Jardín Botánico Las Orquídeas
Jardín Botánico Las Orquídeas is a lovely family-run botanical garden where about 300 species of orchids can be found, as well as lots of other rainforest plants.
To go here I took a blue bus heading to barrio Los Angeles from Atahualpa in Puyo. The bus was $0.25 (August 2013) and it took about 20 minutes. I was dropped at the gates of the garden.
After paying the admission $5 (it cost $4 per person if you are four people or more) I was guided around the shop and museum. In the shop some local products, like bags and jewelry, are on sale, and in the museum there are mostly photos, photos of plants and animals arranged by the year they were first spotted in the Botanical Garden. The garden was founded in 1980 by Omar Tello (who was also the guide this day) on former pasture land and it is almost 7 hectares big.
When it was time to tour the garden an American-Ecuadorian family arrived and we walked around the garden together. Omar had a lot to tell and it was very interesting. Besides all the plants we saw lots of different insects and some tamarin monkeys.
I had arrived before 13, and when it was 15:30 I felt it was time to leave. We were almost at the end of the trail, but I went ahead and to the bus. I waited 15 minutes for the bus to arrive, and during that time I saw the others come back too, so I didn’t miss much of the tour. The bus back to Puyo took 15 minutes.
Jardín Botánico Las Orquídeas is open 8:30 – 16:00 on Monday – Saturday.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- Hiking and Walking
Parque Omaere is a small ethno botanical park in the north outskirts of Puyo. It is an interesting place to visit and it will give you a look into the traditions and flora of the Oriente.
When I visited I got a guided tour in Spanish. It lasted for about 1h 15min and the guide showed me, and told me about many useful plants. Some of them I even tasted, and one of them was cinnamon (ishpingo I guess). We also stopped at two traditional houses that have been built in the park, where the guide explained about the traditions of the Shuar and Waorani cultures.
As I visited alone admission was $5(July 2013), otherwise it is $3.
Parque Omaere is open 9 – 17, Tuesday – Sunday.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Paseo Turístico is a nice trail to walk. It starts at the malecon in Barrio Obrero and runs along Río Puyo. It pasas El Jardín and Parque Omaere, then crosses the river and continues for 1.7 kilometres. It ends at the road to Tena, so there I turned around and walked back.
The first day in Puyo I walked the Paseo Turístico in the late afternoon/early evening and so did many other people. There were also joggers out running, so the next day that is what I did. It is a relaxing place for a walk with the trail surrounded by lush green vegetation and the sight of the running water of Río Puyo.
There are a few exercise equipments at one point but only one of them worked (one for the arms), and I stopped there for a while when I was out jogging.
- Hiking and Walking
- Budget Travel
Museo Etno Arqueológico
Museo Etno Arqueológico is a small museum in the centre of Puyo. The exhibitions here consist of some pottery found at archaeological excavations in the area, spiders, butterflies and other insects on needles, and huts and items of different ethnic groups.
The museum is open 8 – 16 daily, and it is free.
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
At Malecon Boayacu Puyo there is an outlook tower. The first time I came here the gate in front of the stairs was locked, but the next day it was open, and of course I walked up to see the view over Puyo and the surroundings.
Centro rescate de los monos
We were in Puyo and found ourselves looking for adventure of some sort. It was a Sunday and most places were closed. We asked locals whats there to do and no one really had suggestions until one guy said that we can check out the monkeys. We werent sure what this was. A zoo...? When we got there we realized its a Monkey resue place. We strolled around until a man came out. His name was Ivan. He spoke Spanish well but with an accent so we knew he wasnt local. Turns out he was from Switzerland or something and he lives here in the jungle and cares for the monkeys here along with a few other animals. I beleive its a non profit organization and survives on donations. Authorities or whomever bring the monkeys here after they have been taken away from people that had them as pets or abandoned or maybe they were hurt and Ivan takes care of them.
The monkeys crawl all over him and you if you let them. My daughter and cousin liked it here. I did too but I freaked out when they wanted to crawl on me.
He strolled us around the grounds here and educated us on the different types of monkeys. It was a very interesting place and actually turned out to be alot of fun.
So if you are in Puyo, visit Ivan de los monos and check out the amazing things he is doing here.
Ivan was great and was so patient with us. There are also a few other animals on the property. I saw a snake, gigantic turtles and other animals that i had no clue what they were.
Volunteer In Local Schools
The Arajuno Road Project is a non-profit that offers volunteer opportunities to teach in the Schools along the road between Puyo and Arajuno. Volunteers work in pairs to design and teach lesson plans as part of a structured curriculum. The volunteers live in a volunteer house along the road and share cooking responsibilities. This is a really good way to give something back to Ecuador
You are going need at least a month for this (although there are 2 week placements available during summer holidays (July-Sep), but it provides a good break from travelling and makes a refreshing change from backpacking. It's a non-profit, so nearly all of the money stays in the local area and you can really see the difference they make.
- Budget Travel
- Work Abroad
- Save money, Book now!
- Booking.com Excellent choice, Low rates
- Save up to 50% off Hotels Everyday
- Expedia.com Photos, Reviews and the Guaranteed Lowest Prices