hours southeast of Quito, Tena has become the de facto white-water rafting
and kayaking capital of Ecuador. It's a cool little town where kayaks
lay around hotel-room entrances and boaters hang out in pizza joints
rapping about their day on the rapids. You can set up a rafting trip
easily, and there are several tour operators offering trips into the
Situated at the junction of the lovely Rio Tena and Rio Paño,
Tena has a comfortable climate, it's cooler, due to its elevation, and
drier than most people expect. There's rainfall year-round and the
heaviest rains come in June, July, and August, but even in this very
wet time it doesn't necessarily rain every day or all day when it does
rain. The rain is pleasant and warm, like the rain that those of us
from the northern hemisphere only get in the sweltering heat of
summer, but if you plan to be outside for long periods even warm rain
can bring down your body temperature so it's wise to have a slicker.
is famous for its rainforest and the rivers surrounding the city. The
jungle is very impressive and there is no shortage of guides for those
who long for adventure and a peek at the exotic flora and fauna
The city is divided into two halves by the rivers
Tena and Pano and connected by two bridges, one for pedestrians and
one for automobiles. There are several sand and pebble beaches on both
sides of the river, as well as a number of plazas and parks, the most
conspicuous of which is the Parque Amazonico, a botanical garden and
zoo located on a small peninsula between the rivers Tena and Pano and
visible from the pedestrian bridge. There is also a nice riverside
walkway on the western bank of the river Tena.
The capital of Napo Province, Tena was founded
in 1560. There were several Indian uprisings in the early days,
notably in 1578, when Jumandy, chief of the Quijos, led a fierce but
unsuccessful revolt against the Spaniards. Today, the area is largely
agricultural - cattie ranches and coffee and banana plantations
The anniversary of Tena's foundation is celebrated on November 15.
Those looking for a life-changing experience should take advantage of
the burgeoning eco-tourism industry in Tena. continues...