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Yasuni National Park: a magical and diverse territory in the heart of the Amazon jungle

Deep in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon basin, below the Andes and the equator, lies one of the most biologically diverse spots on the planet and one of the most intact fragments of jungle in Ecuador.

Yasuni National Park in eastern Ecuador is home to millions of species of plants, birds, insects and mammals. Yasuni is located in the provinces of Orellana and Pastaza and is part of the Amazon Basin, mostly surrounded by the course of the Napo and Curaray Rivers, in the shape of a giant horseshoe. Yasuni was declared a National Park in 1979.

As mentioned earlier, the Yasuni is home to countless plant and animal species. Here, we can find thousands of species of trees and plants, wide rivers that overflow due to heavy rains, and astonishing animals such as the jaguar, the anaconda, pink freshwater dolphins, and many more. On the other hand, you can also find tiny beings, such as the smallest monkey in the world, the pygmy marmoset – its body barely 15cm long, and a wide variety of reptiles and amphibians supporting the statement that Yasuni is one of the most biodiverse areas in the world.

The human side of the Yasuni is also full of surprises. Yasuní National Park is home to two tribes of Indigenous Peoples living in Voluntary Isolation: the Tagaeri and the Taromenane, with only a handful of members of each tribe remaining. In 1999, with the aim of protecting these Indigenous Peoples as well as the Yasuni’s biodiversity, Ecuador created the Intangible Conservation Zone of the Peoples in Voluntary Isolation, where all types of extractive activity were banned. Additionally, 10 years earlier in 1989, the Yasuni National Park, along with the Intangible Conservation Zone, and an adjacent waorani territory were declared an International Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO.

Thinking about visiting the Yasuni National Park?

In order to enter the Yasuni, you need to get to city of Coca, located about 285 km from Quito. Coca is the last fixed settlement before the Río Napo transports you deep into the rainforest to the Yasuni and the Amazon basin while enjoying the magical flora and fauna existent in this place.

Currently, you can find a wide variety of tour operators: community run, private or mixed ones that offer interesting and diverse experiences, ranging from those who look for comfort and style all the way to sites designed for the more adventurous ones.

If you smile while imagining what this place feels, looks and sounds like, then it’s time to come see it with your own eyes and feel it with your whole body. Ecuador is your best option to retire; you will never get bored simply because there is so much to do and see, and what’s most is that you will want to do it all over and over again.

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About the author

Here in Start Living you will find all kind of information you need for traveling around Ecuador. We invite you to visit and discover this wonderful country and live ...

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