Your source for paddlesports information in Ecuador
is a country about the size of Colorado, located along the earth's equatorial
band on the western edge of the South American continent and bordered by
Colombia to the North, and Peru to the South and East. About 16 million
people live in Ecuador and 17 indigenous ethnic groups are represented.
The Andean Cordillera divides the country between the Pacific Coast region and the Amazon region. This uplifted chain of snow-capped volcano peaks gives rise to the varied climate zones which form distinct habitats for the wealth of plants and animals found in the country.
Ecuador has the greatest biodiversity of any country in the world in relation to its size. Over 15,000 types of vascular plants, more than 1,600 species of birds, 1750 freshwater fish, 413 species of amphibians, 374 reptiles, and 324 mammals have been discovered in Ecuador. Close to 80% of the biodiversity in the country is found in the Amazon region, which is the least populated and undeveloped part of Ecuador.
The Ecuadorian Amazon receives up to 20 feet of rainfall each year, and is also a main source and headwaters for the Amazon River - the largest freshwater river system in the world. The cultural and biological megadiversity represented in Ecuador make the country an important world heritage site, as well as an exceptional destination for year-round whitewater kayaking and rafting.
Traditionally, most of the rafting and kayaking activity has centered around Tena, a small town and paddling mecca in the Amazon region about 5 hours southeast of Quito. Tena is in the heart of the Napo watershed, and is within an hour's drive of 8 rivers.
Other paddling "hubs" on the Amazon side of Ecuador are Baeza and El Chaco, in the Quijos River Valley, and the town of Baņos at the entrance to the Pastaza River Canyon. Macas is another favored paddling destination that is off the beaten track in the heart of the Upano River Basin.
On the western slope of the Andes, most of the paddling bases out of Santo Domingo de los Colorados, where the Toachi, Blanco and Baba river basins are easily accessible.
Direct flights from the USA to Quito make travel connections convenient and economical.
The Napo River Festival is a special annual event organized by the Fundacion Rio Napo and supported by the Ecuadorian Rivers Institute to raise awareness of the Napo watershed and its importance to everyone.
This unique gathering seeks to educate the public about watershed issues, preserve cultural traditions, and promote sustainable forms of development and resource management.
The spirit of the Napo River Festival is about sharing between people and cultures towards the common thread of water and life.
Please support the Ecuadorian Rivers Institute to ensure that the Napo Festival will continue to be a well-publicized event that makes a powerful statement to preserve the integrity of the resource.
The Napo River is important because it is the last major tributary of the Amazon River in Ecuador which remains free-flowing and has minimal development and contamination in its headwaters.
The Napo watershed hosts some of the greatest levels of biodiversity found on the planet. One hectare (~2.5 acres) of primary rainforest can have more representative plant species than are found in all of North America. More than 500 different species of fish are found in the Napo River alone.
Cultural diversity ranks high in the Napo watershed as well. Indigenous Kichwa, Huaorani, Cofan, Secoya and Siona Indians live in the area and represent some of the last vestiges of native Amazonian culture in Ecuador. Many of these ethnic groups still live in traditional communities and depend on the rivers for important sources of food, water, and transportation.
The rivers and creeks in the Napo watershed are world class rafting and kayaking destinations. Altogether, the tourism from paddlesports, resorts, lodges, birdwatching and jungle excursions in the Napo watershed forms a sustainable and significant economy for the people of the region.
For more festival information email firstname.lastname@example.org
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