Despite its small size, Ecuador has a sense of space and grandeur in each of its regions. Crossing the country from north to south, the majestic Andes mountain range (or Sierra) stretches into vast green plains, colourful lagoons, volcanoes with snow-covered peaks and plantations whose checkerboards nibble at the sides of steep valleys. On the Pacific coast, from Esmeraldas to Salinas, long stretches of golden or grey sand line steep cliffs. Finally, covering nearly half of the territory, the Amazon contains immense dense and tropical forests, in which animals are kings.
The mythical Amazon :
The Oriente is a dense and inextricable world from which one does not return unscathed. Such an adventure on Amazonian territory will leave its mark on people's minds forever, as the sensations are multiplied tenfold and the discoveries numerous. Exuberant vegetation and extraordinary fauna, a quiet atmosphere that may seem distressing... the forest is one of the last remaining sanctuaries of wildlife, but for how long? In this world apart, you can see anacondas, boas, caimans, piranhas, Amazonian dolphins, tarantulas, monkeys, toucans, a plethora of multicolored birds, and perhaps even lazy, jaguars and other rare animals. On condition, of course, that you sink deep into the forest.Amazonia is also the cradle of certain ancestral ethnic groups - Secoya, Siona, Huaorani, Quechuas, Mantas, Záparo, Shuar, Huancavilcas and Cófan - who try, against all odds, to resist the failings of modern civilisation. Budding anthropologists will thus have the opportunity to familiarize themselves with their way of life, in harmony with nature, as well as with their medicinal know-how and shamanic traditions... Sharing the chicha (typical drink), hunting with a blowgun or consulting a shaman are all unforgettable adventures to be experienced in this unique place.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette