Just a couple of hours from the Ecuadorian capital is Mindo, a tropical little town nestled in [...]
Why Visit The Amazon: Puerto Misahualli, Tena and Archidona, Ecuador
The Amazon is one of the most spectacular places on our planet. From monkeys swinging in the trees, medicinal plants that heal every part of your body to the endless fun you can have in the rivers, the Amazon has a lot for everyone. Located only a few hours from the capital city of Quito, the towns of Puerto Misahualli, Tena and Archidona are great springboard towns to everything the rainforest has to offer. These places are rich in biodiversity and culture: you could stay here forever and never get bored!
How to get to Puerto Misahualli, Tena, and Archidona
As off-the-beaten-track destinations in Ecuador, you’ll find a few modes of transportation connecting the Amazon with the Andes.
Public transport: To get from Quito to Baños by public transport, you’ll need to first go to the Quitumbe bus terminal (“Terminal terrestre Quitumbe”), to get to the Amazon. If you’re staying in Quito’s Historic Center or Mariscal District, Quitumbe is a $10-20 taxi ride (depending on the time of day) or a $0.25 trip on the Trole. However, try to avoid taking the Trole by night and always keep an eye on your possessions when you’re using public transport in, and around, Quito.
Once in Quitumbe, you’ll find a few bus companies that depart to Tena. The trip from Quito to Tena takes about 5 hours and costs around $8. Since it may be a long ride, select a bus company that appears to have comfortable seats! Once in Tena, you can take a taxi to continue to the town of either Puerto Misahualli or Archidona.
Wanderbus Ecuador: For a trip as long and complicated as the Quito to Tena, Puerto Misahualli, or Archidona route, an excellent alternative to public transportation is the Wanderbus.
A number of our Wanderbus passes take you from Quito to Puerto Misahualli, Tena, and Archidona, stopping at a few must-see destinations like Cotopaxi, Quilotoa, Baños, and Puyo. If your travel plans aren’t set in stone, you should seriously consider this option. This way, the long, complicated journey to Puerto Misahualli, Tena, and Archidona will be broken up into more manageable chunks, giving you the chance to see the best of the Amazon Jungle and completely skip the inconvenience and discomfort of traveling on regular buses.
Puerto Misahualli, Tena and Archidona are all towns located in Ecuador’s Napo Province, with Tena being the capital. This region of the Amazon has been inhabited for millennia by indigenous groups, joined by the missionaries and settlers with the Spanish conquest, and for about a century, by more colonizers from other parts of the country and world. Tena was once an important trading post due to its strategic location at the convergence of jungle rivers, and today it’s the commercial center of Napo Province. Despite its growth, the area still retains much of the traditions and culture of the indigenous people.
Health and Safety
Before traveling to Ecuador, it is strongly recommended that you purchase travel insurance in case of any emergency, including health and loss of possessions. Puerto Misahualli, Tena, and Archidona are very safe and fun if you take the right precautions, as you would anywhere you travel.
Although many of the rivers here are fast-flowing and black-water, which means they have less mosquitos, it’s wise to consider taking malaria prophylactics. A yellow fever vaccination is also something to consider.
In the case of an emergency, you can reach an ambulance by dialing 911, 131 (Red Cross), or 101 (Police).
Hospitals in the Amazon
There are a limited number of hospitals in this region. There is a hospital in Tena if you have any small issues, but if you have larger emergency, head to Quito.
Hospital José María Velasco Ibarra
Av. 15 de Noviembre, Tena +593 6 373-1980
Pharmacies in the Amazon
A few pharmacies can be found in Puerto Misahualli, Tena, and Archidona. The bigger chains include Fybeca, Sana Sana, and Cruz Azul; there are also some local pharmacies which will have things you need, just look for the word farmacia.
ATMs in the Amazon
There is a lack of ATMs in Puerto Misahualli, Tena, and Archidona, so you’ll have to plan ahead and take cash out in a larger city, such as Baños or Quito, before you arrive.
Wifi in the Amazon
Since you’ll be in the jungle, wifi is limited. Wifi can be accessed in restaurants, cafes, and hotels, just be prepared to not have as much access as you would in larger cities and for speeds to be pretty slow.
What to do in Puerto Misahualli, Tena and Archidona
There are dozens of activities in the rainforest to enjoy. Here are just a few:
Take a Full Jungle Tour with Local Guides
In Misahualli, head to the center of the town where you’ll find tour guides and tour companies. Be sure to check out a few different locations/guides before making your decision because they might offer different things; you can also ask for other options if you want to change one activity in your tour since there are so many things to see and do in the jungle.
Raft, Kayak, Canoe, or go Tubing
This area of Ecuador is world famous for its white-water rivers that tumble down from the Andes, so be sure to check one of these activities out! Rafting or kayaking for those adrenaline-junkies and canoeing or tubing for those who want something more relaxing.
Take a hike into the jungle to see beautiful waterfalls and even swim in their clear waters. In Puerto Misahualli you can find “Cascadas de Latas,” “Laguna Azul,” and loads more in Tena and Archidona.
Explore Jungle Caves
Head to Arichdona to explore caves and hike inside them, and even learn about their history. You can either visit Jumandi Caves or the Elephant Caves. Tours are relatively cheap, just be prepared to get a little wet on your adventure.
AmaZOOnico Animal Rescue Centre
Make a stop here in Tena to see many species of jungle animals: birds, monkeys, turtles, alligators, and more. These animals have been rescued and are currently being rehabilitated to be released back into the wild. There are many other rescue zoos in the jungle, and you can find more in Puerto Misahualli, and Archidona as well.
Visit Local Communities
There are lots of indigenous communities in this area and many have opened their doors to tourists so that visitors can learn about how they live, experiencing their lives and traditions up-close.
Planning your time in Puerto Misahualli, Tena and Archidona
Planning your time in Puerto Misahualli, Tena and Archidona depends entirely on what YOU like doing, but we’ve listed some of the highlights. We encourage you to take these and customize your itinerary based on the amount of time you have, personal preferences, and your budget.
|DAY 1||Start you day by visiting the AmaZOOnico Animal Rescue Centre||Relax in the evening and get something to eat at Restaurant La Fogata|
|DAY 2||Head to the center of Puerto Misahualli town to find a local guide to take you on a full day jungle tour||Eat a delicious dinner at El Jardin|
|DAY 3||Spend some time on the river; raft, kayak, or canoe, whatever you prefer!||Swim in a waterfall in the afternoon to relax|
|DAY 4||Visit Jumandi Caves to take a tour and explore the surrounding area for a little something different|
Where to stay in Puerto Misahualli, Tena and Archidona
Whether you’re looking for something on a budget or something more luxurious, these locations have everything you need for the trip you want. Here are some of our top picks:
Hostels and Hotels in Tena
- Jungle Roots Glamping: Get your own cabin in the jungle, and help the environment at this ecotourism location.
- Anaconda Lodge Ecuador: Perfect for people who are looking for a little more luxury in the jungle, includes excursions and food as well.
- A Welcome Break Hostal: A family-owned cozy hostel with all the basics you’ll need, they also have their own travel agency for any excursion you want to do!
Hostels and Hotels in Puerto Misahualli
- El Jardin: A beautiful hotel/restaurant that makes you feel like you’re truly in the heart of the jungle, with many different plants and animals, you won’t want to miss it.
- Banana Lodge: A wonderful lodge for a peaceful stay in the jungle.
- Rio Napo Lodge: This amazing lodge was started by a Kichwa family to preserve the culture and environment of the area.
Hotels Between Tena and Puerto Misahualli
- Selina Amazon: Part of the Selina chain of funky and innovative lodges and hotels, this place is beautifully located on the banks of the Napo, with a range of shared and private accommodation.
Hostels and Hotels in Archidona
- Kuyana Amazon Lodge: This is the perfect place for a jungle retreat; the hosts are wonderful and will help you plan any excursion.
- Hakuna Matata Amazon Lodge: This beautiful hacienda is perfect for any getaway, located right on the river, you will love staying here.
- Hosteria El Paraiso de las Orquideas: A great place to stay where you’ll feel totally immersed in the jungle.
Where to Eat in Puerto Misahualli, Tena and Archidona
Since these locations are in the jungle, food options are somewhat limited, but don’t worry we’ve listed some of our favorite places where you can find some great options:
Restaurants in Puerto Misahualli
- El Jardin – This restaurant/hotel is located right on the water and has wonderful fresh Ecuadorian food, including vegetarian options.
- Restaurante Viva Mexico – Here you’ll find a great taste of Mexico in the Amazon.
- Restaurante La Balsa Flotante – This waterfront restaurant serves great seafood and Ecuadorian dishes.
Restaurants in Tena
- Cafe Tortuga – A comfy cafe with delicious fresh food for everyone, including some vegan options.
- Restaurant La Fogata – Authentic and traditional Ecuadorian food at a great price!
- Guayusa Lounge – This lounge restaurant has a cool ambiance and serves some great food and even better cocktails.
Restaurants in Archidona
- Bijao – A wonderful place to find great local Ecuadorian food.
- Restaurant Hosteria Orchids Paradise – This cozy restaurant/hotel has fresh food for everyone from carnivores to vegans!
- Patio De Comidas Archidona – This location has all the yummy Ecuadorian dishes you could ever want!
When to Visit Puerto Misahualli, Tena, and Archidona
Anytime is the perfect time to visit the jungle — just be prepared for the heat, humidity, and a little rain! Within the Amazon there are microclimates, meaning it could be raining in one small area, and sunny somewhere nearby, and even when it does rain, it doesn’t last more than 1-2 hours. At all times of the year you will be able to see amazing plants and animals, so you never have to worry!
Puerto Misahualli, Tena, and Archidona Packing List
Your packing list may vary depending on the activities you decide to do and on the weather.
Apart from your regular packing items, you should include the following to your packing list:
- Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen)
- Bug Spray (lots of bug spray!!)
- Light clothes that cover your body well
- Hiking shoes
- Water shoes
- Bathing suit
- Water bottle
- Waterproof jacket
Optional: GoPro or other waterproof camera to capture your adventures!
Hop back on the Wanderbus to the capital city of Quito, or head back to Baños and continue on the Wanderbus to the colonial city of Cuenca. Or if you’re heading to the coast, be sure to check out Guyaquil, Montañita, and Puerto Lopez for some amazing beaches and nightlife!
Plan your Trip to Puerto Misahualli, Tena, and Archidona with Wanderbus – you won’t regret it!