The Amazon Basin of Ecuador

The Ecuadorian Amazon Basin, know as the Oriente, is without a doubt natures greatest achievement and it’s great expanse contains more than 20% of the earth’s vascular plant species. One Amazonian tree can host more ant species than all of the British Isles put together and in one hectare of forest there are as many frog species as all of North America. There are nine tribal groups sharing this rainforest, many of whom still live a traditional lifestyle and some of whom have avoided completely contact with out siders.

Moreover, forty percent of all earth’s fresh water flows through the Amazon basin; more water than in the basins of the next six biggest rivers combined! In the Amazon river there are islands as big as Switzerland and otters bigger than men, and at certain points along it you can be in the middle and see neither shore. It snakes thousands of miles and draws in water from over 1500 water sources, including the Río Napo of Ecuador, one of its primary tributaries plants are found in this equatorial swath of green.

From the Amazon come some of our favorite foods: avocado, black pepper, Brazilian nuts, cayenne pepper, cashews, cocoa, cinnamon, eggplant, figs, ginger, sugarcane, vanilla and yams. The rainforest also produces many medicines, such as quinine for malaria; curare for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease; as well as many industrial products, including latex, resins, timber, oil, and other minerals.