“Life is short. The world is big. It awaits your exploration”
― Paul Beaver,
Perhaps the most delightful sight when traveling to Misahuallí (in Tena province – Ecuadorian Amazon) is the unbelievable fast transformation of the landscape before your eyes. To get to Misahuallí from Quito you will first pass the southern valley of the city and the rise into the cool Moorlands (passing through Papallacta Springs highway) and then, the first sights of the dense jungle appear when reaching Baeza, then Puerto Napo and then into Puerto Misahuallí. The perfectly defined Páramo lines melt into dense and humid jungle vegetation. It is truly amazing to watch. Once in Misahualli, we ride half an hour more into the jungle and my fellow travelers and I get ready to embark on a 3 day adventure in Suchipakari Jungle Lodge
We arrive at Pusuno river and go for a 5-minute walk through a lovely forest trail to get into the lodge’s cabins. Some of the lodge’s staff greets you and carries out bags for the walk. At the reception we are greeted by our guides Wilson and Jorge and the lodge owner
The first activity after lunch was a walk in the surrounding area (secondary forest) to get introduced to the jungle vegetation and to some basic jungle survival tips. We relax in the nearby river afterwards with some tubing. The water is warm today and the weather is perfect, opens and sunny skies, a great start for a trip.
Aside from the natural beauty and the dream-like feeling in transmits to its visitors, the thing about the Ecuadorian jungle is that it is the ideal spot for practicing water and adventure sports. My travel companions and I, quite varied in age and interests, went all for a rappelling adventure at Latas river cascade. It was only 3 m high but still intimidating for me. Both our guides were super supportive to all of us, so I ended up doing it. The water was cold but the adrenaline at the time won’t let you feel it. It was a complete thrill. After that you can stand right below the cascades fall and let it fall over your shoulders, an ancient native practice used to cleanse your energies.
In the afternoon, we visited a kichwa community, a female run community which greets visitors by teaching the ancient art of preparing Chicha and by performing a traditional dance. All the activities are led by women, an unusual thing in a male dominated reality as the Amazon jungle culture is.
The day ends in the most unimaginable manner, a boat ride that inserts you right in the middle of a forest. The thing is that in order not to scare the wildlife away, complete silence is needed, which turns the ride into the must surreal trip. Our guide Wilson, an expert, of course, in spotting wildlife in the evergreen blurry jungle, silently points at different habitants of the jungle, mostly birds and jumpy monkeys. A bot ride in complete silence. The jungle sounds, the jungle smell enamels you. I’m sure everyone in my group felt the same way. After the ride ended we were all mesmerized. A happy night’s sleep for all, following a delicious meal, traditional Maito, and a few beers with our very caring and creative guides. The company certainly makes the trip immensely interesting.
Our last day in the jungle ends with a lesson on how to make chocolate from raw cocoa seeds, an abundant tree I the jungle. We start from scratch by making a fire, toasting the seed all the way to turning the chocolate into a paste to enjoy with fresh fruits.
Afterwards we do our final activity, tubing down the river and we say goodbye to our crew and staff, our new friends
We make one last stop at Tena market to buy some cheese and guayusa (a famous plant in the jungle with multiple culinary uses). On the way back home, as the green jungle dissolves before our eyes back into paramo again and back into city at the end, the whole group sleeps tight.
MORE INFO ABOUT THIS TOUR
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