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Tena Ecuador

Tena Ecuador, RaftingFive 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 jungle.

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.

Tena Ecuador, Napo riverTena 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 contained within.

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.

Tena Ecuador, parrotThe 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 abound.

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...

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