Category Archives: Amazon

sea turtle 547163 960 720 - A Traveller's Guide to Falling in Love with Ecuador

A Traveller’s Guide to Falling in Love with Ecuador

Ecuador’s sway over travellers is legendary as first impressions lead to startling and astonishing discoveries. The culture here warmly welcomes international visitors and the Ecuadorian people are more than happy to show you their country.

Falling in love with Ecuador is easily deceptive-once you see the country you seldom shake the urge to return. Keep reading for where to go to discover the adventure, spirit, and beauty of Ecuador.

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Medicinal plants of Ecuador

Medicinal plants of Ecuador

Medicinal plants of Ecuador

It’s estimated seven out of ten Ecuadorians use medicinal plants. Ethnobiologist Omar Vacas has spent 15 years researching local flora used for centuries to cure diseases. He published an article about traditional medicine used by the Kichwa people in the Napo jungle province. He says the Kichwas are often unaware that this info can be useful in developing pharmaceutical drugs. For example, balsa can reduce labor pains. There are 23 conditions including toothache and rheumatism that can be cured by plants used by the Kichwas. These include uña de gato (cat’s claw), ortiga brava, achiote de venda, palo de tortuga, sábila (aloe), ruda, dulcamara, sangre de drago (dragon’s blood), chancapiedra, chaya, valeriana, boldo, condurango and zarzaparrilla.

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Amazon River Boat Cruises

Manatee-AnakondaTo go deep into the lower Amazon basin, where biodiversity is highest, an extended canoe ride is a usual element of the trip. Though there are many wonderful rainforest lodges in Ecuador, only two cruise boats are licensed to operate along the Napo River, which courses through all the main highlights of the Ecuadorian jungle.

Cruises vastly increase the range of attractions one is able to visit, since lodges rarely offer excursions to places more than a few hours away. In one week, a cruise boat will travel over 100 miles to the Amazonian border with Peru. There are also half-week cruises.

The two available boats are the Manatee and the Anakonda, catering for lower and higher budgets respectively. Their itineraries are identical, with the only likely differences arising due to weather and other unforeseeables. Both boats are equipped with canoes for all passengers, and experienced guides accompany guests on all excursions.

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