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The deep and mysterious Ecuadorian Amazon jungle invites you to discover a world of infinite diversity, starting from its inhabitants — heirs of an ancestral knowledge — through its rich flora, fauna, landscapes and a variety of touristic activities to perform.
The Ecuadorian Amazon is characterized by its majestic scenarios that range from active volcanoes, flowing and meandering rivers that runs to the Amazon; spectacular waterfalls, enchanted lagoons, mysterious caves and archaeological remains nestled in this region.
The Amazonian hydrography calls the attention of local and foreign tourists eager to travel by river the natural scenarios of the Amazon basin. It’s the ideal site to perform adventure activities such as rafting, river kayaking, canopy, tubing, alligator watching, cave exploration, bird watching, cable car and trail hiking.
One of the adventure modalities available is rafting on the Jatun Yacu River, considered as Class III: suitable for all audiences. That is, you do not need to be an expert or have experience in river rapids. According to the instructors, it is the best river to have your first rafting experience.
Our guide Roberto Rueda, with 15 years of experience as a professional guide and 10 years alone in the river, tells us that Jatun Yacu is the Quichua native name for the river and it means Grand River, a simple descriptive name for this flowing colossus of water located within the Llanganates National Park.
The guide says that one of the best ways to enjoy the Jatun Yacu River is rafting, a modality that leads you among captivating landscapes, full of lush flora and fauna. When referring to safety measures he states that it is one of the safest in Ecuador for adventurers from beginners to connoisseurs.
Our adventure starts early in the morning at the Tena River’s Pier, where we meet the guides and summarize the day’s itinerary. Then, we go to the Cando area where our trip begins. There it all starts with an integral safety talk, they assign us a life vest, helmet, paddle and boats that, by the way, are brand new.
After a quick training in rowing techniques, necessary to navigate the river, we are ready to hop on the boat. Soon we reach the first rapids, which are friendly but rapid enough to set the adrenaline to work.
Roberto has been certified as a guide by the International Rafting Federation, he transmits optimism while It gives the last indications as we begin rafting down the river for approximately 25 kilometers. After approximately three wonderful hours crossing through canyons, cliffs, and the tallests trees, we arrive at the beaches of Gallo Island in the community of Sandí, watermelon in spanish, where a delicious outdoor lunch with fresh tropical fruits, soft drinks, juices and water awaits.
We continue rafting down the Jatun Yacu River until we reach Puerto Napo. At the end we celebrated and thanked the lovely experience that lasted approximately 5 unforgettable hours.
Remember, Safety first! So be sure to hire only certified guides and certified tour operators and last but not least, remember to enjoy the ride!
Until next time!