Oriente Jungle

East of the Andes the hills fall away to the vast green carpet of Amazonia. Some of this beautiful wilderness remains unspoiled and sparsely populated, with indigenous settlements along the tributaries of the Amazon. Yet the Ecuadorean jungle has the advantage of being relatively accessible and tourist infrastructure here is well developed.

Most tourists love the exotic feeling of El Oriente, and El Oriente needs tourists. Large tracts of jungle are under threat; colonists have cleared many areas for agriculture, while others are laid waste by petroleum exploration or gold mining. The region's irreplaceable biodiversity and traditional ways of life can only be protected if sustainable ecotourism provides a viable economic alternative.

The eastern foothills of the Andes, where the jungle begins, offer the easiest access and a good introduction to the rainforest for those with limited time or money. Further east lie the remaining tracts of primary rainforest, teeming with life, which can be visited from several excellent (and generally expensive) jungle lodges. Southern Oriente is as yet less developed for tourism as well as other activities. Precisely for this reason, it offers unique opportunities and demands extraordinary respect.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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