El Oriente Travel Guide
Ecuador's slice of the Amazon basin accounts for roughly one-third of the country's landmass but just 4% of its population. One of the world's biodiversity hot spots, El Oriente is home to hundreds of colorful bird species, including macaws, toucans, and prehistoric-looking hoatzins. Jaguars, pumas, and peccaries are elusive, but you're sure to see howler monkeys, spider monkeys, or tamarins. Pink river dolphins are also easy to spot. An abundance of insects thrive under the jungle canopy, including workaholic leaf-cutting ants, society spiders, and enormous blue morpho butterflies. Myriad plant species coexist, and in some cases even cooperate, with the jungle animals. The giant kapok tree, El Oriente's tallest species, soars nearly 200 feet above the jungle floor. Creeping vines cascade from strangler figs, which in turn envelop other species.
Fodor's local writers visit every hotel we recommend. Look for our discerning Fodor's Choice picks or search by price and location.
- $3359 -- Galapagos: 6-Nt. Vacation w/Air, Hotels & Tours Friendly Planet Travel
- $1222 & up -- Ecuador: 5-Nt. Amazon Rain Forest Tour w/Air — $1,222 LatinEscapes.com
- $2118 & up -- Galapagos Islands Escape w/Tours & Breakfast — $2,118 LatinEscapes.com
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