Days
Nature & Culture in Ecuador: Quito and the Amazon Rainforest - 7 Days

If you want to visit Ecuador but can't decide between city or rainforest life, this itinerary has the best of both worlds. Start in Quito to see colonial churches and visit the equatorial line, then head to the Amazon rainforest. Spend three days in Yasuni National Park relaxing at an ecolodge, panning for gold in a stream, and learning to make chocolate the authentic way. 

Other popular travel destinations in Ecuador
Quito · Cotopaxi · Otavalo · Baños · The Amazon · Riobamba · Quilotoa · Cuenca · Guayaquil · Mindo · Papallacta · Yasuni National Park · Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve · Archidona · Lago Agrio · Isinliví · Cacha