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Amazon Animal Sanctuary

The Amazon, Ecuador

Amazon Animal Sanctuary
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The Location

  • Getting There

Fly to Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador. O2E will arrange your transport to the project by bus.

  • The Location

Ecuador, officially named the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. Right through the centre of the country running north to south is the Andean mountain range with the country's highest peak Chimborazo reaching 6310m. The capital is Quito located at 2800m in the Andes and the largest city is Guayaquil near the Pacific with 2.5 million inhabitants.

Ecuador's culture is very diverse and reaches far back into human history with the first cultures emerging on the coast some 6000 years ago. Today's society is a vibrant mixture of those first indigenous people and later European influences following the Spanish conquest with some African values thrown into the mix.

The country boasts one of the most fantastic arrays of landscapes, habitats and species on the planet. However, unfortunately, Ecuador’s natural wealth is continuously challenged by unsustainable activities from sectors such as oil and gas, fisheries, logging, mining and infrastructure.

Hidden treasures lie off the Ecuador coast in the form of a dazzling diversity of marine life on the eastern shores of the Pacific Ocean. A remarkable numbers of species have been recorded, including five species of sea turtles, twenty kinds of whale and dolphin, hammerhead and whale sharks, manta rays and countless species of fish, corals and molluscs.

Pastaza is the largest province in Ecuador, with a territory of approximately 29,800 Km2, and practically the entire province falls with the geographical region of the Amazon rainforest. The capital of Pastaza is Puyo, which means cloud in the native language of Kichwa. Puyo also stands out as a city that is clean and safe, in fact, it is one of the safest cities in all of Ecuador. The principal river of the province is the Pastaza River, which is navigable throughout the province into neighbouring Peru and onto its confluence with the Amazon River.

Pastaza is a province rich in culture; home to seven indigenous nationalities along with the mestizo population. The indigenous nationalities based in Pastaza are: Achuar, Andoa, Shuar, Kichwa, Shiwiar, Waorani, and Zapara, many of which have inhabiated the Amazon region for thousands of years. Their forms of living, food, music, and religion, as well as their languages, make them an incredible anthropological interest for researchers as well as tourists, both national and foreign.

The Amazon Rainforest is the world’s largest remaining tropical rainforest elevated 400 m above sea level. There is more life here than anywhere else on the planet and forty percent of all of the earth’s fresh water flows through the Amazon basin which is more water than in the basins of the next six biggest rivers combined!

One of the most bio-diverse areas on the planet, the Amazon shares with its visitors an unforgettable nature & wildlife experience. According to the National Academy of Sciences, a typical four square mile patch of this unspoiled and largely unexplored wilderness contains as many as 125 mammal species, 400 species of birds, 100 of reptiles, 60 of amphibians, 15 separate species of monkey, 150 different species of butterflies and more tree species per hectare than any other area on the planet! In one study, one square meter of leaf litter, when analysed, turned up 50 species of ants alone.

There are two official languages spoken in Ecuador. The most common one is Spanish introduced by the Spanish invaders some 480 years ago. The other one, Quechua was also a foreign tongue brought by the earlier invaders, the Incas. Quechua is mostly spoken by rural indigenous people in remote regions of the Andes and Amazon. There are also several other languages spoken by various Amazon tribes.

  • Free Time and Travel Opportunities

There are long distance buses taking you to all of the major towns of Ecuador and from the larger centres you find smaller buses servicing the remoter areas of the country for the cost of around US$1 for a one hour trip. Air services are available to most major cities and tourist destinations.

The coast features long deserted beaches, mangroves and coastal lowlands. It is also the country's agricultural centre with large plantations, especially bananas, dominating the inland plains.

Take a guided nature trip deep into the virgin heart of the Amazon or visit the mountainous region of the Andes where you find active volcanoes and crater lakes. If you are active you may try rafting, kayaking, trekking, mountain climbing, mountain biking, white water rafting or bird watching.

Organise a day trip to Puyo or Banos to see more of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Talk to O2E about taking some Spanish lessons in Quito or Puyo which is sure to compliment your time in Ecuador.

If you have time, a trip to the Galapagos Islands is sure to be memorable.

Please note, there are zoos in the area. We do not recommend visiting these.